FSMA – Helping Prevent Recalls in The Pet Food Production

The pet food industry is expected to top $44B this year. That’s a lot of pet food, and pet owners demand high quality. They want the best for their pets and expect products like pet food to be manufactured with the highest standards. However, that wasn’t always the case until recent years. As a pet food manufacturer, safety concerns can lead to dire consequences from lost sales, irreparable brand damage, and legal issues.

Before FSMA, pet food producers weren’t accountable for the same level of safety and standards. With the passing and implementation of FSMA regulations, pet food safety during and after its production is ensured. FSMA systematizes food safety protocols for registered facilities involved in manufacturing, packing, processing, and holding products within the country. These efforts are aimed at eradicating the inconsistency and standardizing of animal food quality.

With FSMA’s heightened protocols for animal food comes an increased responsibility for pet food brand manufacturers.

What’s Involved in a Pet Food Recall?

When animal food is declared unfit or contaminated, it calls for an emergency-like situation. As a result, a Quality Assurance Manager has to step in to halt production and investigate immediately. Sometimes, the pet food manufacturers get a recall when the product has already entered the market. This can potentially cause health issues in animals or even a child that mistakingly takes food from the dog bowl. A market withdrawal will be initiated if the released product presents only a slight violation that isn’t subjected to lawful action. For instance, a product must be withdrawn from the market without evidence of distribution or problems in manufacturing. Manufacturers are required to follow the industry best practices that include creating a favorable release program. It ensures that the product is only introduced once microbiological or analytical test results are accepted. So, suppose the test results are not within the acceptable limits due to factors such as contamination. Then, it is imperative to take corrective actions, including preventing the affected product from releasing in the market.

The Recalls to Watch For

It has become easier for customers to see if your specific product is on the recall list. Not only does a quick search online show recall information, but news like those spreads through social media instantly, and in many cases, draws national media attention.

The Food and Drug Administration Department (FDA) has a concise, clear, and comprehensive summary of each pet food recall. The overview also includes any recalls that are still in the process. It’s one of the simplest ways to comprehend food recall lists. The United States Food and Drug Administration splits the removal of pet food into three categories of recalls. The four most common reasons for pet food recalls are toxins, bacterial infections, nutritional deficiencies, and foreign material. In addition, there is a market withdrawal category too.

Over the past decade, recalls have mostly been because of pathogen-related issues as follows:

  • Class-I recall. It’s a condition where there is a logical possibility that the exposure to or use of a violative product may cause severe adverse health consequences or, even worse, i.e., death.
  • Class-II recall. It’s a scenario in which exposure to or use of a violative product may pose reversible health consequences or where the likelihood of serious health concerns is remote.
  • Class-III recall. It is a condition where exposure to or use of a violative product may not possibly cause health-related severe outcomes.
  • Market withdrawal. This situation occurs when a product has a slight violation that wouldn’t cause FDA to take legal action. In that case, the company either corrects the violation or removes the product from the marketplace. For instance, a product eliminated from the market because of tampering would be considered a market withdrawal without distribution problems or manufacturing evidence.

The FSMA Final Rule for Animal Food

The final rule for animal food aims to reduce product issues and minimize product recalls within the pet food industry. Food and Drug Administration Department necessitated the rule to regulate pet food safety and keep a check on manufacturers. Before this, the FDA had a limited role and oversight regarding the quality of pet food. However, the pet food industry must first invest in the infrastructure essentials to enhance pet food safety standards.

At present, FSMA expands the regulatory powers and guidance while ensuring that the manufacturers implement a robust preventative approach.

Essentially, the rule requires animal food manufacturers and facilities to set up and execute a strong food safety plan with proper hazard analysis to determine the risks and minimize them. This, in turn, propels manufacturers to eliminate inconsistencies in pet food safety, standardize it, improve the overall quality, and diminish product and health-related issues, thereby ensuring production compliance.

From a manufacturer’s standpoint, you need to comply with the standardization requirements as registered facilities are mainly engaged in the manufacturing, processing, transporting, storing, and packaging pet food products nationally.

