McCain Foods

McCain Foods


Enhanced Hygiene Monitoring thanks to Klipspringer's A3 System

Background

Changes and challenges 

After working in the food industry for nearly 40 years, Nigel Church, Hygiene Manager at McCain’s Scarborough site, noticed a significant rise in hygiene standards over the past decade. In response to these pressures and with a focus on brand protection and customer satisfaction, the Scarborough team decided to push frozen food into the realms of high risk production.  

Confusing results 

McCain’s Scarborough site almost exclusively produces frozen fries. However, another of its UK factories produces fresh chips that customers are required to oven cook at home. An interim technical person working at this facility identified a series of confusing results. Traditional swab tests indicated that potato didn’t contain any ATP (Adenosine Triphosphates). These traditional tests were also passing surfaces that would have failed a visual check.  

Allergen Verification

At the Scarborough factory, Nigel and his team were undertaking a major allergen validation exercise. McCain foods is increasingly moving towards a series of gluten-free products and this development resulted in the revalidation of the factory’s entire cleaning regime. Before this transition, the validation process included instant swabbing, instant allergen swabbing, and ELISA testing. Such extensive testing resulted in high costs and longer factory downtime.  


With 52 production facilities across six continents and five factories in the UK, McCain Foods is the world’s largest manufacturer of frozen potato products. Due to this success, around 180 million pounds worth of investment has gone to its Scarborough location in the past couple of years and this site now exists as the company’s flagship factory. Nigel Church is the Hygiene Manager at this site and also works as McCain’s Cleaning and Sanitation Lead. 

Why wasn't an ATP meter working for McCain Foods?

The most common method associated with hygiene monitoring, an ATP meter checks for the presence of organic material and microorganisms. As the name suggests, an ATP meter only checks for one molecule: ATP. This is an unstable molecule that decomposes during processes such as cooking and fermentation. At both the Scarborough factory and the factory that handles fresh chips, potatoes are blanched as part of the production process. This results in the significant destruction of ATP. The Scarborough chips are also fried, so the ATP levels are challenged to an even further extent. A material or surface may pass an ATP swab test even if the organic residue is still present in the form of ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate) and AMP (Adenosine Monophosphate).  

What is the difference between an ATP and A3 meter?

Unlike a traditional ATP meter, the A3 system from Klipspringer uses unique, patented technology to detect adenosine molecules in all three forms: ATP, ADP and AMP. This video shows the difference in sensitivity between a standard ATP meter and Klipspringer’s A3 model. It provides a practical demonstration of how results from the same surface can differ drastically depending on the unit that is used to evaluate it. 

What was the outcome?

Reliable results 

The introduction of an A3 system helped to explain the confusing results previously produced by the ATP tests. Instead of the system passing a blanched potato or a surface that was visibly unclean, it was able to detect the presence of ADP and AMP. This enabled the factories to suitably update their cleaning regime. This was especially important for McCain Foods, as a french fry factory isn’t cleaned every night, but rather every 21 days. This means that the factory must be clean enough to last a significant length of time.  

For McCain Foods, the key benefits of an A3 system also included: 

  • Increased swabbing reliability in a wide range of testing conditions 
  • Reduced allergen swabbing requirements, and hence reduced overall costs 
  • No chance of achieving false-positive readings 
  • Ease-of-use when swabbing (small unit, fast set-up, quick results) 

Allergen Verification 

Although an A3 system does not test for allergens and should never be relied upon for this process, Nigel and his team were able to reduce the number of allergen tests carried out. Over a six-to-eight-month period, it became clear that if a surface passed an A3 test it would go on to pass a gluten swab and then an ELISA test. During this period, McCain Foods didn’t have a single allergen fail following an A3 swab pass. This gave both factories the confidence to reduce the amount of allergen swabbing and ELISA testing carried out, saving money and speeding up the process of releasing the line. 

McCain Foods is looking to roll out the A3 system across the UK and Europe 

“We’re finding it reliable, we’re finding it useful, and we’re finding the machine really easy to use.” 

