Baking & Snack - February 2021 - 79

EQUIPMENT
Conveyors

Clean Bill of Health
Bakers need to explore all options to safely transport
products from the start to the end of the production line.
by Dan Malovany

W

What the eye can't see often blinds bakers to potential
dangers that lie ahead, especially when moving bread,
buns and sweet goods along a high-speed line. From
a sanitation perspective, hidden hazards lurk at every
turn and corner, as well as in every nook and cranny
in between where crumbs, glazes, toppings and other
debris may harbor beneath belts and potentially become pathogenic problems if not regularly removed
during cleaning.
Keeping food safety in mind will save a bakery's behind where the potential for cross contamination exists.
" If you were to change over from one product to another and the first product is peanut-based, there are
many consumers who could be allergic to peanuts, " observed Ricky Milner, product line support leader, Wire
Belt Co. of America. " So it is critical that the lines are
sanitized prior to the changeover. "
Bakeries face multiple challenges when it comes to
food safety. In addition to risks inherent in production
lines, foreign materials from equipment, walls, ceilings,
pests and even personal protective equipment pose a
hazard, Mr. Milner added.
With longer run times, many bakeries schedule less
time for preventive maintenance, sanitation and inspections, which puts many operations in a bind.

" Difficult-to-clean equipment can mean longer sanitation cycles and increased tear downs of equipment to
ensure allergens have been removed, " said Jeremy Shall,
industry team leader, bakery/snack, North America,
Intralox.
Then there are regulatory issues. Mike Frazier, engineer, Axis Automation, pointed out that the adoption of the Food Safety Modernization Act and Hazard
Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPC)
prompted bakeries to examine sanitation - and managing pathogenic risk - more intensively than in the past.
Those potential threats differ in the makeup and postoven areas where many new facilities now physically divide and take other preventive measures to separate the
handling of raw materials from baked ones.
Certainly, the heightened emphasis on sanitary design of equipment in recent years has ameliorated many
concerns. Jake Wills, conveyor project manager, Stewart
Systems, a Middleby Bakery company, suggested that the
warm, moist conditions in bakeries with airborne particles like flour dust or sticky products like donut glazes
create harsh conditions for cleaning. However, some
solutions now include eliminating flat surfaces from
equipment, reducing splice points on conveyor frames,
installing smooth body motors, and locating bearings

Conveyors are now
designed with features
that reduce sanitation
downtime and food
safety risks.
Ashworth Bros.

www.bakingbusiness.com / February 2021 Baking & Snack 79


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Baking & Snack - February 2021

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