Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Hygienic Design of Bottling Plants

One of the observations I have made in visiting many bottling plants, is the wide variations in machine configuration and location. The design of the plant environment is important in maintaining good quality water and avoiding contamination problems, in particular around the bottle washer and filler.

It is important to keep the bottle washer, and particularly the filler, enclosed and protected from the outside environment as much as possible. One enigma in all this is that you are introducing dirty bottles into an area that you want to keep clean. This is where configuration of the machine is important.

The incoming dirty bottles should be kept away from the filler. Some configurations are not ideal particularly where the conveyor carrying dirty bottles passes close to the filler. The bottles are often covered in dust and I have seen operators occasionally wiping dirty bottles with a cloth before loading the washer. This causes dust to fly around. 

The fork-lift truck and conveyor loading area is often separated from the washer by plastic curtains, which is not best practice. The washer and filler should never be in an open area with open access to other areas such as warehousing.

If plastic curtaining is used, it must be kept clean otherwise bacteria can build up rapidly. Positive air pressure should be maintained in the bottling plant room, or if that is not possible, within the machine itself. 

Access to the bottling plant should be restricted to essential personnel. Preferably white boots, coats, hats and protective gloves should be worn in the plant. The latter should be changed regularly or disinfected with an alcohol gel.

No comments:

Post a Comment