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Tetra Pak Arabia: Discussing food hygiene and cleaning

 

By Samiya Andrabi
Understanding food hygiene and cleanliness, sustainable cleaning practices and technologies in Tetra Pak Arabia

 

Filed under
Food Hygiene
 
May 16, 2023
 
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Tetra Pak Arabia: Discussing food hygiene and cleaning
 

Food hygiene and safety lie at the core of every food business. However, food packaging does much more than simply hold a product. It keeps the food safe and fresh, impacts food quality, reduces food waste and increases accessibility. We spoke to Mr. Akbar Majeed, Factory Director, Tetra Pak Arabia Area to understand food hygiene and cleanliness, sustainable cleaning practices and technologies he implements in Tetra Pak Arabia.

Tell us about your views on sustainability and your sustainable initiatives with regards to food hygiene and cleaning. 

At Tetra Pak, we are dedicated to protecting food, people, and the planet. This involves focusing on innovative solutions that are both safe and sustainable for the food and beverage industry. 

Tetra Pak, as a leading provider of sustainable packaging solutions, is contributing to food safety and hygiene through innovative packaging solutions. The aseptic packaging system involves sterilizing the packaging material before filling it with the product, which prevents any contamination from bacteria, viruses, or other harmful organisms. Additionally, the aseptic packaging also eliminates the need for preservatives or refrigeration, reducing our carbon footprint.

Our packaging solutions are also designed to be easy to handle and use, reducing the risk of contamination during the packaging and handling process. The packaging material is made from renewable resources, reducing the environmental impact of the packaging.

We work with our customers to help them achieve their sustainability goals by providing packaging solutions that have a low environmental impact and promoting the use of renewable materials.

What role does packaging play in ensuring food safety and hygiene?

Packaging plays a crucial role in ensuring food safety and hygiene. It provides a protective barrier that prevents contamination from external sources and keeps the product fresh and safe for consumption. 

Our packaging materials are designed to protect the food inside from external factors such as light, air, and moisture. This helps to prevent the growth of bacteria and other harmful microorganisms that can cause food spoilage. They are also sterilized before use, ensuring that they are free from any contaminants that could affect the safety of the food. 

We use a process called UHT (Ultra High Temperature) treatment, which involves heating the food to a high temperature for a short period of time. This kills any bacteria or other microorganisms present in the food, ensuring that it remains safe for consumption.

In addition, our packaging materials are designed to be tamper-evident, making it easy to detect if the packaging has been opened or tampered with. This helps to ensure that the food inside remains safe and free from any outside contamination.

We also provide our customers with guidelines and training on how to handle and store their products safely. This helps to ensure that the food remains safe throughout its entire lifecycle, from packaging to consumption.

What exclusive best practices in cleaning do you follow? 

As a leading provider of sustainable packaging solutions, we have implemented several unique food hygiene practices to ensure the safety and quality of its products. Here are a few examples:

  • Aseptic technology: our aseptic technology involves sterilizing the packaging material and filling the product in a sterile environment. This process ensures that the product is free from bacteria, viruses, or other harmful organisms, and maintains its quality and freshness.
  • HACCP system: We have implemented a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system across all its manufacturing facilities. This system identifies potential hazards in the production process and establishes controls to prevent their occurrence, ensuring the safety and quality of the products. We use internal audits and globally accredited 3rd party certifications to ensure world class food safety standards.
  • Quality control measures: We have implemented strict quality control measures at all stages of production, from sourcing raw materials to delivering the final product to customers. These measures ensure that the products meet the required standards for safety, quality, and sustainability.
  • Training and education: We provide regular training and education to our employees and customers on food safety and hygiene. This ensures that everyone involved in the production, packaging, and handling of the products is aware of the best practices for maintaining food safety and hygiene.

Tell us about the sustainable cleaning processes you follow. 

We follow sustainable cleaning processes that are designed to minimize the environmental impact of our operations while maintaining the highest standards of food hygiene and cleanliness. 

We use water-efficient cleaning processes that minimize water consumption while still ensuring that equipment and surfaces are clean and free from contaminants. This includes using high-pressure water jets to clean equipment and surfaces and recycling water wherever possible. 

To save energy, we are using automated cleaning systems that reduce the need for manual labor and using energy-efficient equipment.

Our waste reduction policy aims to minimize the amount of waste generated by our operations. Our factories follow the World Class Manufacturing principles for loss eradication and have won several awards in their manufacturing excellence journey by Japanese Institute of Plant Maintenance (JIPM). 

Why is cleaning and hygiene important for you? What are the hazards associated with not maintaining hygiene in a facility like yours?

Cleaning and hygiene are critically important for Tetra Pak because they play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and quality of our products. If proper cleaning and hygiene procedures are not followed, there is a risk of contamination, such as microbial contamination, chemical contamination, allergen cross-contamination, and reduced shelf life.

Since 1952, we have been exploring opportunities in food processing and packaging to help protect food and beverages from physical damage, heat, light, and potentially harmful bacteria.

As pioneers in aseptic technology and packaging, we have long helped to ensure food safety and quality throughout the entire supply chain. Our aseptic packaging protects food without the need for preservatives or refrigeration, making safe food available to more of the world’s growing population, even in remote areas.

We are also investing in chemical-free food processing technologies like eBeam, to further improve food quality and safety. Our expertise in sterilisation technology and microbiology, combined with our hygienic equipment and digitised controls, enable us to contribute to international food safety standards. We design quality management systems and diagnostics for food production lines across all operations. The components we supply for use in production follow international hygiene standards and guidelines, as well as our customers’ specific requirements. 

Our Food Safety Policy allows us full product traceability through the entire food processing and packaging value chain, which we can pass on to food manufacturers to pinpoint inefficiencies so they can do more with less. With the development of automated solutions such as Tetra Pak® PlantMaster, a factory-wide control system that fully and seamlessly integrates intelligence from every unit of the dairy production line, as well as the development of the Tetra Pak® Connected Package our customers are able to establish consistent quality and food safety.

How do you ensure your staff adheres to your food hygiene policies and practices?

At Tetra Pak, we have a comprehensive food hygiene training program in place to ensure that our employees are trained and educated on the company's food hygiene policies and practices. This training covers topics such as personal hygiene, equipment cleaning, and sanitation procedures.

We have also established clear and detailed SOPs for all aspects of food hygiene and safety. These SOPs are regularly updated and communicated to staff to ensure that everyone understands and follows the correct procedures.

We also  regularly monitor and audit our food hygiene practices to ensure that they are being followed correctly. This includes regular inspections of equipment and surfaces, microbiological testing of products, and monitoring of employee compliance with food hygiene policies and procedures.

At Tetra Pak, we take food safety very seriously and have established a strong culture of compliance with food hygiene policies and practices across the entire value chain.