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Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP)


4.1. Introduction

SSOP (Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures) should be specific to each food/fisheries plant. SSOP describe the plant’s sanitary handling of raw material and hygiene of the processing area and it environment. SSOP contain a description of the procedures that an establishment will follow to address the elements of pre-operational and operational sanitation relating to the prevention of direct product contamination.

Fisheries plants are required to develop, maintain, and adhere to written SSOP. This requirement was established because the government concluded that SSOP were necessary. The objective of SSOP is to minimize contamination on product or adulteration. SSOP cover daily pre-operational and operational sanitation procedures. Establishments must identify the officials to monitor daily sanitation activities, evaluate whether the SSOP are effective, and take proper corrective action when its needed.

4.2. Definition

SSOP is an activity that related to cleanlines and health effort during procesing so products have good quality and be safe for consumption. Based on Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture regulation No.41/Kpts/IK.210/2/98 about PMMT, the SSOP objective is prevent pathogen bacteria growth which destroy product that danger to human.

According to Darwanto and Murniyati (2003), SSOP is one of prerequisite programs that is used for the environment sanitation surveillance, so the plant will produce safe product. The environment on plant comprises rooms, equipments, workers, water etc. Every product processing has different SSOP although in one factory.

On SSOP document, it explains the procedures of implementation and monitoring of SSOP on factory.

4.3. SSOP Scope

SSOP sections are based on eighth FDA key sanitation conditions. Those sections as follows:

  1. Ice and water safety, used on fish processing. Water, used on fish processing, get from safe sources and it manage with good system.
  2. Condition and cleanlines of equipments surface that are directly contact to product have to clean and sanitize, including gloves, work dress etc
  3. Cross contamination control.
  4. Hand washing (hand sink), sanitizer and toilet. Toilets have to complete with door and clean at the end of processing. Hand sink should complete with wáter, soap and towel.
  5. Product protection from packaging materials.
  6. Labeling, storing and material using based on instruction. Sanitizer, oil, and pesticide and toxic chemical have to complete with label and store on special room.
  7. Worker health control. When the workers work on factory, they have to clean and healthy.
  8. Pest controlling on factory environment using chemical substances, environment should be clean from pest.

4.4. SSOP Principles

4.4.1. Water safety

The water supply is one of the most factors when making products which are safe to eat and which meet the required microbiological standards. Water is the most important component on food processing. In food industries, water has function as part of product composition, cleaning the products, equipments and others, raw material of ice and glazing, and drinking (Winarno and Surono, 2002).

Before using on food processing, the water have to free from bacteria, suspended material, chemical pollutants, bacteria, viruses, etc. If water contains many bacteria, chlorine can remove and kill the bacteria, it makes the water free from microorganism.

Water that use on fish processing should have a good quality. It is free from pathogenic bacteria, dangerous substances, colorless, odorless, and transparent (Jenie, 1997). Based on Directorate of Food and Drinking Control (1996), the water requirements that use on food processing and directly contacting with food have to base on pure water requirement standard (Indonesian Health minister regulation No. 416/MenKes/Per/IX/1990 about water quality requirements and its controlling. In addition, criteria from WHO 1984, EEC 1980, and Gould 1994 can be used by the fish processor on their food processing.

There are two sources of water supply potable water and non-potable water. Both of them can be used on food processing, but the fish processor have to meet the water quality standard from health minister regulation, WHO, EEC and other organizations (Huss,1994).

1) Potable water

a) Potable water should be provided in all places of employment such as drinking, cooking, washing of the person, processing, washing of foods, washing of cooking or eating utensils, washing of food preparation or processing premises, washing equipments on food processing, and personal service room.

Table 4.1. Microbiological criteria (Guidelines) for drinking water quality

Organism in 100 ml 1)

Guideline value


Piped water supplies

Treated water entering the distribution system

Fecal Coliform


Turbidity < 1 NTU; for disinfection with chlorine, pH preferably < 8.0, free chlorine residual 0.2 – 0.5 mg/l following 30 min (minimum) contact

Coliform Organism


Water in distribution system

Fecal coliforms


Coliform organisms


In 95% of samples examined throughout the year in the case of large supplies when sufficient samples are examined

Colifor Organisms


In an occasional sample but not in consecutive samples

Source: WHO, 1984 in Huss, (1994)

1) Multiple tube technique (MPN procedure) and the membrane filtration technique have been considered as capable yielding comparable information.

