Benchmarking Sanitation Chemistry - A Quantitative Approach To Food Safety

Benchmarking Sanitation Chemistry Blog Benchmarking Sanitation Chemistry Blog
Jack Burnett
Technical Consulting Manager | Retail & Food Service
Feb 22, 2023

A perennial need within food safety is the leveraging of existing data to help identify food safety opportunities and allow for the efficient allocation of food safety resources and attention. As a sanitation products supplier, our customers have traditionally turned towards chemical sales/order data to help identify whether there is a location or region whose sanitation chemical usage falls outside of the norm. That is to say, delineating locations that may not be executing certain sanitation processes by identifying those that haven’t been ordering an amount of product in line with what would be needed to carry out their sanitation processes correctly.


Over the years Diversey has worked with various customers to better facilitate the use of sales data in this regard. For example, antiquated sanitation programs of the past had utilized the same SKU for both the three-compartment sink sanitizer and the meat room spray sanitizer. This confounded the ability of the sales data to indicate lapses in compliance for two critical food safety applications; warewash sanitization and meat room sanitization. With Diversey’s program implementing a Ready-to-Dispense (RTD) format for meat room floor and equipment spray down applications, we eliminated the issue of the shared SKU and allowed increased resolution on chemical consumption data for both processes.


Until recently, the order data had been employed towards identifying outliers in chemical orders within an account. Together, our customers and our team realized that it could be better to compare chemical volume to an independently generated chemical consumption benchmark. Using weight differences in concentrate, density, dilution and water flow meter measurements, we were able to calculate what chemical consumption should look like when performed properly. Then, we extrapolated that data out to the month, quarter and year, producing a range of order volumes that could be considered in compliance. This shifted our analysis of the data from a relative measurement to one that is more absolute. The result being that we are able to identify institutional habits or training lapses that wouldn’t necessarily be seen by comparing an individual location to only its counterparts. The value of rectifying a systematic food safety concern is immense. Setting an expert benchmark was critical in allowing such trends to be identified with the existing data.


Our team continues its efforts towards optimizing our benchmarks for comparisons to chemical consumption data. We have incorporated multipliers and tiers that address the following confounding issues, among others:

  • How does sales volume affect chemical usage?
  • What departments are present and how do their chemical usages differ?
  • How many departments are there?
  • What is the square footage of these departments?

Addressing such issues is an ongoing project here at Diversey and is customizable to each client, almost by necessity. By using the data that we already have, Diversey has been able to help our customers direct their training and food safety resources where the data indicates they may be needed.