Meat and poultry processing is not for the faint of heart. It involves heavy machinery, demanding cleaning routines, and a constant battle against tough soils like fat, protein, and tallow. Despite how crucial open plant cleaning (OPC) procedures are for maintaining proper hygiene and uncompromised food safety, they are often resource-intensive processes that have a significant impact on a processor’s environmental impact, production time, labor, and utility costs.
While OPC programs have roughly remained the same for more than three decades, Diversey’s Diverclean Sonic is a groundbreaking innovation and proven game-changer for meat and poultry processors striving for sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
Introducing a Step-Change in OPC Methodology
The OPC process is most time-consuming during two crucial stages: dry pick up and the initial rinse or wash down. During dry pick up, sanitation employees physically remove gross product debris and trash for the area to be cleaned. The next is wash down, an intensive rinse stage using hot water to remove almost all visible food or product residues. Once all residues are dissolved, a detergent is applied and left to soak. In some areas hand scrubbing is required, then all detergent and soil residues are rinsed away with hot water. After inspection, a sanitizer is applied before processing resumes. This traditional cleaning method can be a lengthy process, consuming valuable production time and resulting in high labor and utility costs.
Diverclean Sonic is an innovative technology pre-treatment that can reduce or eliminate the need for dry pick up and wash down. This unique approach enables processors to convert cleaning time into profitable production capacity, reallocating time, labor, and resources while maintaining the highest standards of hygiene.
Diverclean Sonic in Action
Designed to tackle stubborn soil buildup with exceptional efficiency, Diverclean Sonic helped transform OPC procedures in two facilities, Client 1 and Client 2, that struggled with this daily challenge and sought a solution to benefit the environmental impact and bottom line of their respective production processes.
Client 1 — A beef harvest facility:
Prior to adopting Diverclean Sonic, Client 1 used a combination of heavy duty pre-clean chemicals from Diversey, including Dibac® and Fatsolve, followed by an extensive pre-rinse/wash down and a double foaming process involving extended contact chlorinated alkaline cleaners—EndurChlor® or EnduroPlus. Altogether, the result was a resource-intensive process that required extensive water consumption and labor.
By implementing Diverclean Sonic in three of the eight areas in the plant, Client 1’s facility eliminated the pre-rinse treatment using Dibac® and Fatsolve and reduced the time needed for dry pick-up and wash down in those areas. The detergent step was also streamlined to just a single application of a chlorinated alkaline foam cleaner. These process changes resulted in a 43% reduction in cleaning time and a remarkable 58% reduction in water use, saving the plant approximately 1,043 gallons per day. This was a win for the environment and a significant financial victory. In terms of time and labor, by transitioning to Diverclean Sonic saved Client 1 167 minutes per day, freeing operators to focus on other critical tasks.
Client 2 — A beef and bison harvest facility:
Client 2 turned to Diversey in search of a solution that would help them save both time and water. Their original cleaning process involved three operators using high pressure hoses to pre-rinse the room, followed by portable foamers or a central foaming system to apply their detergents. Overall, the process was labor-intensive and inefficient.
With the introduction of the Diverclean Sonic chemistry, only one operator was needed to apply the foam directly to soiled equipment, walls, and floors. Areas with a high concentration of dried blood required minor rewetting prior to foaming with Diverclean Sonic while areas where blood hadn’t dried didn’t require any pre-rinse.
The result of Diverclean Sonic in Client 2’s harvest room was an impressive 81% reduction in pre-rinse time and an 87% reduction in water use during this stage. Additionally, the Client 2 team saved 195 minutes of cleaning time per day.
The Cumulative Effect
Perhaps one of the most compelling aspects of Diverclean Sonic is its cost-effectiveness. Factoring in water, labor, energy, and chemistry costs, Client 1 projected an annual savings of $37,128 by making the switch.
Beyond cost savings, the Diverclean Sonic technology also addresses one of the biggest challenges in the food and beverage industry—resource consumption. By using less water, energy, labor, and chemicals, it ticks multiple boxes for a processor’s sustainability scorecard.
Improve OPC Results Today
With labor, energy, and water representing a significant portion of the total cleaning cost within the industry, why continue to use people, water, and time inefficiently?
Diversey’s Diverclean Sonic has not only transformed the OPC processes at the facilities of these two bovine harvest facilities but sets a new standard for sustainability in the meat and poultry processing industry. The results speak for themselves—reduced cleaning times, substantial water savings, and a significant impact on your bottom line.
In a world where sustainability is no longer a choice but a necessity, Diverclean Sonic stands as a shining example of how innovation can lead to a brighter, cleaner, and greener future. Interested in reducing your cleaning window and enhancing your eco-footprint? Talk to the Diversey team about your current OPC program today.
Author: Jay White, Senior Sector Specialist