Suppliers have also played a role in the past, and can continue to assist food companies in evaluating compliance with various standards that are consistent with the FSMA, such as the 10 Principles of Sanitary Design developed in the early 2000s by the Equipment Design Task Force of the American Meat Institute. The task force included engineers, quality managers and sanitarians from companies including ConAgra, Excel, Kraft, Hormel, Smithfield Meats, Sara Lee, Tyson and others. The goal was to improve the sanitary design of equipment to reduce and eliminate potential harborage areas as well as help to maintain and extend product shelf life and other product quality attributes.
hese principles have been widely supported and expanded by groups including the Grocery Manufacturers Association, for Facilities Design and Equipment for Low Moisture Foods. These principles and associated checklists will prove useful as the FDA follows the lead of USDAregulated meat and poultry plants to require a new level of sanitation.
The principles follow in their original form:
1. Cleanable to a microbiological level: Food equipment must be constructed to ensure effective and efficient cleaning over the life of the equipment. The equipment should be designed as to prevent bacterial ingress, survival, growth and reproduction on both product and non-product contact surfaces of the equipment.
2. Made of compatible materials: Construction materials used for equipment must be completely compatible with the product, environment, cleaning and sanitizing chemicals and the methods of cleaning and sanitation.
3. Accessible for inspection, maintenance, cleaning and sanitation: All parts of the equipment should be readily accessible for inspection, maintenance, cleaning and sanitation without the use of tools.
4. No product or liquid collection: Equipment should be self-draining to assure that liquid, which can harbor and promote the growth of bacteria, does not accumulate, pool or condense on the equipment.
5. Hollow areas should be hermetically sealed: Hollow areas of equipment such as frames and rollers must be eliminated wherever possible or permanently sealed. Bolts, studs, mounting plates, brackets, junction boxes, nameplates, end caps, sleeves and other such items must be continuously welded to the surface not attached via drilled and tapped holes.
6. No niches: Equipment parts should be free of niches such as pits, cracks, corrosion, recesses, open seams, gaps, lap seams, protruding ledges, inside threads, bolt rivets and dead ends.
7. Sanitary operational performance: During normal operations, the equipment must perform so it does not contribute to unsanitary conditions or the harborage and growth of bacteria.
8. Hygienic design of maintenance enclosures: Maintenance enclosures and human machine interfaces such as push buttons, valve handles, switches and touchscreens must be designed to ensure food product, water or product liquid does not penetrate or accumulate in and on the enclosure or interface. Also, physical design of the enclosures should be sloped or pitched to avoid use as storage area.
9. Hygienic compatibility with other plant systems: Equipment design must ensure hygienic compatibility with other equipment and systems, such as electrical, hydraulics, steam, air and water.
10. Validated cleaning and sanitizing protocols: Procedures for cleaning and sanitation must be clearly written, designed and proven effective and efficient. Chemicals recommended for cleaning and sanitation must be compatible with the equipment and the manufacturing environment.