From spill kits to shadow boards, this article addresses everything you need to know about the containment of spills, leaks, and breakages at your food production site.

As a food production site, it is essential that you have a clear plan in place for the containment and clean-up of spills, leaks, and breakages. If this is not the case, your operation could be at risk of a food safety incident and a serious point of audit non-conformance.

Alternatively, if your site has an effective plan in place, you will see this reflected in reduced downtime, improved audit performance, and an unwavering culture of food safety.

Here at Klipspringer, we have been supporting food and beverage factories for over twenty years, so spill response is an area where we’ve garnered a fair amount of expertise. Keen to put this to good use, we have created a guide that covers everything you need to know about spill containment and the different solutions available.

Glass Breakage, Allergen and Bio Hazard Spill Kits

Clause 4.9.1.1 of the BRCGS Global Food Safety Standard outlines the expectation that food production sites establish “procedures to manage any spills” in an effort to “prevent chemical contamination”.

Clause 5.3.4 also stresses the importance of a site establishing procedures “to ensure the effective management of allergenic materials to prevent cross-contamination of products not containing the allergen”. One of the listed procedures is “waste handling and spillage controls”.

These guidelines highlight the relationship between food safety, audit compliance, and the effective management of spills and breakages. So, with that in mind:

What is the best way to manage spills and breakages at your food production site?

Let’s start by looking at the different spills and breakages your operatives are likely to encounter:

Hazardous Materials

When it comes to containing small chemical spills, your operatives will benefit from bespoke equipment such as chemical resistant gloves, chemical socks and pads, washable aprons, and a bucket with a precise-pour spout, self-draining base, and a click-on lid.

Bio Hazards (Bodily Fluids)

For the containment of a Bio Hazard incident, your team will need disposable covers such as armlets, aprons, and overshoes. Disinfectant spray, cleaning cloths, and alcohol- free wipes will also help to remove any residue, with a large lobby pan removing the bulk of the waste.

Glass and Hard Plastic

As you can imagine, an incident involving glass and hard plastic could result in a serious case of foreign body contamination. Fortunately, a brush with soft/medium bristles will easily sweep up any remnants, with a crevice brush tackling those hard-to-reach spaces.

Allergens (Solids)

An allergen spill has the potential to halt production, so it’s important that your operatives can act quickly and effectively. One solution is for your team to use a soft/ medium bristle brush to sweep up any loose residue, then a hand spatula or bowl scraper for anything tougher.

Allergens (Liquids)

When it comes to an allergenic spill of liquids such as milk and peanut oil, absorption is key, with equipment like spill absorbent pads playing a key roll. You also need to think about where the liquid will go, ideally placed safely inside a production bucket with a lid.

Allergens (Powders)

The process for managing spills of powdered allergens isn’t too dissimilar from the process of removing glass and hard plastic – sweeping the area with a hand brush, then following up with a crevice brush. Your team could also use a cleaning cloth to safely remove the residue.

What is the best way to store the spill kits at my site?

It’s important to note that your operatives will almost exclusively be searching for a spill kit in a moment of crisis – responding to a serious spill or breakage. Because of this, you need to ensure your equipment is highly visible and easily accessible.

One of the best ways to achieve this is by storing it on a designated shadow board, positioned in close proximity to your production line and in clear view of everyone on site. Colour coding and printed headers will also help your operatives to distinguish between different kits.

What do I do when I run out of my spill kit essentials?

You can extend the lifespan of your equipment by opting for spill kits that can be topped up with refill packs. This will save you from replacing your kit every time an incident occurs – an unnecessary expense in instances where only a cleaning cloth or a length of spill tape has been used.

If you explore this option, make sure to add a note to any records of your spillage procedure and to highlight it in your training. That way, your operatives will know to start with a refill pack before jumping straight to a total replacement.

Absorbent Equipment

When it comes to the containment and disposal of a liquid, there is also the option of using individual pieces of absorbent equipment to deal with any incidents.

Below is a list of the most popular absorbents, along with a brief explanation of how they are typically used at a food production site.

A

Featuring central perforation for easy tearing and economical use, spill control rolls are likely one of the most recognisable products within this range. Offering a strong wicking action for the rapid and effective management of spills, there are dedicated rolls available for the clean-up of chemicals, oils, and maintenance leaks.

B

If your site works with drip trays, absorbent cushions could help you to minimise spillage when emptying the contents. You could even place the cushion inside the tray as a quick and easy way to soak up any leaks. Absorbent cushions can also be placed beneath leaking hoses and fittings or applied directly to a spill.