Table 4.2. Microbiological criteria (guidelines) for drinking water quality

Maximum admissible concentration (MAC)


Results: volume of the sample (ml)

Guide level (GL)

Membrane filter method

Multiple tube method (MPN)

Total Coliforms



MPN < 1

Fecal Coliforms



MPN < 1

Fecal streptococci



MPN < 1

Sulphite-reducing clostridia



MPN < 1

Total bacteria counts1)





Source: EEC, 1980 in Huss, (1994)

1) Water for human consumption 2) Incubation at 37oC 3) Incubation at 22oC

b) Drinking fountain surface which become wet during fountain operation shall be constructed of materials impervious to water and not subject to oxidation.

c) Ice in contact with products shall be made from potable water and maintained in a sanitary condition

d) Open water such as water barrels, pails, or tanks for drinking water from which the water must be dipped or poured, whether or not they are fitted with a cover, are prohibited.

2). Non-potable water:

a). Non-potable water such as water for industrial or firefighting purposes, is unsafe and not to be used for drinking, washing of the person, cooking, washing of foods, washing of cooking or eating utensils, washing of food preparation or processing premises or personal services rooms, washing food processing equipments or for washing clothes.

b) Construction of non-potable water systems or systems carrying any other non-potable substance shall be such as to prevent backflow or back syphonage into a potable water system.

Water quality factors

Several factors affect to water quality on fish plant. Microbes on water influence to water quality. Water that contains many microbes may have lack on quality. In addition, Organic matter may react and “consume” disinfectant such as chlorine and ozone and the presence will also interfere with UV light (Huss, 1994). Furthermore, pH is important in disinfection with chlorine and greater inactivation at high pH. In general, higher temperature result in increased inactivation rates (Huss, 1994).

Table 4.3. Water quality tolerances


Maximum limit in ppm


Turbidity (silica scale)


color (platinum scale)

10 – 20

Objectionable taste & color













Iron and Manganese
























Phenolic compound


Total solid


Normal carbonate alkalinity


Source: Gould, 1994

Table 4.4. Water hardness quality


Ppm of Calcium Carbonate

Soft water

Less than 50

Slightly hard water

50 to 100

Hard water

100 to 200

Very hard water

Greater than 200

Source: Gould, 1994

Water quality in processing and cleaning

As a general rule, water used on food processing must meet drinking water standards. WHO guidelines, EEC, and Indonesian health minister regulation can be used by fisheries processor to make the water is proper for fish processing.

For making the water as a potable water, water have to check and free from disinfectant and bacteria. Turbidity, color, taste and odor are also easily monitored parameters. If there are local problems with chemical constituents (fluoride, iron) or contaminants from industry or agriculture (e.g. nitrate, pesticides, mining wastes) these should be monitored by the processor (Huss, 1994).

The chemicals are used as a disinfectants such as chlorine, chloramines, ozone or UV irradiation. Chlorination is the cheapest form of treatment and monitoring of chlorine is relatively easy. According to WHO (1984) the concentration of chlorine in water should be in the range 0.2-0.5 mg/l. For sanitation purposes, it may reach 200 mg/l, but in order to avoid corrosion lower concentrations are advised (50-100 mg/l).

Use of non-portable water in a plant

The use on non-portable water may be necessary for water conservation purposes or desirable because of cost, but non-portable water should do not use on food processing. The water e.g. be surface water, sea water or chlorinated water from can cooling. Chlorinated water may be used for washing cans after closing before heat treatment, for transporting raw materials before processing (after the water has cooled off), for initial washing of boxes, for cooling of compressor, for use the fire protection lines in non-food areas and for fuming of waste material. It is necessary that portable and non-portable water should be in separate distribution system that should be clearly identifiable (Huss, 1994).

Monitoring of water safety

Water qualities have to check before build the fish processing and during operation. During operation, water quality that used on fish processing unit should be check once 6 months. If the fish processors using sea water on their factories, they have to check the quality of water more often than used potable water. On monitoring inspection, they can use sensory test before check it with microbiological and physic test on laboratory. The processors have to use accredited laboratory for checking the water quality (Winarno and Surono, 2002).

The technical procedures describing the analyses for the common indicator organism are given in the standard textbook. The values used by the company should refer to specific method employed and the recommendation should include how to sample (tap flow, volume, sampling vessel, labeling, etc) and how to handle and examine the sample. Samples should be processed within 24 hours or less and be kept cool, but not frozen (preferably below 50C) and in the dark. The impact of sunlight can be very dramatic causing false negative results (Knochel, 1990 in Huss, 1994).

If chlorination is used for disinfection, monitoring of the free chlorine level is the simplest way of checking the water treatment and should be performed most often (e.g. on daily basis). The microbiological indicator may check less frequently. If disinfection systems leaving no residuals are being used, checking the equipment should be done regularly (Huss, 1994).

