Connect with us


The Importance of Cleaning & Sanitation of Air Handling for Food Hygiene Compliance



Food manufacturers, processors and packers are required to comply with an assortment of food safety standards and regulations. From microbiological hygiene to cross contamination and allergen control. Not only do these standards and regulations address the end food product themselves, but also the processes and facilities that are a part of the operation. Although they can sometimes appear as a hindrance, standards and regulations are essential for ensuring that food manufacturing and production operates within in a clean, safe and hygienic environment.

The whole food industry is centred around perishable products that can at some stage be effected negatively by bacteria. In the manufacturing and processing of food products there are plenty of opportunities for various airborne particles to be emitted to the indoor environment through the air handling system and duct work.

Sources of airborne contamination include:

  • Raw materials
  • Cooking and processing of food products
  • Allergens
  • Dust
  • Packaging
  • People
  • Poorly designed, cleaned or maintained air handling systems
  • Machinery, computers and equipment.

Airborne contamination control and removal of airborne bacteria should be considered in an overall plan to improve indoor air quality. The indoor air quality in a food manufacturing or food processing facility must meet certain requirements that are outlined in food hygiene audits and inspections.

Airborne Contamination Removal Methods

It is essential that a manufacturing facility provides adequate ventilation or control equipment to reduce odours and vapours in areas where they may contaminate the production process. This includes steam and VOC’s.

It is recommended that the positioning of air vents, fans and extraction units is effective for air hygiene management and the locations are determined to ensure that the potential for airborne contamination is minimised. Care also needs to be taken to ensure that the air is moving from high to low care areas or from low to higher dust loading areas.

Properly designed air handling systems control airborne particulates and odours, therefore minimising the risks to products from airborne contamination by infectious pathogens. Pathogens such as Salmonella and Listeria, toxigenic pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus and finally spoilage microorganisms such as yeast, moulds, Pseudomonas and lactic acid bacteria.

More Than Just Hygiene

Not only do air handling systems help to reduce the cross contamination caused by these airborne impurities, but they also important to ensure efficient air filtration and distribution. Effective air filtration and distribution helps to remove the heat imposed by the processes and people within a food factory. They also provide sufficient fresh air, prevent the ingress of airborne contamination and avoid regions of stagnant air.

Manufacturers can sometimes overlook the temperature within their production environments. Food manufacturing facilities that operate at temperatures below 13OC could be damaging their production. Evidence shows that it is prejudicial to food safety to ensure that the air distribution maintains a steady temperature above 13OC, unless there are specific outlined requirements. A clean and efficiently operating air handling system can ensure effective air mapping and have the ability to control temperatures across an entire facility.

A Breeding Ground for Bacteria

However, no matter how well a ventilation system works, grease and other extracted products will build up in the ducting and air handling units of an extraction system. As a result, dust and bacteria will accumulate in the air ducts and air handling systems. These contaminants are pulled into the HVAC system and re-circulated up to 10 times per day, on average. Over time, this re-circulation causes a build-up of contaminants in the duct work, these then become a breeding ground for bacteria and mould.

The build-up of dust, dirt and grease in air ducts can result in significant health & safety issues due to potential fire hazards and poor performance.

Reduced effectiveness of an extraction system, can impact on equipment service life. Furthermore, it has the potential for more serious problems later down the line.

The Importance of Cleaning

Air system hygiene is controlled by regular cleaning (and disinfection) to prevent the build-up of dust, product or condensate that may provide a focus for microbial growth. Without regular cleaning, air will pass through the polluted duct carrying bacteria onto or around the food process areas. Comprehensive duct work cleaning and cleanliness surveys also highlight the conditions of the ducting and help to manage any necessary repairs that could go unnoticed.

It’s Not My Job!

It is the duty of the building owner or facilities manager to ensure the maintenance and cleanliness of the duct work and air handling systems. They also need to be able to provide suitable maintenance and sanitation records to support audit compliance.

A Wealth of Benefits

As well as minimising airborne contamination and reducing health and safety risks, cleaning can yield significant long-term energy savings. When an HVAC system is not maintained and clean, it has to work harder. Research shows that dirty coils and blowers in commercial buildings can cut efficiency by as much as 40%. Consequently, when a system is running efficiently, less energy is used and that saves you money.

With lower potential for contamination, improved efficiency, and fewer health and safety risks, it is safe to say that there are a wealth of benefits that unfold from ensuring the cleanliness of your duct work and air handling systems.

google news


What is This New Backside Illumination on the New iPhone?




Recently Apple announced the new iPhone and a number of the hardware changes were targeted at the camera. Thanks to the infamous lost iPhone fiasco we expected the 5 mega-pixel camera and flash, but Jobs announced the camera had backside illumination. That left us puzzled so we did a some research on camera chips.

What is backside illumination?

First stop giggling… OK… I’ll admit I think they could have found a better name. Some of the jokes I saw on Twitter seemed to be especially crude about this feature. Backside illumination is a trick of getting better digital photos by getting more of the available light to where it is measured.

