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Dry Sanitation for Allergens


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#1 Weebus90

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Posted 13 April 2015 - 03:46 PM

HI Everyone, 

I've never worked with dry sanitation ever and now my facility is thinking of going this route for cleaning. 

I am very concerned about the process. 

 

The room to be cleaned will have allergenic and non-allergenic products.

We are re-packing dried fruit and nuts from a bulk state into retail packs. 

We will be using hoppers, bagging machines, etc. 

to do allergen changeovers using dry sanitation, first wouldn't this create airborne allergens causing contamination and second would this cleaning truly remove allergen proteins?

 

Thanks Everyone.



#2 JPO

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Posted 13 April 2015 - 07:57 PM

Define "dry sanitation".

 

If you are talking about minimal water added (or no water) with alcohol and Quat based sanitizers/cleaners being used, it can be done.

 

How well do they remove allergens?  You'll need to do some testing to prove that your process works.  Lots of swabs on the market that will show if you have allergen residue on your surfaces.  I prefer the Hygenia Allersnaps myself. 



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#3 Weebus90

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 11:29 AM

Thanks JPO. 

we are currently using the allersnap swabs but are moving to a new facility soon and there are no floor drains in the room. 

They would like to do dry sanitation practices to clean the room and machines.

We will be processing nuts and trail mixes along with dried fruits, peppers and mushrooms. 

They will be using a larger hopper machine to fill the retail packages. I'm concerned that because we have so many allergens that using this large piece of machinery wont be able to be properly cleaned during changeovers.

I saw your earlier posts about the kraft foods class and a few other good articles. 

Do you have anything else that you may be able to offer me?

I'm a QA manager and haven't had that much experience starting up an entirely new sanitation process. 

 

Thanks!



#4 Tony-C

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 11:47 AM

Hi Weebus90,

 

As per JPO's post clarify what you mean by dry sanitation? and how you are going to clean the equipment and environment?

 

I personally don't like facilities without drains as even if it is a dry area it makes it more difficult to do a 'deep clean' if necessary.

 

It sounds like you have quite a lot of products that you intend to pack on the same equipment?

 

Normally you would work from non allergens through to the most significant allergens in your production schedule but, do you want to have validate cleaning for every single possible changeover ? I don't think so. So you will need to think about how this is going to work and what rules for the order of product runs can be applied.

 

If it is a new facility why can't segregation be designed in at this stage?

 

Regards,

 

Tony



#5 Mulan1010

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 04:40 PM

I agree more information is needed.  Fortunately new breakthroughs are being made everyday so there may be approved sanitation processes out there for this but I would think your sanitation process would require water at some point.  -  You can always try a dry clean at your current facility and run the test kits to see how well it does.  Also test the other areas around the area cleaned to determine if cross-contact occurs in other areas.  I found the following article useful when I was first introduced to allergens: "Cleaning and Other Control and Validation Strategies To Prevent Allergen Cross-Contact in Food-Processing Operations" in the Journal of Food Protection, Vol. 71, No. 2, 2008, Pages 445–458 first author's name is Lauren S. Jackson.  I am sorry, but I could not get the article itself to upload but hopefully you can find it.  



#6 Tanyam

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 04:41 PM

Hi Weebus90,

 

I work for a facility that repacks dried fruits, nuts, legumes, grains and cereals and we are currently SQF level 2 certified.

 

If I am right, the main allergens in your facility nuts and sulphites (from the dried fruits).

 

You need to schedule your production so that you start with products that do not contain allergens and end with those that contain the most significant allergens as Tony said.  

 

Secondly you need to clean all the parts of the lines that come in contact with the food product when you do the changeover. In our case we clean the hopper (on the spot) using a disposable tissue with little water, detergent and a sanitiser. The components of the dataweigh that can be  dismantled are cleaned in a sink with detergent and a sanitiser. Those that can not be dismantled are cleaned on the spot just like the hopper. When you change from a product that contains one allergen to a product that contains another allergen, the equipment have to be cleaned.The efficiency of the cleaning process could be verified by conducting a swab. There are several swab kits for allergen available. When you changeover from a product that does not contain an allergen to another product you can just flush the lines with high pressure air.

 

Thirdly,  you  may also want to have a dust collection system installed with an aspirator on the packaging line. 

 

Regards

Tanyam



#7 asaeger

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 09:48 PM

What about if you are packing dried fruit without allergens and leaving the line idle for 14 hours.  Removing the debris would seem like not enough. The fruit is sticky and <18% water activity.  We have not started up yet, but I believe sitting idle for 14 hours would constitute a full clean.  Thoughts?



#8 GMO

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 08:59 AM

I've been to a facility like this in the UK where dry sanitation techniques are normal but wet sanitation techniques for most food contact parts are possible (i.e. the multihead buckets removed and taken to washroom, same with belts).  That could be a good compromise if anything else can be effectively cleaned in situ.

 

Ultimately though you have to validate your processes and see if they can be effective.  I wouldn't use rapid swabs for these but send them off to a lab for ELISA.  You need to aim for no detection above the detection limits for the method.  You could then use rapid methods for monitoring or verification.

 

My gut feel is to go for wet cleaning where you can though.  While wipes may work, if they're not used in the right way I would say they're more liable to leave residues.  Also remember some markets (including the EU) are now twitchy about QAC residues (completely unnecessarily IMO) but if you're exporting that may be something to consider.

 

If I'm honest visiting a copacking facility like this in the UK as a parent to a child with a nut allergy, it was terrifying.  I now use photos of that visit as part of my allergy awareness training.  The range of products packed with poor controls was shocking.






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