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How often to clean a layer of Spice/Tea Dust in the facility?


Best Answer EagleEye, 05 February 2019 - 10:09 AM

Dear Erick,

We had the same situation in the facility where now i am working in. We had two big wall exhaust fans from times but I found that little benefited as the problem of powder coating on every inches inside. needed more labor and time to make it neat and cleaning. Wet cleaning of floor and walls needed- although undesirable in fear of microbial growth- was needed on weekly basis while machine clean after processing each product. 

 

After a long time, pressing hard at the top level, finally managed to install HVAC system and I would say the situation is improved 80% better now. As we see, our kind of facility cannot be make 100% dust proof in general way, but I might say, installing HVAC system and compartmentalization of production area would bring real-time improvement

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#1 erick.white

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 03:47 PM

Greetings,

 

I'm working in a facility which deals with dry goods, (z.B spices, teas, herbs, basically anything dried). It is an older facility and we are trying to get to ISO standards.

 

My question: There is a fine layer of particle dust everywhere, I'm trying to come up with ways to control it, but is this to be expected and okay in a facility such as this? During the milling, cutting, sieving process dust is created and coats everything. How often do we have to clean the whole facility of these particles? 

 

I'm attaching fotos for example. 

 

 

Attached Files



#2 Scampi

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 03:55 PM

So in the photos I do not see any sort of air system/vents etc. 

There should be at the very least an air exchange to remove all the dusty air and replace with fresh. You need to address this from an employee welfare point of view as well.

 

While you may expect some.......this is ALOT IMO. Just think that you are all breathing in all of those fine particles day in and day out..........what do you suppose is going on in your lungs?

 

The physical space needs ventilation.......you won't be able to manage this any other way (short of wet wiping constantly)

 

And no.........you shouldn't have this level of dust from a dry facility........how do you manage allergen cross contamination like this????


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#3 erick.white

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 04:02 PM

We are working on managing the problem now, that is why I was hired, but there isn't good circulation in the entire facility. So, the only way to manage would be to install ventilation systems in every production area? Would we need exhaust ventilation in storage areas? The new owners hope to build a new facility in couple years, the goal now is to get the old plant operational and FSCN22000 certified. 



#4 Scampi

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 05:00 PM

I think you would be hard pressed to get certified as is.

 

All parts of the facility should have a ventilation system, and most GFSI have a specific clause that speaks to that. 

 

Your best bet would be to ask someone from the certification company to visit your site before you go any further.

 

Surly there is a way to install fans on exterior walls to at least pull the dusty air out that doesn't cost a fortune????  I would contact an HVAC company and ask them to pop around and give their opinion on what could be done inexpensively


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#5 Hank Major

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 08:27 PM

Aren't you worried about a dust explosion?



#6 Scampi

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 09:07 PM

Good point Hank---hadn't thought of that

 

I just learned that flour in the air is highly combustible


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#7 aaallen

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 10:14 PM

Erick,

 

We are a co-packer of various dry powders, some with allergens. We have the different products contained in rooms with plastic panel entrances (think of a freezer entrance that can accommodate a pallet). Each room is connected to the HVAC system with filters. There is full wet cleaning done on machinery and rooms between products, mainly due to allergens.

 

I would say that wet cleaning is not preferable in a dry processing area, due to possible microbial growth. If you don't have allergens and process the same product over several weeks, you could argue that it is cleaner not to clean. Even sweeping up could send dust from the floor to other surfaces.

 

My suggestion is to segregate the areas as much as possible and institute an Environmental Monitoring Program that is robust. Then clean on a rotating basis or when changing products or for allergen concerns. 

 

That is quite a bit of dust accumulation. Would that be from several weeks?

 

Best,

Amy



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#8 erick.white

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 07:32 AM

Hi All,

 

Thanks for the quick and detailed responses. This is my third day with the facility, so I'm still learning their operations and SOPs. We currently distribute over 300+ products, not all are processed through machinery.  

 

We don't deal with flour or other known combustibles but will look into it and use it as an argument along with healthcare for employees when informing the chain of command on the need for better ventiliation. Along with the idea we won't receive any certification without a proper ventiliaiton system. Could a quick fix be a screened exhaust fan installed on windows to pull the dust out?

 

Concerning allergens, in this type of facility, we were only worried about the big 8 or is every product considered cross-contamination?  

 

Cleaning, I was also thinking wet cleaning would be a bad idea as moisture would provide a growth medium for bacteria. 

 

I'm sure more questions will arise throughout my day,

 

Erick. 



#9 EagleEye

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 10:09 AM   Best Answer

Dear Erick,

We had the same situation in the facility where now i am working in. We had two big wall exhaust fans from times but I found that little benefited as the problem of powder coating on every inches inside. needed more labor and time to make it neat and cleaning. Wet cleaning of floor and walls needed- although undesirable in fear of microbial growth- was needed on weekly basis while machine clean after processing each product. 

 

After a long time, pressing hard at the top level, finally managed to install HVAC system and I would say the situation is improved 80% better now. As we see, our kind of facility cannot be make 100% dust proof in general way, but I might say, installing HVAC system and compartmentalization of production area would bring real-time improvement


Edited by EagleEye, 05 February 2019 - 10:14 AM.


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#10 erick.white

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 11:57 AM

Dear Eagle,

 

Thanks for the feedback, found out today we have a planned meeting with a HVAC company on 12.02.19. That will hopefully start the process on getting it under control.



#11 Scampi

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 01:18 PM

Good luck Erick, you've got loads of good information to take to the owners now. Hopefully they get on board!


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