A food processing plant is responsible for packing raw material and bringing it to our tables in packages. We get to enjoy some truly delicious delicacy thanks to food packaging. Usually, we may not have access to these products. It may be due to the season, unavailability in a particular locality or that the fresh produce may be too expensive.
The process of packing food is quite intricate, so the industry has to be really careful. The workers have to observe the rules and regulations which the food authorities uphold. Furthermore, the procedure requires a lot of expertise. There are a lot of things that can go wrong in-between all that is happening.
There are certain precautions that the factories can take, which will decrease the chances of contamination. Here are the top ten components which can help in maintaining a sanitary food processing:
The most important aspect of keeping a food processing plant hygienic is to keep the heat in constant check. The temperature needs to be between -5°C to 22°C to keep the food in the best shape.
The food that you need to that has to be done gradually in a refrigerator or cold water dip. It will assure that the bacteria do not grow on or around it. The place where the factory is storing food has to be under constant observation.
2. Personal Hygiene of the Workers:
The workers who are handling the food items need to be careful while holding food. There are specific guidelines which they need to observe for the factory to stay sanitary. The first and foremost is that the clothes they wear should be clean. The plant officials should provide them with protective clothing, hair nets, masks, and cover for their footwear.
The employees should remove any such objects such as watches, chains, and rings before they begin. They should also store any other objects that can fall and contaminate the product. Furthermore, the management should not permit any activity such as eating, drinking, and smoking on the factory floor.
3. Training the Members of Staff:
The staff needs to have the proper training to handle the food. The factory should employ the services of professional nutritionist and hygienist before the start of the operation. They should be aware of what they should and should not do. The staff can explain the rules and regulations very clearly so that there is no ambiguity.
The trainer should design the program in such a way to make it informative and thorough in every minute detail. The plant workers should get motivation from it to be a willing participant. Moreover, the management should repeat the training after a certain period so that there is no lax in the employee’s stance.
4. Equipment Maintenance:
The equipment in the food processing plant should run optimally. If any of the components are not functioning well, then you should immediately repair or replace it.
The pipes and valves should be clean and should not trap any of the material passing through them. The engineers should use only those systems which have the least chance of corrosion. Moreover, the pipe or valve should not allow the stuff to get stuck in it.
Butterfly valves can operate under these conditions. Since it does not have any cavities inside it to deposit material. However, the management should be careful in purchasing equipment for the factory. They should only buy from a well-reputed valve manufacturer. The SIO butterfly valve assures the sanitation of the process for a long time.
5. Factory Sanitation:
The food processing plant has to be clean so that there is no foodborne illness. If you keep even part of the plant dirty, it results in contamination of the whole factory. Bacteria can grow and transfer from one point to another in time whatsoever.
You will have to sanitize every workstation properly each day before starting and after ending the shift. Since seemingly clean surface can have bacteria growing on it.
6. Food Adulteration:
The industry which processes food should avoid food contamination. It refers to any chemical or product which the factory uses to enhance the taste, quality, or quantity of the raw food. They can be unsanitary and harmful to health. Although food regulation authorities ban any such item, still there are some who use it.
7. Raw Material Transport:
The fresh food material which needs to reach the processing station has to be in original state. The employees should be careful that they are not in contact with flies or dust. The food should have proper cover.
If possible, the food should be in packaging instead of exposing them to the elements. Moreover, you should place the food in the cold storage. The station they pass through should be clean beforehand so that nothing may stick to it before the workers can pack them.
8. Sanitary Packing Material:
The packaging that the company will use to store the end product should go through many checks. Firstly, the material which the plant uses should have the seal of approval from the competent authority. You have to make sure you avoid plastics and content which can react with food and release toxic chemicals.
9. Pest Control:
The biggest threat that the food processing plants face externally is rodents and different pests which lurk about in corners. The pests can damage the food containers as well as the equipment. They can get in places where taking them out is next to impossible. The company should employ various countermeasures to contain the threat. There should be regular sprays to control the population of the pests.
10. Waste Disposal:
The company should use a proper waste disposal system. It will help in getting rid of any unwanted product and all the factory waste. The byproducts can be unsanitary, and if you keep it for long, then they can rot and attract more nuisance.
Food processing is a very delicate job. It requires constant vigilance on the part of those managing the plant. There are a lot of internationally recognized companies that are providing some excellent services. The quality of the food product depends a lot on the sanitation. Therefore, it is essential that we take every tiny care detail.