We've talked about one of our new product ranges, crash doors, a lot over the past couple of months but tended to focus on their use in hospitals and warehouses. One of the main uses for them, however, is in food processing facilities.
There has been an increase in demand for fresh food in recent years, which means that a hygienic processing environment is essential in order to prevent chemical, microbial and physical contaminants from affecting these products. Combating these pollutants needs to occur not just at the equipment level but at the factory level as well. Some of the things you need to consider when thinking about hygiene in a food processing facility are:
Providing a barrier to food contamination is a widely applied concept, and there are three ways you can do this: outside premises barriers, barriers to entering/exiting the office building, and segregation of restricted areas. External premises barriers are things such as fences that will prevent unauthorised access to the plant. Barriers to entering/exiting the facility should be designed to allow for free flow of personnel and products while avoiding waste, utilities and pests getting in - and this is where crash doors come in. These can be placed over door openings to allow for air to circulate and people and traffic to pass through quickly while keeping out pests and waste. PVC Crash Doors can be used for segregating areas which have different hygienic requirements and so need controlled access.
When you are designing the layout of a food processing plant, it is important to keep in mind the hygiene requirements of each particular process and storage area. Raw materials and ingredients should move from 'dirty' to 'clean' areas whereas the discarded packaging and food waste needs to move in the opposite direction, and be kept separate.
In order to keep the risk of pests entering the building, the food processing factory should have exterior doors that don't open directly onto the production area, and also there shouldn't be any windows in the processing areas either. Each exterior loading bay should be protected by an overhang to keep the elements out. It is also a good idea to use strip curtains on dock openings in order to keep insects and birds out.
As you can see, making sure a food processing plant is hygienic should start with the design and layout of the building but there are tools, such as crash doors and PVC strips that you can use to help as well. At Strip Curtains Direct we offer a wide range of these products, including Antimicrobial PVC Strip Curtains which were developed in partnership with SteriTouch Ltd and Vinyl Compounds Ltd specifically for use in environments where the need to control hygiene levels is very high. To find out more about our range, please call our friendly team on 0333 999 7171 or drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org