Cleaning and Maintaining Food-Grade Conveyor Belts

Food-grade conveyor belts require a more rigorous cleaning and maintenance regimen compared to other belts. Their constant contact with food requires set health and safety standards to meet compliance with FDA and other federal regulations. Cleaning and maintaining food-grade belts ensures that food remains germ-free and in top quality.

Cleaning Methods

There are numerous ways to clean food-grade conveyor belts, from manual labor to automated sanitation machines. No matter how the cleaning gets done, the best method includes dry-cleaning, scrubbing, rinsing, and wiping. Dry-cleaning removes dirt and debris from a belt’s carcass. Meanwhile, scrubbing and rinsing deep cleans the belt material, removing any residue, carryback, and contamination.

Sanitation Tips

Aside from cleaning regularly and thoroughly, there are many more ways to sanitize your belts and ensure they meet health and safety regulations. Since many industrial-strength cleaning supplies use harsh chemicals in their mixtures, doing a pH test after cleaning makes sure that the detergent doesn’t leave any residue that might contaminate the food. Using pressure hoses and high-grade scrubbers also helps minimize the risk of lingering chemicals. Or simply opting for more natural cleaning products further reduces risks.

Warehouse and storage temperature control also keeps your belts sanitized. Humid atmospheres create the perfect breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Controlling the temperature of your workplace and belt storage location keeps humidity levels low, minimizing potential mold spurs and spreading bacteria.

Other sanitation protocols to enforce and optimize belt cleanliness include wearing gloves during the cleaning process and making sure no one steps on the belt without protective shoe coverings. Throughout the day, workers come in contact with various surfaces and items. Each item they touch increases the chances of them carrying and spreading germs, dirt, and chemicals. Wearing protective gear while interacting or cleaning food-grade belts stops the spread of unsanitized substances reaching the belt.

Maintenance Protocols

The consistency and intensity of cleaning food-grade belts apply a lot of strain on the belt’s material, increasing the chances of wear and shortened lifespans. Proper food-grade belting equipment features specific design properties that withstand the intense cleaning demands of working in the food-handling industry. However, applying the proper tension, making sure to load items that meet the belt’s weight restriction, regular maintenance checkups, and running the conveyor system at appropriate speeds further ensure your belt lasts longer and better handles its excessive cleaning regimen.

Cleaning and maintaining food-grade conveyor belts not only improve how you handle food and meet federal requirements, but it also ensures the safety of consumers. Food plays a huge part in people’s lives. Going to extreme lengths and taking extra measures to guarantee the cleanliness and safety of the belts keeps everyone happy and healthy.