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Safety in the food and beverage industry

Hygiene is a top concern in the food and beverage industry

When talking about safety in the food and beverage industry, most people will think about the mass production of food that is safe to eat – a top concern of manufacturers. Food recalls always make headlines and manufacturers are held accountable. “Baby food recalled amid contamination fears”, “Australian outbreak caused by cross-contamination”, or “CT Firm recalls assorted meat products” are all examples of recent headlines. Depending on the size of the company, consequences of food contamination can range from severe stock deflation for major brands to the shutdown of a smaller business.

But just as important is the safety of workers as a survey of food professionals revealed.

For example, the food and beverage industry in the US has one of the highest incidents of job related injuries or illnesses, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Management has a legal and moral obligation to safeguard the health of its workers. In an industry where heavy machinery, dust and noise are the norm, the dangers are everywhere. The first step in keeping workers safe is prevention. That’s why it is essential to properly record accidents and have trained safety personnel analyze them, so that meaningful accident prevention methods can be established.

Reliable in extreme conditions

For the food and beverage industry, it is imperative to be intimately familiar with industry regulations and safety requirements. For example, in harsh environments and where a high degree of cleanliness is required, the products need to have an IP-rating for high pressure washing with hot water (IP69K) and be able to resist detergents and chemicals. At the same time, it is also important for product manufacturer to minimize uneven surfaces that can attract dirt and bacteria or make them harder to clean.

Food and beverage applications generally have a lot of hatches to monitor, and the available space for door sensors is often minimal. Since the margins are tight there needs to be cost effective solutions to monitor all the hatches, and the safety solutions needs to be standardized in order to be easily implemented on all machines.

ABB Jokab Safety has been developing safety solutions for the food and beverage industry for over 20 years. Many of our products are developed in close cooperation with customers to be able to handle specific requirements (such as resistance to specific cleaning chemicals and operating temperature range). This means our products and solutions for the food and beverage industry are tried and tested in these environments and as a customer you can feel confident that our solutions will give your machines a long lifetime without problems.

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Our most successful product for food and beverage applications is the Eden sensor. It has a compact design to fit small hatches and the highest IP-rating (IP69K) to withstand the requirements on cleanliness. Eden uses non-contact RFID signals between the sensors, meaning there are no keys or holes creating uneven surfaces where dirt can stick. Eden is available in different models depending on the preferred way to communicate with the safety controller, but all models reach the highest level of safety even when connected in series (which is not the case for key switches or magnetic switches). It also meets the highest requirements on coding from the new standard for interlocking devices (EN ISO 14119). This makes it ideal to use when there are many hatches or doors to monitor, minimizing installation time and cost of cables.

 

Pluto_300dpi_700pxAnother popular product in food and beverage applications is the Pluto Safety PLC. It’s a compact, powerful and cost effective Safety PLC that scales well to be used in both large and small food and beverage applications. Using Pluto together with multiple Eden sensors is a perfect solution that has proven to be very popular in food and beverage applications. You get a cost effective way to monitor multiple hatches, reaching the highest level of safety with a minimum number of components and cables, reducing the cost and installation time. The same communication signals used for connecting multiple Eden sensors can also be used for connecting multiple Smile emergency stops. The clever indications on the sensors and e-stops minimizes any error tracking required. The solution is also flexible, allowing for easy modifications in the future when more hatches or machine parts are added.

Contact ABB Jokab Safety for your next machine – we can help you increase your safety and minimize your costs.

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