Food Safety Practices Guidance for Fresh Non-Filled Alimentary Paste Manufacturers
Chapter 2: Equipment

This page is part of the Guidance Document Repository (GDR).

Looking for related documents?
Search for related documents in the Guidance Document Repository

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 fresh alimentary paste.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Equipment is designed, constructed and installed to ensure that:
    • the process is capable of delivering the results which are anticipated (e.g. effective package sealing, control of gas flush composition and time, where MAP is used);
    • it can be adequately and easily cleaned, sanitized, maintained and inspected to prevent contamination of the product during operations;
    • 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; and
    • proper drainage is permitted and where appropriate, equipment is connected directly to drains. Where applicable, drains are fitted with backflow preventers.

2.1.2 Food Contact Surfaces

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

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Food contact surfaces of equipment, 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.
  • 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 which may impact on food safety functions as intended. This includes:
    • a list of equipment requiring regular maintenance; and
    • 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 are performed 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 associated written protocol are followed.

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, misuse of food additives, nutritional inaccuracies or composition violations.

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 instrumentation are performed by appropriately trained personnel.
  • Preventive maintenance, calibration programs and associated written protocols are followed.

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 a minimum of once per year thereafter (or more frequently as recommended in the equipment manufacturer's manual), and are maintained as necessary to ensure accuracy.

Temperature Recorders

  • The scale of the temperature recording chart is not more than 12°C/cm (55°F/in) within the range of 10°C (18°F) of process temperature, and the chart graduation does not exceed 1°C (2°F) within 6°C (11°F) of processing temperature.
  • The accuracy of temperature recorders is verified upon installation, and thereafter, a minimum of once per year (or more frequently as necessary to ensure their accuracy).

Timing Devices

  • Timing devices and recorders are verified upon installation, and thereafter annually (or more frequently as necessary to ensure accuracy).
  • Where timing devices are not equipped with a power backup, controls are in place to verify that process time requirements are met.
  • Any official timing device is located so that it can be easily and accurately read by the operators.

Pressure Gauges

  • Each pressure gauge is calibrated at least annually or more frequently 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.

Scales/Metering Devices

  • The sensitivity is appropriate to the use.
  • Scales are designed and installed to withstand the environmental conditions or are adequately protected (e.g. away from drafts, rust, corrosion, etc.).
  • Scales and meters are calibrated in accordance with the equipment manufacturer's manual to ensure accuracy at all times.

Other Instrumentation

  • Other specialized instrumentation when used to control factors significant to food safety, 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.

Date modified: