In the food processing industry, sanitation is of the utmost importance to ensure high product quality for consumers and to meet all industry regulations. Without proper cleaning and sanitation, food contact surfaces create a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. 

Dry steam sanitation is a popular sanitation method for conveyor belts and other food processing equipment and food handling surfaces. Using high-temperature, low-moisture steam kills bacteria in cracks and crevices without the need to dismantle machinery and wait for it to dry. 

How Steam Sanitation Systems Are Used in Food Processing

Steam sanitation is a go-to solution for a variety of food processing applications, from wine and beer making to industrial kitchens, bakeries, and food packaging operations: 

  • Water-Sensitive Environments: In dry food processing facilities, including those that make snacks, powdered drink mixes, dry ingredients, seasonings, and more, the least bit of moisture can ruin the production run, resulting in waste, product recalls, and angry customers. Traditional wash-down cleaning isn’t possible in those dry environments. Dry steam, on the other hand, relies on high temperatures to clean and disinfect, and the low-moisture steam evaporates almost immediately, protecting sensitive equipment and dry food products. 
  • Sticky Residue Applications: Cleaning conveyor belts is made all the more challenging by the sticky residue left behind by dried fruit, sugary products, and binding ingredients. Dry steam releases that tough residue without water, eliminating the need to shut down the belt for traditional wet washing.
  • Reducing or Removing Allergens: Compressed air systems, vacuums, and even manual washing and wiping methods can cause particles to become airborne, increasing the risk of allergen cross-contamination or blowing mold spores into all parts of the room. To manage food remnants and reduce the risk of cross-contamination, a combination of vacuum and dry steam cleaning is often preferred. 

Typical Uses of Steam Sanitation for Food Processors

  • Clean and sanitize all processing and packaging equipment.
  • Clean electrical control panels and other electrical parts.
  • Clean and defrost refrigeration and condenser fins and coils.
  • Sanitize refrigeration systems and remove unwanted ice buildup.
  • Clean and sanitize storage and blending tanks.
  • Clean grease buildup on walls, ceilings, baseboards, vents and dryers.
  • Clean and kill pathogenic bacteria.
  • Kill insect infestations, both flying and crawling, including their eggs.
  • Clean diamond deck flooring.
  • Automatically clean, dry, and sanitize flat/solid or modular and mesh style conveyor belts.
  • Clean and sanitize a multitude of surfaces, including stainless, aluminum, brass, plastic, vinyl, polypropylene, painted surfaces, and many others. Dry vapor will not harm your surfaces.

Advantages of Steam Cleaning in Food Processing

These are three of the key advantages of steam sanitation in food processing facilities:

  • Clean-in-Place Technology: With advanced CIP technology, you don’t have to disassemble your equipment to clean it. Leave your conveyor belt in place and let the high-temperature, low-moisture steam remove residue and bacteria. 
  • Reduced Downtime: Steam cleaning is faster than manual cleaning, especially when you add in the labor required for conveyor belt disassembly, drying, and reassembly, which is typically required with most traditional wash-down methods.
  • Chemical-Free Cleaning: Cleaning chemicals are expensive, can be hard on machinery, and aren’t environmentally friendly. By using them on your food processing surfaces, you also run the risk of exposing your food items to those chemical contaminants. Dry steam removes the same tough grease, oil, and remnants without harsh chemicals. 

Steam Sterilization Equipment from Electro-Steam

At Electro-Steam, we have decades of experience working with clients in a range of industries, and we have a deep understanding of the requirements, standards, and expectations in food processing. We offer a variety of products to help you find the right solution for your facility:

Learn more about our versatile and effective dry steam sanitation systems and how they can help you save on labor costs, reduce downtime, and establish yourself as a more environmentally friendly operation. Contact us today for more information about our catalog and to arrange a free demonstration at your facility.  Be sure to  ask us about a customized solution for your unique application.