Step 8 of 15
Maintenance & Engineering
Maintenance and engineering practices can impact upon the allergen status of foods even when not directly involved in the food production. Staff who have detailed knowledge of equipment and points where product may accumulate play a key role in allergen management.
Engineers who are required to work on different lines and equipment or who move between lines (particularly with emergency breakdowns) can potentially transfer allergens to other equipment. Consider using dedicated or separated personnel and equipment wherever possible.
Implement controls to ensure maintenance equipment and tools are cleaned after use.
Implement line inspections and start up checks for cleanliness before production recommences.
Ensure maintenance and engineering personnel understand their role in allergen control. They can add important information to an allergen risk review and help to formulate solutions to allergen risks.
- Running line flushes without considering the presence of allergens within the flush can cause cross contact.
- Shut downs, down time, and line changeovers are other examples of when allergen controls need to be implemented to prevent cross contact.
- Implement procedures to test/confirm that all is back in order after a maintenance event.
- Unplanned maintenance changes such as changing to alternative pipelines that have not been accounted for may impact upon Hang Up.
Equipment failures can be a potential cause for allergen cross contact to occur. Review the preventive maintenance schedule. Inspect equipment to reduce the chance of failures.
When purchasing new equipment consider cleanability and potential for Hang Up.
Where there is a change to equipment or process, a review for potential changes to allergen profiles is required prior to the change being implemented. This can be done by the cross- functional team which is described in the ‘Getting Started’ section of this website.