Free Food Processing Plant Hygiene Essay Sample

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Food, Foodstuffs, Risk, Processing, Equipment, Cleanliness, Chemical, Hygiene

Pages: 10

Words: 2750

Published: 2020/11/24


Food processing plant hygiene is the anticipation, identification, evaluation, control and prevention of risks which will otherwise result in injuries and illness in food processing plants. These risks may be chemical, physical or biological. In risks, identification collection of information is done from various sources. Chemical risks can be understood through the toxicological study of dose-response profile. In the food processing plants, the safety of food is given a high priority. Strict safety standards and regulations in most food processing plants ensure that safety is maintained during production of food, processing of food, food handling and packaging. The equipment and machines used in food production are continually upgraded. To further ensure the safety of food, authorities concern undertake regular inspections in food processing plants.Irish legislation on factory hygiene (operational)
In Ireland, legislation on factory hygiene in most food processing plants is enforced by The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI). This body was established under Food Safety Authority of Ireland Act, 1998. This body ensures that food produced attain the required standard, and proper hygiene is observed during processing in various food factories. Companies are required to find the legal requirement listed below.

Legal requirement for food transport

Equipment which are used in carrying processed foodstuffs such containers and conveyance must always kept clean and regular servicing done to ensure they remain in good condition in order to prevent contamination of foodstuffs and designed in such a way that disinfection and cleaning are adequately permitted.
Food stuff that are bulky in nature and are the form of powder, liquid or granulated must be transported using containers or receptacles which are reserved for the transportation of foodstuffs the foodstuffs are at risk of being contaminated. Containers used for this purpose must be marked in indelible and clear fashions using different languages indicating they are only used for transporting foodstuffs. Anything other than foodstuffs must not be transported in containers of vehicles equipped with receptacles where there is a risk of foodstuffs being contaminated.In the situation where the containers and conveyances are used in transporting other materials together with the foodstuffs at the same time, the products must be separated effectively to prevent contamination risks (SIVASANKAR, 2002). Effective cleaning is must be done in the situation where containers or conveyances have been used to transport other materials other than foodstuffs to avoid risk of foodstuffs being contaminated. The cleaning process is carried out between loadings.Foodstuffs placed in containers and conveyances must be effectively protected so that contamination risks are minimized. Containers and conveyances that can maintain the foodstuffs at a required temperature must be used in transporting foodstuffs. Several ways are employed in the factories to ensure that the temperature of foodstuffs is maintained at appropriate temperature: - insulated simple plastic trays or boxes and vehicles equipped with refrigeration facilities are used to maintain foodstuffs at the required temperature. Legal requirement for equipment
All equipment and fittings that comes into contacts with foodstuffs must always be kept clean and in good conditions in order to minimize contamination risks. Proper maintenance and repair of the equipment must be done. Where the equipment is not non-returnable, the construction must be done using a material that enable maintaining of good order, proper cleaning and disinfection that is sufficient for the intended purpose. Nonabsorbent material preferably used in the equipment construction.The equipment must be kept clean, and the installation allow surrounding area to be effectively cleaned. The surrounding area of any equipment must be made accessible to make cleaning and disinfection easy (SIVASANKAR, 2002).The cleaning and disinfection of the equipment are done after or before an undertaking to minimize the risk of contamination.Legal requirement on food wasteThe wastes from processing and other refuse must not be accumulated in the food room unless the circumstance is unavoidable so as to ensure proper functioning of the plant. Special closable containers must be used to accumulate the refuse and food waste except where the plant management can convince the authority other types of containers are appropriate to use. The construction of the container in use must be appropriate, in good conditions and easy to disinfect and clean where necessary. Provisions for the removal and storage of the food wastes and other refuse must be made. The design of Refuse stores must allow for cleaning protection against contamination of foodstuffs, equipment and drinking water by pests.Legislation on water supplyWater supply must be clean and adequate and portable where necessary. To avoid contamination of foodstuffs portable water is where necessary. The portable water is use in food production, food equipment cleaning, washing of hands, food washing and steam cleaners. Ice must be made from water where necessary. The ice is used to prevent contamination of the foodstuffs. The water must be made and protected from contamination through proper handling and storing in special conditions. In the situation where steam is used directly and in contact with foodstuff, it must be free from substances that can result in health hazards and likely to cause contamination of the foodstuffs.
