Commercial Steam Cleaning for Food Processing Equipment
Facilities in the food and beverage industries have equipment and tools that regularly come into contact with oily substances. These materials—grease, food residue, and oily byproducts—have a tendency to build up on equipment.
The residue from these agents can spread across ovens, burners, and vent hoods, and will eventually spread to vents and ceilings as oils splash or byproducts travel through the air. Many food applications are using dry steam cleaning to address these issues for the following reasons:
- Dry vapor cleaning doesn’t introduce chemicals or harmful levels of moisture.
- Dry vapor dissolve oils without harsh scrubbing.
- Steam cleaning doesn’t leave residual traces of grease, ultimately leaving a clean and clear surface.
- Aside from cleaning and grease removal, the process also has the ability to sanitize machinery, conveyor belts, and packaging equipment.
Using dry vapor steam cleaning may also reduce or eliminate the need to use cleaning chemicals, which pose a contamination risk for equipment, food materials, and the larger work environment. Frequent exposure to chemicals endangers workers and potentially violates OSHA’s permissible exposure limits (PELs) for cleaning agents.
Over-reliance on chemical cleaners also facilitates the evolution of microorganisms that resist the chemicals. Facilities can minimize these risks by employing steam cleaning systems instead.
Food-Related Applications for Commercial Steam Cleaning
Industries that manufacture or process consumable goods have to maintain high standards of cleanliness and safety. This includes a variety of food and beverage applications, as well as packaging operations that pack food or consumable items for transportation and distribution.
Food industry facilities along every step of the supply chain need to ensure every surface that comes into contact with food materials is clean. Not only do they need to be free of oil residues, but the surfaces also need to be clear of moisture and cleaning chemicals. Industrial food sites can use commercial steam cleaning systems to clean and sanitize a broad range of equipment, including:
- Blending and storage tanks, both on the interior and exterior surfaces
- Condenser fins and coils
- Conveyor belts of all styles (flat and solid belts, modular systems, mesh systems)
- Diamond decks, catwalks, and mezzanines
- Drying equipment
- Electrical equipment (control panels, electrical parts, and electrical tools)
- Processing and packaging equipment
- Property fixtures (ceilings, walls, vents)
- Refrigerators, which need regular removal of both residue and ice buildup that can interfere with operations
Dry steam cleaning systems keep all of the above equipment and surfaces safe from:
- Crawling and flying insects in all stages of their life cycles
- Microorganisms, including pathogenic bacteria
- Oily buildup, grease, crumbs, and other food waste and residue
Dry steam cleaning can clean a facility without damaging any equipment or surface materials. Steam cleaning is suitable for surfaces made from a broad variety of materials, such as:
- Stainless Steel
Just like industrial food plants, facilities in the beverage industry need to maintain strict standards of cleanliness. These facilities typically use a wider variety liquid byproducts that can contaminate surfaces and may also use more equipment that is difficult to clean by traditional methods. Dry vapor cleaning systems can sanitize many different types of surfaces and equipment in beverage processing plants, including:
- Bottling lines and equipment
- Diamond deck flooring
- Drains and vents
- Electrical components or equipment that can’t come in direct contact with liquids
- Oak barrels for wine, beer, and spirits
- Refrigerators and cooling systems
- Storage and blending tanks
- Ventilation systems
Each of these systems needs to be cleaned and sanitized regularly to avoid buildup and contamination. Not only could buildup pose a direct hazard by cross-contaminating beverages, but it can also alter the performance of the processing equipment or negatively impact the flavor of the products. Dry vapor commercial cleaning can also:
- Clean metal surfaces without causing corrosion or damage
- Kill E-coli, listeria, salmonella, insects and larvae, and mold/mildew
- Mitigate the introduction of infestations or microorganisms into the processing environment
Packaging plants have many of the same vulnerabilities for contamination that food and beverage manufacturing facilities face. Packaging facilities may handle a wide variety of food products, baked goods, and beverages from multiple manufacturers and product lines, so cross-contamination can quickly spread across products and industries.
