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Lean Works for Food Processors

Lean for food processing

Lean, also known as continuous improvement, is a tool often overlooked by food processors who believe it isn’t as useful for them or they are already doing something similar. But our team at CIFT, who has a unique experience with decades of helping food processors as well as manufacturers knows that this isn’t true. In fact, in the competitive world of food processing, implementing a Lean framework can make a processor more competitive and help improve safety.

There are many approaches and frameworks to implementing a Continuous Improvement plan and can be tailored to each unique need, organization, and challenge. 

One such framework is 5S training. It contains five primary principles – Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. These principles will lead to more organization and efficiency in the workplace, creating value for your entire facility.

Here are some examples of how they can be incorporated to help:

Sort: Streamline a workspace by eliminating unnecessary items and outdated materials.For instance, sorting and segregating food-contact and non-food-contact items apart from each other, it can help minimize chances of cross-contamination and cross-contact.

Set in Order: Optimize workflows by arranging the workspace to align with operational processes. Ensure essential supplies like gloves are readily accessible, and position hand-washing stations strategically for convenience.

Shine: Maintaining cleanliness throughout the facility and equipment to uphold hygiene standards. Scheduling regular cleaning routines is crucial to eliminating potential breeding grounds for bacteria, such as grease and dirt buildup.

Standardize: Enhancing operational efficiency by establishing standardized procedures. Regular equipment maintenance and sanitation protocols can be integrated into daily routines to mitigate cross-contamination risks and prioritize food safety.

Sustain: Fostering a culture of continuous improvement by embedding 5S practices into daily operations. Consistent adherence to these principles ensures ongoing cleanliness and organization, contributing to a safer and more efficient work environment for food processing.

These 5S practices can be integrated into already existing safety and maintenance plans, and because of our team’s unique skill set both in food and lean practices, we can identify ways to quickly optimize ways to get these frameworks implemented sustainably.

Let’s talk today about how we can help you become more competitive, and build a more innovative culture and positive work culture, all while maximizing your current workforce rather than reducing or struggling to find more workers in this tight workforce environment.