How to Reduce Food Contamination - Ask the Expert!
Which are the main sources of contamination during the filling phase?
To mark the World Food Safety Day, we share an article by Ilaria Trento, Food & Microbiology Scientist at FILL good.
HOW TO IDENTIFY THE POTENTIAL SOURCES OF CONTAMINATION?
After looking into the shelf life of food products and how to extend it, today we are going to discover the procedures and methods to identify the main sources of contamination during the filling phase and to prevent it from happening.
To this end, the entire process must be closely monitored, from the delivery of raw materials to the surfaces and equipment involved in the processing, to the filling machine itself.
The manual operations carried out on the machine are a major source of contamination in food manufacturing. Indeed, the way the operator handles the machine before or during production often jeopardizes the final quality of the product.
As an atypical risk, keeping contamination under control requires the definition and application of specific procedures.
WHICH PROCEDURES HELP REDUCE FOOD CONTAMINATION?
Reducing food contamination risks requires the implementation of suitable procedures to clean and sanitize all manufacturing and packaging equipment. Nevertheless, it is also essential to increase awareness among operators about the risks related to human factors.
Operators must be fully trained on sanitizing hands, using clean garments intended for food processing, and wearing disposable gloves, shoe covers and hats, especially when dealing with highly perishable foods. These steps go hand in hand with suitable food safety posters and regular checks by production managers.
Training is also fundamental to learn how to manage product changeovers and breakdowns, so as to minimize the occurrence of accidental contamination due to a lack of awareness among operators.
HOW TO REDUCE THE RISK OF CONTAMINATION DURING THE FILLING PHASE?
Given the importance of human factors, the first step to reduce the risk of contamination during filling is to automate operations on the machine, especially cleaning.
The most advanced machines feature automated cleaning and sanitization cycles for the parts directly in contact with food, which minimize human intervention and, consequently, contamination risks.
Another advancement, also offered by Galdi's Ultra Clean configuration, comes from the tunnels’ overpressure systems and automatic cleaning of the parts indirectly in contact with food.
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