Corrective action

Corrective actions have to do as soon as possible if there are found a deviation to standard on processing. For example, if the quality of water in fish processing is low on quality, the processing activity have to stop temporary and recall the product processing with this water.


Recording have to do on every monitoring action and corrective action. Fish processor used daily sanitation checking, periodic inspection monitoring, and periodic inspection plumbing (Winarno and Surono, 2002).


Table 4.5. Inactivation of microorganism by free chlorine



Cl2 residues, mg/l

Temperature, oC


Time, min

Reduction %

C*t 1)

E. coli








E. coli








E. coli + GAC5)







>> 60

L. pneumophila (water grown)








L. pneumophila (media grown)









Mycobacterium chelonei







>> 60


Hepatitis A








Hepatitis A









G. lambia


0.2 – 0.3




54 – 87

G. lambia


0.2 – 0.3




83 – 133

G. lambia


0.2 – 0.3




119 – 192

Source: Huss, (1994).

1) C8t product of disinfectant concentration (c) in mg/l and contact time (t) in minutes for 99 % inactivation (mod.a. Sobsey, 1989)

2) BDF = Bufferd demand free

3) ND = no data

4) CDF = chlorine demand free

5) GAC = granular activated carbon.


4.4.2. Condition and cleanlines of equipments surface that are directly contact to product

A great variety of utensils and equipments are used in the fish factories. There are an abundance of advice and regulation available concerning the requirements for equipment. All of them agree that the food equipments should be non-contaminating and easy to clean. Raw fish, for example, do not have the same standard of hygiene as a cooked or value added product. Criteria for hygienic design are particularly important for equipment that used in the following stages of processing and particularly after bacteria-eliminate by processing stages.

There are seven basic principles for hygienic design agreed by Food Manufacturers Federation (FMF) and Food Machinery Association FMA (FMA/FMF 1967) as quoted by Forsythe and Hayes (1998).

1. All surfaces in contact with food must be inert to the food and must not migrate to or be absorbed by the food.

2. All surfaces in contact with food must be smooth and non-porous so that tiny particles of food, bacteria, or insect eggs are not caught in microscopic surface crevices and become difficult to dislodged, thus becoming a potential source of contamination.

3. All surfaces in contact with the food must be visible for inspection or the equipment must be readily disassembled for inspection.

4. All surfaces in contact with food must be readily accessible for manual cleaning, or if not, the readily disassembled for manual cleaning, or if clean-in-place techniques are used, it must be demonstrated that the results achieved without disassembly are the equivalent of those obtained with disassembly and manual cleaning.

5. All interior surfaces in contact with food must be so arranged that the equipment is self-employing or self-draining.

6. Equipment must so designed as to protect the contents from external contamination.

7. The exterior or non-product contact surfaces should be arranged to prevent harboring of soils, bacteria, or pets in and on the equipment itself as well as in its contact with other equipment, floors, walls, or hanging supports.

The equipment in food plant is very specific for the type of food being processed. However, there are basic factors that must be considered essesntial in the design and in the installation of equipment to maintain a clean plant for the production and processing of food that is clean and safe (Gould, 1994)

According to Gould (1994), some of basic the fundamentals of design should include the following:

a. All surfaces in contact with food should be inert to the food under the condition of use and the food surface constituents must not migrate into the food or be adsorbed by or in the food.

b. All surfaces in contact with the food must be smooth and non-porous to the food or to bacteria, yeast and/or molds and be totally free from pits or crevices.

c. All product contact surfaces must be free of recesses, dead ends, open seams and gaps, crevices, protruding ledges, inside threads, insides shoulders, bolt and/or rivets.

d. All equipment should be designed so that all contact surfaces can be readily and thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

e. All food equipments should be available for inspection and cleaning.

f. All food equipments should be designed to protect the foods from external contamination.

g. All food equipments should be designed so as to eliminate dead ends and dead space or areas to harbor soil, bacteria, molds, yeasts, and other pests.

h. All food equipment should installed with three feet clear working area around the equipment.

i. All food equipment should be installed with a minimum of six inches off the floor.

j. All moving parts should have sealed or self-lubricating bearings.

k. Hoods, if necessary, must be installed for ease in cleaning and sanitizing when appropriate.

l. Wood and other impervious materials shall not be used in a food plant.

m. Stainless steel should be used for the manufacture of all food plant equipment, piping, and all food contact surfaces.

n. All food equipment should be acces for the service, preferably from above.

o. The food plant equipment should be designed for cleaning in place (CIP) in preference to clean out of place (COP).

p. All conveyor guides, splash guard, safety guards should be easily removed or easily opened to permit cleaning.

q. All water and steam valves should be designed to prevent any leakage and they should have no pockets or recess areas.

r. All food valves should be easily disassembled for cleaning and inspection.

s. All piping must be aligned and supported to prevent sagging or any impediment to product flow and it must be self-draining.

