Eat (Really) Clean – It Tastes Better
Whether you work in food production, processing, or packaging, you could benefit from our full spectrum of the most current innovations in cleanroom equipment and supplies at Hutchins & Hutchins, Inc.
It probably seems straightforward at first: we don’t want harmful bacteria on our food. Therefore, a cleanroom is one of the most comprehensive ways to keep food, well, clean.
It goes further than avoiding another Chipotle-esque scandal, however. Food technology experts suggest that cleanrooms between ISO classes 5-8 can improve the quality and storage times of different food items. When working with perishable goods, here are a few aspects you should keep in mind for your cleanroom.
According to Food Safety Magazine, having a well thought-out barrier system in place is one of the basic concepts for avoiding contamination. One should have control over every potential entry and exit point in the room, including the openings for pipes, drains, and vents. Not only does this help keep pests and dust away from your customers’ dinner; it also keeps the air pressure in your cleanroom from fluctuating too wildly.
One product we’d like to suggest is the Through Wall Pass-Thru Systems manufactured by Atmos-Tech Industries. This product allows you to pass items through barriers while keeping the cleanroom’s air pressure and particle count balanced. Effective zoning of separate processes within the same plant is key to preventing cross-contamination and applying appropriate practices to items with different hygienic needs.
Close your eyes and think about a lamp in your typical, non-cleanroom environment. There’s a strong chance that the lamp you’re imagining is collecting dust, casting shadows, and causing heat (which attracts bugs and bacteria).
Obviously, these aren’t things you want in your cleanroom. Sealed Troffer Lighting, however, will help you circumvent those issues with a smooth, low-brightness lens and a flush frame. Plus, it’s designed for your cleanroom’s ceiling, which is ideal for minimizing shadow. We probably don’t have to mention that a hot, humid, bug-infested room can severely impact the taste and safety of any food item.
This year, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will go into effect. For the food industry, this means higher expectations for preventive controls, as well as more accountability for monitoring procedures.
With that in mind, the Portable Particle Counter will help you exceed the FDA’s expectations. With its small size and large screen, you have the ability to monitor airflow, humidity, temperature, and up to six different particle sizes – no matter where you are. If the air and temperature are stable, the taste of your food is stable – not to mention there’s less bacteria changing your product before it makes it to the shelf.
The Portable Particle Counter also has the ability to store up to 10,000 measurements, so you have a comprehensive data history to use when taking any course of corrective action. You’ll be able to fight any potential health risks before they arise, and both the Federal Government and your consumers will be much happier for it.
For those in the food industry, these are just a few ideas to keep in mind when designing or updating your cleanroom. If you’re at all new to food production or cleanroom design, the importance of everyday equipment – like lighting – can be easy to overlook. We implore you to think outside of the particle-controlled box: what are some other ways to improve the taste and shelf-life of the food you produce in your cleanroom?
Cleanroom technology ensures longer-lasting produce- 2011. foodprocessing.com.au
Moerman M.Sc., Hygienic Design of Food Processing Facilities- 2010. Food Safety Magazine.
Lindstrom, Food Industry Regulatory Outlook for 2016- 2016. www.foodprocessing.com