The sanitizer most commonly used in wash tanks is chlorine. Consistent monitoring of the amount of chlorine is critical. Documentation of the initial concentration
and subsequent checks is a key indicator for me. In addition to the dosage amount,
the amount of free chlorine, pH, temperature, and the amount of organic matter
(what is in the water in addition to the sanitizer, e.g., soil) all impact the effectiveness
of the sanitizer.
Currently, I am monitoring an ongoing validation study of an advanced washing
system that utilizes nanosonic technology as opposed to chemical sanitizers used to
clean fruit and vegetables. The study will determine the log reduction of L. mono-
Sorting is basically a grading process
in the IQF vegetable business. Blemished, defective, and damaged product
is removed from a conveyor belt by
employees and/or an electronic vision
sorter. In my opinion, a combination of
both is best. I am all for redundancy in
the system. 3 Laser-color sorters are my
favorite. A hardwired unit can receive
software updates in real time to increase
effectiveness. The placement of a laser
sorter within the process depends on the
type of vegetable material being run. As
an example, in an IQF-chopped (diced)
operation, the optimum location for the
sorter is ideally after receiving. A robust
receiving area will utilize a sand/stone
removal tunnel and an air separator to
remove heavy material.
Multiple validation studies have been
conducted in regard to the most effective means to laser-color-sort spinach.
The data collected clearly indicated a
significant difference in the ability to
detect a controlled sample of common
types of FM found in harvested spinach
that remained on the leaves or conveyor
belt after the receiving process. Dry,
whole leaves have a higher tendency to
not curl around FM; curling shields the
object from the near-infrared sensor.
A vigorous and effective wash step is
mandatory in the IQF process. Processors are beginning to perform validation
studies in their washing steps to understand the effectiveness of their washing
process. Performing a validation study
of the washing process can add to the
sum total of an overall 5-log reduction
of Listeria monocytogenes. In addition, to
clean potable water with robust agitation, the wash water needs a consistent
and validated amount of sanitizer. If the
wash system recirculates the water, this
variable must be included in the validation study, and in most cases, the ppm
of sanitizer should increase. If the correct concentration is not maintained in
the water, washing can have the opposite effect and potentially contaminate
Will Your Food Plant Pass a GFSI Certification Audit?
If your plant is going to undergo an SQF, BRC, or FSSC 22000 audit, the
compressed air requirements can be difficult to understand.
Is your plant’s compressed air in compliance with SQF, BRC, or FSSC 2200 codes?
In most applications where compressed air is used—such as mixing, cutting,
sparging, blow-off, propelling, and packaging—it is either in direct or indirect
contact with the food. The warm, dark, moist
environment inside a compressed air system
creates perfect conditions for microbes to
grow and flourish. Along with moisture and
particulate matter, inlet air to a compressor
carries approximately 5 to 50 bacteria per
CFM. A 75-hp compressor with a capacity of
300 SCFM therefore takes in 100,000 to 1
million bacteria each hour. These potentially dangerous contaminants must be
removed or reduced to acceptable levels to protect the consumer and comply
with food safety regulations.
What will an auditor look for?
The auditor will be looking to make sure that adequate protection in the
form of filtration is in place to reduce microbial contamination risks from
compressed air where it contacts the food or food contact surfaces.
Are there any Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) or industry standards to
Many different published GMPs exist for compressed air used in food plants.
Locating and making sense of them can be challenging. Employing the most
critical elements from the published GMPs significantly reduces the risk of
contamination from compressed air at point of contact with food and food
Best GMPs for compressed air in food processing plants
To help companies adhere to Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) standards
and pass an audit, Parker has developed a white paper that provides an easy,
step by step process to effective compressed air treatment. In it, you’ll find the
• A benchmarking of recently published GMPs as they relate to compressed
air use under a GFSI (SQF, BRC, FSSC 22000)
• The best GMPs for compressed air quality in a
food processing facility based on these published
Get the white paper for free today. Download:
or call 1.800.343.4048.