According to Shapton and Shapton (1991), the most common design faults which cause poor cleanability are:

a. poor accessibility (- equipment should be placed at least 1 m from wall, ceiling or nearest equipment;

b. inadequately rounded corners (minimum radius should be 1 cm, but 2 cm is regarded as optimum by the American Sanitary Standards Committee);

c. sharp angles;

d. dead ends (including poorly designed seal).

Materials commonly used on food processing equipments are stainless steels, iron and mild steel, copper and its alloy, miscellaneous metals, plastics, rubber, glass, and wood, antimicrobial work surface (triclosan produced by Ciba Geigy) (Forsythe and Hayes, 1998).

Monitoring action

On fish processing unit, there are several subjects that have to monitor on cleaning of all surfaces equipments that contact directly to food such as surfaces condition which directly contact with products, cleanliness, and sanitation of equipment surfaces that contact directly to food, type and concentration of sanitation material, cleanliness of gloves and worker cloth (Winarno and Surono, 2002).

This monitoring can do with visual inspection to surfaces cleanliness whether good or not, cleanliness and sanitation whether maintain by fish processor or not, gloves and worker cloth whether have a good or bad condition.

Besides, using visual test, the processor can use chemical test using test strips/kits and microbiological test can do on verification action.

Corrective action

Several objects have to observe on corrective action such as sanitizer concentration whether variation or not, if it happens management of fish processing have to maintain/change the equipments and trained the worker.


Record should be observe at every monitoring and corrective action. The example of record on fish processing are periodically monitoring record, periodically record of chemical concentrations and monthly sanitation monitoring records.

4.4.3. Cross contamination protection

Cross-contamination is defined as: any product that directly or indirectly becomes contaminated from contacting contaminants from another product, package, or area.

The environment at a seafood plant location can contribute to contamination, as well as contamination to the products. The processing equipment, containers, and work surfaces are other contamination sources. An effective sanitation program is necessary to reduce contamination and to monitor program effectiveness.

Cross contamination is easy to occur from raw materials. Many pathogenic bacteria are naturally present in aquatic environments Clostridium botulinum type E, pathogenic Vibrio sp., Aeromonas) and the general environment (C.botulinum type A and B, Listeria monocytogenes) (Huss et al. 2000). Other microorganisms are of the animal/human reservoir (Salmonella, Shigella, E.coli, enteric virus) (Huss et al. 2000). Although this pathogen is destroyed through pasteurization and thermal processing, it often enters cooked, ready-to-eat products as a post-processing contaminant.

The pathogenic bacteria may live in fish, these microorganisms may be passed on the raw materials during production and processing. In general, when a fish is caught, the flesh is sterile whereas after death the fish’s immune system collapses allowing easy access of microorganisms into the flesh (Huss 1995).

Some microorganisms have been found on the entire outer surface (skin and gills) and in the intestines of live and newly healthy caught fish (Huss 1995).

If these microorganism move to other materials on processing area, it will cause contamination on products or equipment. It can be affect to product quality.

Processing equipments

Processing equipments can be as a source of contamination on fish manufacture. It is therefore necessary that equipment in the processing establishment, coming in contact with food, be constructed in such a way as to ensure adequate cleaning, disinfection and proper maintenance to avoid the contamination (CAC 1997). To avoid cross contamination, processing equipments are have specific color for specific area, e.g. blue for raw materials products, white for processing area, and yellow for toilet and general plant cleaning.


Personnel are one of vital component on cross contamination during fish processing. Transfer of microorganisms by personnel particularly from hands, is of vital importance (Chen et al. 2001; Bloomfield 2003). During fish handling and processing, bacteria may transfer from contaminated worker hands to raw materials or product and equipments surfaces. Low infectious doses of organisms such as Shigella and pathogenic Escherichia coli have been linked to hands as a source of contamination (Snyder 1998). Proper hand washing and disinfection has been recognized as one of the most effective measures to control the spread of pathogens, especially when considered along with the restriction of ill workers (Adler, 1999). To avoid cross contamination the employee should have received basic food sanitation training and employee do not result in food contamination.


Water is important factor on fish processing, there are not fish processing without water. Water is a vehicle for the transmission of many agents of disease and continues to cause significant outbreaks of disease in developed and developing countries world-wide (Kirby et al., 2003).

