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Effective cleaning and reusing of FIBC bulk bags?


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#1 Parkz58

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Posted 06 April 2016 - 04:57 PM

Greetings,

 

What are the pros and cons of having food-grade FIBC bulk bags cleaned and then reusing them for shipping food?

 

Is it allowed under SQF, or any other GFSI-endorsed scheme?

 

If it is allowed, does anyone know where we could get them adequately cleaned?

 

 

Any help, thoughts or feedback would be greatly appreciated!!

 

 

Thanks,

 

Brian



#2 Parkz58

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 06:56 PM

Well, it's been a year and a half, and no responses...does anyone have any input?



#3 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 07:21 PM

Sorry, we get PET resin with them, and even that supplier doesn't reuse them because they fell that the structural integrity degrades too quickly. On the other hand I've resued them for feed corn at feedlots with some success, but again not a human food application.


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#4 Parkz58

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 09:40 PM

Thanks FurFarmandFork, we are currently producing ingredients (grain) only for animal feed or pet food ingredients, not food-grade.  I want us to limit our re-use (if we end up going that direction) to ONLY food-grade bags, that had been used for feed/food grade items...no chemicals...and have been cleaned.  I'm just not sure how best to clean them...or if it's even possible?



#5 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 07:46 PM

Yeah, off the top of my head I would just assume compressed air to remove dust, and making sure that when in use the bags are kept sanitary on pallets and not stacked in areas where they would accumulate dust or possible pest damage.

 

A more "validated" solution might be to put them in some sort of steam chamber where you could actually reach lethal temperatures (the PP should able able to handle these), but then you have the problem of them coming out wet which would encourage mold growth in the fibers, you'd need a drying system as well........

 

If it was safe to hold your product, then you emptied it and stored it in a clean protected area..that might just be your best bet. Otherwise I can't think of a cleaning method that would "undo" a contamination event. In the PET bottles industry it was common practice for many years to re-use cardboard slip-sheets between layers of bottles (direct contact) and actually ship them back to the supplier to use again, discarding them as they deteriorated, became dirty, or were obviously contaminated. The PMO has a "disintegration" standard count for paperstock of 250cfu/gram that might be helpful for a validation of the microbial load on the bags?


Austin Bouck
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Consulting for companies needing effective, lean food safety systems and solutions.

Subscribe to the blog at furfarmandfork.com for food safety research, insights, and analysis.

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#6 SQFconsultant

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 10:39 PM

FurFarmandFork would be correct, it is compressed air that most of the re-furb places use to clean them out.

 

Here's one  -- http://www.mar-pak.c...-recycling.html


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