Sanitation Procedures for Food Processors

Safety Reminder:
Whatever cleaning products are being used at your facility, always be sure to read the directions carefully and use only as directed. Wear appropriate safety gear as recommended by the manufacturer when using any corrosive liquids that could splash on skin or in eyes and cause injury.

Flat-Flex® belts constructed of Type 302 stainless steel have been approved by the USDA/FDA for direct contact with food. In addition,  both the USDA and FDA have published recommendations for the proper cleaning and sanitizing of, equipment such as conveyor belts, utensils, containers, and even general processing environments, to help prevent and/or eliminate the dangers of contamination from bacterial and other potentially harmful substances. More information can be found at and at and at In addition to that the USDA lists many sources on its web site including one document published by the University of Florida IFAS Extension which specifically outlines the Basic Elements of Equipment Cleaning and Sanitizing in Food Processing and Handling Operations. That document is available at

Several types of cleaning/sanitizing agents have been approved for the USDA/FDA for use in food processing applications including: caustic, chlorine-based, acid products, alkaline foam cleaners, etc. The chart below discusses some of these products. But for further, and more specific information, please refer to the links noted above.

Several methods are typically used to apply these cleaning & sanitizing agents: brushes , scraper bars, high pressure air/water hoses. Whatever method is used to apply cleaners, ALWAYS be sure to rinse off cleaning fluids thoroughly. Chlorinated cleaners will damage stainless steel. The open mesh design of Flat-Flex belts aids in this task by providing maximum flow-through.

Important Note: Always handle the belt gently when cleaning it, trying to avoid bending or pulling on the individual wire strands. Avoid forcing cleaning rods and bushes under the belt surface. If you do happen to bend or distort a strand or two while cleaning, straighten it immediately with needle-nose pliers.


General Cleaners Excellent for removal of blood, greases, oils, fats and other solid, soft metal safe Manual brush cleaning
Soft Metal Safe
Alkaline Foam Cleaners
Formulated to remove blood, greases, oils, fats, and proteinaceous soils that adhere to equipment. Foam, spray, soak, or high-pressure cleaning
Alkaline Foam Cleaners High performance, chlorinated cleaners, that is used in diluted form (not soft metal safe.) Foamer
Heavy Duty Caustic Cleaners Formulated to remove tough soils like proteins, fat, grease, oils, blood that is cooked on or hardened on processing equipment surfaces (not soft metal safe.) Circulation soak tank