The Importance of Design, Installation, Maintenance & Cleaning in Processing Plants
October 21, 2022
Flour Processing Plant Engineering, Non Food Installation, Fabrications, Health & Safety, Pontefract
There is more to food processing than you probably think, which is why design, installation and maintenance are critical. It’s only when the correct industry standards are met, that contamination risks are lowered. In any processing plant, particularly where any kind of food is present, there are what is known as ‘pest hotspots’. There are also places prone to pollution, and everything, even down to the building materials used, must be carefully chosen.
The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety states: “The production site shall be suitable in size, location and construction, and be maintained to reduce the risk of contamination and facilitate the production of safe and legal finished products.” With this in mind, the design and layout of components within the processing facility need careful consideration. Internal structures of the buildings must be constructed from materials which are durable and that prevent the build up of dirt and debris. Proper cleaning needs to be done efficiently, with no awkward or inaccessible areas to protect food products and ingredients.
Proactive maintenance measures should be established to ensure that machinery operates smoothly and safely. Several food-borne outbreaks of illness have in the past been linked to improper or insanitary conditions during maintenance. The early 1980’s saw an outbreak of botulism, that was caused by can reformer machines performing improperly. Rats, mice and other pests can have a negative impact on the performance of machines. They can damage and contaminate parts which could be in direct contact with food products.
Food contact surfaces need to be designed so that they remain inert when being used to prevent the chance of materials from migrating into or away from food. No foreign bodies or liquids should be allowed to contaminate products. Process plants have to be properly serviced, cleaned and sanitized after use, and then thoroughly checked, and repeated if need be. There are many more rules and regulations to follow, but it’s nice to know our food has been subject to such rigorous attention to detail.