Dan Malovany portraitKANSAS CITY — When expanding or building a new bakery, don’t forget to involve sanitation staff in the process. Too often, engineering/ operations teams focus on the equipment purchases without thinking about ongoing operating costs. Failure to do so may lead to the sometimes-forgotten sanitation team cleaning a mess from decisions made early in a project.

“Making pies or cakes that may contain allergens and be subject to microbial growth, for example, will require different design requirements than a bun and roll bakery,” said Joe Stout, president, Commercial Food Sanitation (C.F.S.) and Baking & Snack contributing editor.

Depending on if wet or dry cleaning is needed, sanitors may offer insights on building materials, spacing requirements, the number of drains, positioning hose stations and even the sanitary design of equipment. In addition to reducing changeovers and downtime in the long run, their expertise will identify the total ownership cost over the life of the equipment, added Richard Brouillette, C.F.S. director of food safety.

“Not everything is shown on blueprints,” he said. “Routing of conduits and other adjustments made during the installation may impact the future ability to clean and inspect equipment.”

Working with O.E.M.s, the sanitation department will write cleaning procedures, provide training and build the operation’s master sanitation schedule.

“Once production is ramped up, sanitation will be able to determine the periodic cleaning frequencies preventing pest and microbial contamination,” Mr. Brouillette said.

Today’s food safety regulations and proliferation of customer audits require bakers to focus on the fundamentals to ensure that every major capital investment is executed properly. That’s something your sanitation team will always remember.