Valley Queen Cheese Factory, located in the heart of Milbank, South Dakota, has established itself as a local institution, having been originally founded in 1929 by a pair of Swiss immigrants. After thriving and growing for decades, they recently expanded yet again, adding several new production rooms to their facility.
The facility at Valley Queen works with over 5 million pounds of milk per day. Due to Valley Queen’s dedication to creating a quality product, cleanliness and sanitation has always been of the utmost importance.
When asked about the value of a clean work environment at Valley Queen, Nathan Bass, Senior Manager of Manufacturing for the company told us:
“Sanitation is absolutely imperative to our operation, especially around the drains. Typically, when you start talking about pathogens, that’s going to be your biggest area of concern.“
“What we had always done was a single, centered area drain. A lot of times, we would end up with equipment over top of these drains, and it would cause issues reaching these drains to clean them on a daily basis.”
HOW FOODSAFE DRAINS HELPED
Nathan and the folks at Valley Queen were unsatisfied with the level of sanitation offered by other drains, so they started to look around to see what other facilities were doing.
“We visited a facility down in Iowa that had Slot Drains installed, and we liked the look of them. We settled on them because of the clean design, fully seam-welded body, and the CIP (clean in place) functionality.”
FoodSafe Slot Drains offer CIP functionality that allows for in-place cleaning of the entire system — no lifting heavy grates or time-consuming scrubbing needed.
“For us, it’s a big deal,” says Nathan, “not only for cleaning on a daily basis, but for sanitizing the drains throughout the day as we see fit. It gives us a lot of flexibility.”
RESULTS AND FUTURE PLANS
Now, FoodSafe Drains are installed in several of Valley Queen’s operations rooms, with purposes ranging from food processing to warehouse and storage.
We asked Nathan how happy he is having chosen FoodSafe Drains to help solve some of the challenges faced by his new facility.
“Our satisfaction has been very high. We got the procedure and cleaning process figured out with some of the first drains we installed. We love the clean look of them, and that they allow us to have a minimal number of slopes to our rooms, making floor installation much easier.”
“So far, so good.”