Dealing with glass debris in food processing operations
Food industry customers often ask us about the best way to clean up glass breakages and the resulting debris. Fortunately, Vikan has experienced Customer Service and Technical Sales Teams, and a dedicated Hygiene Team ready to help you with good practical advice about this.
Accidents do happen
Accidents sometimes happen – in food processing operations just like everywhere else, a bottle or glass jar falls from the production line, off a conveyor belt or out of the packaging, and smashes on the floor.
This has to be dealt with – and not just in any old way.
Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 sets out European food safety requirements.
It includes that food must not be released to market if it is in any way unsafe, i.e. if:
- It can be injurious to human health
- It is unfit for human consumption
- It has been contaminated by foreign bodies – including glass – that could cause harm.
Global food safety standards also require glass control. If you work to the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety, you must be aware of requirement 4.9, which deals with product contamination of either chemical or physical nature.
Requirement 4.9 includes Clause 22.214.171.124, which states;
- ”Systems shall be in place to manage container breakages between the container cleaning/inspection point and container closure. This shall include …”
- “The use of dedicated, clearly identifiable cleaning equipment (e.g. colour-coded) for removal of container breakages; such equipment to be stored separately from other cleaning equipment.”
- “The use of dedicated, accessible, lidded waste containers for the collection of damaged containers and fragments.”
As a result, food industry customers often ask us about the best way to clean up glass breakages and the resulting debris.
Fortunately, Vikan has experienced Customer Service and Technical Sales Teams, and a dedicated Hygiene Team ready to help you with good practical advice about this.
We can help you with;
- The selection, use, maintenance and storage of dedicated, identifiable, colour-coded cleaning equipment for food container breakages
- The selection of dedicated, accessible, closable/lidded, colour-coded waste containers for collecting debris from food container breakages.
Our Vikan experts normally suggest;
- Choose a unique colour for tools associated with cleaning up glass debris – it should be a colour that is not used for any other purpose anywhere at the site. It’s usually also a good idea to select a colour with a high, obvious signal factor, such as orange or pink.
- Keep the items in, or close to, the area of risk so they are easily available when breakages occur.
- Keep the items well away from other cleaning equipment to prevent any risk of cross-contamination. The best thing is to have a separate container (such as a Vikan bucket with lid) into which any stray pieces of glass can be placed. There should also be agreed routines for emptying and cleaning this container and the glass breakage cleaning equipment, regularly.
- Use a mobile shadowboard on which to place the tools, and keep them in order. Such a board is easy to roll out when an accident takes place.
There are a number of Vikan products we often recommend for this specific kind of task. Customers either choose all of these, or those that they think are most suitable for their particular business operations.
Be prepared for accidents!
Choose the best products to have at hand, ready to deal with the situation in ways that comply with the all-important food safety requirements.
If you have questions on this subject, you’re more than welcome to contact me or your local Vikan contact.
Krister Johansson, Vikan Area Sales Manager Sweden - firstname.lastname@example.org
Derk Brumma - Sales Manager Germany
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