| Ever overdraw on your checking account or max out a credit card? It’s not hard to do if you’re not keeping track of things. How can we manage household expenses without some sort of record keeping?
Away from home, in the business sector, record keeping becomes even more important. In fact, it’s the very thing covered by HACCP Design Principle No. 7.
Principle 7: Establish record keeping procedures. – This HACCP principle requires that all food manufacturing plants maintain records to show they implemented a HACCP plan, are following all principles, and the plan is working effectively.
Let’s look at an example. In keeping with the directive of HACCP Design Principle 7, the engineering department of a food manufacturing plant must keep records for each design project. The design record for a new cookie forming machine would contain things like engineering calculations to determine strength requirements of machine parts and supports, as well as power requirements for the electric motor that drives the machine. This design record would also contain documentation concerning materials selected to construct the machine, as well as dimensioned mechanical drawings of the machine and its parts. These dimensioned drawings will show all physical dimensions of the machine and its constituent parts.
The record would also contain test results and analysis of the results. Lastly, the design record must include a risk analysis of potential hazards that could result. Other activities include identification of CCPs, establishment of critical limits, and other factors in accordance with HACCP Design Principles 1 through 5. In other words, the record must be complete, bearing witness to an effective adherence to HACCP Design Principles 1 through 5.
Principle 7 also encompasses guidelines set in place through Design Principle 6, which calls for the establishment of procedures to govern Principles 1 through 5. A complete record would contain the procedures themselves, along with any revisions. It would also contain documentation that the procedures were reviewed and approved by management along the way.
Finally, of what use would records be if they were incomplete, disorganized, and outdated? A document control system not only establishes procedures, but assigns responsibilities to personnel within the department for filing design records to make sure that everything is up to snuff. This system would encompass everything, from the creation of engineering documents, to their timely entry into the record keeping system.
We have now exhausted our discussion on HACCP Design Principles. We’ll switch to a new topic next time, examining some basic concepts behind the control of industrial equipment and machinery.
Posts Tagged ‘food manufacturing equipment design’
| Some people just have a knack in the kitchen, and my wife is among them. She transforms raw ingredients into the most amazing culinary delights, almost like she’s waving a magic wand. The finished products are works of art, hand crafted with tender loving care, and lucky me, I get to feast on them regularly!
During the course of my engineering career I’ve been employed within many industries, and at one point I made the decision to leave the electric utility industry and enter into the world of food manufacturing. I accepted the position of Plant Engineer with a wholesale manufacturer of baking ingredients and frozen pastry products. My main responsibility was the design of food manufacturing equipment and their production lines.
What I had expected to be a relatively straightforward process soon proved to be more challenging. I was no longer working with hard metal as my raw material, that is, gears, nuts, and bolts, but a whole new arena of things described by adjectives such as gooey and pastey. Engineers don’t typically create food products, and let’s face it, you probably wouldn’t want to eat anything that I cooked anyway! But an engineer working within a food manufacturing plant must act as a liaison between the worlds of engineering design and the culinary arts.
Now food manufacturers typically hire professional chefs to develop new products in their research and development (R&D) kitchens. Like my wife, they’re well qualified to produce wonderful hand-made culinary delights. The sticky part comes in when their small batch recipes and preparation techniques don’t translate smoothly to the world of mass production. When it comes to handling food, human fingers are far superior to metal machinery, and raw ingredients behave differently for each.
Herein lies much of the challenge for design engineers within the food industry. How do you design equipment and production lines to make huge quantities of food that look and taste as good as the prototype products made by hand in the R&D kitchen? Next week we’ll find out.