In recent years, foreign material present in food products have comprised a large root cause of recalls. Plastic, metal, wood, and other extraneous items are commonly found, as reported in various regulatory agency published incident reports. While the source of the foreign material contamination often varies across each product category, and may often be unknown, incident investigations have pointed towards process inputs and materials, equipment, and tools as contributing factors. As with all factors, the design and maintenance of processing equipment has become more heavily scrutinized as a means to mitigate associated risk.
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Explore this issueDecember/January 2019
The prevention of food product contamination resulting from foreign material associated with equipment begins with a basic understanding of sanitary design. Once this foundation is established, methodologies to assess and quantify risk to the product can be determined. Control measures, including redesign, can subsequently be implemented to address any identified high-risk concerns.
Counting on Sanitary Design
Sanitary design is often defined as the process by which equipment and facilities are designed or reconfigured to enable effective cleaning, inspection, and preventative maintenance in an effort to reduce risk in three critical areas: physical (foreign materials), biological, and chemical. Food manufacturers need to develop sanitary design programs that seek to reduce overall risk associated with the three risk types. Internal programs and standards based on historical manufacturing risk and recommendations from industry associations provide the foundation for effective food safety control associated with equipment design. Several food industry organizations publish sanitary design recommendations for reduction in adverse food safety incidents. Examples of these include the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), 3-A Sanitary Standards Inc., and the European Hygienic Engineering Design Group.
Examples of basic elements of sanitary design programs that seek to address common equipment design risks include:| | | Next → | Single Page