The "7 pairs of shoes" of the production manager of the milk powder factory

 "Change your shoes."

When asked about the most repeated actions at work, Li Yang answered almost without thinking. The change of shoes he mentioned is of course not simply kicking off the pair on the feet, but a series of actions including taking off the shoes, disinfecting them, putting on sterile clothes, and putting on work shoes.

Li Yang is the production manager of Feihe Kedong factory, mainly responsible for the inspection and production management of the workshop. Starting from Feihe's general work area, he passed through the quasi-cleaning work area and the cleaning work area in turn. Li Yang needed to change his shoes 7 times for the whole journey, and it took about 30 minutes to change the shoes alone.

"The main purpose of changing shoes is to prevent cross-contamination, especially microbial contamination." Li Yang told "Shijie". Considering that the "Cronobacter sakazakii" and "Salmonella incident" in the early years were the result of microorganisms, the importance of its prevention and control is self-evident.

As a branch of the food field, infant formula is special in that it is both close to and far away from consumers. It is said to be near because consumers can buy it at any time through online and offline channels; it is said to be far away because the public knows little about its production process.

In 2022, CCTV once pointed the camera at Feihe to show the scene of its production workshop to the outside world. In the picture, the densely arranged equipment continuously makes the roar of operation, and tons of fresh milk flow in the pipeline. But in fact, Feihe's stringent safety and hygiene levels happen more out of the camera.

"7 pairs of shoes" for production managers

It's hard to imagine that during the busy 8-hour working day, Li Yang would spend about 30 minutes changing shoes and changing clothes.

The first shoe change occurs before entering the quasi-cleaning work area. According to national standards, the milk powder production workshop is usually divided into three major areas: general operation area, quasi-cleaning operation area and cleaning operation area, and the hygiene level increases from front to back.

"The general work area mainly refers to the peripheral areas such as storage rooms and warehouses. The quasi-cleaning work area involves milk powder cleaning and evaporation." According to Li Yang, before entering the quasi-cleaning work area, he needs to change his work shoes and put them on the Designate an area, then put on a headgear, a mask in turn, disinfect your hands, put on work clothes, and a pair of "sterile" work shoes.

In Feihe, since everyone changes shoes frequently, there is a set of procedures for the disinfection of shoes. Every pair of shoes that are replaced will be sent to the laundry room, and after going through a round of cleaning, disinfection, drying, and sorting procedures, they will be sent back to the corresponding area by a special person. Li Yang told "City Boundary" that although the process seems complicated, it can ensure that each pair of shoes is clean and sterile to the greatest extent.

The drying tower is the area where Feihe milk powder "turns from milk to powder", and it is also the place where Li Yang needs to change his shoes for the second time. Immediately afterwards, there are the feeding area and the outer packaging area. As the name suggests, these two areas correspond to Feihe's raw material feeding and initial packaging processes. Due to the different sanitation levels between regions, Li Yang also needs to complete the third and fourth shoe changes.

The most "cumbersome" actions take place before entering the inner packaging workshop, which is the area with the highest hygiene level in the entire milk powder production chain. In view of this, only one area of ​​the inner packaging involves changing shoes three times.

▲ (Image source/Video screenshot)

"Before entering the inner packaging area, you have to put on a pair of gray slippers, take your fingerprints and enter the first dressing room, and complete the disinfection of changing clothes." Li Yang told "City Boundary", and then he needed to wear them in the second dressing room. Put on a split clean suit, change into a pair of blue slippers, and put on a one-piece clean suit.

After everything was done, Li Yang finally came to the last hurdle: put on a pair of work boots that can wrap up to the calf. At this time, just this round of preparations took Li Yang 8 minutes to get rid of the poison four times, and changed three pairs of shoes and two sets of clothes. At this time, before he formally entered the inner packaging workshop, he was still short of a full-body hair inspection and a 30-second wind shower.

"In Feihe, as long as it involves crossing different areas, you need to change your shoes. This is an important part of risk prevention and control." Li Yang told "Shijie". The operating room is even more complicated", but everyone also agrees with the steps of changing shoes. "For safety's sake, no trivial action is too much." Li Yang said.

"Tube" the air

Why does Feihe focus on quality control on "shoe replacement"?

Liu Yingtao, head of the Feihe Central Laboratory, told "City Boundary" that the most basic reason is that different regions have different standards for microbial prevention and control, and cross-regional activities require changing shoes to prevent cross-contamination. The deep-seated reason is that people are the biggest source of pollution, and the purpose of changing shoes is to minimize the impact of people.

