EHEDG guidelines for conveyors for the food processing industry
Posted: 18 August 2016 | | No comments yet
EHEDG’s guidelines for conveyors in food processing discuss good and bad solutions, and focus on production and the cleaning regime. The guideline chapters give input to the various conveyor types and the challenges during food processing.
However, there are difficulties in proposing sweeping generalisations for conveyor and belt design due to the multiplicity of demands from the industry; foodstuffs may be (deep) frozen, fried, cooked, or baked, etc., on the conveyor; the foodstuffs may be hot or cold, humid, dry, or oily etc.; they may be highly perishable and/or susceptible to contamination or very highly inert.
From 1981 to 2001 I was working in the food processing industry as Product Development and Quality Control Manager. This means that I had the responsibility of the microbiological quality of products, specifically shelf life and safety. Safe products are a must for food processors!
Cleaning regimes as well as safe production procedures have to be implemented, controlled, evaluated, and constantly updated – I have seen a lot of facilities where it was a challenge to obtain good microbiological conditions which required a high level of management to operate safely. The task in the industry is to have procedures to handle all critical areas. HACCP is one of the tools we use to monitor, improve, train and motivate staff to maintain the microbiologic status of production facilities and thus of the product itself.
In 2001 I became Manager of a test laboratory in Kolding, Denmark; which was authorised to perform cleanability tests and certify equipment under the EHEDG organisation. At that time the laboratory was participating in a larger Danish R&D project to improve hygienic design in relation to construction materials. In 2010 I was participating in a group establishing the Danish Chapter: EHEDG Denmark and I became Chairman. The objective of the group was to utilise EHEDG to intensify the awareness and importance of knowledge of hygienic design.
This way I was given the liberty and privilege to help the processing industry to focus on the equipment and use hygienic design to further improve the possibilities to manufacture safe products, from a microbiological standpoint as well as foreign objects. I saw great potential for the processing industry to use hygienic design to a more efficient production environment.
EHEDG is a very challenging forum were guidelines are a major tool to help processors and equipment manufactures to focus on the issues where processing hygiene can be improved when the equipment is designed. Both parties have a better knowledge background for their discussions. EHEDG guidelines and courses in Hygienic Design are the backbone in gaining knowledge of the industry. EHEDG also have the possibility to inspire universities to include Hygienic Design in their curriculum.