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Looking to develop "Dry" sanitation program for dry blending


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#1 JPO

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 01:55 PM

Our operation is a dry blending and packaging facility.  We put various powders in a ribbon blender, mix them, and pack them in vertical form fill seal equipment.  

 

We are primarily a contract manufacturer and as a smaller producer, we have a large number of smaller custom formulations.  

 

This leads to lots of changeovers.  Those that are driven by allergen incompatibility require a sanitation step.  This occurs several times per month over 5 different production lines.  There may be 10 or more sanitation events (complete disassembly, wet wash, sanitatation, dry, reassembly) per month total.

 

I have researched "Dry" sanitation for some time and am interested in a trial implementation.  For background, thus far we have:

 

Attended the University of Minnesota "Dry Sanitation for Food Plants" workshop.

Purchased and read the nap inducing "The Microbiological Safety of Low Water Activity Foods and Spices"

Read and listened to the powerpoints from Con Agra and Kraft regarding their "dry sanitation" programs.

 

The short version of "dry" sanitation as I understand it is to vacuum the equipment with expensive as heck HEPA filtered "explosion proof" (because we generate explosive dust like flour and sugar) vacuums.  Use lower pressure (30 PSI)  compressed air wands to dislodge material that you can't get to with the vacuum, and THEN vacuum the debris.  

 

Then vacuum some more.  

 

After vacuuming until you have a visually clean surface free of dust, you clean with some variety of cleaning cloths that are generally saturated with a proprietary mix of alcohol and quat sanitizer, then after you get every surface wiped down with no residue coming off the surface (pretend you used red 40, it looks clean, but you hit it with moisture and the surface instantly turns red).  When you reach that point, you then spray all the surfaces down with the same alcohol/quat mixture.  

 

We ARE equipped with sanitary drains in the blending areas and we DO have the capability to "channel water to the drain" with minimal overspray.  

 

Any PRACTICAL IMPLEMENTATION help would be appreciated.  Please don't chime in to tell me that I need to have allergen/micro/ATP validation of the methods.  I already know that and am ready to do it.  What I'm looking for is information from someone who HAS done this already and has a working process.  What did you do?  What were the pitfalls?  What worked better than other methods?  Not looking to invent this from the ground up if possible. 

 

Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope. 



#2 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 02:05 PM

Well we have a vacuum system in our mill which isn't very unlike the situation you are in but most of our cleaning we use a color coded brush system.

 

Now we only work with one allergen and because of that we don't have to differentiate with allergens.

 

In the yogurt plant I worked in we worked with multiple allergens and obviously didn't have a vac system.

 

So my first question is how many different allergen types do you work with?

 

Do you have an allergen run matrix currently?  This is a matrix that helps you decide what products to run in what order.

 

Product A has allergen 1

Product B has allergen 2

Product C has allergen 1 and 2

 

So if we have to make all 3 we can see we should run product A, do a light cleaning, run product C, do a full allergen clean, then run product B. 

 

What that does is while you don't want product A in Product C (because flavors or w/e) you can't cross allergens from product A to product C because they have the same allergen.

 

I would not use LP air a lot on a dusty product because you WILL blow allergens all over the room/facility and that's a bad thing.  If you are going to use a vac system I would highly suggest a few different types of brushes to get into the nooks and break free the dust to get to the vac.


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#3 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 02:05 PM

I will add on top of those questions:

 

Do you export to any other country where the labeling requirements for allergens is different from the United States.


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#4 JPO

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 02:32 PM

We use milk, wheat, soy, and egg in our facility.  We also have (infrequently, but it's in some spice blends) mustard and since we export to Canada, that counts as an allergen as well.  

 

We attempt to schedule the best we can to extend the time between sanitation cycles, but eventually we hit a wall and need to clean the machines.  We've worked on "flushing" techniques to remove flavor/color concerns (fill blender with salt or sugar, scrub the heck out of it, pump it through transfer equipment and filler, recover and use in same product next run) and that works to eliminate washing for non allergen or non high (er) risk products, but it doesn't work for removing allergens from surfaces (tested, came back WAY positive) and doesn't work for eliminating micro concerns when we go from say a wheat flour based cookie mix to a beverage mix.  The beverage mix isn't specifically RTE, but it's damn close to it.  You add (insert liquid here) at a non-kill step heat level and you consume it after dissolving the drink mix. So, sanitation is necessary.

 

An example:  Right now, I'm running a beverage mix in one blending-packaging line that has milk and soy allergens.  I will run this for roughly 2 weeks.  At the end of the 2 weeks, we need do sanitize the equipment because the next series of items are a whole slew of yeast baking mixes (around 20 different SKU's).  The yeast baking mixes are sequenced non allergen, wheat, wheat and soy, wheat and soy and milk.  This will take about 1 week to run. Then we will sanitize again.  

 

Since dry processing needs to start out "dry", we end up killing about 1.5 days with sanitation because we need to break down, clean, let dry (which generally takes a full shift) and reassemble. We are a single shift operation, so it's a day to break down and wash and a half a day assess, reassemble, and start production.  

 

We've implemented lean manufacturing principles of SMED stuff as much as I can think of to minimize time. Stuff like a second set of tooling that are pre-cleaned and ready for install while the dirty set gets washed, pre-staging all the things we can think to pre-stage, 5S parts organization for all components, etc. What kills us is the waiting time to allow the equipment to dry adequately to allow for reassembly and restart.  



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#5 QKEL

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 06:14 PM

JPO, I am in similar setup and we do a wet clean at end of production run that follows allergen changeover matrix.  I would be interested in hearing any responses to for a dry clean process for dry ingredient processing.  Do you ever use and oleoresins?

Or other liquids?



#6 JPO

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 02:28 PM

JPO, I am in similar setup and we do a wet clean at end of production run that follows allergen changeover matrix.  I would be interested in hearing any responses to for a dry clean process for dry ingredient processing.  Do you ever use and oleoresins?

Or other liquids?

We introduce soybean oil to some of our bakery mixes (generally less than 3%).  

 

This poses a bit of an issue for dry cleaning because the oil doesn't just "vacuum off".  The surfaces stay slick with oil and also caked on product.  You need significant scraping to remove the coarse soil and then a good detergent to remove the fat from the surface.  

 

I'll let you know what I come up with as this moves along. 



#7 SGen

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 03:49 PM

As introduction we are handling milk powder mixes with several different kinds of allergens.

 

1st we have 3 different cleaning procedures --> basic - just removing powder by hitting the outside of equipment; advance - basic + usage of brushes to visually clean inside; intensiv - basic + advanced+ wiping with alcohol wipes

 

2nd we developed a cleaning matrix (based on risk assessment)

--> recipes that are similiar --> basic cleaning

--> recipes that are slightly different --> advanced cleaning

--> recipes that are totally different --> intensive cleaning

 

3rd we remove a certain amount of product after recipe change (Validation needed!)

 

4th we always try to schedule the most similiar products as one block --> to reduce amount of change overs

--> maybe you can negotiate with your customer the amount (higher amount) and delivery dates (less deliveries)?



#8 ALF

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Posted 02 May 2015 - 08:58 PM

You should be able to accelerate drying time by use of "air knife" or directed air technology to remove liquid water. 



#9 SQFconsultant

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Posted 04 May 2015 - 01:34 AM

Take a look at cleaning with Ozone

 

http://www.o3international.com/


Kind regards,

 

Glenn Oster
 
 
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#10 Aries C.

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 08:35 AM

is there a way to sanitize without washing? say for example a flour mill which only undergoes dry cleaning? And if there's a way to sanitize or reduce microbial count, what do you suggest? Thanks!






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