1 in 4 food industry firms spend more than 21 hours a week cleaning

1 in 4 food industry firms spend more than 21 hours a week cleaning

Research that we recently conducted has found that 1 in 4 food industry businesses spend more than 21 hours a week cleaning, with a third, 32%, also assessing their cleaning processes at least once a week on top of the time they spend actually cleaning – suggesting a considerable amount of resource is invested.

We carried out the research looking at dust-related issues in the food industry as we wanted to determine how highly these issues were regarded. Our study questioned 100 UK based food industry professionals who were all key decision makers or in influential positions.

As part of the study, respondents were asked: 'How many hours a week does your company spend on cleaning?' and given several options to choose from. 12% only performed 1-5 hours of cleaning a week, while the most common response was 6-10 hours according to 31% of respondents. 19% claimed to do between 11 and 15 hours of cleaning, while 13% did 16-20 hours. However, a quarter (25%) claimed to conduct more than 21 hours' worth of cleaning per week, meaning 1 in 4 of the companies involved in the study spent the equivalent of almost 3 standard 7.5 hour working days on cleaning alone.

The study then looked at how often businesses reviewed their cleaning processes, which revealed the main answer to be 'once a week' according to 32% of respondents, while 28% claimed to do so once a month. A further 22% reviewed their methods once a quarter. Only 12% of respondents conducted reviews more infrequently than that, with the remaining 6% unsure.

The study then went on to look at the main cleaning challenges in the industry, posing the question "What are your main cleaning challenges at the moment?" and offering a number of responses to choose from, allowing respondents to select more than one answer. 41% claimed it was hard to stay on top of health and safety rules, while 38% said it was hard to educate people on the importance of a clean and safe working environment. 35% of respondents believed it was difficult to find someone to manage the cleaning side of things, with another 30% stating that their main issue was 'lots of products on the market' making it hard to decide which is right for them. A further 23% believed it hard to get into places to clean with their current products.

James Miller, our General Manager at Dustcontrol UK, commented on the findings: "Cleaning is a serious business in the food industry thanks to strict process and control. And it's clearly a time consuming business too if our results are anything to go by. The fact that a quarter spend more than 21 hours a week cleaning demonstrates what a drain on resources it can become, sapping valuable production time."

James continued: "Businesses conducting such regular reviews of their cleaning processes is a real positive and shows how highly they regard it in terms of importance. However, with businesses committing so many hours to cleaning it suggests there is a lot more to be done efficiency wise. Streamlining your cleaning processes and using the optimum equipment for each scenario plays a large part in keeping down time consumption as well as unnecessary costs."

The research was conducted as part of the launch of our Good For Food brushes, which offer a unique combination of properties specific to the food industry and can help to ensure efficient cleaning processes. You can find out more about our brushes here. Alternatively, please phone us on 01327 858001 or email sales@dustcontrol.co.uk.