Food Safety Practices Guidance for Moulded Chocolate Manufacturers
Chapter 2 : Equipment

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2.1 General Equipment

2.1.1 Design, Construction and Installation

All equipment and utensils are designed, constructed and installed to function as intended, to permit effective cleaning and sanitation and to prevent contamination of chocolate.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Equipment is designed, constructed and installed to ensure that:
    • the process is capable of delivering the required results;
    • it can be adequately and easily cleaned, sanitized, maintained and inspected to prevent contamination of the product during operations (e.g. equipment, including bypass lines, is designed to prevent dead spaces where residue and moisture (from sanitation) may accumulate and be difficult to remove with regular sanitation procedures);
    • contamination of the product during operation is prevented (e.g. location of lubricant reservoirs);
    • equipment is exhausted to the outside to prevent excessive condensation where necessary;
    • proper drainage is permitted and where appropriate, equipment is connected directly to drains. Where applicable, drains are fitted with backflow preventers;
    • dust control devices are used to collect and remove particulate matter from the processing area for ingredients that generate dust;
    • storage tanks and hoppers are adequately covered;
    • cool surfaces in warm areas are insulated to prevent the formation of condensate. The insulation is maintained in sound condition;
    • cooling tunnels have access portals to permit visual control and access to permit effective cleaning.

2.1.2 Food Contact Surfaces

Food contact surfaces are constructed of appropriate materials and are maintained in a manner to prevent the contamination of foods.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Food contact surfaces of equipment, moulds, trays, containers and utensils are smooth, non-corrosive, non-absorbent, non-toxic, free from pitting, cracks or crevices, and able to withstand repeated cleaning and sanitation (e.g. non-wooden equipment is used).
  • When coatings, paints, chemicals, lubricants and other materials are used for food contact surfaces or utilized on equipment where there is a possibility of contact with food, the substances are appropriate for the intended use and are used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Equipment and utensils used to handle inedible material are not used to handle edible material.

2.1.3 Equipment Maintenance and Calibration Program

An effective maintenance and calibration program is in place to ensure that equipment performs consistently as intended and prevents contamination of the product.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • The manufacturer has an effective written preventive maintenance and calibration program to ensure that equipment that may impact on food safety functions as intended. This includes:
    • a list of equipment requiring regular maintenance; and
    • the maintenance procedures and frequencies (e.g. equipment inspection instructions, a schedule of adjustments and part replacements based on the equipment manufacturer's manual or equivalent, or based on operating conditions that could affect the condition of the equipment).
  • The manufacturer establishes written protocols, including calibration methods and frequencies, for equipment monitoring and/or controlling devices that may impact on food safety.
  • Equipment is maintained in a manner which ensures that there is no potential for the development of physical or chemical hazards (e.g. hazards resulting from inappropriate repairs, flaking paint and rust, excessive lubrication).
  • Maintenance and calibration of equipment is done by appropriately trained personnel.
  • When routine or emergency repairs are made to equipment, in direct or indirect contact with food, an inspection to assess the compliance of the repair is performed before the equipment is used.
  • The preventive maintenance and calibration programs and written protocol are adhered to.

See Section 7.3.1 for expected Equipment/Instrumentation Maintenance and Calibration Records.

2.1.4 Instrumentation Maintenance and Calibration Program

Instrumentation is designed, constructed, installed, calibrated and maintained such that the equipment is capable of delivering the required process, thereby ensuring product safety.

Rationale

Improper design, installation, calibration or maintenance of instruments can lead to inadequate processing of the product, or to misuse of food additives.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • The manufacturer has an effective written preventive maintenance and calibration program to ensure that instrumentation which may impact on food safety functions as intended. This includes:
    • a list of instrumentation requiring regular maintenance and calibration; and
    • the maintenance and calibration procedures and frequencies.
  • Instruments which control factors that may have an impact on food safety are designed, installed, constructed, calibrated and maintained as necessary to ensure that they function as intended.
  • Maintenance and calibration of instruments is done by appropriately trained personnel.
  • The preventive maintenance and calibration programs and written protocol are adhered to.

The following are some examples of instrumentation that may be required to control factors significant to the process:

Temperature Measuring Devices
  • The manufacturer uses one temperature scale consistently throughout the processing system (e.g. Celsius or Fahrenheit).
  • Temperature measuring devices are calibrated against a known standard just prior to installation, and thereafter, a minimum of once per year (or more frequently as recommended in the equipment manufacturer's manual), and are maintained as necessary to ensure accuracy.
Metal Detectors

Metal detection equipment is designed, constructed, installed, calibrated and maintained in accordance with the equipment manufacturer's manual, to ensure effective removal of metals. This may include adjustment for product effect, selection of target metal and size, timing of the reject mechanism and suitability for environmental conditions.

Magnets
  • The strength and type of magnets are appropriate to the use.
  • Magnets are installed in a manner to effectively remove ferrous metal prior to, or after, certain operations.
  • The strength of magnets is confirmed with the use of probes or other effective devices as necessary.
  • Magnets are monitored as necessary to ensure effective operation and surface exposure (e.g. adequately cleaned, metal particles removed).
Other Instrumentation

When other specialized instrumentation, such as electronic devices or temperature recorders, is used to control factors significant to food safety, they are calibrated as necessary.

Note: The manufacturer initiates corrective action as per Section 1.10 Deviations and Corrective Action when critical limits or limits of acceptability are exceeded, or whenever products could have been affected and found not to meet specifications.

See Section 7.3.1 for expected Equipment/Instrumentation Maintenance and Calibration Records.

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