Knowledge Base

Break Sanitising – If You Don’t Do It… Your Facility Is At Risk

by | Nov 13, 2020

If you don’t conduct a break sanitise in your food processing facility, you are jeopardising your facilities hygiene.

Here is what this article will cover:

  1. How not implementing a break sanitise is hurting your facility?
  2. What is a break sanitise?
  3. Simple steps to introducing a break sanitise into your cleaning regime.

The Importance of a Break Sanitise

Bugs, bacteria, viruses and pathogens all have adaptive capacities, meaning they can, over time, build a resistance to the chemical used in your cleaning regime. Resulting in a higher probability that bacteria, viruses or other pathogens could survive post-production clean. Of course, the longer the exposure to the same chemical, the greater the resistance of the surviving pathogens. Hence not implementing a break sanitise in your facility can frequently lead to the formation of stubborn biofilms and increase the probability of unwanted pathogens surviving cleaning practices. This can hurt your audit outcomes and therefore should not be taken lightly. Many a business could have fallen victim to resistant bugs and bacteria no matter how hard the cleaners cleaned.

What is a Break Sanitise?

A break-sanitise is a planned ‘break’ in which the usual chemical is not used and instead an alternative chemical base is used to clean the facility. The ‘break’ should span the duration of a week, where the usual chemical in the facilities hygiene regime is replaced with the alternative. The term ‘break sanitise’ comes from the concept of ‘breaking up’ the normal use of chemicals in the cleaning process.

The replacement must be of different chemical make-up. E.g: Switching out the normal Quaternary Ammonium chemical to an alcohol-based or chloride-based chemical for the duration of a week’s worth of cleaning.

SGA recommend utilising a break sanitise every 3 months. Doing so should yield positive outcomes for your facilities hygiene – regarding both swab results and biofilm counts (To easily identify biofilms in seconds click here) and ultimately mitigate risks of food contamination.

3 ridiculously easy steps to implementing a break sanitise in your facility:

  1. Find out what chemical compound the current chemicals you use are.
  2. Find an alternative that will still work with the same effectiveness but is of a different chemical compound. Be aware of titrations.
  3. Purchase the chemical, store it on-site and arrange with your cleaning team to periodically switch to the alternative chemicals every 12 weeks for a week.

The Break Sanitise chemical being a different chemical compound will mean that resistance the bugs/bacteria will have built against the usual chemical will be ineffective. The strongest pathogen survivors from the prolonged exposure to the normal chemical compound will not have built resistance or have the defensive capacity to endure new unfamiliar chemical compound.


A break sanitise is commonly overlooked and we frequently implement them into new facilities we take over with great results. How long, has your facility been using the same chemical compound? A question worth asking yourself! This is an extremely cost-effective tactic that can see profound improvements in hygiene levels, especially if your facility hasn’t done anything similar for quite some time.

Thanks for reading, we hope you gained some valuable information.

Stay Safe – The SGA Team

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