Approximately 70 percent of the food in the American diet is processed. That means vegetables, meat, seasonings, and other raw ingredients are typically going through a factory-type environment when being processed into final, ready-to-eat food product and then packaged for delivery to the consumer or a business such as a restaurant.
Food production facilities tend to keep their processes proprietary but, in general, they have equipment and processes similar to manufacturing and assembly plants, such as:
- Conveyor belts
- Stamping machines or die press
- Rollers or roll forming machines
- Pumping, piping, and mixing machines
- Clean line machines
- Pressurized tanks
- Packaging machines
- Printing or labeling machines
- Sorting or quality control/inspection machines
- Environmental, temperature or humidity-controlled equipment
- Production lines
- Pedestrian aisles
- Forklift or other material handling equipment
- Loading docks or truck delivery areas
Additionally, food production facilities may have ovens, boilers, fryers, or other cooking devices, as well as chillers and freezers. As a result of the similarity to manufacturing and assembly, many of the safety concepts for food production facilities, such as lock out/tag out, machine guarding or machine design, are the same. Food production facilities tend to have additional requirements for hygiene and food handling.
Food production facility accidents resulting from failures in plant safety, machine safety, industrial design and control, packaging, forklift/material handling, human factors, warning and instructions, HVAC, and mechanical engineering, occur all the time. When they do, ARCCA’s experts have the multi-disciplined background to assist with any cases or claims resulting from these incidents.