It is therefore important that potable water is used throughout the production process, for cleaning equipment, washing food, as well as ice making (Kirby et al., 2003).

According to, stated that the main methods to avoid cross-contamination referring to the design and the technological installations of the factory are:

· the production line should be installed in straight line with no overlapping steps;

· ceiling, wall, equipment, machines in the factory must be always maintained;

· floor, walls, sewerage surfaces must be smooth to easy to clean;

· floor, walls, sewerage must be sanitized after each shift;

· all gates to the factories interior and to the different production rooms must kept closed tight best by doors. they should have in addition plastic curtains installed inside after the doors that protect against insects and contamination from outside;

· ventilation systems should be arranged close to the ceilings and must be protected against contamination from outside and always found in good operating condition;

· processing water and waste water drainage system should be constructed under the principles of flowing from area of high hygiene risk to low risk;

· drainage holes and ways must be constructed to not allow harmful animals to enter and must prevent a back flow of waste water during production.


Monitoring program on this section is starting from the source, through treatment, distribution and storage within the factory, to ensure that the water complies with internal or legislative standards (Kirby et al., 2003).

According to Winarno and Surono (2002), there are several monitoring actions on cross contamination protection, namely:

1. Managers have to separate different activities such as between handling/processing of raw material with products.

2. Separating different products on storage

3. Cleanliness and area sanitation and handling equipments and food processing

4. Practice on Personal hygiene, cloth and hand washing

5. Practice to personal and equipments on product handling.

6. Personal flow on factory

Several incorrect actions do by workers during processing:

a. handing raw materials, then handle products;

b. work close to or on the floor, then handle product;

c. handling materials of can, then handle product;

d. back from toilet did not wash hands;

e. the shovel to handle waste on the floor, is also used for handle products;

f. scratching face then handle the product;

g. holding the unclean door handle, then handle the product.

Corrective action

According to Winarno and Surono (2002), quality assurance team have to do several corrective actions when there is a discrepancy monitoring that cause cross contamination.

a. stop the activities till normally;

b. take the preventive action;

c. safety product evaluation, if it is necessary disposition to other products, re-process, and disposed to contaminated product.

4.4.4. Preserving hand washing facilities, sanitation, and toilet Washing facilities

A hand washing facility should be ideally be provided in the factory entrance so that it can be used every time somebody enters. It should have hand hot (40-50oC) running water; pedal operated taps are best. Soap and single-use towels should be provided and/or hot air hand dries. No towels are needed for a wet process room. If paper towels are used, a bin must be provided; the contents of the bin must be burned at intervals, well away from the processing area.

There are a number of the requirements on washing facilities:

· Have adequate washing facilities e.g. 1 washing facility for 10 workers

· Be located on appropriate place e.g. in front of entrance door on fish processing.

· Should be have flow water sources and dryer, and also bin. In addition, fish plant should have washing hand rooms, hygienic bathrooms and replacement rooms for changing clothes and boots.

Table 4.6. Minimum number of lavatories in food processing

Type of employment

Number of employees

Minimum number of lavatories

Non industrial – office buildings, public buildings, and similar establishments

1 – 15


16 – 35


36 – 60


61 – 90


91 – 125


Over 125

Additional fixture for each additional 45 employees

Industrial factories, warehouses, loft building, and similar establishment

1 – 10

1 fixture for each 10 employees

Over 100

1 fixture for each 15 additional employees

Source: Gould (1994)

Cleaning systems

The most comprehensive procedure for manual cleaning and disinfection of Clean Out of Place (COP). It is suitable for modern plants. For cleaning liquid handling plants like breweries and dairies Clean In Place (CIP) system will be used, based on circulation by pumping of water, cleaning agents and disinfectants. In principle, the two systems will be similar.

The most factories, a combination of COP and CIP will be used. Use of CIP may be limited to part of the plants or even to a particular machine. However, regardless of the type and size of food production the general principles behind the complex.

The frequency of cleaning and disinfection will vary from several times during the working i.e. at every major break to once every day, at the end of production, or even less frequent.

Table 4.7. Steps cleaning on fish plant


Kinds of cleaning



Dry Clean

surfaces are wiped and floors swept

solid wastes (i.e. seafood scraps) are put into waste bins


Cold water wash (removes soluble waste & softens remaining materials)

Use cold water under pressure to wash walls, floors, and equipment. Hot water is not recommended as it causes food residues to set and become difficult to remove start from the corners and work towards the drain (top to bottom) to reduce the spread of contamination


Apply detergent &

Scrub (loosens and lifts soil and dirt)

apply an approved foo

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