An efficient equipment calibration program guarantees equipment works reliably and as planned, and that process control focuses are measured precisely. An efficient equipment calibration program guarantees that measurements are controlled. A satisfactory equipment calibration program can spare time and money by lessening unscheduled downtime. Consistent maintenance can diminish unforeseen repairs. There are some risks which are directly associated with for example food safety. Some of them are listed below.
Risks in food safety:
- Uncertain temperature control of a cooler causing bacterial development on foods
- Un-calibrated metal detector can miss identifying a physical hazard in food items
- Off base thermocouples or thermometers in a smoke house cause deficient cooking temperatures for high hazard foods, similar to ham, which can prompt food poisoning
- Un-calibrated scales used to quantify preservatives (ex: nitrates) can make deficient or unreasonable amounts to be added.
Maintenance and Equipment Calibration Program
Where to Start
A legitimate maintenance and equipment calibration program begins with assigned representatives for each program. These individuals should guarantee that equipment support and calibration are performed as scheduled. All technical and user manuals related with the observing and calibration programs should be kept in a central location. A log book, kept in an easily available area, should incorporate aspects, for example, service record of equipment, changes or issues that emerge and the corrective actions taken. The program needs to enable workers to report equipment that requires calibration and or maintenance.
Maintenance programs should guarantee equipment performs reliably, works as proposed, meets process requirements and prevents contamination of for example food items. Equipment providers should provide technical help, administration and prepare for equipment maintenance. Equipment maintenance should be coordinated between assigned workers in the support and processing area to maintain a strategic distance to avoid interference of planned production.
An equipment maintenance program needs to cover:
- Routine maintenance, including cleaning, testing, adjusting and lubrication.
- Planned and scheduled preventive maintenance.
- Repairs and unscheduled maintenance coming about because of equipment breakdown within regular tasks.
A preventive maintenance program depends on the equipment manufacturer’s specified requirement for maintenance. Steps suggested in preventive maintenance include items such as:
- Adjustment and replacement of equipment parts
All equipment used to ensure quality or food safety checks must be calibrated. The equipment calibration program guarantees the equipment readings are precise and give control of the process. The accuracy of all the equipment engaged with quality and safety control must be monitored. In the event that equipment is malfunctioning, it can affect food safety. For instance, if a thermometer used to check critical temperature isn’t working precisely, it won’t appear unless the thermometer is calibrated and verified.
Equipment Calibration program can be performed by an assigned staff inside the organisation or by any verified contractor. All equipment must be calibrated against the standards and take after equipment specifications. While hiring a contractor for equipment calibration, check the reliability of the organisation offering the administrations.
All calibration tasks should include consistent records as follows:
- Identification of equipment
- Person in charge of calibration
- Calibration results
- Reason for calibration
- Calibration corrective action
Devices that need periodic calibration include: pH meters, temperature measuring/recording devices, timing devices, pressure gauges, scales, temperature control units, metal detectors, magnets, flow meters (ex: chlorine feed rate meters), aw (water activity) meters, hygrometers and other specialized control instruments.
Climate control spaces (ex: coolers, refrigerators, smoke houses, curing and drying rooms) should include calibrated measurement or recording device. The manufacturer of these devices needs to give you a written calibration strategies and frequencies. Equipment Calibration program should be deliberately performed via prepared faculty. At the point when calibration of basic devices is required on equipment, for example, scales or metal detectors, an accredited office or the equipment supplier needs to guarantee instrument precision.