Hygienic Enclosure Designs
Some of the hygienic design principles applied to equipment and installations in the food and beverage industry include having parts that are easy to disassemble and clean down to microscopic levels, having no crevices where fluids or products can accumulate, made of materials that will not react with the product, among other principles.
Hygienic Enclosure Designs Principles
- The equipment and its components should have no imperfections such as “pits, cracks, corrosion, recesses, open seams, gaps, lap seams, overhanging ledges, inside threads, bolt rivets, and dead ends.” This prevents cross-contamination and material accumulation.
- When under regular operations, the machine should be able to carry on with its function in such a way that it will not result in unhygienic conditions that can encourage bacterial growth.
- The maintenance enclosures should be designed and installed in such a way that there will be no cross-contamination and collection of fluids, materials, or products in any part of the components. This also applies to human-machine interaction controls such as “push buttons, valve handles, switches, touch-screens, and other implements.”
- Machines and other components should also be designed in such a way that they are hygienically-compatible with other machines and components that are part of the manufacturing line such as “ electrical, hydraulics, steam, air and water.“
- For each equipment, cleaning and sanitation processes should be well-crafted, tested, documented, and validated as effective and efficient. The method of cleaning and the chemicals that should be applied should not produce any adverse reactions that can result in unsanitary conditions.
- The plant and equipment inside should be designed with overall sanitation in mind to ensure that no cross-contamination or unhygienic scenarios can develop.
- Food manufacturers should also comply with audits and regulations when designing the equipment and its components,
- Equipment should be easy to disassemble completely to ensure that plant technicians can thoroughly perform cleaning and inspection on it.
- Equipment components should be “cleanable down to the microbiological level.”
- The components should also be manufactured using acceptable materials.
- There should be no crevices or cracks where products or fluid can stagnate.
- The equipment’s hollow parts should also be hermetically-enclosed.
- The physical design of equipment enclosures should be “sloped or pitched” to prevent the pooling of products or liquid materials in any part of the equipment.
- The materials used to build the equipment should also be compatible with the “product, environment, cleaning and sanitizing chemicals, and the methods of cleaning and sanitation.”