Thick coat

In the July issue of CleanRooms, you begin a series from an industry “clearinghouse” to provide viable and hopefully useful market research regarding the contamination control industry. The first such article deals with cleanroom apparel and emerging markets, and clearly misses its target in its presentation of demographics, geographics and application.

The contamination control industry is composed of myriad industries where control of particulate, electrostatics and viable organisms constitute only some of the manufacturing challenges of their products or services. There are a large number of manufacturers and service providers that undertake their tasks in a controlled environment other than in a Class 1 or ISO Class 2 cleanroom.
As Vice Chairman of IEST Working Group 29, “Contamination Control Considerations for Paint Spray Applications,” I can state with some degree of certainty that no vehicle or part receives “30 or 40 coatings of paint.” Neither the surface tension nor structure of single or multi-component paints would permit acceptable adhesion of the coating to its intended surface.
Rob Nightingale, President
Cleanroom Garments

Cleaning dirty food

The food safety article by Dr. Peter Slade “Contamination control in a food processing environment?Having HACCP helps” [see CleanRooms, May 2000, page 23] should be changed to “HACCP is a must—food irradiation maybe required.”
Cleanliness does not exactly relate to safe food. You can have very clean food, but if it has any contamination of the bacteria E. coli 0157:H7, it is very dirty. Other foods can have high numbers of spoilage bacteria, but it is still safe.

HACCP was implemented by law for processing poultry, meat and seafood because of emerging problems of food-borne diseases. These were not being adequately controlled by traditional methods.

Some people try to connect ISO standards, good manufacturing practices (GMPs) sanitary operating standards (SSOPs) with HACCP. In a food production and processing environment, if this is done HACCP fails because HACCP gets dilute. Yes, implement the GMPs, SSOPs and ISO standards first. Then implement a HACCP program. HACCP is the final test and should rule.

One of the major problems with a HACCP has been, no one looked at the incoming raw products. This is still happening. An example is the recent problem Supreme Beef had with the USDA/FSIS meat inspectors. The court decided that Supreme Beef raw product was contaminated and thus no HACCP program was going to solve their problems.

The cleanroom industry looks at the food processing industry as a big potential customer. However in many cases, the raw product will have to be decontaminated first. This may mean using the technology of ionizing radiation. It would be preferred at the start of the process, not at the end as many advocate.

The cleanrooms industry may have a waiting customer, the food processor. Cleanroomers must first learn about food production/processing so they can develop proposals that the agriculture industry will buy. Many so-called good ideas never got off the ground because the system designers did not understand food production and processing. Avoid this mistake.
Joseph Butterweck, DVM
Board Certified
American College of Veterinary
Preventive Medicine
Aerospace and Environmental
Medicine Group Ltd.
Friant, CA


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