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hygiene just a more sophisticated word for cleanliness?
It seems to
be, that most people use the word hygiene just to show their intellectual
demands. They even talk about hygienic paper instead of toilet
paper. So is hygiene really only another word for cleanliness?
means everything that has a positive influence of the wellness
and healthiness of humans. This means, that even a conversation
could be hygienic. But it is not commonly used in such a wide
range, because something like a conversation is very hard to get
measured and scientifically specified.
is a medicine branch that occupies the discipline of hygiene.
Hygiene as a medical discipline works in the areas of hospital
hygiene as well as environment hygiene.
hygiene is something we have to deal with on a day to day basis
in every dairy in the world. It is not only air pollution or the
handling of the waste material. Environment hygiene for a dairy
is for sure also much more than garbage separation for recycling
hygiene is divided into the areas
handling e.g. is part of the “soil”, rays are part
of the “air”.
that is measurable and has an influence of the wellness or health
of humans belongs to the hygiene. In a dairy this can be split
into two major groups.
The one where it has an influence to
· the consumers or to the product and the other where it
· the employees.
part appears much more obviously, because here we are talking
also about cleanliness as well as cleanability and sanitary design.
As simple as it sounds, but also a clean straight label in clear
colors and not a wrinkle misprint puts the trust of the customers
into the product, so he might feel less comfortable if he has
doubts about the product quality, which means that it is less
is doing a great job in defining standards of hygienic design.
But something can also be hygienic without being certified by
the EHEDG. And a lot of things that are commonly used in the plants
are very far away from being hygienic.
air conditioning, floor covering as well as noise, vibrations
or colors that are used, are part of the hygiene in a dairy. As
strange as it might sound, but if somebody is working all day
in a bright yellow room his mood might be different from the one
who was working in a room that is painted in a dark blue color.
A different mood means also how alert, how motivated or how stressed
somebody might be.
A high quality
floor with heavy duty ceramic tiles that is easy to kept clean
helps a little bit the employees to feel well. Straight epoxy
floors are extremely slippery when wet, therefore normally some
sand is mixed in. After some time of use the top layer of the
epoxy is worn and the sand is washed out. Even when it is freshly
cleaned with a high pressure washer, this floor always looks dirty,
because of the shadows in the pin holes. So everybody who is looking
to either floor might have more positive feelings to the one that
temperature has a very big influence to the efficiency. If the
light temperature is close to daylight, people feel much better,
than for example if they have to work at a low light temperature,
this so called “warmer light” makes people feeling
tired much sooner. The most modern lights will change the light
temperature during the day fully automatically, these lights actually
follow the light temperature of the real sun light during the
day, so at noon they produce a higher light temperature than in
the late afternoon. These lights are still really expensive, even
they are on the market for some seven years they are extremely
seldom to find in working areas.
will understand, that there are comfortable temperatures and humidity
levels, and that it does not have to mean, that an operator will
fall asleep just because he feels comfortable, but that it is
far less risky that he will make mistakes during operation when
he is not sweating or shivering.
vibrations are very well defined in the health and safety act.
But far below the allowed figures noise and vibrations will have
a negative influence to the operators performance. It should not
be a luxury anymore to install silent computers and well insulated
control rooms. It is scientifically proofed that the high frequency
level of some high speed hard disks can reduce the concentration
level of the operators. It really is not a cost factor to install
much more silent hard disk drives, you just have to think about
it and you have to do it. If it is not specified the purchase
department has to go for the lowest price, even the price difference
between one that gets on the operators nerves to the silent one
is less than an one hour payment of the operator. Vibrations will
have a very high influence of the workman performance. Good engineering
companies know how to reduce vibrations without driving the costs
If we look
to the first production step, the milk intake, it is clear, that
the truck has to be tidy to show to everybody that human food
is handled. But quite often the milk intake is not covered by
a roof, so the operator as well as the connections of the transfer
hose might be outside in the rain. If there is not a proper room
for the driver, he will be sitting in his truck and unless a noisy
bell will alarm him, he will not leave it until he considers that
a manual operation is required. When it is cold outside he might
even let the engine run and would not care about the exhaust fumes.
