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.

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Food Safety: The FSMA And How Can Steam Help

Environmental pathogen control is a vital part of everyday safety and product quality management in food processing facilities. According to the CDC, about 48 million people in the U.S. (1 in 6) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases. Most of these illnesses and deaths are preventable. How do you ask? Proper cleaning and sanitation programs, including strong sanitation standard operating procedures (SSOP).

The FSMA and Food Safety: Why Does It Matter?

Since the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law on Jan. 4, 2011, it has provided specific oversight and application of cleaning and sanitation methods that have delivered better public health protection by strengthening the food safety system. What makes this so significant? Everyone has to eat, and as trends in U.S. consumer behaviors move towards more processed or partially processed foods, production must evolve with it. Before the food even reaches the store shelf or table, it will have been through many different productions, processing, and packaging systems, all that require specific cleaning and sanitation procedures.

The Seven Major Rules

Throughout many different points of the supply chain, the FSMA has seven major rules to ensure the safety of consumers:

DISCOVER RULE-FOLLOWING SOLUTIONS

Steam Cleaning

How Can Modern Cleaning Technologies Help You Achieve Optimal Safety?

Manufacturers and food producers are constantly looking for the latest technology to meet and exceed FSMA guidelines and requirements. One of the most innovative and disruptive technologies in the last decade introduces “dry” steam technology. Dry steam has been superheated to deliver the benefits of steam (removes oils, allergens, kills bacteria, etc.) but with only 5%-10% moisture content. It makes it ideal for cleaning production surfaces, especially in water-sensitive and “dry clean only” environments.

 

With dry vapor steam cleaning, you don’t need to use chemicals to clean equipment. Additionally, it leaves equipment dry and ready for immediate use because of the cleaning method’s low moisture content. Substances such as stubborn grease, oil, dirt, and other residues can be cleaned from all kinds of surfaces, even small holes and crevices, with only water and without any need for chemicals.

      •   Dry vapor steam dissolves oils, fats, sugars, oils, and more without harsh scrubbing.

In food and beverage processing facilities, dry vapor steam cleaning is a great solution to dissolve grease, oils, or other types of residues on stoves, hoods, burners, vents, and even ceilings. Steam is excellent for cleaning small parts, tubes, switches, sensors, moving parts, or areas that can’t be reached with wiping. Machines like our commercial vapor steam cleaner with vacuum make it easy to sanitize and clean at the same time.

      •   The steam process can sanitize machinery, conveyor belts, and packaging equipment while reducing changeover times, in some cases eliminating changeovers.

With dry vapor steam cleaning on conveyor belts, it’s not necessary to dismantle parts or, in some cases, even to stop production. Steam delivers amazing labor-saving technology by decreasing sanitation time and increasing productivity with faster changeovers. Learn more about our fixed brushless belt cleaning solutions.

Bottom line? Steam is the solution you’ve been looking for to use in your cleaning and sanitation procedures.

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The Final Step: Sanitizing In Food Manufacturing

In the food manufacturing industry, food safety and quality is everything. Not only is it part of good manufacturing practices (GMP), but it’s the law. Food and beverage plants work with countless ingredients that can cause public health hazards, from microorganisms hiding in ingredient materials to allergens that cross-contaminate products during packaging processes. Microorganisms and other bacteria can even degrade the shelf life of some foods, creating an inferior product that can hurt your company as a whole.

So how do you prevent cross-contamination and unsafe pathogens or undeclared allergens from entering your food? The final step – sanitation. Food must be produced under sanitary conditions in order to be safe, and manufacturers must ensure sanitation is carried out consistently & effectively.

Risks in Food Manufacturing

The USDA requires all food manufacturing plants to meet a certain standard of cleanliness, which includes proper hygiene and regular sanitizing. Of course, there is a good reason for these regulations: these plants are preparing food for millions of Americans, and one mistake can make many people sick.

Some of the most common risks in the food manufacturing industry (many of which can be prevented with proper sanitation) include the following

Foodborne Illness

Earlier in 2020, the CDC reported 101 cases of salmonella across 17 states. They determined that the cause was contaminated peaches, which had been sold to grocers across the nation.

Regrettably, this story is rather common across the industry and it demonstrates the far reach that a single plant’s sanitation habits can have. Because one packing plant in California failed to properly sanitize their facility, their product became contaminated, and people got sick.

Cross-Contamination

According to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), an estimated 32 million Americans have some sort of food allergy. These allergies range in type and severity, from a mild rash or itchiness to life-threatening anaphylaxis. Because of this, individuals with allergies must be very careful when choosing foods to buy from the local grocery store — and they need to know with certainty that the things they’re eating don’t contain the ingredient they’re allergic to.