First an overview on digital cameras

The key part of all digital cameras is a chip called the CCD (charge coupled device) which senses the light falling on its surface. The light affects the charge a grid of millions of tiny capacitors created on the silicon when the chip is made (making chips is called fabrication and involves a lot of etching and depositing of thin layers and different materials in precisely controlled ways). For simplicity just think about black and white CCD’s where the array of capacitors corresponds to the array of pixels which make up a digital image (color sometimes uses a lot more tricks). The chip has additional circuitry that measures the charge of all of the capacitors which is basically how the light levels of the image are read. To be able to read all of these capacitors there are minutely thin wires running over the top. They’re not actually wires but a thin layer of aluminum or copper that is effectively sprayed on to the chip and then carefully eaten away using acids to leave connecting traces, which are pretty much metal wires bonded to the chip.

Why backside illumination?

All those wires and other parts of the capacitors sit on top of a square silicon tile (called the die) with the capacitors at the bottom. The circuitry and wires don’t obstruct it too much as it works but it does block some light and scatter some in to surrounding capacitors which reduces the quality of image captured especially with limited lighting. Back to that square silicon tile. Silicon is the main ingredient of regular glass (aka silicon dioxide) but the stuff used in making chips is a super pure silicon crystal and transparent. With backside illumination the issues with traditional CCD’s of the capacitors being on the bottom is quite literally turned upside down and now you shine the image on what was the bottom of the silicon tile and let the light shine through the silicon to the capacitors. This way you avoid all the wires and get more light to the capacitors.

With this new camera chip Apple has shown some beautiful looking pictures but they key performance area will be low lighting. Capturing scenes like the last light of a fading sunset. The earlier iPhones (Original and 3G) had very basic fixed focus 2 mega-pixel cameras which struggled in low lighting. The 3GS brought auto focus and auto white balance that improved performance but still struggled with such scenes, often distorting colors. Now with the new camera chip the iPhone should take vastly improved photos, coupled with the in-built flash to handle low lighting indoors.

google news
Continue Reading


WOW Golden Pearl Farming – Fast Way to Make Gold on WOW




Using the Auction House for making gold on WOW is the fastest way to make it on WOW. But what do you do if you need some fast way to make gold on WOW to begin with?

Many players are trying to farm gold as a fast way to make it on WOW – but that is not the best way, it is not even a good way for making gold on WOW at most cases.

Farming is only good at high level and even then it is not the best way!

This is true especially because when you level up you can make more gold at less time – so you will want to start by leveling up as fast as possible before you start farming in the first place.

But there is an exception to that rule – WOW Golden Pearl Farming!

WOW Golden Pearl Farming is good as they can be sold for a lot of gold at the WOW Auction House most of the time.

There are times that Golden Pearl are sold for 4g-5g, but more often than none you can sell them on the WOW Auction House for a very high prices – that is 80g-100g and even up to 200g per pearl!

This means that if you can get 4-6 Golden Pearls an hour from farming you can make between 500g to 1000g per hour, and you can start farming for Golden Pearl from as low level as 40 while leveling in the same time, or go pearl farming as a fast way to make gold on WOW at a low level as 50.

The secret is not to farm for the pearls themselves but to farm for specific clams that drop them as well as buy them from the WOW Auction House itself.

You see there is a secret for farming those pearls, and you will be amazed how simple it is to get them.

google news
Continue Reading


WoW Best Gold Farming Spots in Wotlk – Wrath of the Lich King




There is a great need for any player who wishes to survive in the recent expansion to the World of Warcraft (WoW), the Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK). Just like in the real world, living in WoW has become more expensive as new garb and weapons are becoming pricier. Even relaxing at a pub in Dalaran could be worth some amount of gold. This has spurred the emergence of not a few WoW gold guide articles that aim to help the WotLK gamer in farming for gold in Northrend. Most of these articles would tell you where to go to farm WoW gold and the fastest way to make gold in WoW. Even the best WoW gold making guide contains almost the same tips and techniques that you’ll find in these WoW farming for gold articles.

Here are some WoW money making tips that are constantly referred to in these WoW farming guides:

1. Get the right gathering profession. Having the right profession will allow you to be able to build on the right skills to make gold. The best professions are those that are easy to level up and easy to earn gold in. Some of these professions include:

o Mining: Your ores can fetch you lots of gold. If you max your gathering skill level into grand master level, you will be able to mine most ores. You can go to the Burning Steppes and the Un’goro for Mithil and Thorium or the Netherstorm, Terokkar, and Nagrand for Adamantite ore.

o Herbalism: You can find a lot of herbs to sell for gold in the different zones of WoW. You can find some Mana Thistle in the Outlands or some Nightmare Vine drops when you go to Shadowmoon Valley. Other herbs that you can find are Fel Lotus, Ancient Lichen and the Netherbloom.

o Skinning: There is a huge amount of gold that can be made with selling rare leather like those made from cobra scales and wind scales. These can be found at the Shadowmoon Valley, nagrand, and the Blade’s Edge Mountains. You can even be crafty enough to make these into armors and other more useful items to make it worth more gold.

2. Max your crafting profession: Just like your gathering profession, you need to make sure that your crafting profession level is way up before you enter the WotLK. These professions include alchemy, jewelcrafting, and leatherworking. As you would note, these skills can be combined with your gathering professions to be able to increase the gold values of your gathered items.

3. Trade your goods: Watch the auction house. You can make more gold in finding out which ones are selling for less amounts of gold but with potential of selling for higher amounts of gold at a later time. Follow the basic rules of trading which is to buy low and sell high. Watch for things selling at a bargain that could possibly fetch a higher price later on because of an increase in demand.

google news
Continue Reading