Achyut Adhikari, Lituma, Ivannova, Gupta, Priyanka, Aryal, Jyoti
Hygienic Zoning at Processing Facility
Processed foods to be sold at farmers markets can be prepared at an off-site location, such as a commercial kitchen, certified facility or retail food establishment. To ensure safe food, the processing facility should be designed and constructed based on sanitary principles. One such principle is hygienic zoning, which means segregating the facility area into different zones based on food safety risks. Hygienic zoning allows proper flow of traffic, minimizes cross-contamination and facilitates effective cleaning and sanitation programs.
Examples of hygienic zoning in a fresh produce packinghouse.
Zone 1: These are the surfaces that directly contact food, such as conveyors, rollers, utensils, mixers, slicers, bins, countertops and workers’ hands. Cleaning and sanitation in zone 1 should be prioritized to minimize food safety risks. All food contact surfaces of equipment and tools covered in zone 1 should be inspected, maintained, cleaned and sanitized to prevent contamination.
Zone 2: These are the areas immediately adjacent to zone 1, such as equipment panels and bearings. These areas are not in direct contact with the food but are in close proximity to the food. These areas are sometimes referred to as indirect food contact surfaces and can pose food safety risk. These areas should be managed by established cleaning schedules to ensure that they do not contaminate zone 1.
Zone 3: These are the areas adjacent to zone 2, such as floors, walls, ceilings, pipes, trash cans, forklifts and phones. These areas may contribute to contamination due to proximity to food contact surfaces. Water should be drained properly from the processing area, and there should not be any leakage or accumulation of water in walls, floors or ceilings.
Zone 4: These are the areas outside the production facility, such as loading docks, hallways, warehouses, toilets, offices and cafeterias. Exterior environmental factors such as soil, animals, manure and traffic from a loading dock can cause the contamination to enter the
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