Nigel Church, Hygiene Manager, McCain Foods

Thinking of switching to an A3 meter? Arrange a call with one of our specialists by completing your details below.

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    Quorn Foods

    Quorn Foods


    Saving time and enhancing performance with Wireless Monitoring

    Background

    Prior to the installation of Klipspringer’s WatchmanOne wireless monitoring system, Quorn Foods relied on a hard-wired system to monitor temperatures in its factories. This was essentially a fixed system that had been cabled in and couldn’t be easily adjusted or expanded. Such a limited system became a serious issue when new chillers were introduced to the site, as it wasn’t possible to bolt these chillers onto the existing system. Determined to resolve this issue, Quorn decided to assess its approach to monitoring. Following a consultation with Klipspringer, it became clear that the company would benefit from the flexibility of a wireless system, so Quorn decided to switch to the WatchmanOne.  

    Why didn’t the fixed system work for Quorn Foods? 

    • The hard-wired system couldn’t support new areas and equipment
    • Team members weren’t able to access data remotely 
    • Without any automatic alerts, it was harder to establish a chain of command
    • If a team member wanted to track trends, they would have to enter the data manually

    What benefits does the WatchmanOne system provide? 

    • The magnetic probes of the wireless model can be transported around the factory 
    • The system can be accessed remotely
    • Automatic emails are sent out whenever an alarm goes off
    • The wireless model automatically creates graphs – ideal for tracking trends


    Specialists in vegetarian, vegan, and meat free products, Quorn Foods originated in the UK, but is now sold across the globe. This market-leading brand is dedicated to increasing the popularity and availability of meat-free meals – moving towards Sustainable Nutrition™ and promoting an environmentally friendly approach to food production.  

    Why did Quorn Foods choose to go Wireless?

    Time Saving 

    Thanks to the introduction of Klipspringer’s WatchmanOne wireless monitoring system, the Quorn Foods team saves an average of two hours across a twenty-four-hour period. Team members can now access information remotely instead of walking around the factory with probes and a clipboard. What’s more, if there is an incident, automatic alerts will be sent to the relevant departments. This saves team members the hassle of chasing down those responsible. 

    Monitoring Performance & Understanding Trends 

    Prior to the introduction of the wireless monitoring system, if a team member wanted to investigate a potential trend, they would first have to retrieve the relevant records and input the data into a spreadsheet. Now they can click on a graph that automatically illustrates how a factory is performing. It is also possible to compare data over the course of weeks, months and years. This allows the team to ascertain if there is a satisfactory explanation for any changes. 

    Increased Accountability  

    If an alarm goes off, the WatchmanOne sends out an automatic email alert. This ensures there is a clear chain of command. What’s more, if further action is taken following an alarm, a record is kept on the system. This can be accessed again in the event of an audit, internal investigation or complaint.

    Flexibility & Room for Growth 

    Quorn’s flexible wireless system supports the company’s growth. The removable probes attach to the factory walls magnetically and can be transported around the site. It is also possible to add to the system. This has empowered the company to introduce a number of new chillers. Finally, the flexibility of this system is suited to intelligent investigation. For instance, if there was a hot spot in a chiller, it could be closely monitored from a specific point.

    Quorn Foods will continue to grow with the assistance

    of the WatchmanOne system

    The WatchmanOne system has been fantastic, and we’ve had no end of benefits from it

     Kenny Edwards, Quality Manager, Quorn Foods 

    Thinking of implementing a wireless system on your site? Arrange a call with one of our specialists by completing your details below.

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      Claire Kirby

      Claire Kirby - Hygiene Consultant


      Industry Insights From a Leading Hygiene Consultant

      Partner of Choice

      Below are seven clips taken from an exclusive interview Claire carried out with Alex Carlyon, one of Klipspringer’s directors. In these, Claire shares some of her fascinating industry insights, her thoughts on the pressures of audits, and her experiences partnering with Klipspringer.


      Claire’s background and initial dealings with Klipspringer

      “When I walk into a factory, I look for certain things, one of them is the shadow boards from Klipspringer – and then I know I’m going to be okay!”