Water not safe for drinking and used in steam generation, fire control, refrigeration and other purposes which are not related to foodstuffs must be conducted using identifiable separate system to private the possibility of mixing and contaminating portable water. Distribution of non-potable water in plants is, therefore, is done in a separate distribution system and the system outlet distributing non-portable water clearly marked. Legislation on personal hygieneAll people involve in food handling must maintain a high degree of cleanliness and dressed in clothes that can provide appropriate protection. People suffering from diseases that are likely to be transmitted through foodstuffs such as diarrhea, sores and skin infections must not be allowed to work in the area where food is being handled if there if risk of the foodstuffs being contaminated by the pathogens. Appropriate measures should be taken where an employee is identified to be suffering from the above-mentioned diseases with an aim of eliminating foodstuffs. DisinfectantsDisinfectants are chemical agents that are used to kill growth of harmful living organisms within objects. These chemicals are used effectively to reduce the number of small living organisms that may be found in an item for it to be safe for handling (Lelieveld & Mostert, 2003). They are used in the food industry to sanitize and preserve areas where preparations of food take place. Disinfection is almost similar to sterilization. Although both are ways of cleaning for safety, sterilization is severe and kills all the microorganisms present in the object. Cleaning that is also a process of decontamination is also used but is not effective for sterilization and disinfection. The chemical agents used for sterilization are classified in terms of their type, heat, and irradiation. The process of choosing which disinfectant to apply requires vast knowledge of these chemicals. Their choice is based on suitability, effectiveness and application process to realize the intended purpose. Suitability and effectiveness The knowledge of the suitability of disinfectants for a particular use before application is very essential. Suitability are contained in the guidelines for selecting on choosing of disinfectants alongside recommendations. The first to be considered is the type of microorganism intended to be used upon. The fact that these chemical agents do not destroy all microorganism in which they may be in contact with and may as well not disinfect all the surfaces is very important in the selection process. It is realized that disinfectants are not effective in bacteria spores. Consideration must, therefore, be taken to the spectrum in which they are applied. Most disinfectants effective in bacteria may not be able to destroy viruses or may have a problem with killing them (Huub & Domagoj, 2005). Others may be effective in both of these organisms. Manufacturers of these chemicals must completely outline the specific cases in which their application is fit. They should particularly advice on which microorganism the chemical is specific to handle. If the user is not aware of whether the organism present are bacteria or viruses, they should be advised to employ the use of general purpose disinfectant.The medium in which the chemical is intended to be used is of great significance. The medium may be a clean or a dirty surface. Dirty surfaces are always full of foreign materials that might introduce some effects to these chemical agents. The material present in this medium may reduce the activity of these chemical agents rendering them ineffective that could present a significant loss. Disinfectants are manufactured from organic materials, and if the surface they are intended for has some traces of organic materials, their effectiveness may reduce significantly. Presence of other chemicals on the surface is another foreign material that should be done away with before applying these chemicals. These chemicals include soaps and other detergents. Optimum conditions of PH, concentration and temperature must be considered as they reduce the effectiveness of these chemicals. Clean surfaces require a low concentration of the disinfectant compared to dirty surfaces. All these disinfection policies should clearly be stated by the manufacturer so that the user may be well equipped with the knowledge before carrying out the process of disinfection (SIVASANKAR, 2002)In addition, consideration of the material of the surfaces and equipment is important for the safety of application of the disinfectant. Some of these chemical agents are very reactive and can chemically attack the surface and equipment to be disinfected. Disinfectants containing solvents cannot be used on plastic surfaces since they will chemically react with plastic chemical elements. Metals surfaces are also very reactive to these disinfection agents. Disinfection agents contain strong acids or alkalis; electrolytes and halogens are corrosive to metal surfaces. Therefore, before application, users are advised to seek manufacturer’s advice on the suitability and effectiveness of the disinfectants on the different surfaces and equipment before applying them. Risks involved with disinfection agents should be confirmed before even thinking of ordering the disinfectant product. Disinfectants are very strong chemical agents that are very corrosive and toxic in nature. They may result from severe damage both to the skin and eye in case they come into contact with such organs. Irritation effects have been realized with hypochlorite and glutaraldehydes. If used in poorly ventilated condition, respiratory problems are also likely to occur as a result of inhaling their vapor or gas. Gases that result frothem reactions with other chemicals can be very hazardous with some being poisonous and highly flammable. Before the application of any disinfectant, the first is to carry out risk assessment as required by the COSSH Regulations. Care should be taken in handling of highly concentrated disinfectants and dilution carried out if necessary. Splashing of these chemicals should be avoided at all cost, and the user should also ensure that hand gloves and face protection visor are worn during application. Suitability and effectiveness consideration are the initial stages of a process of disinfectant use. With the high risks involved, safety sheets for recording the data must be provided by the manufacturers. The effectiveness and efficiency of use are the only way of reducing the risks involved with the use of these highly hazardous chemicals. Some disinfectants are double acting and may be of an added advantage to the user. Example include those disinfectants with both cleaning and disinfection property. ApplicationThe application process of disinfectants is very involving and are grouped into method of application. These methods include; circulation, submersion, spraying, fogging and manual application. Also referred to as open bucket system, submersion involves the use of disposable cellulosic materials especially cotton rag wipers where these wipers are submerged into the chemical agent and then used to wipe the various surfaces. Before application, the chemical concentration of the disinfectant is checked by dipping a paper indicator into the solution. Spraying involves the use of spraying devices to ensure that the surface intended is well covered with the disinfectant solution. Organization of sanitation programs
