Across Regions, Equipment/Technology, Health/Nutrition/Food Safety, News June 2024, North America, Processing, fries, chips, Sustainability

Ensuring safe food: FPS celebrates World Food Safety Day with focus on hygienic design and safety controls

In celebration of World Food Safety Day 2024 on June 7, FPS Food Process Solutions (FPS) emphasizes the importance of hygienic design in manufacturing equipment as well as being aware of critical safety controls that can make a difference in food safety in the food processing industry.

With this year’s theme, “Food safety: prepare for the unexpected,” the World Health Organization (WHO) sheds light on food safety incidents and the paramount importance of preparedness. It stresses the shared responsibility of all food business operators involved to play an active role – by preparing for all possible scenarios that could compromise food safety by knowing how to avoid food safety incidents by following good hygiene practices.

Prioritizing food safety control points

According to the WHO, more than 600 million people fall ill and 420,000 die from contaminated food globally each year. Prioritizing food safety control points along the entire food supply chain could prevent potential illnesses even death. As an industrial food equipment manufacturer, FPS looks at hygiene as the number one factor in how its equipment is designed.

But in a globally connected world, safe food controls begin at the source and throughout the food product’s life cycle, from production to processing, before it reaches the consumer’s table. To help us understand the importance of critical food safety control points, insights from three food industry experts weigh in on what needs to be taken into consideration.

Traceability

Tracking food products is like a journey – we need to know where it came from, at what stage it has gone through in the supply chain, how it was processed, and how it finally arrived for consumer use.

In an interview with a food safety specialist from the manufacturing plant sector, he discusses the importance of tracing all connection points to a food product including its source and throughout its production process.

“First and foremost, everything must be food safe. By working closely together with OEMs, we need to make sure that equipment design and operating procedures are being followed correctly. We should have full traceability of everything [that comes] into our products and all the way to our customers.” 

Janice Price, Global Process Specialist at FPS, understands full well food safety concerns not only from an equipment manufacturer but from a customer point of view, having designed and implemented process controls and operational standards at a food manufacturing plant. 

“A food safety incident is really an oversight or inadequate control from the food business operator. We have to look at critical checkpoints to make sure that there is no cross contamination, be it from leftover food debris from a previous production run to condensation dripping onto food.”

Continues Janice, “Whenever product leaves the facility, even the trailers are tagged before they get to their next destination.”

Accessibility & Cleanability

Accessibility is another major food control factor. Being able to access the inside of a food processor such as a freezer, requires the need to gain access to where food can get caught.    Potential contaminants, such as food debris, mould, even chemical substances from cleaning agents, can transfer to a new production batch, leading to possible contamination. Being able to access tight, even difficult spaces that needs to be cleaned thoroughly is a must.

Says Janice, “From a food-safe point of view, we need to make sure that no product is left inside, no pooling of water is sitting in the equipment. We need to make sure that potential allergens from one product are not being transferred to a non-allergen product, and lastly, being able to get inside to clean your equipment. This is what it really means to being able to access your equipment.”

Dianna Fu, Sales Support Manager at FPS, agrees that accessibility and cleanability are essential for food safety, a major design concept that has driven the company to address this safety concern from Day One.

Says Dianna, “Our philosophy is to strive to be the most hygienic OEM. From how we do our enclosure welds, to our internal design structure. Any internal surface area in the freezer means the existence of potential harborage points. FPS tackles this by taking out unnecessary and redundant internal structures, which reduces the chance of food debris and other potential contaminants to remain inside.

“Simultaneously, the elimination of these structures increases the amount of space available for operators to conduct internal cleaning. However, not all spots can be reached manually. With a Clean-in-Place (CIP) System in place, it provides added assurance that the equipment can be food-safe before the next production run.

“As a freezer manufacturer, we are responsible for making sure products are also frozen or chilled correctly.”

Continues Dianna, “Temperature, air flow and retention times must be checked and maintained. And once it leaves our freezers, finished products must also be at the same temperature for packaging, even storage. Understanding environmental factors is a good way to maintain control of the entire factory production line.”

Affordability

As a responsible food equipment manufacturer, FPS is doing its part to minimize food safety incidents. Considering the reputational, financial, and other long-term ramifications of food safety events, can we afford not to have food safety checks in place?

Chimes in the food safety specialist, “It’s important for OEMs to consult with clients well in advance, understand their needs, and see the environment that products and equipment go into. From design to operation, all procedures must be followed correctly.”

 “We want to be partners with our end-users. By understanding and picking the right OEM partner, we prefer to educate and be transparent,” Dianna highlights. “Isn’t that what a true partnership is supposed to be about?”

By communicating with and educating partners, FPS wants to be more than just an equipment manufacturer. Implementing food safety controls throughout the entire process can help minimize, even eliminate the potential risk of food safety events. This preparedness not only safeguards consumers’ health but also builds confidence in a secure food supply.

Source: FPS Food Process Solutions (FPS)
Contact:
Shirley Wong
Communications Manager, Marketing and Communications, FPS
shirley.wong@fpscorp.ca
About FPS Food Process Solutions
FPS Food Process Solutions, a global leader in turn-key food processing solutions, employs over 1000 staff around the world. Established in 2010, FPS has a combined 800,000+ sq. ft (74,500 sq. meters) of space in 20 locations including its Canadian headquarters, manufacturing, and warehouse facilities as well as international sales offices across six continents. Joining the global FPS family are Charlottetown Metal Products (CMP), Total Solutions Ltd (TSL) and GEM Equipment of Oregon (GEM) as subsidiaries and OptiCept Technologies as a strategic partner in PEF technology, further diversifying the company’s product offering with a “one stop shop” to meet customers’ needs. For more information, go to www.fpscorp.ca
Image: Credit FPS

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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