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Why clean air is essential for HACCP compliance

Avoid contamination and comply with regulations

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Failure is inevitable without food hygiene regulation compliance

Production facilities and warehouses are bustling with activity. Spores, germs and bacteria are constantly introduced into the facility, multiplying rapidly, no matter how careful your employees are. Meanwhile, ingredients such as flour and oil are thrown into the air during production, while grinding grain produces extremely fine particles. They contaminate the working environment, and dust accumulates – including in areas involved with shipping and receiving. For beverage companies, dust can settle on bottles and cans in storage areas.  Stopping this torrent of airborne particles is no easy task, but it’s one you must shoulder.

Even minuscule amounts of pollutants are dangerous for consumers and employees, potentially making them sick. In the food industry, reputational loss could easily turn into a disastrous public scandal. Failure to keep up with government regulations therefore poses a serious business risk: perception of your company may be damaged, perhaps irreparably so. Your business will fail audits, receive fines, and could even be shut down. HACCP compliance will shield you from these catastrophes.

What is HACCP?

HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. It is an international standard internal monitoring system for food companies intended to ensure the health and safety of employees and consumers.

Food products wrapped with crime scene tape due to HACCP non-compliance

Why is HACCP compliance important?

Beyond simply catering to the tastes of the market and ensuring your products are of a high standard, it’s also your responsibility to make sure that your workers and the public are safe. HACCP food hygiene regulations are excellent guidelines for doing so. Complying with HACCP principles also shows the world how seriously you take your quality standards and your responsibility to your consumers and employees, all contributing to a better corporate image and a greater chance of success.

The facts

Among the dustiest industries

Food production is one of the dustiest industries. One in five decision-makers in food and beverage acknowledge that their facilities don’t address dust adequately.

£36,000 fine for UK bakery

Non-compliance poses a serious risk to businesses of all sizes. In 2016, the HSE fined a bakery company in the UK £36,000 for failing to meet standards.

USA: inspections and refusals

In 2019, the US Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) conducted severe additional inspections. They refused entry to 5 million lb of meat and poultry, and 5,000 lb of eggs.

Occupational asthma and flour

From 2014 to 2018, the most common factor in occupational asthma cases across the UK was exposure to flour.

Beware of contamination

In the food and beverage industry, contamination can occur through the whole production process, not just during processing. Potential contaminants include natural toxins, metals and other inorganic materials, and pollutants.

Unclean air affects our health

The WHO has found that prolonged exposure to unclean indoor air can cause acute respiratory syndrome. They have also linked particulate matter in the air with reduced productivity.

Who manages HACCP in your country?

Specific food standards differ from country to country. Each country has its own organisation which oversees standards among businesses:

The UK has the The Food Standards Agency (FSA). The FSA works with local authorities to enforce food safety regulations and check that standards are being met.

Dust particles in food storage area threaten HACCP compliance

The air we breathe indoors

Industry bodies and regulators around the world try to emphasize the importance of clean air in the workplace. The problem is that many people still believe that outdoor air pollution can be escaped simply by going indoors. However, indoor air quality can be just as bad, and even a lot worse, than it is outside.

"We have always been able to control the cultivation and content of the fruit we sell; now we can control the internal conditions of our warehouse and packing areas as well. Our investment in a clean air environment was a significant part of our aim to strengthen our position as the market leader."

Sergio Giovanelli, Chief Quality Officer, Giovanelli AG

What does HACCP compliance mean for your business?

To meet HACCP food hygiene regulations, you need clean, pathogen-free air. Poor indoor air quality poses a significant risk to food products, employee health, as well as to machinery and installations. Dust and other airborne pollutants buildup can harm the efficiency and significantly shorten the lifespan of your equipment and machinery, potentially grinding the whole line to a halt. In short, allowing pollutants to build up in your business is not an option.

However, keeping a facility clean and free from airborne particles can be incredibly time-consuming, costly and resource-intensive. It also keeps employees away from their main focus: making a high-quality product. Fortunately, there are tools and options for businesses to produce clean air quickly, easily, and cost-effectively.

To establish an effective HACCP compliance plan, you need the right tools and methods – and that’s where we can help.

Air cleaning unit filtering polluted air
Conventional air cleaning is not enough

The answer to HACCP compliance is in the air

Convential methods like LEV are not enough. For full HACCP compliance you must capture pollutants at the source. Air cleaning systems by Zehnder can help you exactly do that.

Standard dust collectors seek to accumulate high volumes of dust, mostly by using bag filters. However, these filters are incapable of capturing the tiniest micro-organisms. Zehnder’s solution is a dual stage filtration system.

The first stage is Zehnder’s patented FlimmerM® filter which captures high volumes of dust while allowing air to continuously flow through to the 2nd stage. The 2nd stage is a compact filter (also available in HEPA 14 class) that can focus on smaller particles and can be rated as high as ePM1. This allows us to deliver high quality filtration without sacrificing clean air delivery rate.

For more information on our filters and filter classes, visit our air filters page.

Check out our air filters

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