      Listen as Claire details her extensive history of work in the food industry, her take on audits being “battles”, and a couple of entertaining anecdotes which illustrate the importance of seamless services and support by food safety and compliance companies.

      The impact of strong vs sub-par food safety support

      In the below clip, Claire emphasises the crucial importance of food compliance for keeping manufacturers afloat. She tells Alex about the catastrophic consequences of losing large customers for two of her clients – an unpleasant outcome which Klipspringer helped to prevent.

      Claire’s experience partnering with Klipspringer

      Compliance with confidence isn’t just a saying for us at Klipspringer – it underpins everything we do. Listen to the clip below to find out how we’ve delivered that confidence for Claire and her clients over the years, why it matters … and what a hygiene hug is!

      Claire’s previous experiences with other partners

      In this section of the interview, Claire tells Alex about her challenges when dealing with other food safety partners.

      Adding value moving forward

      Always eager to discover new ways to innovate and provide top-tier service, Alex asks Claire how Klipspringer can continue to provide value in future. In this clip, Claire offers various shrewd suggestions, based on her own time working closely with Senior Leadership Teams (SLTs) at some of the largest manufacturers around the UK.

      The inside scoop on audits

      “You can stage it as much as you want, but it never works that way!”

      Penultimately, Claire reveals the exact process, step-by-step, of a typical audit, specifying the need for both preparation and flexibility. To provide a concrete example, she draws on her recent experience with a particularly thorough Tesco auditor!

      Final words

      In this final clip, Claire and Alex exchange words on what constitutes impeccable customer service, and why Klipspringer have been her dependable partner of choice for several years.

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      Queensland Bakery

      Queensland Bakery


      Simplifying colour coding and ensuring audit compliance for a rapidly-growing family bakery.

      Background

      In his role as Operations Director at Queensland Bakery, Bryan Fowler has ultimate responsibility for food safety compliance at their new factory in Hampshire.

      With a growing customer base and increasingly high audit demands, Queensland moved to a new bakery in 2022 to provide much larger production capacity.

      As well as a complete fit-out of new equipment, Bryan knew he must make compliance simple to achieve and maintain, while also ensuring production remains as lean as possible!


      Queensland Bakery is family-owned company in Hampshire, focused on innovating and manufacturing great quality impulse food products for the catering sector.

      With over 900 retail, out of home and food service customers, they have recently moved to a new BRCGS-certified site and looked to Klipspringer to support with their compliance and equipment requirements.

      Colour-coded shadow boards and utensils for a new BRCGS-certified bakery facility.

      Why did Queensland Bakery choose Klipspringer?

      Compliance advice and technical know-how

      With over 20 years’ experience serving the food industry, the Klipspringer team have the necessary expertise for every stage – from first-time accreditation through to new factory fit-out projects.

      For Bryan, with so many audit pressures, customer demands and production deadlines, it was this level of knowledge and dedicated hand-holding that set Klipspringer apart as a supply partner.

      Colour-coding support

      Previously, Queensland’s colour coding policy involved the use of multiple colours for segregation (e.g. allergen, tasks, areas). Not only was this proving difficult for the team to remember, it was also difficult for management to keep on top of day by day.

      Working with Klipspringer, Queensland were able to reduce the number of colours used. Implementing bespoke shadow boards made it easy to ensure all equipment is stored cleanly and correctly. It also helped reinforce the colour coding policy and which utensils should be used with the team.

      Shadow boards, with magnetic mounting

      An additional bonus for Bryan was Klipspringer’s new magnetic shadow board system. As well as a rapid install time, this meant shadow boards can be easily relocated as their processes and factory floorplan evolves – all without causing any material damage to factory walling.

      Happier staff and greater compliance...

      “We achieved a Grade A at our new site this week which is a massive achievement with so many changes to personnel, systems and processes in 8 weeks, and really appreciate the Klipspringer team’s support in ensuring we are fully compliant in the areas of utensils and storage, and also our hygiene requirements. Our staff are now happier and finding it much easier to comply. We no longer have items go ‘missing’, as everything has to be returned at the end of each shift. The team also comment regularly how much easier it is to use the right utensil for the right job.”

