The world is always moving towards faster and smarter ways of doing things and process industries are no strangers to this idea. Especially since the advent of technology, production processes have been continuously fine-tuned to maximise throughput and minimise time loss. While some such standard practices became revolutionary, a lot others also failed.
Considering the meat processing industry for the sake of argument, the common denominator between all the practices that failed more or less happens to be the auxiliary effects that the manufacturer failed to consider. Two of the most important effects are lack of hygiene and bacterial contamination. The latter could be called the consequence of the former, however, this article will try to explore into both effects.
Lack of Hygiene
To understand this effect, it is important to clear a common misconception around Hygiene. When one says ‘Hygienic Air Handling Unit’, it is common misconception to interpret it as Air Handling Units for a Hygienic process. While it may also be true, the real meaning behind ‘Hygienic Air Handling Unit’ is that the unit itself is made of hygienic components. This enables the possibility of cleaning the unit frequently (and ensure quick drying) in order to reduce the possibility of harmful contamination of the resultant air.
In meat processing industry where the manufacturers are obliged by regulations to clean the processing rooms every day, a greater emphasis must always be placed with respect to process hygiene. But since manufacturers are facing stiff competition, the only way to improve the bottom line is by maximising volumes, thereby putting pressure on the production process. Speed is the name of the game.
Speed must normally be accompanied by smartness but the competition is so heavy that manufacturers are willing to tackle problems in retrospect. Inadvertently, there is a compromise on the brand and quality. Smartness must be in the way of choosing the right people, process and technology. While people are out of scope of this article, great attention must be given in the selection of process and technology. Processes and technology must be chosen to complement the throughput as well as regulations.
This effect could imply or be implied by the ‘Lack of Hygiene’ effect. In a way, both these effects are interconnected. In our article about ‘PRODUCT RECALL IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY’, we highlighted some astonishing facts and figures from a small research on the website for product recalls. To be precise, the biggest reason for product recall was harmful micro-organisms contaminating the food products itself. The main enemies identified were Salmonella and Listeria and other airborne micro-organisms.
The said bacteria attacks meat and meat is very susceptible to contamination (even at low temperatures) if no attention is paid on preventive measures. With appropriate processing components, the food products can be further processed to ensure safety and further, with machines made of HYGIENIC designs, the frequency of cleaning can be increased. The materials of construction of hygienic components are such that microbial formation is the least. Hence, the chances of contamination can be reduced considerably.
Manufacturers nowadays are willing to tackle problems in retrospect as previously mentioned and even globally renowned manufacturers are having a hard time finding a solution against product recalls due to microbial contamination.
Fundamental changes must be made with respect to people, process and technology to bring about a revolutionary change in the situation and complement lightning fast production processes like we have today.
Sinteco manufactures Hygienic Air Conditioning & Distribution Systems as well as Food Processing and Preservation Systems that are all made of hygienic food grade components, intended to (but not limited to) the food industry. Especially meat processing industry, Sinteco also manufactures complete systems of controlled processing rooms integrated with air conditioning & distribution systems for specific processes that require a very high level of hygiene.
Is your business involved in food processing? Are you interested in Sinteco’s products? Get in touch with us today. Write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org!