The Importance of Proper Construction of Cold Storage Processing Plants
When it comes to food safety, anything short of the highest quality is unacceptable. Cold storage processing is the first line of defense when it comes to the fulfilling the demands of preservation and processing of fresh foods. Proper hygiene and sanitation are important factors of food processing and are critical when it comes to large scale industrial food production and processing. The prevention of food contamination starts with identifying the various contaminants, whether chemical, particle, or biological. Proper construction of any cold storage facility is the first line of defense in preventing food contamination during processing.
Combating food contamination at the factory level involves extensive knowledge of the food industry as well as understanding the concepts of protection against bacteria, dust and other pollutants, as well as chemical hazards such as paint, cleaning agents, or lubricants. Cold Storage processing ensures minimal bacteria and microbial contamination by creating and maintaining temperatures that prohibit the growth of microorganisms and combined with barrier and zoning technology, cold storage processing creates a safe and effective food production environment.
Levels of Protection.
A properly constructed cold storage processing facility will have multiple layers of protection to prevent contamination of food products either directly by direct contamination into the food product or indirectly, which can occur through other sources such as machinery or through pest. To prevent such contamination, Barrier Technology will play an important part in the overall design and protection of the facility. Barrier Technology begins with the outer perimeter of the facility and includes the use of walls, fencing and other barriers to prevent access to the faciltiy by unwanted pests. It also limit access to transport vehicles and personnel that may contribute to any contamination. Barrier technology also includes the restriction of plants and proper drainage around the facility to prohibit the breeding of rodents, insects, and other pests.
Zoning is another layer of protection that would be utilized in a proper cold storage food processing plant. The concept is simple, effective, widely utilized and proven effective. With zoning, a facility will be divided into different zones based on the products within the zone that are susceptible to contamination. Zoning is generally implemented in the following way:
*Zone B- An area where basic levels of hygiene are acceptable, such as final packaging.
*Zone M- An area where a medium level of hygiene is required. This area could include one where it is deemed no further microorganism growth is possible.
*Zone H- An area where the highest level of hygiene is required. This would include any areas where food is prepared, or stored.
Better food begins with better food safety, and safety starts with the preparation. Food manufacturers now realize that this begins with a knowledgeable understanding of cold storage construction. Plant design and layout play a crucial role in greatly reducing and eliminating contamination in food processing plants. Better construction is the first step to healthier and better foods.