General Principles of Food Hygiene, Composition and Labelling
2 - Equipment

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2.1 General Equipment

2.1.1 Design, Construction and Installation

All equipment and utensils are designed, constructed and installed to function as intended, to permit effective cleaning and sanitation and to prevent contamination.

Assessment Criteria

  • Equipment is designed, constructed and installed to ensure that:
    • it is capable of delivering the results that are required;
    • it is accessible for cleaning, sanitizing, maintenance and inspection;
    • contamination of the product during operation is prevented (e.g. location of lubricant reservoirs);
    • it is exhausted to the outside to prevent excessive condensation (e.g. filler bowls, blanchers, retorts), where necessary; and
    • proper drainage is permitted and where appropriate, equipment is connected directly to drains.

NOTE: Equipment design, construction and installation is not considered deficient if the potential hazards can be controlled by other procedures.

2.1.2 Food Contact Surfaces

Food contact surfaces are constructed of appropriate materials and are maintained in a manner to prevent contamination of food.

Assessment Criteria

  • Food contact surfaces of equipment and utensils are smooth, non-corrosive, non-absorbent, non-toxic, free from pitting, cracks or crevices, and able to withstand repeated cleaning and sanitation.
  • When coatings, paints, chemicals, lubricants and other materials are used for food contact surfaces or utilized on equipment where there is a possibility of contact with food, the substances are appropriate for the intended use and are used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

2.1.3 Equipment Maintenance and Calibration Program

An effective maintenance and calibration program is in place to ensure that equipment performs consistently as intended and prevents contamination of the product.

Assessment Criteria

  • The manufacturer has an effective written preventive maintenance and calibration program to ensure that equipment that may impact on food safety and net quantity functions as intended. This includes:
    • a list of equipment requiring regular maintenance; and
    • the maintenance procedures and frequencies (e.g. equipment inspection instructions; a schedule of adjustments and part replacements based on the equipment manufacturer's manual or equivalent, or based on operating conditions that could affect the condition of the equipment).
  • The manufacturer establishes written protocols, including calibration methods and frequencies, for equipment monitoring and/or controlling devices that may impact on food safety.
  • Equipment is maintained in a manner that ensures that there is no potential for the development of physical or chemical hazards (e.g. hazards resulting from inappropriate repairs, flaking paint and rust, excessive lubrication). 
  • Maintenance and calibration of equipment is done by appropriately trained personnel. 
  • The preventive maintenance program and written protocol are adhered to.

See Section 7.3.1 - Equipment Maintenance and Calibration Records.

2.1.4 Instrumentation Maintenance and Calibration Program

Instrumentation is designed, constructed, installed, calibrated and maintained such that the equipment is capable of delivering the required process, thereby ensuring product safety and net quantity accuracy.

Rationale

Improper design, installation, calibration or maintenance of instruments can lead to inadequate processing of the product or to improper use of food additives, nutritional inaccuracies or composition violations.

Assessment Criteria

  • Instruments that control factors that are critical to product safety are designed, installed, constructed, calibrated and maintained as necessary to ensure that they function as intended. The following are some examples of instrumentation that may be required to control factors critical to the process.

Temperature measuring devices

  • The manufacturer uses one temperature scale consistently throughout the processing system (i.e. Celsius or Fahrenheit).
  • Temperature measuring devices are calibrated against a known standard just prior to installation, and thereafter, a minimum of once per year (or more frequently as recommended in the equipment manufacturer's manual) and maintained as necessary to ensure accuracy (e.g., Resistance Temperature Detectors, bimetal thermometers).

Mercury in glass (MIG) thermometers

  • Mercury in glass thermometers are calibrated against a known standard just prior to installation, and thereafter, a minimum of once per year (or more frequently as necessary to ensure the thermometer's accuracy). If there is a deviation of more than 0.5°C (1°F) from the standard thermometer, corrective action is taken based on the directives found in this document (see Section 1.10.2 - Corrective Action).
  • Thermometer scales are within the operating range, are easily readable to 0.5°C (1°F), and do not contain more than 4°C/cm (17°F/in).

Temperature recorders

  • The scale of the temperature recording chart is not more than 12°C/cm (55°F/in) within the range of 10°C (18°F) of process temperature, and the chart graduation does not exceed 1°C (2°F) within 6°C (11°F) of processing temperature. The accuracy of temperature recorders is verified upon installation, and thereafter, a minimum of once per year (or more frequently as necessary to ensure their accuracy).

Timing devices

  • Timing devices and recorders are verified upon installation, and thereafter once per year (or more frequently as necessary to ensure accuracy).
  • Where timing devices are not equipped with a power backup, controls are in place to verify that process time requirements are met.
  • Any official timing device is located so that it can be easily and accurately read by the operators.

Pressure gauges

  • Each pressure gauge is calibrated at least annually (or more frequently as necessary to ensure accuracy).

Electronic devices

  • The capability of electronic devices is at least equivalent to that of traditional devices used for measuring and controlling critical parameters such as time, temperature and pressure (traditional devices include, for example, temperature recorder controllers).

Magnets

  • The strength and type of magnets are appropriate to the use.
  • Magnets are installed in a manner to effectively remove ferrous metal prior to, or after, certain operations (e.g. dicing, slicing or filling).
  • The strength of magnets is confirmed with the use of probes or other effective devices as necessary.
  • Magnets are monitored as necessary to ensure effective operation and surface exposure (e.g. adequately cleaned, metal particles removed).

Metal detectors

  • Metal detection equipment is designed, constructed, installed, calibrated and maintained in accordance with the equipment manufacturer's manual, to ensure effective removal of metals. This may include adjustment for product effect, selection of target metal and size, timing of the reject mechanism and suitability for environmental conditions.

Scales/metering devices

  • The sensitivity is appropriate to the use.
  • Scales are designed and installed to withstand the environmental conditions or are adequately protected (e.g. away from drafts, rust, corrosion).
  • Scales and meters are calibrated in accordance with the equipment manufacturer's manual to ensure accuracy at all times.

Other instrumentation

  • Other specialized instrumentation necessary for the control of critical factors is in place and calibrated as necessary (e.g. pH meters, refractometers).

NOTE: The manufacturer initiates corrective action as per Section 1.10 - Deviations and Corrective Action, whenever products could have been affected and found not to meet specifications.

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