We have half a dozen chocolate tanks that look roughly like this (stole this pic from a used equipment site, mine don't have flaking paint) -
As you can see, the tank drain is on the bottom side. On our tanks this is very close to the ground, sitting just above the height of a standard 5 gal bucket.
My problem is that we drain these tanks into 5 gal buckets and want to use the drained chocolate. We are using full sheet baking pans like this one under the bucket -
We did this to keep the bucket off of the floor, but still allow the tank to drain into a bucket via gravity (without a pump). The problem is we use this tray - everywhere! They become make shift tables when sat on higher bucket dollies, a barrier to carts for cleaned equipment, used to hold truffles, and we use them to catch chocolate at various different points in the process, where the opening between machinery will not fit a bucket. Sometimes over food contact surfaces.
So I need a way to designate the pans for food contact and for floor / non food contact. We don't want to use pans that have been on the floor over a product zone.
It seems the pans are not available in different colors, even black. Bucket dollies are too high. We tried plastic slip sheets, and, to my horror, cardboard, but employees walk over these and treat them as the floor. We thought about painting the word "FLOOR" on the pan in red, but this introduces paint that will flake off, and employees can't see it if the pans are stacked. We also discussed using caution tape or other bright tape to designate the edges, but again, tape is a potential physical hazard. The best solution would be equipment that is not the pan for one use and to keep the pan for the other use, but it's dimensions are perfect for our operation.
I'm also questioning the benefit of this "separation" from the floor - does anyone know how far off of the floor equipment must be? It's a noble effort on our part, but I don't think it's doing the job. We do not have enough pumps to use them for draining the big tanks (we have two for the mixing tanks), and I don't think production would take kindly to washing the pipes and pumps every time they have to drain a tank (Ed note: I believe using pumps would cause a revolt amoung the plebeians & the extra time & cost of pumps would not be approved by senior management.) .
Raising the tanks isn't viable without a lot of construction / additional piping. So if the risk is - the floor is dirty - and the mitigation is - raise buckets off the floor - how much risk are we really mitigating with pans? Is that really the risk? Or is the risk that dirty equipment will be moved between hygiene zones and spread Listeria, Salmonella, etc? Can I mitigate the risk, whatever it is, but keep the pans?