Meat Coding & Marking In Hygienic Environments – What You Need To Know
Hygiene in the meat processing industry is of utmost importance, and with new EU regulations coming into force to help ensure that products are as safe as possible; manufacturers need to know how to deliver coded information hygienically, without compromising on cost.
Changes to the EU regulations
New EU food regulations have caused debate throughout the sector, enough to make it a key point of discussion at the EBLEX conference this March.
With profits in the meat processing industry predicted to decline by 3.6% when compared to 2012/13 according to IBIS World processors are raising some concerns about the level of regulation that is being put in place with regards to hygiene. The cost of inspections run by the UK’s Food Standards Agency has attracted criticism from the new president of the British Meat Processors Association Peter Mitchell, as reported in Food Manufacture.
With costs rising and margins squeezed, meat processors and packers need to know that their coding and marking equipment can contribute to optimizing production levels and minimizing cost. Coding and marking equipment is most often only required to do a simple job, but the costs of it not doing that job correctly can be enormous.
Are your coders letting you down?
As we can see, meat processors know that meat hygiene needs to be taken seriously. Therefore getting the right coding and marking machines for meat processing is essential, to ensure that they can comply with all the necessary legislation.
Fully stainless steel enclosures are an initial consideration, even when production lines are washed down – with disinfectants or other potentially caustic substances – the machine will not rust even when exposed to Caustic Soda washes at high temperatures and in high concentrations.
Coding and marking printers which are also at least IP55 rated, and where necessary IP65 rated, means they can withstand washdown from water jets, preventing the wet conditions from causing problems with the coder itself such as unnecessary shutdowns or machine failures which could halt production – something that those in the meat processing industry can ill afford.
Having the correct IP rating can also help the coders to continue to function in refrigerated conditions, something that is common on meat processing lines to make certain that the produce is kept at a safe temperature.