"Humans are a huge carrier of microorganisms and the biggest source of pollution. If you take out the microorganisms on a person and weigh them, the net weight can be several kilograms, which is heavier than human cells." Liu Yingtao told "City Boundary" that people work During the process, microorganisms are released with every movement and every breath. Although not all of them are pathogenic bacteria, the possibility of carrying pathogenic bacteria is not ruled out.

Therefore, Feihe's microbial prevention and control is "one focus, two paths". The so-called focus refers to the prevention and control of people; the so-called path, one is to let the staff enter in a "aseptic as possible" state through mandatory changing of shoes; the other is to purchase high-performance sterile clothing "regardless of cost".

Liu Yingtao told "Shijie" that the "pharmaceutical-grade" sterile gowns currently purchased by Feihe are three to four times more expensive than similar products on the market. "Feihe's sterile clothing can prevent the spread of microbial contamination, and can better isolate human hair, dander, etc.." Of course, this also means that the sterile clothing alone, Feihe's annual investment is much higher than that of many of its peers.

In addition, in addition to "defending people", Feihe has almost done everything it can do to the extreme.

Li Yang told "Shijie" that from the source point of view, because it is a self-built pasture, Feihe can fully control the quality of the milk source. Immediately afterwards, after the raw milk is transported to the factory, it will directly enter the closed pipeline to avoid contact with the air. After that, Feihe adopts aseptic and automated production from milk cleaning, sterilization to final packaging.

Feihe even managed the air in the factory. According to Li Yang, all the production workshops of Feihe maintain a positive pressure externally, and the external air passes through primary-effect, medium-efficiency, and high-efficiency filters in order to filter out 99.9% of the tiny particles in the air. "The cleanliness of the workshop can reach 100,000 clean standard".

Liu Yingtao told "City Boundary" that currently Feihe "has basically reached the limit of what can be introduced" in terms of microbial control. According to Liu Yingtao, Feihe is equipped with automated pathogenic microorganism identification systems and fluorescent quantitative PCR detection equipment in all its subordinate factories, so as to use genetic and molecular biological methods to type and quantify microorganisms, and to identify microorganisms through genetic traceability. source, and more precise control.

determination regardless of cost

"The company's quality control always gives people a feeling that they don't care about the cost." More than one Feihe employee expressed emotion about "Shijie".

Liu Guirong, director of Feihe Quality Center, heard that the company has continued to invest heavily in quality since the first factory was put into production in 2006. "Now there are 9 factories, and not only has there been no reduction, but more and more investment." Liu Guirong told "City Boundary" that Feihe currently spends several million yuan on environmental monitoring every year, and this is only one part of the quality management system.

Liu Yingtao said that Feihe is equipped with an automatic microbiological testing system, which is estimated to cost 600,000 to 700,000 yuan. "Some companies may only be equipped with a few units, and we have all 9 factories equipped."

"As practitioners in the milk powder industry, we certainly hope that the stricter the better, but sometimes we feel that the company is too reckless about the cost." Liu Guirong said frankly that when she first joined the company, every time she heard that Feihe had purchased testing equipment with a lot of money, she I will be surprised for a while, and then I get used to it, "In Feihe, quality cannot give way to anything."

29 years ago, Joseph Juran, a world-renowned quality management expert and known as the "father of quality", predicted that the 20th century will be the century of productivity, and the 21st century will be the century of quality. Subsequently, the prophecy became reality in different fields such as clothing, electrical appliances, and dairy products. The common script is: the company is plagued by quality problems, which then triggers a series of chain reactions: brand damage, sales decline, market share reduction...

"Milk powder, especially infant milk powder, is different from other products. Any negative news may be a fatal blow, even if the company spends more money on research and development and publicity, it will be useless." After a dairy product pollution incident, some netizens posted The comment area is so emotional, it just happened to point out the "quality red line" of infant formula milk powder.

Looking back over the past 40 years, the game between Chinese and foreign capital has constituted a main line of development in the consumer market. Different from daily chemical companies, which have successively borrowed channel dividends to turn around, domestic milk powder brands always focus on quality. Taking 2020 as the node, the market share of domestic infant milk powder, which has built a solid foundation of trust, surpassed that of foreign brands for the first time, reaching 53%. By the end of 2022, this figure increases to 68%.

How do domestic milk powder brands win the turnaround by relying on quality? This question can be answered concretely from Feihe, who insists that "quality cannot give way to any problem"

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post