Record of Decision - Use of Butterfly Valves in Dairy Processing Facilities

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Question or Description of Problem: Butterfly valves are commonly used in dairy processing facilities on cheese vats, flavour tanks, blenders/texturizers, etc. It has been shown that these valves are difficult to clean, are not considered to be hygienic and can pose microbiological concerns. Should butterfly valves be permitted to be used in dairy processing facilities and if so under what conditions?

Background:

Under Dairy Establishment Inspection Manual (DEIM) task 1.12.02.02, Inlet/Outlet Valves and Connections, butterfly valves are not permitted for use on vat pasteurizers as they do not meet the criteria for valves as outlined under this task.

Under DEIM task 1.15.0.3201 Starter Preparation, butterfly valves are not acceptable on starter vats. In this case, all ingredients going into the starter vat have been previously pasteurized or have been shown to be phosphatase negative in the case of dry milk products and the product is being hygienically handled.

Under DEIM task 1.16.0.3604 Mixing Vats, where all components going into the ice cream mix have either been previously pasteurized or are microbiologically safe and the product is being hygienically handled, butterfly valves are not acceptable.

Under DEIM task 1.16.0.2108 Pipelines and Valves, there is no specific requirement for the type of valve being used. This task does not exclude the use of butterfly valves and does not differentiate between their use on raw and pasteurized product but does indicate that butterfly valves are not suitable to be cleaned (CIP) and as such would require disassembly after use and manual cleaning.

Under DEIM Task 1.16.0.3203, Cheese Vats, the requirement is for a sanitary type outlet valve.

Past experience has shown butterfly valves to be a sanitation issue. They are difficult to clean, are not hygienic and as a result pose microbiological concerns. They do not lend themselves to CIP cleaning.

Butterfly valves are currently being used in dairy processing facilities.

This is not a new policy but rather a clarification in the interpretation of the DEIM inspection criteria, to provide for consistency for evaluation across the country.

Decision:

  1. Butterfly valves continue to be unacceptable for vat pasteurizers (task 1.12.02.02), starter vats (task 1.15.0.3201) where all ingredients have been previously pasteurized and the product is being hygienically handled and mixing vats (task 1.16.0.3604) where all components going into ice cream mix have either been previously pasteurized or are microbiologically safe because they could become a source of contamination for pasteurized products.
  2. For all other applications, dairy processors that choose to use butterfly valves must have an effective written program defining procedures in place to clean, maintain, inspect and verify their condition.
Jennifer Miner
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Recommended by: Program Chief
December 13, 2012
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Date
Judy Scaife
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Approved by: National Manager
December 17, 2012
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Date
Date modified: