By Dr. John Miles
Two years ago the FSMA legislation was introduced, and is bringing about significant changes in how we operate our labs. Most importantly, the FSMA classifies food labs that produce samples that will be consumed (even just as internal taste samples) as food producers. This means that while the operation and maintenance of lab UHT/HTST processors have always been important steps, it is now critical to formalize these actions, and document them properly.
Those of us in R&D are now required to be more vigilant about:
- How we care for our equipment
- How we stay on top of our training
- How we maintain records.
These are also good practices to protect your investment in your equipment. After all, companies pay much less for a car, and they would not think of not keeping that car properly maintained. The same holds true for your lab processing equipment.
With the FSMA upon us, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I processing samples in a way that accurately represents the plant process?
- Am I using the right type of equipment and processes for these samples?
- Is the processing equipment or method we are using capable of complying with FSMA?
- Are we recording and documenting all process parameters (product temperatures, flow rates, and pressures) properly?
- Are all of our operators properly trained?
- Are we routinely conducting preventative maintenance to ensure the equipment is functioning as needed?
- Are we current with our preventative maintenance and do we have records showing this?
- Are we replacing wearing parts on a proper schedule?
- Do we have an inventory on hand of critical spare parts?
- Can we meet FSMA requirements with our current equipment or processing methods?
If you answered “no” or “I don’t know” to any of these questions, click here to see how MicroThermics can help you. Contact Haywood Johnson to find out how you can answer “yes” to these questions with help from MicroThermics.
MicroThermics offers a variety of products and services to support FSMA requirements including:
- Fully Sanitary UHT/HTST Processors
- With available 5’/sec cleaning velocities
- Aseptic Laboratory Fillers
- Preventative Maintenance Agreements
- Certified Operator Programs
- Tune Ups & Trainings
- Processing Advice
- Topical Short Courses, Seminars & More
If you have any questions regarding this, we standby ready to help.