The FSMA rule has helped the manufacturers achieve a wide range of essential improvements where pet food and products safety is concerned. However, it also ensures that the pet food industry pays attention to the infrastructure to improve pet food safety standards. Furthermore, it also educated and informed the on-site teams about food safety that manufacturers must follow. In addition, external and internal audits are critical to a successful program.

So, how will manufacturers adhere to these regulations? Improved sanitation.

Prevent Food Recalls with Improved Sanitation

Sanitation has become a necessary preventive control for manufacturers that are feeling the pressure to address hazards. As a pet food company, you must understand how to manage, implement, and revise solid sanitation programs to produce quality food products. This requires setting up improved sanitation programs that can withstand oversight and scrutiny by regulatory personnel. In addition, the Food Safety Modernization Act demands a robust sanitation program for monitoring specific verification, corrective action, and validation.

Pet food manufacturing requires cleaning and sanitation solutions that can help adhere to FSMA regulations. Therefore, steam and sanitation solutions are vital players in improving sanitation. It is also imperative to adequately train all the employees to know the production process and eliminate any contamination that can impede pet food safety.

We offer a full range of customizable solutions for steam cleaning and deep surface sanitation. Our dry steam cleaners leverage the power of low moisture and high temperature that helps you clean surfaces such as industrial machinery and equipment.

All in all, our dry steam cleaning and alcohol-based surface sanitizing solutions can help you mitigate food recalls and improve your overall sanitation process significantly.

A Guide to Cooling Tower Maintenance

cooling tower cleaning

Cooling towers are a critical part of many commercial and industrial buildings because they rely heavily on them for cooling. To prevent these massive systems from failing it is important you prioritize regular maintenance.

Why Is Cooling Tower Maintenance Important?

Routine maintenance of cooling towers reduces the risk of system damage and health issues and increases safety and health, durability, performance, and efficiency. Failure to do so can incur high costs and, even worse, someone’s life put in danger due to dangerous bacterial growth. Regular checks help you use your equipment to the fullest while also creating a safe, compliant, and clean environment.

  • Safety And Health

Legionella or other microbe-borne diseases can spread rapidly through air conditioning systems. One of the most common sources for Legionnaires’ disease is an infected cooling tower, and poorly maintained towers can lead to a potential outbreak. The warm waters in these buildings create perfect conditions for bacteria like algae or mold, which help grow dangerous pathogens such as Legionella that could spread through the air released when a cooling tower is in use. 

  • Performance

A fully functioning cooling tower maintenance program ensures detection of problems early on and assures optimum performance during its lifetime. Frequent maintenance enables you to discover issues at an early stage that can cause excessive or undue wear and tear on your cooling tower systems, allowing for prompt correction.

  • Efficient And Economical

A cooling tower working at optimum performance delivers the desired results. However, minor faults or damages can affect the undertaking, and if overlooked, it can lead to expensive repairs and high running costs.

How Do You Perform Cooling Tower Maintenance?

Cooling tower cleaning is a complete process, not just one task. To maximize your maintenance efforts, you will have to make sure to provide attention to all components of the system. To help facilities optimize the process of cooling tower maintenance, here are some steps to ensure adequate cleaning of your cooling tower system.

Step 1. Inspect The Tower

The initial step is to inspect carefully during the cooling tower cleaning process. Ideally, this should be done once per month at least. However, make sure you don’t skip this step on the actual cleaning day. Inspecting your cooling tower system reveal parts that require particular focus throughout the cleaning process. That way, you can pay adequate attention to the areas that need improvement.

Step 2. Protect Yourself

Once you have identified the areas that demand additional attention, don’t overlook your protection. Before you start with the cleaning process, make sure to turn off the pumps and fans in the tower using OSHA tag/lockout procedures. They are extraordinarily potent and can drastically endanger or even kill someone. The moisture and heat coming from the tower can also be harmful, especially Legionella germs. You need to ensure respiratory safety and eye protection features like masks with a suitable filter grade.

