Food Safety Practices Guidance for Sprout 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 sprouts.

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;
    • contamination of the product during operation is prevented (e.g. location of lubricant reservoirs); 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 sprouts.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Food contact surfaces of equipment, containers and utensils coming in contact with sprouts are smooth, non-corrosive, non-absorbent, non-toxic, free from pitting, cracks or crevices, and able to withstand repeated cleaning and sanitation.
  • Where plastic containers (tubs, boxes, totes, etc.) are used to handle seeds and sprouts, the manufacturer ensures that they are constructed of approved materials (see next point).
  • 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.
  • 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

Temperature measuring/recording devices are installed calibrated and maintained as necessary to ensure accuracy.

Timing Devices

  • Timing devices are verified upon installation, and thereafter annually (or more frequently as necessary to ensure accuracy).
  • Any official timing device is located so that it can be easily and accurately read by the operators.

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.

Other Instrumentation

Other specialized instrumentation necessary for the control of factors significant to food safety is in place and calibrated as necessary (e.g. chorine injectors, chlorine concentration test equipment, pH meters).

Note: The manufacturer should initiate corrective actions as per Section 1.10, Deviations and Corrective Action, when a critical limit is 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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