Although compressed air plays a key role in food and beverage production, its impact on food safety is often underestimated. The tough regulatory requirements to ensure health and hygiene standards in food processing and production are one key consideration; the other is the market clout of the major retail chains. They carry out regular audits of their food and beverage suppliers to check compliance with their extremely high standards. In many cases contracts worth millions may be at stake. How sure are you that your compressed air is up to standard?
Where contamination can occur
Contaminated compressed air in the food chain is one of the ways the safety of a food or beverage may be compromised during production, processing, handling, packaging or transporting. The most common contaminants are dirt, water and oil, though microbiological organisms (e.g. bacteria) may also be a source of contamination in a compressed air system. If compressed air comes into direct contact with the food or beverage, a much higher standard of contaminant control is required. When food retailers send their auditors to check health and hygiene standards at a food site, the quality of the compressed that comes into direct or indirect contact with the products could well be checked. So if an audit is due, it’s a good idea to ask the experts from BEKO Technologies to check in advance for compliance, e.g. with the relevant ISO 8573 standard.
BEKO’s check – a pre-emptive precaution
“To manage food safety you have to measure,” says Matthew Harrison, BEKO’s Sales Manager UK & Ireland. “Customers come to us for our expertise in compressed air technology and because we’re known for our excellent technical background.” It’s only in the past two decades, Matthew adds, that standards such as ISO 8573 or the Code of Practice issued by the British Compressed Air Society have become the norm. “That’s probably one of the reasons why we still see food sites with very basic compressed air equipment – and correspondingly low standards.”
When a customer calls in BEKO’s product support staff to check the quality of compressed air at a food site, the company’s expertise and experience in testing the relevant equipment are the preconditions for an objective assessment. If the customer wants to know what improvements are possible, BEKO will suggest a solution. “Because every food site is different,” says Paul Mucklow, BEKO’s Product Support Manager, “we always supply a customer with a one-off, site-specific solution.” The necessary investment, e.g. in the equipment to generate dry, dust-free and oil-free compressed air to meet strict food safety requirements, may not be cheap. But the loss of a key contract to supply a major retail chain would be a lot more expensive.
Keeping up to standard
When you ask BEKO to carry out a precautionary check on your compressed air equipment, you can count on expert personnel. BEKO trains its product support staff to the highest standards through its own online training programme, British Compressed Air Society courses and advanced training at the parent company in Germany. “Many food manufacturers admit they don’t know enough about compressed air,” Matthew says. “So they come to us looking to safeguard their contracts with retailers. Our expertise can give them peace of mind.”
If you’re uncertain about the quality of your compressed air, feel free to contact BEKO Technologies. They will send a sales engineer to first check if the overall constellation of your compressed air equipment makes a validation test possible. “We can first arrange a free visit by a sales engineer,” Paul points out. “Then there’s the possibility of a free test – naturally without any obligation.” It could be a contract saver.
BEKO TECHNOLOGIES develops, manufactures and sells components and systems worldwide for optimised compressed air quality. With an extensive program the company stands for compressed air technology at its best. For more than three decades, our company has developed, manufactured and sold high-quality, reliable and efficient components and systems for compressed air processing and condensate technology. We now offer a complete program and solutions that safeguard the required quality in our customers’ production processes, and make those processes more energy-efficient. Expert advice and a qualified service are the trademark of this independent and family-owned company.
For more information visit https://www.beko-technologies.com/en-gb/gb/.
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