Step 3. Treat for Bacteria

Cooling towers can be a dangerous breeding ground for bacteria, making it essential to reduce the nutrients available for Legionella growth. BioSpray® Tower can kill 99.9% of Legionella and is on the EPA list of disinfectants for use against SARS-COV-2 when appropriately applied on hard non-porous surfaces. It offers a labor-saving, no-rinse formula. Protocols for the disinfection of Legionella are well defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Step 4. Remove Sludge

The most common area is the basin where sludge can accrue and can impact the longevity and performance of the cooling tower system. You can use specialized vacuums to remove the sludge in cooling towers. 

Step 5. Fix Clogs and Fouling

The most predominant part of the heat exchange within a cooling tower system occurs in the cooling tower fill. The fill is what leads the passing air in the system to produce cold water and remove heat efficiently. When the fill becomes fouled or clogged, the cooling doesn’t take place because the air can’t touch the heat source as planned. As a result, it generates higher electricity bills.  If sediment is visible, the basin needs to be cleaned, and cooling tower vacuums make it easier to remove contaminants without shutting down or draining your system. 

Step 6. Plan The Next Cleaning

Once you clean the cooling tower, you will be better able to assess how frequently it becomes fouled or dirty so that you can plan and schedule the next cleaning agenda. Most cooling towers operate the best when cleaned twice a year apart from frequent water treatment to combat issues like algae growth and Legionella.  If you are still unsure how often you should be servicing your cooling tower, speak to skilled technicians to gauge your system adequately and its unique risks.

The Bottom Line

Whether you require reactive cooling tower maintenance or are planning to develop a routine preventative maintenance schedule, it’s imperative to have sound knowledge about cleaning cooling towers. What is going to make your maintenance easier to complete is the right tools. Our Cooling tower basin cleaning systems provide a solution that allows cleaning without having to shut down towers. When cleaning cooling tower fills, industrial descaling chemicals paired with cooling tower fill cleaning systems will provide complete product from efficiency-robbing foul and dangerous bacteria. Our cooling tower products help you keep cooling towers clean and meet ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2015, a standard for maintenance and the remediation of Legionella in commercial building water.

Next Step

Learn how to choose the right system for your cooling tower needs with our Buying Guide.

 

 

Rid Your Systems of Struvite and Vivianite

waste-water-plant

What is Struvite or vivianite?

Struvite is formed when ammonia, phosphate, and magnesium come together to precipitate and initiate Struvite crystallization. Struvite can present itself as a white, brown, or yellowish hardened substance.

Vivianite is a combination of iron, phosphorus, hydrogen, and oxygen and is formed during anaerobic digestion. Vivianite commonly presents as a deep blue to deep blue-green crystalized color.

Both of these formations can rapidly adhere to various equipment surfaces. Both Struvite and Vivianite crystalize and solidify to rock-like formations. Struvite and vivianite formations significantly reduce flow and functionality within wastewater treatment plants causing significant maintenance costs and loss of efficiency.

Where do you find Struvite or Vivianite?

Struvite and Vivianite are commonly found in industrial piping that has wastewater with Magnesium, Ammonia, or Phosphate. Areas within wastewater systems most prone to these formations are piping, especially 90° bends, valves, T fittings, pumps, belt presses, centrifuges, Digesters, grit screens, and heat exchangers.

treatment plant wastewater

How to get rid of Struvite and Vivianite?

The most common concern with Struvite and Vivianite is how to get rid of them without having to replace pipes or cause interruptions. When removing Struvite or Vivianite, you can either do it chemically or by hydro-blasting. While hydro-blasting has its benefits, most piping lays underground which makes this method inefficient. Making chemical solutions the most effective and easiest method of dissolving Struvite and Vivianite from pipes.  As these chemicals react with the building blocks of struvite and vivianite, they steadily dissolve formations found within the clogged pipes. The solution we suggest for wastewater operators to use for dissolving the Struvite and Vivianite is our ScaleBreak®-SS, a non-hydrochloric acid solution.

ScaleBreak®-SS can dissolve struvite and vivianite formations, restoring the flow of pipes and equipment. Every system cleaning procedure must take the specific challenges related to that particular system into account.  Depending on the severity of the Struvite/vivianite formation, these methodologies can range from static soaking to circulation to flow reversal or all three.

Next Steps:

Reach out to a Goodway expert to find the best way to get your pipes back to prime condition.

