Huuskes: Hygienically packed fire extinguishers
“Always wash your hands before eating”, that’s the rule we all learned as kids. Cleanliness and hygiene also have to be meticulously observed when processing food, regardless whether we do it at home or on an industrial scale. Not only does the food processing machinery have to be hygienically clean at all times, the immediate production environment also has to meet the highest standards of cleanliness. Dutch food processor Huuskes shows that this also applies to seemingly unimportant features such as fire extinguishers. The company accommodates these in Hygienic Design enclosures from Rittal.
“The Hygienic Design enclosures can be cleaned easily and safely. This is an important prerequisite for us because we do not make any compromises at all when it comes to hygiene.”
Frank Hagmolen, Head of Technical Services at Huuskes
Shielding against impurities
Hygiene deficiencies can have very serious consequences for any food company. Contaminated food causes a loss of customer confidence or can even lead to the business being closed down. Authorities and consumers just don’t see a funny side when it comes to food safety. This is another reason for the many hygiene rules that apply to the food industry – both nationally and internationally. Keeping track of them all is no easy matter. However, Dutch food processor Huuskes is showing that it is still possible. The company, which employs a workforce of 800 and has annual sales approx. €100 million, is one of the leading suppliers of raw vegetables and fruit, frozen food and convenience products in the Netherlands. The legal requirements merely represent Huuskes’ minimum standards. Moreover, the company also implements the latest directives of the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group, which mainly concern the food processing machinery’s operating environment.
Hygienic design boosts product safety
Huuskes uses modern and largely automated machines and plants in food production. Hygienic design, in other words the engineering of hygiene-compatible machinery, equipment, housings and enclosures for electrical components, is an important factor that improves product safety when processing food. Contamination must not be allowed to gather and it needs to be easy to remove. However, fire extinguishers, present everywhere in the production buildings should emergencies arise, had previously been accommodated in simple plastic housings. Because of their surface properties and design characteristics, these proved to be not so hygienic in the long term because bacteria and dirt can settle on the surfaces and in any dead spaces that may exist.
Stainless steel enclosures can be cleaned easily and quickly
Instead, Huuskes now uses stainless steel enclosure from the Rittal Hygienic Design series. The stainless steel enclosures have a roof that is angled forwards, which allows water and detergents to drain off rapidly. Furthermore, the roof tilt prevents objects from being deposited on top of the enclosure. The Hygienic Design enclosures are also simple and safe to clean, an important requirement in hygienic production. One special feature of the machine concept is the seal: Silicone is used instead of polyurethane, as it is more is resistant to all kinds of detergents. The seal is dyed blue so that any contamination – such as food residues – can be seen immediately. The all-round seals, which extend outside the enclosure, preventing gaps. They can easily be replaced should they ever become damaged.