Principles of
hygienic design

by marketing on 25 de October de 2022

A common goal

Product safety and security has become a common objective of the food and pharmaceutical sector.
A robust system for reporting, preparing for and responding to potential food safety incidents is in place in the EU. This system is coordinated at EU level by the European Commission in close cooperation with national authorities and with the support of EFSA (European Food Safety Authority).
In Europe, there is also a powerful tool for food safety: RASFF (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed), which allows the immediate reporting of any food alert that may pose a risk to human or animal health for follow-up and containment measures.

What types of hazards are there?

The RASFF publishes an annual report with statistics on the most common hazards that occur in the production of a product. As can be seen, hazards of microbiological origin are the most frequent, accounting for almost 60% of the cases.
In terms of the type of food, there is a greater variety. There is a greater variety in terms of the type of food, although nuts are the ones that generate the most alerts.

What can go wrong to cause contamination?

Contaminations can occur mainly for the following reasons:
- Poorly dimensioned process. It may happen that small changes are made in production that we believe do not affect the process (e.g. a change of packaging), but which end up influencing it.
- Raw materials and auxiliary products. Sometimes the problem can come from external materials.
- Human factors. This can be caused by direct or indirect contamination or by processing errors.
- Insufficient cleaning and disinfection. It may be that the machinery has not been properly cleaned or that they have been applied in an inadequate manner.
- Design. Problems associated with poor design of equipment and installations. This is where the concept of hygienic design of Varpe equipment comes in.

What is considered a hygienic design?

The design of an equipment or facility is considered "hygienic" if it incorporates features that reduce or eliminate the risk of being a source of contamination to food, either directly or indirectly.

A hygienic approach to the design, construction, installation and use of equipment involved in the food or pharmaceutical manufacturing process is one of the best preventive actions to ensure the safety of manufactured products and minimise their risk of contamination.

Hygienic design also contributes to savings through reduced cleaning and maintenance costs with our hygienically designed equipment.

Influence of equipment on pollution

Therefore, if not properly designed, equipment can have an enormous influence on the contamination of a product during the production process.
The causes can be many:
- Metal or plastic fragments (clamps), loss of screws, washers, etc. that can end up in the product.
- Incorporation of lubricants that may find their way into the final product.
- Cleaning products that may also end up contaminating the product.
- Components or ingredients that do not correspond, coming from leftovers from previous productions.
- Complicated or difficult to access cleaning and maintenance that do not allow for proper hygiene.
- Encouragement of microbial growth due to product, sediment or water retention.
- Dirt in the environment caused by the equipment itself (dust, condensation, particles, etc.).

How is it achieved?

Easy to clean

VARPE equipment is designed to prevent the entry, survival or proliferation of micro-organisms, so it is easy to clean and avoids elements such as buttons, valves or screens in the product contact area.

No gaps or spaces

Surfaces in contact with the product are free of cracks or voids where product residues may remain.

Minimal roughness

VARPE equipment has minimal surface roughness and is non-porous for effective cleaning.

Condensation water

Condensation and cleaning water drains outwards unhindered and is prevented from stagnating.

Easy to dismantle

The equipment is easy to dismantle and requires a minimum amount of tools.

No dead spaces

Dead spaces are avoided. If present, drainage, cleaning and disinfection are facilitated.

Inert materials

The materials used are inert and are not altered by processed products, the environment or cleaning and disinfection methods.


The seals are watertight, and many of them are 100% hygienic.

Is hygienic design a legal requirement?

In the food sector there is a huge legal framework that contributes to food safety. Within this framework, constant reference is made to the importance of hygiene and disinfection of both equipment and facilities.

In this respect, we can find several regulations. Some are mandatory for the manufacturer of the checkweighing or X-ray inspection equipment and others for the food producer. In addition, there are also international standards or recommendations for hygienic design, such as the EHEDG (European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group), 3-A Sanitary Standards or the NSF, which deserve a separate mention.
The Machinery Directive (EC) 2006/42 applies, among other sectors, to machinery that will come into contact with food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals and establishes general criteria for hygienic design:

- Equipment must be designed and constructed in such a way as to avoid any risk of product contamination.
- Materials must be cleanable before each use (if this is not possible, use disposable items).
disposable items)
- All surfaces in contact with products other than surfaces of disposable items must be smooth and free of roughness and cavities, have as few projections and ridges as possible, be easy to clean and disinfect, and be drainable.

The machine must be designed and constructed in such a way as to prevent any infiltration of substances, accumulation of organic matter or penetration of living beings in areas which cannot be cleaned.
- Auxiliary products must not represent a health hazard.

The regulation RE (EC) 852/2004 to be complied with by the food producer points in the same direction in terms of hygienic design criteria, not only for the machinery but also for the production facilities and production process.

That is why it is so important to find a manufacturer of checkweighing and x-ray inspection equipment that takes all these criteria into account.
inspection equipment that takes into account all these hygienic design principles and regulations. This will
This will enhance production safety and prevent product contamination incidents.

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