 

Do Explosion-Proof Vacuums Matter?

dust-explosion-fire

The combustive power of airborne particles, like dust, is astounding. Explosions of combustible dust can potentially destroy an entire factory. As the 2008 Imperial Sugar refinery catastrophe demonstrated, dust explosions usually follow a similar pattern – a small blast disperses accumulated dust into a cloud, igniting and fueling a powerful chain of secondary explosions. This is why using an Explosion Proof Vacuum matters.

So, what can we learn from accidents like this? If you remove accumulated dust and debris, it can’t become airborne, drastically reducing the risk of explosions.


 The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the United States defines combustible dust as “a solid material composed of distinct particles or pieces, regardless of size, shape, or chemical composition, which presents a fire or deflagration hazard when suspended in air or some other oxidizing medium over a range of concentrations. [i]


The Implementation of the Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program

Since 2008, the Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (NEP) has focused on how workplaces create or handle combustible dust. Following a 25-year study by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board that identified 281 explosive dust incidents that resulted in 119 worker deaths and 718 injuries, in response, OSHA launched the Combustible Dust NEP.  As a result of the NEP’s aggressive inspection campaign, more than 30,000 facilities in 70 different industries were considered “at-risk.” These aggressive standards for combustible dust beg the question – is your plant taking all the precautions to keep safe and pass inspection?


Large Volume Industrial Vacuum HEPA, Wet/Dry, Explosion Proof Vacuum, 120V
  DID YOU KNOW?

  •  According to OSHA, federal inspectors found over 4900 infractions during combustible dust inspections in the year after the NEP was put in place.

Check out our Vacuum Buying Guide here.

Industrial Vacuum, Wet/Dry, Explosion Proof Cleanup

TAKE THIS SHORT OSHA QUIZ.

ONLY 100% CORRECT PASSES.[ii]
  •  Does the facility have separator devices to remove foreign materials capable of igniting combustible dust?
  •  Are the dust-containing systems (ducts and dust collectors) designed, so that fugitive dust cannot accumulate in the work area?
  •  Does the dust collector system have spark detection and explosion/deflagration suppression systems? (There are other alternative measures.)
  •  Are all components of the dust collection system constructed of noncombustible materials?

Why does combustible dust collection matter?

To reduce explosive risks, industries that create industrial dust (aka process dust) greatly benefit from finding the proper explosion-proof vacuum during the manufacturing or production process. In a manufacturing process that includes cutting, drilling, grinding, welding, and sawing, tiny particles are generated; when these particles are not adequately filtered and enclosed, they can be highly hazardous for employees and the manufacturing plant itself.

Large Volume Industrial Vacuum HEPA, Wet/Dry, Explosion Proof Vacuum, 120V

Between 2006 and 2017, 111 incidents of combustible dust caused 66 worker deaths and 337 injuries, according to data collected by the Chemical Safety Board. In many of these incidents, catastrophes occurred during secondary dust explosions. Even if the primary blast is small, it can disrupt your manufacturing plant, stirring up more dust, which can cause a deadly second dust explosion. What can you do to prevent this? This type of accident can be prevented by implementing a cleaning program that removes dust accumulation using an explosion-proof vacuum. For vacuuming in these hazardous environments or collecting dangerous materials such as paint chippings or fine powder within a facility, an industrial vacuum must be certified for use in Class I, Class II, or Class III by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA recommends the Three C’s for fuel and dust fire avoidance:

  • Capture dust before it escapes into a work area using adequately designed, installed, approved, and maintained dust collection systems.
  • Contain dust within the equipment, systems, or rooms built and operated to handle combustible dust safely.
  • Clean work areas, overhead surfaces, and concealed spaces frequently and thoroughly using safe housekeeping methods to remove combustible dust not captured or contained.

So, how do you choose the correct explosion-proof vacuum for your facility? One recommended approach is to work with your safety director and then match the debris type to the appropriate NEC hazardous class. Then you can research solutions matching those classes.

