Monthly Archives: February 2014

Keeping it Clean with FSMA

j0444789A large part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) focuses on prevention when it comes to controlling our food supply. The steps to preventing foodborne diseases, according to FDA, on the part of the manufacturer, involve evaluating the hazards, specifying preventative steps, monitoring, and correcting problems that may arise.

An aid in reducing hazards is disinfection, cleaning and sanitation. Food Quality & Safety published an article in November 2013, titled “Keep It Clean” that takes a deeper look at the role of disinfectants and sanitizing solutions in FSMA implementation. While there are a few different methods of disinfection, we provide products for chemical disinfection:

Chlorine Sanitizers

Iodine Sanitizers

Quaternary Ammonium (QUATS)

Once a surface has been disinfected, verification will need to take place, which takes care of the monitoring part. A method of verification used prior to sanitation mentioned in the article is adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence. Our Laboratory & QA/QC product line offers a variety of items that can aid in verification: 3M™ Clean-Trace™ NG Luminometer3M™ Clean-Trace™ Surface ATP Test.

According to the article, ATP does not correlate with micro counts, therefore swabbing and the use of petrifilm is recommended. We feature the following items for swabbing and petrifilm: 3M™ Petrifilm™ Plates & Accessories3M™ Quick Swabs3M™ Hydra-Sponges, and 3M™ Sponge-Sticks.

We are a team when it comes to food safety, you can count on Nelson-Jameson to provide quality products that aid in FSMA implementation. For more information on FSMA, see the FDA website.

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From the Learning Center: All About Sanitary Gaskets

26494Our flexible, non-toxic gasket compounds meet FDA specifications for direct contact with dairy products and edible oils, as well as 3-A, USDA and NSF criteria. They will not absorb taste or odors. Low-swell characteristics make them ideal for exposure to oils, steam and water.

Buna-N: Our most popular gasket material. Also called nitrile or NBR, this oil-resistant rubber compound has excellent compression set, tear and abrasion resistance. Ozone degrades Buna-N, so don’t store gaskets near electric motors and other ozone sources.

EPDM: Good for steam/hot water service. This rubber compound has good resistance to animal and vegetable oils,mild acids, dilute alkalies, silicone oils and greases, phosphates, esters, ketones and alcohols. Not recommended for petroleum oils or diester-based lubricants. Resists water absorption.

Viton: With one of the best fluid resistance characteristics of any commercial elastomer, Viton is particularly resistant to oils, fuels, lubricants and most mineral acids. Viton withstands high temperatures and retains good mechanical properties, oil and chemical resistance. Remains usefully elastic indefinately in air oven testing up to 400°F or, intermittently to 500°F. Excellent for steam service.

Silicone: Outstanding low-temperature flexibility. This rubber compound resists lubrication, animal and vegetable oils, most dilute acids and alkalies. Excellent ozone and weathering resistance. Also resists many solvents that can cause excess swelling.

Teflon: A plastic with an outstanding temperature range. Resists all chemicals except alakali metals, fluorine and some fluorinated chemicals. Because it is not a rubber compound, it will not return to its original shape when compressed. Envelope gaskets of Teflon with a rubber core are available to solve this problem.
Note: Listed by size of tube OD, not by ID/OD of gasket. Call our gasket and O-ring product specialists with questions. Gaskets sold individually, but order in package quantities for more economical pricing.

For more information on gaskets, click here.

About Our Learning Center
To make informed decisions in the food, dairy and beverage industries, you need to have in-depth product knowledge and a variety of educational resources. Our Learning Center is designed to help you with all that. Visit our Learning Center today!

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Tech Tip: Pump Cavitation

Centrifugal pump cavitation can be described as the formation and eventual collapse or implosion of vapor bubbles inside a pump.

A primary cause for cavitation is inadequate net positive suction head available (NPSHa). Poor NPSH leads to lower liquid pressure in the pump and if pressure in the eye of the impeller falls below the vapor pressure of the fluid, then cavitation can begin. When this takes place, the following can occur:

  • Pitting on impeller blades
  • Bearing failure
  • Mechanical seal failure
  • Shaft breakage
  • Poor efficiency

Preventing this type of pump cavitation may require several changes in system design or operations. Increasing pressure at the suction of the pump, decreasing the temperature of the liquid being pumped, and reducing head losses in the pump suction piping can increase the NPSH.

Implosion of vapor bubbles that form within the liquid inside a pump is what causes cavitation. Determining if this abnormal condition is taking place and how to correct will be vital to the longevity of your pump.

Sources: Engineers Edge, Enggcyclopedia

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A New Way to Burn a Few Calories

tech-indIn the food industry, most of our focus is on the safe production, distribution, and sale of food items to the public. Many of us would not want to think about, more less focus on the details about where our unused products go, as we invest so much in the final product.

The Boston Globe recently highlighted that environmentally and economically, food waste is an important issue that has been heralding a good deal of attention. Several facilities are being built “as landmark regulations take effect next year to make Massachusetts the first state to ban hospitals, universities, hotels, and large restaurants — in all, about 1,700 big businesses and institutions — from discarding food waste in the trash.”

“Efforts grow in Mass. to turn food waste into energy” examines the potential environmental impact of these facilities and the process of anaerobic digestion that will “convert methane from food into power that feeds into the region’s electrical grid. The methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, is contained by the plants and not released into the atmosphere.” This compares favorably to the economic realities of current disposal habits, including the creation and maintenance of landfills in the state, where disposal costs, “between $60 and $90 a ton, compared with a national average of about $45 a ton — and the fees are expected to rise as landfills fill up.”

In addition to the numerous perceived benefits, the discussion has also brought forth some concerns, including from some of those that would be directly affected by the new regulations. Businesses like restaurants, grocery stores, food pantries, etc. question how they will store and transport waste safely so as not to compromise food safety issues.

As these regulations take shape, Massachusetts seems to be prone to be a very public cornerstone in shaping the future of this alternative energy source in the United States.

If you would like to learn more about anaerobic digestion click here for a useful resource; to take a look at the original article from The Boston Globe click here.

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