MAINTENANCE ACCORDING TO THE PRINCIPLES OF HYGIENIC DESIGN
Purchase and Acceptance of Parts, Tools, Lubricants, etc., Brought Onto Site
No equipment, spare parts, tools, etc., should be brought directly into a food production area. They should ideally be held in an external workshop or storage area, or if this is not possible, within the goods-in area. They should be inspected for any damage and to ensure that they meet the specifications as defined by the food manufacturer. This could include a visual inspection, as well as control for the presence of objectionable odors and physical contaminants. If appropriate, an assessment of the equipment’s surface roughness using an appropriate stylus instrument may be performed.
Before entrance into the factory, additional information can be gained as to how the equipment must/will be cleaned or maintained in practice. The sanitation manager can examine the equipment and begin to devise cleaning schedules, which might involve the cooperation of the maintenance team to help in planned dismantling and reassembly. The design of any parts trolley (e.g., parts rack) that may be required to store dismantled parts during cleaning is also a task of the maintenance department.
Equipment should be physically cleaned and decontaminated, though ideally this should have been undertaken prior to the equipment arriving at the factory. For new equipment and components, this may be to remove any materials of construction deposits or lubricants used to machine or drive equipment components. For secondhand equipment this even could include food deposits, including potential allergens. Cases are known where the secondhand equipment has introduced strains of Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella spp. (prevalent in their original factories) into their new home. Special care should be taken, therefore, before introducing equipment into areas where ready-to-eat foods are prepared. Once equipment has been brought into the food production area and installed in its operational positions, the equipment should be cleaned and decontaminated again.
Equipment finally can be assessed for its operational performance (if this is possible out of its intended point of installation) and an inspection made to ensure all parts are correctly installed and tightly fitted. The maintenance team can also begin to plan potential maintenance schedules and secure the provision of any specialist tools and spare or replacement parts.