There’s no doubt, that as a food or beverage manufacturer, your goal is to produce the highest quality food or beverage product that is safe, and meets the needs and expectations of its consumers. Efficient and consistent operation of your steam system process is key to achieving this high quality standard. Here are five steps to ensure that your steam system process is optimized and that your goals are achieved.
1. Acquire an understanding and awareness of the food and beverage regulations and standards for using steam in your process
Steam quality is an important part of food and beverage processing. Food and beverage manufacturers should maintain a strong knowledge of regulations dealing with its quality and use. The U.S. regulations and standards for steam that comes directly in contact with food, beverages, or processing equipment during the manufacture process include:
Peruse this guide, devised by Spirax Sarco steam experts, containing the details of the regulations and standards mentioned above.
2. Maintain good food hygiene and prevent food safety problems
When food or beverage manufacturers learn that a batch of their product is contaminated, fear and anxiety immediately affects all within the facility. Food that has been tainted with anything from salmonella and listeria, to a shard of glass or a sliver of metal can cause serious harm – or even death – to those who consume it. When consumers are injured or even die because of food contamination the repercussions for the involved companies can become enormous. In the worst cases companies go out of business. Even if a company survives a contamination crisis its reputation is likely very tarnished and its bottom line will inevitably suffer.
There are three areas to consider when it comes to maintaining hygiene and preventing food safety problems. They are:
3. Understand the potential contamination risks in your process
As stated earlier, having a strong understanding of the food and beverage regulations and standards is important. The inclusion of the regulations and standards into your steam process will help to ensure that high quality of the final product is achieved. As you implement the guidelines it’s equally as important in understanding the potential contamination risks that can occur in your steam process. As a substance often injected into food and beverage, steam is one of these potential hazards. We all know that steam is sterile, but not many realize that possible contamination, upstream or downstream in the pipework, can affect the product, providing a hazard to human consumption.
There are three types of contamination risks that you need to avoid to keep your process optimized and running efficiently. They are chemicals, particulates, and non-condensable gases.
Spirax Sarco offers on-site technical support to evaluate your steam system process and help you avoid the contamination risks. Our engineers are knowledgeable with an understanding of the sources of contamination and where the risks could be in your steam system process.
4. Produce good quality steam in your process
If you’ve read this far, you’ve learned about the importance of maintaining food hygiene and preventing food and beverage safety problems. You’ve also discovered regulations and standards to implement and potential contamination risks to avoid in your steam system process. Producing good quality steam in your food or beverage manufacturing process is of the utmost importance in achieving the highest quality product that is safe and meets the needs of your consumers.
There are six process requirements to produce quality steam in your food or beverage manufacturing process. They include:
5. Conduct regular quality control assessments
Your local Spirax Sarco Sales Engineer is available to discuss and review your steam system to identify the areas in your process that may need modification, and could help you achieve the optimized steam process you need to produce the highest quality food or beverage product that is safe, and meets the needs and expectations of its consumers.
It’s also equally important to ensure that moisture (in the form of condensate) is removed from your steam system process. A steam trap survey would identify the areas of moisture so that you could eliminate them, resulting in system reliability and maintained safety standards.
Last of all, Spirax Sarco has knowledgeable steam experts who are able to perform an entire steam and condensate system assessment providing you advice on the quality of your steam and the areas of your system that need modification to ensure you achieve system reliability, energy savings, and improved system performance and productivity.
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