Reducing cross contamination in food processing conveyor belts

Conveyor systems are an integral part of businesses in the food industry as they quickly and efficiently ensure that large quantities of products get to where they need to go in your factory. Great care needs to be taken when food items are placed onto a food conveyor belt because cross contamination is alarmingly easy to miss and before you know it an entire line of products needs to be disposed of, or worse a consumer becomes unwell from it and your business is in trouble. As the main vessels that connect all areas of your operation, it is vital that your conveyor system is kept as clean and well-maintained as possible.  

However, maintaining the highest standard of hygiene in the food industry is challenging, especially as the cleaning procedure for food processing conveyor belts is not always designed to be as effective and thorough as it needs to be. This is largely because the belt materials and construction are more fragile than other pieces of equipment, so achieving detailed cleans on a regular basis often leaves it more vulnerable to wear and tear. Therefore, with so many different types of conveyor all with various uses, planning and managing an effective cleanliness strategy isn’t simple, but it is essential.  

How can cross-contamination occur in the food industry? 

Cross-contamination happens when bacteria spreads between food, surfaces, or equipment. If not constantly monitored and managed effectively, this can easily occur in the food industry which would be disastrous not just for any consumers that could become ill from the contaminated product but also the reputation of the business. 

Avoiding cross-contamination in conveyors 

There is a long list of contaminants that could come into contact with your products and conveyor belts and rapidly spread, including bacteria, viruses, and chemicals. Cross-contamination can be found in all automatic conveyor systems in a production line, which is why such strict sanitations requirements need to be enforced.  

All pieces of equipment and machinery should have plan in place for scheduled cleaning and disinfecting to keep the risk of contamination as low as possible. In the past, equipment like conveyor belts were only designed with function in mind rather than hygiene, but over the years that has changed. Modern machine manufacturing takes ease of cleanliness into account which is extremely beneficial to any food-based business working in the industry today. Let’s take a look at some examples of this below.  

What are the ideal parts for hygienic food industry conveyors? 

Alongside an in-depth cleaning schedule, using specifically designed parts that enable this level of hygiene management is another important way of minimising the possibility of contamination in food conveyors. Using the right drum motors for instance, will enable you to take advantage of their modern features like energy efficiency to reduce costs and carbon footprint and a simple design for accessibility and cleanliness.  

With a flat surface, stainless-steel finish, and easy integration capabilities awkward cleaning is a thing of the past. This is thanks to moving away from corners and unused spaces that are often the perfect environments for bacteria and dust. Also, they are not as prone to damage during cleaning which means frequent procedures can be carried out safely and regularly without any negative outcomes like repair or replacement. FESS can help you find the best industrial elements that will work with your operational layout and ensure the most efficient and hygienic belt conveyor solutions. 

How can FESS help? 

Our experienced team at FESS has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the food industry and what can be done to make businesses within that industry perform more efficiently, saving them time and money. Food safety and hygiene is a key priority for businesses working in this sector and FESS can help ensure you have the right belt conveyor systems in place that make cleanliness and hygiene quicker and easier, fully mitigating the risk of cross-contamination. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you and don’t forget to request a free site survey through our website to get started. 


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