Sources of contamination from plant machinery

At the end of each production run all machines should be cleaned immediately so that build up of dough or other materials does not become hard, mouldy and an attraction for insects.

As a basic principle, all food machinery should be mounted off the floor so that the floor can be thoroughly swept or washed at regular intervals.

Covers for the moving parts of machinery should be properly fixed at all times and kept in good repair. All surfaces should be wiped down regularly and washed with warm water and detergent if necessary.

Fabric conveyors should be checked regularly to watch for frayed edges or seams. If necessary these should be trimmed with a sharp knife or the conveyor replaced.

If a machine is not to be used for some time it should be covered with a dust sheet.

Drip trays and other catch containers must be emptied and cleaned regularly, but certainly at the end of each production run.

Particular care should be taken that mineral lubricating oils and greases do not contaminate food. Leaking motors, gearboxes or bearings should be reported without delay for engineering maintenance.

Where it is necessary to climb up to high parts of machines or where walkways or ladders are needed to get over machines, special walkways with adequate guarding should be provided to prevent floor dirt, carried on footwear, dropping on to dough, products or food surfaces.

No string should ever be used to attach wires or other articles in production areas and fibrous or loose insulation materials should be covered and fixed securely to prevent disintegration.

Nowhere in production areas should wood be used. This is easily splintered and pieces find their way into ingredients or dough.

As machinery becomes replaced or obsolete it should be completely removed from the production area and stored (preferably in a reasonably clean condition) in a store remote from the factory. In many factories the machinery graveyard is an ideal home for marauding rats, mice and insects. It is ideal from their point of view because it is dry and undisturbed. Food can be taken there and breeding take place in relative comfort! The convenience of such a home should be denied within the production environment.