Steam cleaning systems can keep packaging equipment and materials clean without damaging or contaminating them. These systems can clean and sanitize all of the refrigeration, ventilation, and drainage equipment. Dry vapor cleaning systems are also ideal for cleaning and sanitizing:
- Auger fillers
- Capping machines
- Cartoning and wrapping equipment
- Conveyor belts
- Gaskets, sprockets, rollers
- Racks and shelving
- Scale and sensor belts
- Transportation equipment
By introducing steam cleaning systems to their plants, facility managers reduce the risk of contamination through received loads. Deliveries can carry insects in all stages of their life cycles, bacteria, dirt, and a broad variety of other contaminants. Steam cleaning can prevent those contaminants from spreading to distribution centers and endpoints.
Commercial bakeries and industrial facilities often use dry vapor steam cleaning systems to protect their machinery and products from chemicals, pathogens, and insects. Given that baking facilities operate at high temperatures, food residue and oils will often be extremely difficult to remove using only chemical and manual cleaning methods.
Steam cleaning offers a superior alternative for cleaning challenges faced by industrial bakers, such as:
- Baking and tunnel ovens
- Flour and grease buildup
- Proofing boxes
- Bun make up equipment
- Packaging equipment
Advantages of Using Commercial Steam Cleaning
Commercial steam cleaning systems are a chemical-free cleaning and sanitization solution. This keeps facilities, products, and employees safer from chemical exposure. Other benefits of steam cleaning systems include:
- Reduced water use.This can save facilities money on water consumption, water waste, and drainage.
- Reduced risk of equipment damage.Steam cleaning is a dry vapor process, so electrical equipment won’t incur water damage. The equipment also doesn’t have to be dismantled to achieve thorough cleaning.
- Employees don’t have to dismantle sharp, heavy, or electrical equipment, manually clean hard-to-reach spaces, or face the risk of slips and falls on slippery surfaces.
- Steam cleaning is a faster process than manual cleaning and has a more consistent end result. It can sterilize, sanitize, and deodorize a wide range of materials with minimal downtime and reduced labor requirements.
Simply put, steam cleaning systems give facilities a better, deeper level of sanitation. Steam can reach every surface to break down and remove residue and contaminants. It can reach into the crevices of nearly any equipment, deep into ventilation and drainage systems, and other spaces where employees can’t reach.
Electro-Steam Products for Commercial Steam Cleaning
Every industry that touches consumable products can use steam cleaning systems to clean their facilities and equipment. Food-handling applications must maintain clean conveyor belts, tanks, refrigeration systems, and buildings. Electro-Steam’s commercial steam cleaning systems are built for use in specific operational types. These systems include:
This series complies with the ASME Miniature Boiler Code. The high-pressure equipment has a 200 psi safety relief valve that meets ASME Section I-V Stamp safety standards. Other components in accordance with UL 353 include:
- Dual Pressure Controls
- High-Pressure Safety Reset
- Low-Level Cut-Off (LLCO)
The Hawk series of equipment is European Conformity (CE) compliant and has automatic pressure controls set to 145 psi. The system has a 174 psi safety relief valve, as well as an adjustable temperature regulator provide safety and adaptability. This series also has a tank and low-level cut-off system with an alarm to alert employees about low solution levels.
Conveyor Belt Systems
Electro-Steam’s conveyor belt systems offer hands-free cleaning capabilities that don’t require chemicals or equipment shutdowns. These systems save labor and downtime with automated cleanings that don’t require equipment shutdowns.
The systems use FDA-approved materials that can clean plastic, vinyl, and mesh conveyor belts up to the highest industry standards. They also require much less water than traditional cleaning methods and can save facilities between 95-99% of their typical water allocation for conveyor belt cleaning.
Contact Electro-Steam Today for Commercial Steam Cleaning Products
Electro-Steam has been providing facilities with electric steam generators for over 65 years. We have decades of experience manufacturing steam generators for use by OEMs. Our dry steam vapor system equipment keeps facilities in food processing industries clean without excessive water usage or chemicals.
Contact us today to learn more about our steam generators and steam cleaners.