Hygiene en Voedselveiligheid in groente-industrie – Hygiene and Food Safety in the vegetable industry
In March Intralox and Bruynooghe organized their second deep frozen vegetables and potato event in Roeselare, Belgium. Employees from various departments, quality to maintenance, and various companies joined together to learn about hygiene and food safety in their factories. That happened in four interactive sessions.
Bedrijfsafdelingen moeten samenwerken – Departments must cooperate
US FSMA regulations
Karin Blacow, Food Safety Specialist at Commercial Food Sanitation (an Intralox company), started of with the Food Safety Modernization Act that was signed by Obama in 2011. This act changed the burden of proof: today food processors need to be able to proof they work in compliance with regulations. This also has implications for European companies that export to the US, because they too need to comply with the FSMA regulation.
Regulations in Belgium
Next up, Stefan Theuwis, Director at DG controle at FAVV, talked about Belgian regulations in the area of hygiene and food safety, and their effect on food processors. He clarified auto-controls, operators’ obligation to notify in case of defects, and food manufacturers’ duty to guarantee trace-ability.
Hygiene in the vegetable industry
Then, Hein Timmerman, chairman of EHEDG Belgium, zoomed in on the vegetable segment. During harvesting seasons production continues day and night, leaving little time to clean and disinfect. He talked about available chemicals, possible cleaning methods and their focus areas, but also covered trends and alternatives for the huge water consumption that is typical in this industry.
Of course conveyor belts, the area of expertise of both organizing companies, were also covered. Intralox Product Specialist, Mike Hanna, demonstrated the patented tensionless belting system ThermoDrive. This system was developed with the challenges of different disciplines in mind, which brings us back to the underlying theme of the event: For safe food production, you need cross-departmental cooperation!