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In each food processing plant, soil deposition and removal constitute unique processes influenced by the food, water supply, processing equipment, and cleaning regimen. Since there are so many complex as well as unique processes, the scientific literature represents many varied approaches to problems related to deposition and removal of soil. This paper considers the role of various constituents in soil residue. Likewise, the various factors contributing to the cleaning process are reviewed. Cleaning processes have changed considerably during recent years because of technological advances in food processing equipment as well as development of specialized cleaning equipment. Generally speaking, better sanitation has been attained. Yet, the exact attainment is commonly ill defined because there is a lack of precise definitions and methodology acceptable among professional sanitarians. Considerable scientific emphasis has been directed to methods of evaluating cleaning processes. The suggested methods involve microbiology, chemical analysis, and amplification of visual inspection. Yet, one of the greatest current needs is a simple, precise method for evaluating the cleaning process. This review of literature is intended to collate thought on soil deposition and removal processes. Together, these thoughts represent available knowledge and suggest possible directions for further research.