10 Principles for Sanitary Compliance

02. Mar, 2015

Equipment suppliers play a key role in assisting food packagers in maintaining compliance with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) sanitation requirements, consistent with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and 3-A standards. The Engineering Design Task Force developed a set of 10 principles for developing equipment that is compliant with these sanitation guidelines. Sanitary equipment must have or must be:

  1. Cleanable to a microbiological level: Not just cleanable, but uniquely designed to prevent bacteria from growing or surviving on product and non-product contact surfaces.
  2. Made of compatible materials: Construction materials used for equipment must be completely compatible with the product, environment, cleaning and sanitizing chemicals, and the methods of cleaning and sanitation.
  3. Accessible for inspection, maintenance, cleaning and sanitation: At all times, without the use of tools.
  4. Able to prevent liquid collection: Equipment should be self-draining to ensure liquids, which can harbor and promote the growth of bacteria, do not accumulate on the equipment.
  5. Have hermetically sealed hollow areas: Hollow areas of equipment (such as frames and rollers) must be eliminated or permanently sealed.
  6. No niches: Equipment parts should be free of niches such as pits, cracks, corrosion, recesses, open seams, gaps, lap seams, protruding ledges, inside threads, bolt rivets and dead ends.
  7. Sanitary operational performance: During normal operations, the equipment must perform in a manner that does not contribute to unsanitary conditions or harbor bacteria growth.
  8. Hygienic design of maintenance enclosures: Maintenance enclosures and human machine interfaces such as push buttons, valve handles, switches and touch-screens, must be designed to ensure food product, water or product liquid does not penetrate or accumulate in and on the enclosure or interface.
  9. Hygienic compatibility with other plant systems: Equipment design must ensure hygienic compatibility with other equipment and systems, such as electrical, hydraulics, steam, air and water.
  10. Validated cleaning and sanitizing protocols: Procedures for cleaning and sanitation must be clearly written, designed and proven effective and efficient.

It sounds daunting to think about how to make your equipment compatible with these stringent guidelines. But an experienced supplier like Spee-Dee can look at an application and develop a solution to meet your own requirements while at the same time providing valuable insight about how any of your requirements would lead to an unsanitary unit. Work with a supplier who knows these design principles in and out in order to ensure your operations are compliant.

For an example of how we customized our 3600 auger filler to make it a sanitary filler, check out our white paper.


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