Re: Food Companies Act to Protect Consumers From E. Coli Illness
I worked in the food industry machinery building area for several years. They are concerned about e-coli yes, but the greater concern is listeria. Listeria is almost always fatal if contracted. Food processers are more concerned with listeria because of the litigation involved with a fatality.
The food industry has astringent guidlines for machinery that prevent "nitches" were microorganisms can survive the sanitation process. Machinery is also built in a fashion that allows for more complete sanitation. These are the main two components of what is called "Sanitary Design". I have been to seminars on the subject as well as designing machinery under the guidelines.
The bottom line is that it greatly increases machinery costs. For example a sprocket that would be normally fastened to a shaft with a key and two set screws now has to be welded to the shaft to seal off the area between the sprocket inside diameter and the shaft diameter. Now when the sprocket needs to be replaced or changed the entire shaft must be changed. Usually the food manufacturer does not want to pay the increased cost to the equipment builder. The result is many equipment builders going out of business. If they do pay the increased cost it is passed on to the consumer.
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