Today’s food manufacturing facilities process thousands of products every day. Some plants process a variety of different foods, which means that it’s always possible for some cross-contamination between ingredients. However, it’s easy to avoid this risk with thorough and diligent sanitization practices and GMP’s.

Shelf Instability

Perishable foods like meats, produce, and dairy products already have a limited shelf life — but if they are contaminated by hidden microorganisms or other bacteria, they can become inedible even faster. This is a big problem for food manufacturers, as it can impact product quality and eventually degrade your brand value.

Food that goes bad on the shelf is more likely to contribute to foodborne illness — bringing us right back to our first and most common risk. Clearly, it is essential to maintain high cleaning and sanitation standards throughout any food manufacturing plant, and companies must hold sanitization as a top priority.

Cleaning vs. Sanitizing

The USDA considers proper cleaning and sanitization a prerequisite to the industry’s hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP). Without thorough and consistent cleaning and sanitation, a facility cannot provide safe products to the consumer. Both of these practices are essential — and contrary to what some believe, they are not interchangeable.

What is the difference between cleaning and sanitizing? “Cleaning” refers to the process of removing soil from a surface. This is necessary to have a clean work environment, which can help slow the spread of bacteria or even viruses (which is even more important in the post-COVID work environment.

However, while cleaning removes soils, it doesn’t remove what cannot be seen with the human eye — microorganisms – nor does it kill them. This is why facilities must also practice proper sanitizing. “Sanitizing” is the final step of any cleaning process, and it helps kill off any microorganisms that are still lingering on any surface.

If a food manufacturing plant wants to prevent contamination (and they all do), it is absolutely essential to practice effective sanitizing. This means sanitizing surfaces more often and having the right tools at your disposal for an efficient and complete sanitation process.

The Solution

Sanitation should always be the final step in your plant sanitizing procedure, but that doesn’t mean you can do it halfway. In fact, food manufacturing companies need to be more fastidious about sanitizing than ever before! They need to have the right tools to eliminate microorganisms — and that means embracing alcohol-based sanitizers.

Alcohol-based sanitizing solutions have antiseptic properties that kill germs quickly and more effectively than plain water or alcohol-free solutions. Using an alcohol sanitizer in your cleaning protocol is one of the best ways to ensure a bacteria-free surface.

Find Your Perfect Solution:

But, of course, you can’t simply pick up a bottle of alcohol sanitizer from the drug store. Cleaning Food and Beverage plants requires a more careful approach and specific products. Look for products that are EPA registered food contact sanitations sprays; these require no wiping to effectively sanitize surfaces. Not only will this guarantee that your sanitation is food safe, but it also will cut down your cleaning time, giving you a safe, dry, and sanitary surface faster than other brands. If you use a sanitization system that utilizes a food-safe, quick-drying solution, your sanitation routine can become a quick and painless process that you can easily do each day.

The food manufacturing industry has a great responsibility to provide safe food products to people all over this country. And if you work in one of these facilities, it is up to you to maintain a high standard of cleanliness and sanitation. Not only is the reputation of your brand at risk, but the health and safety of the people who eat your food — sometimes, their very lives — are in your hands.

But if you have the right tools and the right sanitizing solutions, you can ensure clean work stations and safe products every time.

 

 

Food and Beverage: Keeping Production Safe From COVID-19

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) have been responding to the outbreak of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) that was first detected in China and has now spread to almost all countries across the world.

FDA Stance on COVID-19’s Impact on Food and Beverage Production

The Food and Drug Administration has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 virus outbreak and its influence on all the supply chains that the administration oversees. Among a large amount of misinformation that has been spread about the COVID-19 virus, the FDA provides clear guidance on the virus’s effect on the food and beverage industry. In a press release dated February 27, 2020 Stephen M. Hahn M.D. Commissioner of Food and Drugs from the Food and Drug Administration states:

“We are not aware of any reports at this time of human illnesses that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. However, it is always important to follow good hygiene practices (i.e., wash hands and surfaces often, separate raw meat from other foods, cook to the right temperature, and refrigerate foods promptly) when handling or preparing foods.” The beverage production industry falls under the same guidelines for the impact of COVID-19, at this time there are no reports of human illnesses spread through beverage production.[2]

Hygiene Practices for Food and Beverage Production

Although current reporting from the Food and Drug Administration states that the COVID-19 virus has not shown the ability to be transported through food and beverage preparation, it is still important for producers to practice good hygiene and maintenance plans. The food and beverage industry still remains susceptible to foodborne illnesses like the Norovirus, the Hepatitis A virus, Salmonella, and Escherichia coli (E. Coli).

The guidance from the CDC’s message on the COVID-19 outbreak was to focus on good hygiene practices when preparing, packaging, and serving food. The greatest risk to the food and beverage production industry from the COVID-19 virus is workers and employees contracting the virus while at work. Outbreaks at manufacturing sites quickly stall production and disrupt supply chains.

