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How Technology is Transforming Sanitation
by Steven P. Weiland  
The Food Safety Modernization Act and the Global Food Safety Initiative have changed the game for those in the food processing industry.
The industry has responded with new sanitation technologies that not only help meet regulatory requirements — they also allow companies to better manage and monitor their sanitation routines. Let’s examine seven technical trends that can help a modern food facility manage often-complex sanitation programs.
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1.   Automatic and centralized chemical dispensing. New options for dispensing sanitation chemicals deliver more accurate and consistent chemical solutions by monitoring and controlling product concentrations and rates; while ensuring that concentrations are within acceptable and safe limits and reducing worker & food safety risk.
A centralized chemical handling system can save money by reducing chemical waste and labor costs through more efficient applications. Wall-mounted equipment saves usable storage space and can reduce accidents from chemical handling and mixing. Transitioning to this system does take some up-front investment. So be sure to determine feasibility and evaluate costs versus long-term benefits.
2.   Digital recordkeeping and chemical responsibility. Digital recordkeeping tools allow users to keep real-time reports on usage. In addition to meeting regulatory standards, keeping digital records allows the user to provide valuable information to the end-user, such as proof that all chemicals are being used responsibly and without worry of chemical residues.
Digital records have operational benefits too. A digital chemical inventory system can keep real-time reports on chemical usage to spot inconsistencies that may signal procedural drift. Digital systems can also automate supply ordering for more efficient purchasing and cost management.
3.   Advances in rapid micro-testing. Rapid microbial testing kits are growing in popularity in the food processing industry to screen for possible contamination in production environments. By screening for different groups of bacteria, rapid tests indicate that something in the plant could be unsanitary.
4.   Chain rail drives automatic cleaning solutions. Chain oil and lubricants can be an adulteration risk in animal processing plants using overhead rails. It’s not uncommon for rail lubricants to drip onto conveyors and other food contact surfaces. New chain rail drives with automatic cleaners solve these problems. Systems are programmable with specified cleaning regimens and wash cycles and can be integrated into centralized chemical handling for truly “hands free” operation.
5.   Chemical misting regimens. Misting or fogging using specialized chemicals can be useful in controlling microbial growth in hard-to-clean areas.
Fogging produces a particle size in the range of 10 to 50 microns, which allows the particles to remain suspended in the air until they evaporate.
No-rinse sanitizing is also becoming common in many food facilities. To minimize risk of chemical contamination, these systems must use precision blending and customized metering, combined with accurate and consistent chemical sprays.
6.   Improved clean-in-place (CIP) options. CIP systems have been in the industry for a while and have proven to be extremely beneficial for sanitizing interior surfaces of equipment, such as tanks and pipes, which cannot be easily reached for cleaning. The latest CIP systems allow chemical concentrations to be adjusted along with water temperature and flow rates inside the closed CIP system. For optimal functioning and food safety planning, establish a regular preventive maintenance program.
7.   Boot scrubbing stations 2.0. Worker boots and shoes can be major sources of contamination, which is why many highly sensitive food facilities utilize a captive footwear policy to ensure workers are outfitted with top-quality, clean footwear. Newer footwear scrubbers on the market show better overall hygienic design, ruggedness, and much easier cleaning and maintenance. Adding them in to your higher-risk food production facilities may help enhance the value of a captive footwear program and help reduce risks from dirty footwear cross-contamination.
Article Source: https://www.foodqualityandsafety.com/article/food-facility-sanitation-chemicals/
Did you Know Image
Viruses are not alive: They do not have cells, they cannot turn food into energy, and without a host they are just inert packets of chemicals.
Viruses are not exactly dead, either: They have genes, they reproduce, and they evolve through natural selection.
Amoebas turn out to be great places to seek out new viruses. They like to swallow big things and so serve as a kind of mixing bowl where viruses and bacteria can swap genes.
Viruses are already known to infect animals, plants, fungi, protozoa, archaea, and bacteria.
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