The global standards for food safety underpin everything bakeries do. It is these standards that guarantee the safety of their products.
Choosing the most suitable lubricants for all aspects of your maintenance regime is just one part of the equation. Once you have found the products to fit the bill, are you confident that they are being used consistently, effectively, and efficiently across the entire site?
Making sure that maintenance staff at all levels in your bakery are correctly trained on lubricant use and management will have a big impact on overall efficiency and ensure that the required standards are met.
This training isn’t limited to the knowledge of lubricants, but also looks at the lubricant, selection, testing and specifications, what the certifications mean in a bakery environment and the level of cleaning that may be required after application to ensure compliance with the global standard for food safety.
The consequences of poor training
Insufficient training can lead to several issues that will shorten the operational life of your machinery. The consequences can be costly: from unplanned shutdowns to food safety breaches that can lead to product recalls and subsequent reputational damage.
If the re-lubrication of machinery isn’t carried out correctly, it could lead to over-lubrication. This leads to contamination risks: over-lubricated bearings can drip excess lubricant onto production lines, causing chemical, physical, and rendering the foodstuff unsafe for consumption.
Further to inefficient application, compliance issues such as the incorrect decanting and labelling of lubricants can arise. This can cause issues when it comes to factory inspections and audits.
A lack of training often manifests itself in confusion around the food safety requirements of industrial lubricants. This lack of clarity can affect the risk management of the lubricants used in food manufacturing areas. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plans will identify hazards associated with lubricant usage within these areas. However, if your team lacks in-depth lubricant knowledge, the HACCP plan may not contain the necessary details, and potential risks can be missed or not correctly controlled.
The key to good lubrication technique
The one piece of advice we give out most regularly is that, when talking about lubrication, the recommended amount should be optimal. Too much, or too little, lubricant can lead to breakdowns and the issues we have already looked at. Using the correct amount is key.
Using the right product for the job
The products you use need to meet stringent hygiene and food safety rules, reduce downtime and keep equipment operating at a consistently high level to deliver the required output. To achieve this, you need to make sure that you are using the correct lubricants.
Making sure that everyone in your maintenance team understands the maintenance requirements of different machinery and applications, has a working knowledge of relevant product certifications, and knows which products to use and how to use them will go a long way to minimising risk and maximising efficiency across your manufacturing site.
Training has been a significant part of the ROCOL offering for many years, and our online training has developed in recent years to meet customer needs.
Thinking beyond product selection for your maintenance regime into training and wider policy management can help increase factory efficiency and avoid unwanted problems. The team at ROCOL is on hand to offer advice, support and training in all areas surrounding effective lubricant management.