Preparing for and Preventing the COVID-19 Virus

As the COVID-19 virus outbreak spreads across the United States, it is important for food and beverage production industries to plan, prepare, and take preventative action now to protect their employees and communities. The following are steps that the officials and health experts at food and beverage companies can take.

  1. Review, update and implement emergency operation plans (EOPs). Emergency operations plans are the standardized practices and drills that facilities plan to enact in the occurrence of significant risk to employees and the community. These emergency operation plans can be either a strict policy or a flexible emergency template. Either way, EOPs are an essential emergency practice that should be verified and even rehearsed in the face of growing COVID-19 virus risk.
  2. Monitoring plan for signs and symptoms of sick personnel. Infected personnel showing up at work is the quickest and most likely way for the COVID-19 virus to spread within food and beverage industry production plants. Companies throughout the industry need to both monitor and prepare plans of action for personnel who exhibit any flu-like symptoms.
  3. Establish procedures for employees who are sick with any illness to self-quarantine. Procedures for employees in each company will be different, and essential personnel should be identified at each facility. In the case of employees exhibiting flu-like symptoms, there needs to be a method to get them into self-isolation or quarantine.
  4. Perform routine environmental cleaning. Plant cleaning, sterilizing, and maintenance procedures should already be in place at the facilities within the food and beverage industry. It may be necessary to increase the frequency and intensity of the maintenance and cleaning plan at plants in order to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.
  5. Create plans to communicate accurate and timely information across the organization. Information and honest reporting of maintenance practices, COVID-19 response plans, and health statistics are the keys to fighting the spreading of the virus and to keeping key personnel informed.

Overall Effect of the COVID-19 Virus

Food and beverage production companies have overall not been spared by the health and economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Volatile stock market response to the virus outbreak has caused financial insecurities while the health impacts of the virus have created the potential for lapses in the manufacturing, production, and distribution aspects of businesses. The Food and Drug Administration has stepped its monitoring and enforcement of regulations aimed at quality control and keeping workers safe. It is the responsibility of leaders in the industry to enact prudent measures to combat the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.

COVID-19 resources from CDC include:

For more information from the CDC, visit Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

[2] https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-supply-chain-update

 

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Innovations In Sanitation: Meat And Poultry

Good sanitation practices are a crucial component of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). A commitment to sanitation at all levels of the meat and poultry industry is critical to prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses from infecting food processes and causing significant economic losses. Every year the food safety programs at numerous plants and facilities fail at sanitation and spread infected food across the country, requiring expensive recalls. The Center for Disease Control states that there are over forty-eight million cases of foodborne illnesses that occur in the United States every year. At some level in each of these cases, food sanitation equipment and practices failed and put the health of citizens in jeopardy.

Innovation in the area of cleaning and sanitation in the meat and poultry market has been slow. The use of hot water, wet steam, and foaming cleaners and sanitizers have been the status quo for years. And while these products work well to clean wet environments, technological improvements in the packaging, slicing, and other machines have created new areas where “dry” cleaning techniques would be better suited, as well as more portable cleaning solutions.

Steam has been used widely in the meat and poultry market for years. This steam, however, has predominantly been “wet” steam and can include a considerable amount of water by volume. Applications have generally included cleaning and sanitation, and more impactful cleaning like “tenting” of slicers and large equipment. However, due to the “wetness” of the steam, it is not ideal for use where sensitive equipment is susceptible to water damage.

One of Goodway’s most popular dry steam products is the GVC-18000 Heavy-Duty Dry Steam Cleaner. It is one of the most powerful dry steam cleaners in its class utilizing dry steam (about 5% moisture level) to remove difficult grime and grease build up as well as sanitize equipment, eliminating harmful bacteria and microorganisms. Contamination in the meat and poultry industry poses a constant risk to food manufacturers.

One of Goodway’s upcoming products for food equipment sanitation is the Sanitation Chamber. The chamber provides a simple and effective method to sanitize the equipment and tools utilized during food processing in a modular and easy to use design. This chamber pairs excellently with the other sanitation tools and methods that Goodway offers, such as its GVC-18000 model of steam cleaning equipment. Small parts and tools that are placed inside the chamber are sanitized using the high-temperature steam, quickly reaching and maintaining temperatures to remove pathogens.  This process offers one of the first and most effective methods to efficiently sanitize small parts and equipment that would otherwise take intensive amounts of effort and time.

Sanitation practices are essential to successful plant operation. They support safe food production practices that protect consumers and ensure plant production and profits. Goodway provides numerous products that increase the effectiveness and ease of cleaning and sanitation practices.

Next Steps

Check out more information on these products at https://www.goodway.com/industries/food-beverage-processing or contact us today.

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