Overview of general conditions
The three zones
The European standard DIN EN 1672-2 "Hygiene requirements for food production machines" has defined three equipment zones - the food zone, the splash zone and the non-food zone.
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The food zone includes all parts of the system and components that come into contact with foodstuffs, i.e. the component is fitted directly in the flow of food or the food comes into contact with the component and then returns to the product flow. Those parts that come into contact with the product must be washable and disinfectable. They should also be corrosion resistant, non-toxic, non-absorbent, smooth, continuous or sealed so that no particles of food can get stuck in small gaps. They are difficult to remove and represent a risk of contamination. In addition, special lubricants suitable for the food industry must be used. These requirements are also relevant for product parts that are removed for cleaning.
Machine parts and components come into contact with food in the splash zone. However, this food cannot then be taken back into the product flow. The splash zone should be planned and designed based on the same criteria as the food zone - even if the product cannot get back into the food process. Technical implementation is often based on less stringent criteria, provided that this does not have a detrimental effect on the quality of the production process.
The components do not come into contact with the food. Nevertheless, the components used in the non-food zone and all parts of the system should be made of corrosion resistant materials and should be washable or disinfectable. Otherwise, a source of infection could develop in the long term.
All system parts and components that have direct contact with foods
The components need to be:
- Smooth, continuous or sealed
- Use of special lubricants for the food industry
Splash zone (2)
All system parts and components that come into contact with food that does not return to the production stream.
Planning and design should follow the same criteria as in the food area.
Non-food area (3)
Components that do not come into direct contact with food
To avoid sources of infection, the components need to be:
- Washable or disinfectable