What Makes a Product Hygienic?

What Makes a Product Hygienic?

One of the most important aspects of producing the food we all need and love, is maintaining good hygiene. Essentially, this involves keeping food processing areas clean with minimal risk of contamination. Keeping everyone from the producers to the consumers healthy and safe is of paramount importance.

There are many ways to ensure the safety of food by lowering potential risks. Different products, depending on their purposes, possess different features to ensure the minimum chance of contamination occurs.

Some of these main characteristics include:

   Disposability

Many products that come in direct contact with food, are used only once and/or for a short period of time, such as one shift. This prevents cross contamination, particularly for industries that work with allergens. Also, single use products reduce the chance of harmful bacteria building up on gloves or clothing, that have close contact with food.

   Limited parts 

Products that are commonly found in the food industry feature limited parts, particularly those that are small. Reducing parts, such as tags, toggles, and buttons, prevents the chance of them coming loose and contaminating food product.

   Plastic

There are many advantages of having plastic products, but the main benefit in relation to hygiene, is the prevention of rust. Rust is a key hygiene concern, which is why products such as buckets and cleaning equipment are now available in plastic. 

   Metal detectable 

Metal detectable products include a percentage of metal within plastic, that allows the product to be detected by a metal detector. This allows products to be detected on conveyor belts and production lines. Metal detectable products are usually small such as stationery, earplugs, and handheld cleaning products which are easy to misplace. 

 Sani-fix

Sani-fix is a unique system that allows dispensers and shadow boards to be affixed to magnetic surfaces, without penetrating the surface of the wall. This means that it can easily be relocated for convenience, and for cleaning.

   Colour coding 

Colour coding is also essential for the reduction of cross contamination. Visual colour coding is the most effective way that a company can segregate allergen related products, or anything that may cause potential harm. This is important particularly for cleaning, as small particles and bacteria may linger on equipment and be transferred from area to area.

   Washable

Some products are too expensive to be made disposable, therefore being able to clean them with ease is vital. Many products feature curved edges and smooth surfaces to allow maximum chance of cleanliness.

   Non-touch / Auto Dispense

During Covid-19, we have all attempted to reduce touching, as it increases the spread of bacteria and viruses. Automated hand towel dispensers can provide a suitable amount of hand towel, without the need to touch the next piece of towel.

   Resin set

Resin is like a glue which sets completely solid. Brushes with resin-set bristles reduce the chance of bristles coming loose and falling out, contaminating food. 

   Less lint 

When cleaning up, it is important to remove all substance from the area, and consequently cloths and wipers are needed that leave minimal lint behind when in use.

   Pocketless

Hygiene wear is designed to protect the food from the handlers. Having pockets is generally viewed as a convenience, however this increases the chance of items falling out, and makes it a potential risk to the food.

 

A lot of research has gone into food industry related products, to ensure the highest possible level of hygiene, and ensure food safety as a priority. It is recommended that only products that have been designed for food processing areas, are used by food processors.

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