      Bryan Fowler, Operations Director

      Discover more

      Bespoke Shadow Boards & Cleaning Stations

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      Colour Coded Cleaning & Production Tools

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      A G Barr

      A G Barr


      A smarter approach to segregation for production and storage areas.

      Background

      As Continuous Improvement Leader at A G Barr, Alex Wilson had identified a problem with segregation within the recycling area of the facility.  The previous method in use was cumbersome and difficult for the team to manage, as well as being time-consuming to clean and maintain on a regular basis.

      Following extensive discussions with several companies, Klipspringer suggested their unique SegriScreen solution – a mobile and modular screening system that are easy to install, easy to clean and make cleaning the floor area a doddle.


      Established in Scotland over 140 years ago, A G Barr is a soft drinks business at its core. The company offers a diverse and differentiated portfolio of great tasting brands such as the iconic IRN-BRU, market-leading RUBICON exotic fruit juice drinks, and the Scottish spring water STRATHMORE.

      Versatile screening solutions for versatile and easy-to-manage factory segregation.

      Why did A G Barr choose Klipspringer?

      Easy to clean

      With a simple bolt-together design, the SegriScreen from Klipspringer is both easy to put together and easy to take apart – while still remaining safe for use in food production environments.  This means that the screens are also very easy to clean regularly or as required, simply by reducing the frame tension and removing the screen material.  Given the importance of hygiene to any food processing facility, this was a key win for the team at A G Barr.

      Reduced hygiene hassle

      The mobile design of the segregation screens also means that the screens can simply be moved around as required.  In contrast to cumbersome and heavy non-mobile alternatives, this means that hygiene teams can simply reposition the screens in order to access the area or when conducting hygiene operations.  When finished, the screens’ castor brakes are applied to keep them safely in position.

      Customised design for strong branding

      Thanks to the in-house production process for SegriScreens, A G Barr were able to prominently showcase their branding on each of the screens.  Not only is this visually striking, it also gives the opportunity to add further custom messaging as required, for warnings, instructions or area names.

      A professional and compliant solution

      “We have worked with Klipspringer for some time. They are professional, listen to our needs and offer appropriate and compliant solutions, always. We are especially impressed with their bespoke products and in addition to these SegriScreen we have previously purchased shadow boards. We source much of our production equipment including colour coded equipment from them and we are always happy with the quality of the goods and the service they provide.”

      Alex Wilson, Continuous Improvement Leader

      Discover more

      SegriScreen - Mobile Segregation Solutions

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      Colour Coded Cleaning & Production Tools

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      Bakkavor Desserts Newark

      Bakkavor Desserts Newark


      "Tidier, easier, and very fast" - How Bakkavor and Klipspringer adapted a popular cleaning solution to overcome a common problem

      Adaptable Food Safety Solutions

      One of the most common problems for large production sites with multiple shift rotations is missing equipment – in turn leading to product contamination and audit non-conformities. Addressing this, Emma Foreman, Bakkavor’s Dispensary Section Manager, initiated what turned out to be a site-wide improvement project working closely with Klipspringer.


      With over 1,600 employees on-site, Bakkavor Desserts Newark is one of the UK’s biggest dessert factories. They also hold the prestigious title of the largest producer of fresh cream cakes in Britain! For this reason, Bakkavor’s food safety and compliance must be second-to-none; they face regular audits from customers and other third-parties, including compliance to the BRCGS Food Safety Standard.

      The obvious solution to Bakkavor’s dilemma was shadow boards, a food industry staple for workplace management. But there was a complication.

      As part of their food safety initiatives, one of the key aims across Bakkavor’s Newark factory was to stop permanently attaching items to walls. This is because permanent fixtures take time to move or cover up when cleaning, and also cause wall damage which can harbour unwanted microorganisms.

      What’s more, drilling holes actually risked increasing Bakkavor’s insurance premiums due to compromising the wall’s fire protection – a serious consideration!