Sanitation is the creation and application of sanitary procedures in the ensuring clean and healthy environment. Hygiene within food processing plants is essential for ensuring that the firm provides its customers with healthy food products. It has been proved that most food related sickness are as a result of poor sanitation, ignorance of food hygiene including workers personal hygiene and contamination of the food production environment. To avoid these effects, proper organization strategies must be put in place to ensure safety from these effects. The whole system cycle including the instruments, water, air, and the environment are very important as far as this programs are to be implemented. General guidelines for the organization must be established properly (Huub & Domagoj, 2005).
The first guideline is to identify hygiene principles all over the production, storage and supply to the consumer chain. The guidelines are necessary for ensuring safety and suitability of the food for human consumption. Moreover, employing the HACCP-based approach provides assurance and enhancement of food safety. It is also important to state how the principles outlined are implemented. Every sector of the production chain is given specific codes to accomplish the hygiene requirements of those specific areas.
Programs implemented in ensuring proper hygiene always leaves nothing to chance. Every sector and parameters must be designated to specific individuals for accountability. Cleaning frequency is one of the programs that must have necessary schedule to allow no room for dirt and other impurities to infiltrate the system. Cleaning can be carried before and during the production process depending on the type of cleaning to be undertaken. Chemicals to be used for sanitation purposes are outlined effectively to limit the error of using chemicals in a wrong place. Perhaps verification by the various health officers of the records of sanitation procedures is a program that should be ensured as scheduled. They verify whether the procedures are carried out effectively and consistently. Finally, combination of proper leadership and training of the workers of the industry ensures effectiveness of communication, an essential tool for smooth running of every sanitation program. Plant layout and segregation requirements
The plant layout and design of food processing industries present some significant differences when comparison are made. The difference is brought by the fact that the processing of food products are different in from production of other industrial products. Some of the major differences are in areas of the area of equipment used and the design of the workspace (Lopez-Gomez, 2005). Several considerations bring about these differences. These considerations include storage life, verification level, and susceptibility, variability of raw materials and chemical complexity of various foods. Therefore, the designs implemented should consider sanitation levels, ways of dealing with material contamination, preventing deterioration and accommodation of seasonal production to maximize production at all times.
Food production units have several operations being carried. They include: freezing, washing and cleaning, foaming, pasteurization and sterilization, baking, canning, fermentation and many others. The design of the factory is to leave no room for the risk of contamination through microbiological, physical and chemical means (Lopez-Gomez, 2005). Hygiene consideration in relation to design and layout of the plant helps in the reduction of risks. The layout should segregate the plant into three levels of hygiene. The first is the general manufacturing practice area that has minimum manufacturing hygienic practices. Examples include flour milling area and sugar confectionery. The other level of hygiene status is the high care area. High care area is a segregated area where practices of high standards are carried out. Examples of such practices include handling of ingredients and packaging. The goal is to minimize pathogenic microorganism contamination. Lastly, an area of high risk is segregated for very high standard level hygiene. High-risk food, food product meant for consumption by when cold or after simply passing heat through it without much cooking involved. Such foods from rich growing area for pathogenic microorganisms that are toxic and may cause food poisoning are very dangerous. All these requirements if adhered to form the basis of successful food company (Huub & Domagoj, 2005). Conclusion
Food processing industries almost affect the everyday life of individuals in all parts of the world since almost all the meals contain one or more units produced by the industries. If the regulations are followed to the latter by prosecuting those involved in violating the rules, safety to the consumers is assured. This essay outlines how disinfectants can be used or applied for sanitation purposes to avoid contamination with raw materials for food processing or food products. Sanity cannot be assured only by use of disinfectants but also with proper design and plant layout. The layout considered and use of proper construction material summarizes all the requirements of any food processing industry.

List of References

Huub, L. & Domagoj, G., 2005. Handbook of Hygiene Control in the Food Industry. S.l.: Elsevier.
Lelieveld, H. & Mostert, M. A., 2003. Hygiene in Food Processing: Principles and Practice. s.l.:Elsevier.
Lopez-Gomez, A., 2005. Food Plant Design. S.l.:CRC Press .

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