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What engineers should not take into a food processing area?

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 12:42 PM

Please may you help list down all ingeneering and cleaning implements that are a food safety hazard when taken into processing areas.

Should engineers be tallying the tools and parts in their toolboxes before going to attend a breakdown? what if its emergency?

How can engineers help alleviate or eradicate foreign matter in processing zones?


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Posted 23 June 2011 - 03:31 PM

Nothing...except what is needed for the task at hand.

For efficiency and product safety reasons it is hugely beneficial to conduct 5S / SMED activities involving engineers.

For example minimise the need for different types of tools by standardising fastenings and where possible make them quick release. Then have dedicated tool kits for set activities, these could even be on shadow boards where needed.

In addition implement a robust clean and safe handover procedure carried out by engineers following maintenance work.

Most engineers will have many reasons for having a truck full of tools, nuts, bolts, washers, springs etc. but it is simply inefficient and hazardous. It must be challenged.

So rather asking what engineers should not take in, ask what tasks do they do, can they be simplified and organised better and then you will really know what they need.


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Posted 23 June 2011 - 03:51 PM

Like Simon stated, Maintenance engineers should only take what's needed to complete a repair, installation.... into a food processing area. Plus they should document what they took into the area/room and verify that what wasn't actually installed was taken out (tools, parts, nuts, bolts, etc.). This must be documented.

Next, someone from Production or Sanitation must ensure that any product contact surfaces that were or may have been compromised during the work performed be cleaned and sanitized, and that cleaning and sanitation should be verified by someone other than the person who cleaned and sanitized the equipment. This also must be documented.

It's a cumbersome issue, but one that is expected by today's auditors. My suggestion is to put a procedure together that is as simple as possible to cover all the bases so that everyone involved gets on board with the program and makes sure that the procedure is followed and you have a trail of documentation that is audit-proof.


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Posted 28 June 2011 - 07:05 PM

You should have dedicated tools for each area for example there should be dedicated tools which are kept in High Risk areas at all times; these should be colour coded or numbered and an inventory which should be checked against at a minimum daily; tool boxes should also be dedicated and colour-coded. The new way forward is the use of tool-presses beside the line for easy access (but still need to be secure).

Also any work done on the line during production needs to be recorded; that is anything which could be a food safety hazard (e.g. taking a machine apart); this needs to be signed off by the engineer and a production represenative post-work confirming that all parts are removed and area clean before production recommencing.

Sounds like a lot of hassle but most auditors now expect it especially under BRC, TFMS

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