Understanding NEC Hazardous Classes

Understanding an area’s explosion and fire risk is essential for facility maintenance personnel when selecting industrial explosion-proof vacuum cleaners or other power tools. To help with the proper electrical equipment selection, NEC Chapter 5, Articles 500-506, use the class/division/group system to indicate the different risk levels. Some also use a zone/group system based on Articles 505 & 506 of the NEC and developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission. Understanding the NEC classes can be challenging, so Goodway has put together a brief guide to NEC classes to make it easier.

[i] Combustible Dust: OSH Answers. https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/combustible_dust.html

[ii] Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program | Occupational …. https://www.osha.gov/enforcement/directives/cpl-03-00-006

 

Next Steps:

  • Check out our Vacuum Buying Guide here
  • View our line of Explosion-Proof Vacuums
  • Learn more about preventing dust explosions

Advantages of Clean-in-Place Conveyor Belt Cleaning

Conveyor Belt Cleaning

In every food and beverage company, production hygiene is paramount to ensure product safety. For this reason, all equipment that comes in contact with the food or beverage product must be adequately cleaned and sanitized, and operating in top working condition at all times. One area of particular focus and historically time-consuming to clean are conveyor belts.

What is Clean In Place (CIP)?

Like other specialty manufacturing, food production requires the highest level of hygiene during all instances of production. “Clean in place” (CIP) is cleaning or sanitation systems that are designed to clean without having to remove the underlying items, in this case, conveyor belts. CIP technology developed particularly for conveyor belt cleaning in food and pharmaceutical producing companies allows production to continue and reduces downtime and cleaning costs. Due to strict oversight, there is a need to ensure non-contamination when cleaning conveyor belts. Opting for the CIP is the best decision that guarantees profit by saving time and labor without compromising the safety and quality of all goods produced.

Advantages to Clean in Place Belt Cleaning Solutions

Speed and Efficiency

CIP systems help to immediately save time and labor costs, making it much faster than manual cleaning. It reduces the production downtime, increases production capacity translating into more products, sales, and profitability. One company even saved over $79K in indirect labor cost after installing clean in place conveyor belt systems on their lines.

Reliability

With CIP systems, the benefits of cleaning and sanitation are apparent. Continued testing for pathogens is always suggested, but CIP systems do tend to offer more reliability.

Safety

No doubt, safety is of top priority when it comes to food production. When CIP belt cleaning systems are in use, they can clean more efficiently than the human eye. Since 2011, the FSMA increased the need for cleaning equipment that typical hand cleaning cannot keep up with. It also can help reduce the tendency of accidents such as slipping and falling during cleaning.

Dry Steam and CIP – The Perfect Pair

When CIP belt cleaning systems are paired with dry steam, it produces a perfect cleaning duo. Dry steam is superheated steam with all the cleaning and sanitizing power of “Wet” steam, but only a 5% moisture content. It obliterates oils, soils, allergens, and more and leaves surfaces clean and dry.

CIP dry steam cleaning systems also reduce water consumption up to 98% vs. traditional wet cleaning systems. If the reduction in water consumption is a corporate initiative for your business, dry steam should be an immediate focus area.

THE FACTS ABOUT STEAM

Steam Cleaning

  • Thoroughly clean and sanitize conveyor belts without the use of chemical cleaners that could be toxic.
  • Dry steam at a temperature of about 290 °F cleans grime, oils, kills microbes on contact, and leaves the belt dried almost instantly.
  • Since little or no water is left after using dry steam, there’s little t worry about the growth of mold, bacteria, and other pathogens.
  • Use up to 98% less water than other cleaning systems.

The Bottom Line

Better cleaning in less time that delivers more profitability. CIP solutions for belt cleaning offer almost immediate ROI, with most having 100% ROI in months, not years. Not only is it evident that manual cleaning of conveyor belts is time-wasting, but it’s also less efficient and prone to cause mistakes that could ruin the integrity of your food or beverage product. To install CIP belt cleaning systems in your food or beverage processing plant to ensure top-notch safety and optimum quality of your products. Check out our clean-in-place belt cleaning systems.

Next Steps:

Check out our CIP belt cleaning solutions

Learn more about our dry steam cleaning solutions

See how our CIP Belt Cleaning Solutions helped one of our customers

Get tips on How to Clean Ready -to- Eat Snack Manufacturing Equipment

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