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Over the last couple of decades, bacterial outbreaks at food processing facilities have become an increasingly more common issue. Outbreaks like these can cause widespread illness and can be costly for the companies involved. Having a clearer understanding of what causes bacterial outbreaks at food processing facilities, their consequences, and what can be done to prevent them is an important step in the food safety journey.




Bacterial outbreaks at food processing facilities are not caused by one singularity, and can come from a multitude of places. One of the most common causes is simply poor hygiene and sanitation practices within the facility. This can include inadequate handwashing, failure to properly clean and sanitize equipment and surfaces, and improper food storage and handling.

Another cause of bacterial outbreaks is the use of contaminated raw materials. This can occur when raw materials are not properly inspected and tested before use, or when they are contaminated during transportation or storage.

Finally, bacterial outbreaks can occur as a result of cross-contamination. This can happen when equipment, surfaces, or personnel come into contact with contaminated materials or surfaces, and then come into contact with other food products.




Bacterial outbreaks at food processing facilities can have serious consequences for both the companies involved and the general public. For the companies, these outbreaks can result in lost revenue, legal liabilities, and damage to their reputation. In some cases, outbreaks can even lead to the closure of the facility.

For the general public, bacterial outbreaks can cause serious illness and even death. The most common symptoms of foodborne illness include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. In some cases, the illness can be severe enough to require hospitalization.




Preventing bacterial outbreaks at food processing facilities requires a comprehensive approach that includes good hygiene and sanitation practices, careful inspection and testing of raw materials, and the use of appropriate equipment and processes to prevent cross-contamination.

One of the most important steps in preventing bacterial outbreaks is to implement a robust food safety plan. This plan should include procedures for hygiene and sanitation, as well as for inspection and testing of raw materials. It should also include procedures for monitoring and controlling the temperature and humidity of the processing environment.

In addition to implementing a food safety plan, it is also important to train personnel on proper hygiene and sanitation practices. This includes proper handwashing techniques, as well as proper cleaning and sanitizing of equipment and surfaces.

Finally, it is important to use appropriate equipment and processes to prevent cross-contamination. This can include the use of separate equipment for different types of food, as well as the use of protective clothing and other equipment to prevent the spread of bacteria.


If you would like to learn more about how to properly sanitize your facility to prevent costly bacterial outbreaks, please fill out the contact form below and a PureLine representative will be in touch with you!



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