Why Is Bearing Hygiene Design Critical To Food Safety
"Hygiene design issues of food machinery play an important role in controlling food safety. However, if the sanitary design of equipment components is not taken into consideration and this concept is applied in general, there may be a risk of bacteria breeding and spreading in the bearing."
Hygiene design should take into account the adverse impact of specific factors (such as corrosion, lubricant leakage, cleaning and automatic drying) on food safety, and apply appropriate design principles to solve the problem. In essence, it is an idea designed with specific principles in mind. Just as ergonomic design focuses on the physiological needs of users, hygiene design focuses on preventing food contamination.
The European health engineering and design alliance (EHEDG) aims to promote the safe food production capacity of its members, including equipment manufacturers, food enterprises and research institutes, by improving the design standards of health engineering.
In general, EHEDG considers that bearing is easy to trap food particles and water, therefore, bearing is regarded as a potential hotbed for harbouring bacteria. General advice is to ensure that bearings are kept away from food contact areas.
This recommendation is well in line with the latest guidelines for the hygiene design of belt conveyors in the food industry. EHEDG focuses on two major challenges in the field of safe food production: how to avoid food contamination due to improper design of processing equipment, and how to improve food safety without increasing the operating costs of clean production and sanitation. In fact, the main concern in the sanitary design of the whole system is the system and the main components (such as belts); And often pay insufficient attention to bearing and bearing unit.
However, even if the bearings are not in direct contact with the food area, they are often near the food and have high-pressure water or dry cleaning systems. In this way, if bacteria are present, it is likely to spread through the air and contaminate the food.
In order to minimize the risk of pollution, sanitary design principles should be fully considered when designing bearings. And one of the most important principles that makes up sanitation design is the ability to clean effectively. This is actually easy to understand, but in practice is often not easy for bearings and bearing units. First, the product should be made of a non-corrosive and non-porous material (such as stainless steel) or a composite that is easy to clean and has retained moisture that can be automatically drained. The bearing unit shall have a filler base to avoid leaving gaps for bacteria.
In general, the use of materials such as elastomers, composites and grease should comply with food safety directives and regulations. In all cases, grease leakage into the food should be avoided during operation.
Best of all, the bearing unit is equipped with an efficient end cover to prevent contaminants and clean liquids from entering the bearing cavity while allowing for frequent visual inspection.
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