At Washington Beef, sanitation is taken very seriously. Plant Manager Jesse Castaneda believes to be successful, respect for sanitation and food safety needs to be ingrained in the culture. This begins with looking at the sanitation process a little differently. Jesse says “At Washington Beef, every day begins with sanitation. We do not consider sanitation’s role to be cleaning the plant after a production shift. Their role is to prepare the plant for processing so the rest of us can come to work to do our jobs.” This may seem like a nuance upon first glance, but when you think about it, this simple change in perception is pretty powerful.
The sanitation of the plant is handled by our own employees; we do not delegate to a 3rd party to save money. By doing so, we can control the process and ensure that the plant is sanitized to our standards. As a company, Agri Beef knows that when we work together as a team and share responsibility for the end product up and down the supply chain, it is reflected in the end result.
The third factor that is unique in our business is one of the many benefits of Washington Beef being a one shift operation. Our sanitation crew runs a full 8-hour shift or sometimes longer. This gives us ample time to properly sanitize, maintain equipment, thoroughly inspect the plant and make any corrections before the processing crew begins their day. Jesse adds, “Starting off the day with a plant that has been sanitized to the highest standards is critical to maintaining a culture where food safety is at the top of mind for everyone.” As critical as this step may be, it is just the beginning of our overall food safety efforts.