October 23, 2020

Food safety lighting requirements – Must know checklist

Food production is a very delicate aspect that must be treated with all seriousness. You’ll learn about the food safety lighting requirements in this article.

Know this, lighting requirements are being regulated by the government in the food processing industry. The requirements placed on lighting are often that, bulbs and lamps are checked to be in perfect working conditions. To make sure that none as broken or is damaged or just as much reduce the likelihood for these things to break. Guiding against glass breaking also means that food products are being guarded against glass contaminants.

Other things that are constantly being hammered on are the light intensity. Light intensity sometimes referred to as illumination is another important factor, that helps to see physically to the environment that these foods are being produced.  In terms of  as touching food protection, preparation, production, packaging, and workers safety

The food code regulation clearly states what light intensity should be like in the factories across various production aspects in a food plant.

Food code lighting Requirements

  • First note that the code requirements states expressly that minimum of 110lux(10 ft candles) should be made available at a distance of 75cm (i.e. 30 inches) on top of  the ground levels in aspects of dry food storage, walk-in refrigerators and in times of cleaning
  • Where food is sold, where serve yourself are situated or foods are eaten, in areas of reach-in and under-counter refrigerators, the brightness should not be below 220 lux (i.e 20 ft candles) which should be as far as 75 cm( 30 inches) above the ground where there is hand washing, ware washing, equipment and utensil storage and in washrooms.
  • When it involves areas on the safety of a worker when such a worker is working with knives, slicers, grinders or saws and it seems like an employee could face a threat to his/her life should things go wrong. 540 lux is required (50 ft candles). The aim is to make sure you see well.

The safety regulation code hasn’t in anyway ascribed what criteria for which these illumination rates are adhered strictly to.

An example is if a worker has to move around from one post to the other within the same facility as his/her job as required as opposed to if such workers were static, what would be done?

Looking at lighting from a scientific view

Often time than not food industries have mastered the art using lighting in advertising. This concept is seen well in restaurants; how they set the meal and present you with a diner mode, so to speak. It is also the same with fast-food owners. Lights used in the right mood would present any mode you want; is it a romantic evening with a spouse or you want it to seem like it’s a carnival.  A lot of the food industry has harnessed this knowledge and has fashioned it to suit an industry environment. Right from the driveway, to the exit point, emergency points, security and safety lights at needed points, executive offices with the right amount of lights and illumination.

Looking beyond the sweet and well-placed lights in the lobbies and waiting areas. The light intensity in most kitchens’ is poor. Most times these lights are not remembered. If an industry is not well planned according to the number of employees to square feet, it might cause shadow casting in some areas.  Even if the light intensity is being checked, we often do not check the population of workers.

Color Rendering Index (CRI):  this is a concept when object colors are given off depending on the color of light they are being viewed under. (the concept of “black body radiator”) it is a concept that must be put into consideration under food processing or food preparation environment. This black body radiator concept is common in meat supermarkets and deli counter. The colors of the goods sold are brought out as a result of the light source.

Contrast:  how the background of material is likely to affect how bright an object is. When it comes to a clean environment, this concept is likewise important. When light hits a surface directly, without prior shield, it could be to health detriment. Particular to wet environments.

Intensity:  Candela (cd) measures how high or low light intensity is from a light source in any given direction. To know more about this, Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) has written several publications on it

Luminance: the degree of brightness. The ratio of Intensity to Square area from the source of origination

Luminance is of high significance in places where we have lots of stainless steel and polished surfaces.  This is just to give a guideline; there are many more places where it could be used.  The list goes on and on.

What a lighting program is set to achieve

The aim is to improve safety, effectiveness, sanitations, and productivity with whatever resources already available to this food-these food-producing  better national economy

The first step would be to set aside a manual that contains A – Z of a company’s requirement on effective lighting.

This manual would be compiled after detailed evaluation from different aspects just as it has been listed above; production, processing, inspection, security, safety, sanitation and so on.

Although the overall focus hasn’t changed;

  1. Provide cost-efficient lights: these lights (bulbs and lamps) should prove their worth ( in terms of longevity and durability), maintaining them shouldn’t be difficult, the energy consumption of this light should be watched out for as well.
  2. The population of the facility: the number of staff should also be a good guide in determining the light intensity. The angle at which your lamps are placed also matters. The movement patterns should be regulated enough to have everyone move freely and without incidents.
  3. Proper distribution of light: light is needed everywhere but at a different amount, brightness and distribution. The amount of light that allows for clear visibility in a place might be too dim or too bright in some other places.
  4. Light gives hope: let your light give brightness, and let this brightness give hope to your workers. The presence of light and not dark hallways signifies that its safe to work in that area. Flicking bulbs and lamps say otherwise,

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