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Boost food hygiene controls with Loma’s IP69K-rated inspection systems

17 June 2014

Each year it is estimated that as many as 5.5 million people in the UK may suffer from foodborne illnesses – that’s 1 in 10 people. 

Although these microorganisms can be introduced at any point in the food chain and are invisible to the naked eye, manufacturers can further boost their food safety reputation by introducing IP69K-certified full-washdown contaminant inspection equipment. Loma’s latest line-up of IQ3+ Metal Detection and X5 X-ray contaminant inspection systems and are designed to withstand high-pressure hot steam jet cleaning of up to 1,450psi. Constructed using top-quality 304L stainless steel makes the systems food safe and reduces the risk of corrosion. In creating these newly designed systems, Loma engineers have paid particular attention to eliminating the nooks, crannies and food traps where liquid can pool and microorganisms can thrive. Features like rounded surfaces helps to speed up the drying process, avoid water collecting and the likelihood of microorganisms breeding.

Stressing the importance of IP69K sanitisation in food safety, Loma’s UK Sales Manager Tony Bryant says: “Careful design and layout of processing equipment in conjunction with regular, thorough cleaning of the processing environment, is critical to protecting public health. The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles are in place to assist food producers in their quest to prevent and inspect for dangerous contaminants and foreign bodies. This extends to evaluating the hazards that could affect food safety, such as the likelihood of a listeria outbreak.”

Although rare, there are on average about 180 cases of listeriosis reported to the UK Food Standards Agency each year. A presence, or suggestion of that Listeria was initiated at a facility, can seriously tarnish a food producer’s brand image. In addition to the cost of taking corrective action and recalling a range, production may be suspended, impacting earnings and profits long-term. 

The listeria bacteria can be especially prevalent in chilled ‘ready-to-eat’ foods, with pre-packed sandwiches, pâté, butter, soft rinded cheese, cooked sliced meats and smoked salmon being the most ‘at risk’ products highlights NHS Choices. Many of these food production environments can be exposed to rapid temperature changes, vigorous and caustic wash-down regimes, high humidity and saline, all of which can take a toll on equipment. “In the last 12-months, sales of our IP69K- certified inspection equipment have dramatically risen,” comments Tony “Because our systems meet the hygiene requirements outlined in all Retailer Codes of Practice, food manufacturers can fully demonstrate a robust food production process. It’s essential to keeping and winning new business.” 

With Loma’s latest innovations, even the touchscreen has an IP69K rating and conveyors are designed for ease of cleaning. Take the X5 x-ray inspection system. Thanks to its new quick release mechanism, one person can remove and replace the belt for cleaning in less than 60 seconds - a task that can take up to half an hour with competitive systems. “These time saving features not only improve food safety, but can also boost throughput on the busiest food production lines,” adds Tony. 

Attention to food safety has never been more prevalent. The combination of IP69K-certified inspection equipment and well-designed equipment will ensure food manufacturers stay ahead of regulations and are delivering product security to consumers at every touchpoint. 

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