      In response, Klipspringer introduced Bakkavor to the innovative concept of magnetic mounting. Instead of permanently fixing shadow boards to factory walls and running the risk of non-compliances, magnetic mounting allows boards to be repositioned during hygiene cleans.

      In Emma Foreman’s own words, “Magnetic mounting has been beneficial to us as we have made some changes to the area and this has meant that where boards have been removed and repositioned there are no holes in the walls.”

      Ensuring compliance with bespoke equipment and instrumentation stations.

      Why Did Bakkavor Choose Klipspringer?

      Systematised Workplace

      No longer will production equipment ‘go walkabouts’. All utensils are accounted for and there when needed, limiting time wasted and improving workplace efficiency. The boards’ magnetic mounting also means Bakkavor’s team can reposition them during a clean without tearing holes in the walls.

      Impeccable Customer Service

      A decisive factor in Bakkavor’s decision to partner with Klipspringer was the guarantee of a well-organised, highly communicative approach. This was essential to tailoring the popular shadow board solution to meet Bakkavor’s very specific needs.

      Personalised Package

      Klipspringer maintained constant communication with Bakkavor throughout the process, determining their exact cleaning needs before formulating a personalised equipment solution.

      In Bakkavor's words:

      “I chose Klipspringer because of the excellent customer service and communication we had with their sales, service and design team. All of the team at Klipspringer that I have dealt with have been helpful and polite. Queries have been answered quickly and delivery from confirmation of design has been very fast.”

      Emma Foreman, Dispensary Section Manager at Bakkavor Desserts Newark

      Discover more

      Shadow Boards

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      Magnetic Wall Mounting

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      Garth Dempster

      Garth Dempster - Hygiene Consultant


      Hygiene Consultant Garth Dempster Shares How to Protect Equipment During Washdowns

      Partner of Choice

      When Garth first approached Klipspringer, he had two main areas of concern he wanted addressing:

      Firstly, the damage inflicted on factory equipment (particularly touchscreen control panels, which cost thousands of pounds) due to insufficient protection during routine hygiene washdowns.

      Secondly, washdown contamination causing machinery that had already been cleaned having to be recleaned at the expense of production downtime, wasted water, and considerable cost.

      Read on to find out how Klipspringer collaborated with Garth to innovatively overcome these concerns.


      With more than ten years’ experience as a Hygiene Manager across multiple food and beverage manufacturers, Garth Dempster is now a well-respected Hygiene Consultant. His expertise covers both high and low-risk environments across a wide range of premium food production brands with BRCGS-certified factories.

      Garth’s day-to-day responsibilities include staff transfers, audits and team training, hygiene management, consultations, and searching for adaptive methods to improve compliance and enhance operational efficiency.

      Maximising hygiene and minimising downtime for one of the food industry's leading hygiene consultants.

      Why did Garth Dempster choose Klipspringer?

      Reduced Equipment Repair Costs

      Washdowns are an unavoidable part of compliant manufacturing practice, but equipment damage is not. In Garth’s words: “My advice to anyone in a similar situation would be to look at how much time it costs to repair equipment and to speak to Klipspringer about the SegriCovers as they are a great help. They can easily be cleaned down and put away to dry in a safe place and be reused again and again.”

      Adaptability

      We adapted one of the most popular models in our Segri ‘Family’, the SegriScreen, specifically for this application, Gareth needed a screen large enough to cover a 7-foot Sancassiano mixer while avoiding bug traps and moisture harborage points. After multiple prototypes, the SegriCover was born – a bespoke, waterproof, and hygienic cover to protect machines and production items from both water ingress and contamination.

      Reusable, Robust, Multi-Use Materials

      Traditional washdown methods typically involve single-use covers or plastic binliners (see the first image above). Not only are these materials far less durable, but they are also environmentally damaging. According to Garth, SegriCovers “…also allowed us to reduce the amount of single-use plastic covers that we use on a clean down; we have to be a lot more mindful of the environment now and by using the SegriCover this has reduced our consumption of plastic bin liners massively.”

      Discover more

      SegriScreen

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      SegriCover

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