C

Another solution to explore is absorbent socks. Available in different lengths and quantities, absorbent socks are ideal for surrounding spills or leak-prone equipment to quickly soak up any liquids on contact – reducing contamination and simplifying the clean-up process for your operatives.

D

Spill control pads are suited to the rapid absorption of liquids and are commonly used for the clean-up of factory bench-tops. In addition to strong wicking action for increased durability, your pads should ideally feature central perforations, as this will make for convenient tearing and use.

E

If your site has sustainability targets to hit, you should also consider absorbent pads made from recycled cotton fibres. Selecting an eco-friendly option doesn’t have to mean compromising on quality, as the recycled pads within our Maintenance Range absorb 25% more oil than standard polypropylene pads.

Absorbent Spill Kits

Typically, a liquid spill will fall into one of three categories, so with this in mind, we have developed a range of Absorbent Spill Kits.

Designed to handle spills starting at 20 litres and working all the way up to 240 litres, each kit within this range is available in three different forms:

 

Below are the details of what you can find in each kit:

20 Litre Break Packs

  • Clear heat-sealed bag to suit the harsh conditions of a factory environment.
  • 2 x absorbent socks to confine spills and safeguard drains.
  • Absorbent pads for the fast absorption of liquids.
  • Disposable bag with a zip-tie to support the safe removal of soiled clean-up materials.
  • 50 textured wipes to wipe down the impacted surface after the clean-up has taken place.

45 and 50 Litre Shoulder Packs

  • PVC Shoulder Bag for easy transportation across your site.
  • Absorbent socks to confine spills and safeguard drains. Three 8cm x 1.2m for the 45l kit and two 8cm x 3cm for the 50l kit.
  • Absorbent pads for the fast absorption of liquids.
  • Disposable bag with a zip-tie for the safe removal of soiled clean-up materials. One for the 45l kit and two for the 50l kit.
  • 50 textured wipes to wipe down the impacted surface after the clean-up has taken place.

The 45 litre kits have recently been updated to contain a more relevant selection of equipment, this has resulted in a cost saving of 37%.

120 and 240 Litre Wheelie Bins

  • Wheelie bin for easy transportation across your site. Small for the 120l kit and medium-sized for the 240l kit.
  • Absorbent socks to confine spills and safeguard drains. Six 8cm x 3m for the 120l kit and eleven 8cm x 3m for the 240l kit.
  • Absorbent pads for the absorption of liquids. Forty-five 39cm x 48cm for the 120l kit and 100 39cm x 48cm for the 240l kit.
  • Disposable bag with a zip-tie to support the safe removal of soiled materials. Three for the 120l kit and four for the 240l kit.
  • 100 textured wipes to wipe down the impacted surface after the clean-up has taken place.

The 250 litre kits have recently been updated to contain a more relevant selection of equipment, this has resulted in a cost saving of 13%.

Absorbent Refill Kits

As with the spill kits at your site, you should also explore the benefits of absorbent kits that have refill packs available. Once again, this will save you the hassle and expense of replacing the entire kit after every incident. With the shoulder packs and wheelie bins designed to withstand a harsh factory environment, they can be used multiple times. However, once your operatives have used materials such as the absorbent socks and pads, or worked their way through the textured wipes, refills will need to be arranged.

You can explore the equipment within this range by using the buttons below:

Preventative Action: Spills and Leaks

Finally, preventative action should play a key role in the effective management of spills at your food production site.

In addition to having the right equipment on hand to clean-up any incidents, you should also reduce the risk of leaks and spills reaching your factory floor in the first place.

Spill Pallets

Spill pallets scale down the surface area your team will need to clean if a spill or leak takes place.

This process should also be made a lot easier by the fact that the pallets are made from chemical-resistant, UV-stabilised polyethylene (PE) and feature a removable platform with hand inserts. Instead of rushing to contain and clean-up any spills on your factory floor, your operatives will have a reliable safeguard to fall back on.

Drum Trays

Another option to explore is Drum Trays – deep trays suited to applications that are prone to leaks. Again, this solution will provide an added layer of defence, collecting any spills before they have chance to spread across your factory floor.

Easy to clean, durable, and resistant to rust, they can be used for the storage of containers or as a protective base for dispensing applications.


We hope this article has provided some clarity in regards to the best approach to spill containment at your food production site, highlighting the wide variety of solutions available to you and your team. From grab-and-go chemical spill kits to wheelie bins for the management of a major oil leak, there is an equipment bundle for every application.

If you are looking to enhance your factory’s current approach to the handling of spills and breakages, the Klipspringer team would be happy to provide support. You can contact us on 01473 461800 or sales@klipspringer.com. Alternatively, you can use the form below to arrange a consultation.  

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