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Food Safety Best Practices – Part II (Equipment and Utensils)

By May 29, 2018Best Practices, Blog

The FDA has rigorous guidelines outlining how food manufacturers should manage their businesses. These rules cover everything from weeding the lawn, to the kind of grouting and enamel to use on table surfaces. In this short series of posts, CERTUS is going to take you through some of the most relevant (and easily overlooked) parts of the “Current good manufacturing practices” (CGMP.)

Equipment and Utensils:

At the heart of your production plant, is your machinery and equipment. It’s what allows you to maintain your high standards, and it helps you maintain consistency across your product line. But if your equipment slips into disrepair, or if it isn’t properly maintained, your machinery can become a liability. The FDA has produced several guidelines for how to properly clean and manage this vital part of your company.

Initial Standards:

  • All equipment should be designed to be easily cleanable.
  • Each piece of machinery must be designed to avoid contamination from oil, metal fragments, fuel, or any other related bi-product.
  • Food-contact surfaces should be corrosion-resistant, and non-toxic.

Construction and Cleanliness:

 Seams on food-contact surfaces must be made so as to avoid the collection of contaminants. Large welds, for example, cannot be used.

  • Any equipment near the food (even if it is not in contact) must be easily cleanable.

Cold Storage and Measuring Devices:

  •  Any cold storage unit must have a thermometer, and an automatic control.
  • Any equipment which measures PH value (or any related measurement) must be well-maintained, and you must have enough of them to accurately measure those values, regardless of how much products you are creating.

There are many specific guidelines provided by the FDA. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, so we recommend you take a look at the full guide on the FDA’s website. Following these guidelines is an excellent first step towards food safety for your product, and your business.