"All it takes is a leaking or faulty valve, or even human error, and a contaminated batch could be on the way to supermarkets and shops all around the country"
Leics, UK (PRWEB UK) 17 December 2012
DairyBits, which provides easy access to a wide range of cost-effective ice cream machine parts, believes that cross contamination during the pasteurisation process happens more easily than some manufacturers may believe and as such, is recommending that mix plant flow valves are tested regularly, and certainly before large batches are produced in anticipation of 2013, to avoid the potentially disastrous situation of a ‘bad batch’ reaching the consumer market.
The advice follows DairyBits receiving a large number of orders for replacement valves, highlighting that the potential problem is very real but encouragingly, is being eradicated by some manufacturers. However, it isn’t a full market representation and DairyBits is keen to increase awareness and in doing so, help avoid the situation occurring in the first instance.
Although pasteurisation processes have improved since Louis Pasteur first developed the method in 1864, the base principles are the same, as are the dangers of cross contamination. Raw milk, or ice cream mix, can harbour dangerous micro-organisms including bacteria such as Brucella, Campylobacter, Listeria, Mycobacterium bovis (a cause of tuberculosis), Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (E. coli), Shigella and Yersinia, parasites such as Giardia, and viruses including norovirus; all of which can pose serious health risks.
Current ice cream mix plants tend to have valve systems in place to prevent the warm pasteurised mix meeting the cold unpasteurised mix. Nonetheless, should a valve not be closed properly, have a leak or an undetected defect and one drop of the unpasteurised solution meets the pasteurised solution, then the entire pasteurised mix is considered contaminated; and on occasions the manufacturers may be completely unaware of the problem until it is identified or, in the worst case scenario, there’s an illness outbreak.
Charles Lewis of DairyBits, commented: “It’s actually not illegal to sell unpasteurised products in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as long as it’s sold direct to the consumer rather than through resellers such as supermarkets. However, the repercussions of a ‘bad batch’ reaching the consumer could seriously damage a brand. The cost of a product recall could cripple a business, certainly a start-up or SME producer but more seriously, some of the illnesses that can come as a result of consuming a ‘contaminated’ product don’t even bare thinking about.
“All it takes is a leaking or faulty valve, or even human error, and a contaminated batch could be on the way to supermarkets and shops all around the country. As it can happen so easily, and the majority of the time it’s through no ones fault, we want to advise manufacturers to check their valves at least once a month; if they’re not doing so already. It’s another job to add to the seemingly never ending list but it’s so, so important to avoid the associated risks of cross contamination.”
DairyBits stocks 1,000’s of dairy machine parts, including rotating seals bearings, bushes and hygienic fittings, to name but a few. If you would like to receive any further information about DairyBits or its services, please don’t hesitate to call +44 (0)1455 220 179 or email sales(at)dairybits(dot)co(dot)uk.