October 18, 2020

Lighting System for Food Industry – What’s The Challenge?

What is the lighting system for the food industry? Are there any special processes to adopt or how exactly is it done? You’ll learn more in this article.  

Food lighting is equally an important aspect, which food processing facilities to take lightly. It helps them ensure the safety of these foods. It is therefore paramount that these industries take cognizance of light usage.

  • What is the importance of lighting in the food industry?

Do you want the best result? Then it is best to work in the most lit area since the commodity we work with is quite visible to the eyes. Therefore it is wise to keep these foods in areas where they can be seen well especially during times of inspections. It is best to bear in mind that the effort of your entire team would be seen in as much light as your team has shown it.

  • Is your lighting up to standard?

There is standard lighting put in place by FDA on food manufacturing industries. As of 2013, there is a code of conduct. This code, states clearly the amount of light intensity needed in various aspects of food industries (such as storage, packaging, processing, marketing and so on). Not just this but that each kind of food being produced itself requires specific light intensity.

  • How is lighting measured?

The unit of measuring the brightness of light could be; candles, foot candles, lux, and Lumens. Any of them can be used. The intensity of brightness varies from one processing food area to another. 

When food will be inspected, they are moved to point with the brightest illumination, within the range of 110 -130-foot candles, while other areas are lesser, are of storing ingredients in large quantity is about 30-40 foot candles.

Lights need to be measured, only then can one truly follow the illumination levels and know for sure, what kind of bulbs to be used where. Light meters do come in handy for such measurements.

  • What kinds of lamps to be used where?

There are different kinds of bulbs used in food plants such as; incandescent lights, high-pressure sodium, low-pressure sodium, metal halide, mercury vapor, fluorescent lights and so on.

It is best to use white light for the naked eyes, even though your meter might tell you otherwise. In cases of inspection, for instance, it’s better to give a good impression with white lights. It has been scientifically proven that humans are happier under white light.

Moreover using yellow lights might be deceiving in terms of color. It is better to choose white light that shows all colors the way they are.

  • Storing used and new bulbs as a preventive measure.

Replaced bulbs should be disposed of as proper as possible; even the new ones are not left out.  This should be done very well to prevent accidents as a result of breakages, you wouldn’t want blood spill over food. If this gets out, such companies could be sued and fined such a company risks losing the license. While not dispose of old bulbs and keep the new ones well.

  • How to protect from glass from Breaking.

One of the major things to be cautious of is the breaking of glass. There are however not too many ways to prevent this. The next best solution is to protect what the bulbs on top might break onto beneath. These things can be coated or shielded. Quite many bulbs have been made in plastic. Implying that there won’t be as much shattering if any at all and also aging to the longevity of these bulbs. It als0 makes them more energy-saving and reducing heat emission.

Coated bulbs with a rubber kind of coating, instead of glass, making sure that the glass doesn’t shatter if broken. Coated lamps are not new in the food facilities, they’ve become quite common.

Protective lighting, on the other hand, encompasses metal halide from breaking through the outer shell when they explode and they have been known to be very efficient. The manufacturing as to be detailed according to the manufacturers’ instructions. 

Conduct of maintenance in the plant is also very important. Does maintenance mean that production has to be put to a halt, or will this two-run simultaneously?  If so, would there be addition coating of nylons to the ground where this glass is likely to fall? These issues and some more needs to be addressed.

  • What happens when a bulb breaks?

Perhaps there is a guideline for this in the company’s manual on how to address issues like this. If there isn’t it’s not too late to draft one.  

The first step might be to consult the maintenance department of the organization, while they come in to access the situation. 

They then isolate that part of the plant, to further prevent pieces of glass from scattering.

All shreds of the glass must be removed properly and all foods within the area, re-examined. 

The type of lamp that breaks must be carefully7 analyzed for the extent of physical and chemical damage it can cause if ingested.

  • Is the lighting effect harmful only physically? 

Depending on its constituent elements, it might also be toxic to the body. It is best not to ingest them either way. Should in case you do, walk up to a doctor for more clarifications or prescriptions

  • How soon can I make my lighting selection, is it after I obtain my certificate scheme?

The certification scheme and analyzing light are different from one another. Illumination regulations of your plant is a system that should be well understood before you venture into food plant, while you’re on it and even for when you eventually get the go-ahead.

You should be more concerned about getting a light meter for your plant to monitor your light intensity.

  • Light can be good security outside the four walls of your plant

One sure way to ward off burglars and human pests in your food plant I to fix security lights, on your fence, poles, and driveway. It gives them a consciousness of being watched. Some of these lights have inbuilt motion sensors that can alert your security personnel

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