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Hose Connections And Lines: Ensuring Hygiene During Beverage & Food Production

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27/01/2021

n 2019, the ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) and the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) revealed a rise in foodborne pathogens including STEC (Shiga Toxin-producing Escherichia Coli), campylobacter, norovirus and listeria throughout Europe. Apart from staff, the handling of food products and surfaces, enforcing strict hygiene levels also includes smaller machine components such as hose connections, lines and plugs.

In food and production, hose lines can be indispensable due to their high manoeuvrability and flexibility. However, if strict hygiene standards aren’t enforced, they will become a serious hygiene and safety risk.

In order to prevent this, here are three important factors that must be considered:

The hose fittings

Machine components such as some hose fittings can present a potential hygiene risk. A major reason is because the hose nipple can potentially separate from the hose fitting. If the hose line has been severely bent at the end, it may potentially form a ‘dead space’ where particle residue, dirt and matter can collect.

However, hose connections made using a sleeve with a hose clamp are stronger than the pressure of the hose, eliminating the potential of dead space forming. This also eliminates any risk of the hose end coming loose and potentially damaging any nearby equipment, machinery or staff.

Disinfection and cleaning of equipment

As mentioned before, all equipment and its parts that come into contact with food products must be regularly cleaned, disinfected and maintained, including hose connections, clamps and other types of fittings. It is a good idea to request from your pipework systems supplier for any documents regarding resistance properties relating to equipment when using disinfectants and cleaning agents.

To prevent the material of the hose and fittings being damaged over time, it is important to consider what cleaning agents and disinfectants to use, including methods of cleaning. This can even include basic cleaning agents such as steam, water and solutions with sodium hydroxide. You must also consider levels of concentration, working temperatures and exposure duration times.

Inspection

Hose lines are typically made of rubber or PU (Polyurethane) and are subject to natural wear and tear over time. Mechanical stressing such as motor-driven reeling, high temperatures and bending can accelerate this. This is why regular inspection is essential. Equipment such as an endoscope allows operators to view the internal parts and identify any damaged areas.

A common inspection practice is to conduct a pressure test using water at one and a half times the permissible operating pressure for five minutes. In addition to this, the hose and fittings must be visually inspected for any creases in the hose due to bending and any dried leaks, blisters or cracks near the hose fitting.

With the largest warehouse of its kind in Europe, rapid mass production and in-house tooling capabilities, turn to Jacob UK for all your pipework system needs including hose connections, hose clamps, hose sockets, hose plugs and much more.

Explore our website to learn more information or call us on 01694 722 841 to find out how we can assist your specific needs today.