Beyond the Production Line: A Holistic Approach to Pet Food Manufacturing Safety
For years, hygienic design and safe manufacturing practices within pet food facilities primarily focused on the production line. All efforts and attention were given to ensuring the product was properly stored and processed, but the remainder of the facility didn’t receive as detailed of design. Now, thanks to evolution within the engineering and architecture space, and added pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic, pet food manufacturers have a more holistic approach.
“While there are many hygienic design considerations when building a pet food facility, the basis of a facility program or layout is in the understanding of people, product, and waste movement,” says Zach Becks, manager, architecture and engineering integration for food & beverage, at Gray. “By understanding these, hygienic zoning and adjacencies can be established in order to reduce the risk of product contamination.”
Included in these considerations are obvious factors such as product storage and handling, but also less-obvious variables, including employee and visitor egress and ingress. Each factor, when considered in the design, helps create a streamlined operation that cuts down on waste, improves production, and reduces the risk of contamination.
With COVID still front-and-center, safety is top of mind for food & beverage customers. Whether it is a greenfield facility or a brownfield renovation, the message is the same: safe people and safe products are the priority.
“Many of our food and beverage projects, including pet food facilities, are being driven by food safety, quality control, Clean-in-Place (CIP) solutions, high-level automation, data acquisition, and employee welfare,” says Tyler Cundiff, president of the Food & Beverage Group for Gray, Inc. “They also require flexible design concepts to meet ever-changing products and market demands and include an increased focus on hygiene, sanitation, and separation of raw ingredients and finished products.”
To learn more about the shifting landscape in pet food manufacturing design, check out the rest of this story in Pet Food Processing.