a tank truck a hose is necessary. Quite often hoses are also used
because it makes you very flexible. Even new installations very
often have hose connections in mind when installing swing bend
or seat valve installations. Not only that this “unlimited
flexibility” is costly but also it makes everything more
complicated. There are sometimes lines installed they are used
just to CIP them, because nobody even remembers the reason why
they have been installed for. If hoses are still in use, it should
be considered, that even food grade hoses do not have to be fabricated
completely out of food grade material. Reinforcements are sometimes
glued together with a glue that can have a chemical reaction e.g.
with some sanitizers. There has been a large case in Germany were
a plant was filling the hoses over the weekend with a halogen
acid as a sanitizer in a concentration according to the suppliers
recommendations. The hoses had been some four years in operation
and looked from outside like they would be in a good shape. The
hose connections had been installed by the plant with a band-it
tool. On some parts the inner liner was damaged and the halogen
acid could penetrate the reinforcement. When the hoses were rinsed
out, the rinse water did not have any off flavor, even the product
pumped through, tasted and smelled fine until one or two days
after filling. Then the product was building up a kind of a phenol
flavor. This killed the business of the plant and they got shut
down soon later. Hoses should get inspected at the inside on a
regular bases. The hose connections should be installed by the
hose manufacturer. Only the best (and normally most expensive)
hoses are good enough. The life cycle of a hose is approximately
three to four years. So hose lines are the most expensive and
most risky lines and should only be used for tank truck connections
or for “real emergencies”.
valves are often installed at a poor accessibility. The quality
of a sample relies also on the easiness of the sample taking.
Good sample valves are
· easy to operate,
· easy to clean and
· easy to sterilize.
In case a seal or a gasket fails, they are leaking. (fig. 1)
sample valves in addition can get operated pneumatically for CIP
(fig. 2), an automatic CIP with only manual operated sampling
valves is not possible!
cost factor is minor if it is considered, how many sample valves
are installed in total and how high of a risk is taken to rely
that the operators will open all sample valves manually at every
CIP that is performed. Sample cocks (fig. 3) should not even be
used for non product materials, they are not cip-able and if they
are not maintained properly they will leak soon.
losses of compressed air or water because of leaking sample cocks
are much more costly than the price of a good sample valve. Unfortunately
because of cost reasons especially engineering companies order
more sample cocks than proper sample valves, so the valve manufacturer
produces what the market asks for. So the final customer has to
specify these details unless he is working together with companies
who always obey such rules.
bend panels or pipe fences are used in most dairies. Not only
in Germany, but also in Europe, Asia and Africa DIN 11 851 unions
are used. It is common practice to close the open branch with
a blind cap during CIP and leave the butterfly valve open to flush
out this part. Blind caps do not use the DIN gasket but a sealing
disk or a flat sealing ring. If this sealing disk is damaged product
or CIP solution can get trapped behind this gasket as well it
will stay behind a flat sealing ring. These areas are un-cleanable
is much more sanitary to use a heavy liner plug (fig.5) only with
the normal DIN 11851 gasket.
Tee independently if installed in a pipe fence or somewhere else
in the plant that branch is followed by a butterfly valve should
be built as a short Tee (fig. 7).
standard Tee (fig. 6) is very hard to get cleaned together with
the main line.
rooms can be built using up every space, so it is hardly possible
to operate and maintain the plant. An ergonomic, clearly arranged
design helps to prevent operating errors. If a plant seems to
be simple out of the view of the operator, he will enjoy working
with it and the quality of the work and the product might increase.
Complicated designs with lots of “secrets” will never
get accepted by the operators and normally show that the engineer
who designed this plant did not understand the process completely.
For sure this
is only a very small section of the hygiene in a dairy, but some
people might have got arguments for something they already have
of a product has also something to do with the smile in the face
of the employees.
Hygiene is often been used as a more sophisticated word for cleanliness,
but it is much more. Everything that influences the health and
the wellness of humans has something to do with hygiene. That
starts with the color and the material of the floor covering,
has something to do with lighting, vibrations, noise but for sure
also with the layout and design of the production facilities.
Hygiene has also something to do with happy and healthy employees
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