Dusts produced when manufacturing and processing food products create significant challenges. Dust particles often become airborne, which can threaten employee health and cause combustible dust incidents. Food dust particles vary in size, and some are so fine they are not visible to the naked eye. Common food dust hazards include cereal ingredients, spices, feed and raw grain agricultural products, egg shell dust, flour, corn starch, sugar, and flavoring additives.
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Explore this issueDecember/January 2019
Manufacturers must comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations to protect their employees from exposure to airborne dusts, as well as National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards to provide a safe working environment. In addition, food processors must follow regulations from the USDA and FDA, which has begun implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Manufacturers need to control the dusts generated in food and beverage facilities that can:
- Cause serious harm to human health and negatively impact the environment;
- Cross-contaminate and proliferate the spread of pathogens and allergens; and
- Become combustible and cause devastating explosions that harm workers, damage machinery, and destroy buildings and corporate reputations.
OSHA regulations govern employers whose processes generate dust, and will issue citations and fines for lack of compliance. Food industry employers are required to protect workers from exposure, and each food or beverage manufacturing application will have its own unique set of process conditions. Under OSHA, companies must control dust emissions into the indoor workplace atmosphere to comply with legal limits set for a particular material. If no legal limits are applicable, then the company is required to define in writing, implement, and measure its own environmental safety plan.| | | Next → | Single Page