When it comes to food, beverage and pharma processing, safety is of paramount importance. Against a backdrop of evolving regulatory standards and differences in regional requirements, how can OEMs ensure compliance? Here, Xylem’s David Allen, Director of Product Management and Marketing – Flojet, Jabsco and Rule, discusses the concept of ‘food safe’ and outlines how OEMs can stay ahead of the curve when it comes to maintaining food safety standards.
What does ‘food’ refer to when it comes to ‘food safe’ pumps and equipment?
Put simply, ‘food’ refers to any substance or product – whether processed, partially processed or unprocessed – that is reasonably expected to be ingested by humans. It also includes any substance that is intentionally incorporated into food or food preparation and processing. To ensure compliance, high quality, corrosion resistant equipment is essential for today’s equipment manufacturers who produce materials that are intended to come into contact with food.
What ‘food safe’ regulations are currently in place?
While worldwide regulations and standards may differ slightly depending on market, the end goal is always the same – to protect the health and wellbeing of the consumer. In Europe, all products that are intended to be in contact with food and drink are required to comply with the European Food Contact Materials Regulation (EC1935/2004) – a directive that states that food contact materials may not release constituents into food at levels that could endanger human health, or bring about changes in the composition, smell or taste of food substances.
Similar compliance regulations are also in place in China, where national standards (GB4806) closely align with the European framework. In the United States, the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certification ensures that the health and wellbeing of the consumer is protected. Within these markets, there are also more localized requirements that need to be considered, so for food and beverage OEMs – particularly those with a global footprint – it is important to ensure the relevant standards are met within the regions they operate.
What could be considered a food contact material in this context?
As food contact materials are widely used in everyday life – from drinking straws and cutlery to food packaging and kitchen appliances – the scope for ensuring compliance is broad. Food production machinery, as well as containers used in the transport of food, are also classified as contact materials, broadening the scope even more.
Due to the wide range of applicable ‘contact material’, food business operators at all stages of the supply chain carry the responsibility for ensuring compliance. With such a diverse chain of entities with different areas of expertise, it can be difficult for businesses to maintain confidence in meeting requirements – particularly across different markets where standards may be nuanced.
How can Xylem help businesses within the food and beverage industry meet compliance?
At Xylem, our solutions span the entire food and beverage industry, and our technologies are used in multiple applications around the world. We also work with a wide range of food related global businesses and collaborate with beverage equipment OEMs to develop systems that ensure product quality and consumer safety. Specifically, our portfolio of Flojet controlled flow pumping technologies are used in drink dispensing applications, coffee machines and beer distribution systems.
As a global leader in beverage dispensing, we help our customers around the world navigate compliance requirements by offering a full range of air and electrically operated diaphragm pumps through our Flojet product brand that meet food safety standards in multiple markets. In tracking global compliance regulations, we ensure our products meet evolving regulations at every turn. Our commitment to compliance and food contact safety allows our customers to focus on other aspects of their systems, knowing we will have a solution where our products are used.
What ‘food safe’ pumps and equipment does Xylem currently supply?
Our Flojet portfolio of air operated diaphragm (AOD) pumps have been designed to meet stringent food contact regulations in multiple markets, making us the only pump provider in the world to offer food safe products that meet regional standards on a global scale. Products under this portfolio include our Flojet T5000 Series which was designed for dispensing bag-in-box (BIB) syrups, juice concentrate, teas, wines and liquor. We also offer a compliant portfolio of pumps which also cater to BIB dispensing, including the Flojet G55 Series and M Series, and extend to beer applications like the Flojet G56 Beerjet pumps.
What makes Xylem a reliable ‘food safe’ equipment provider?
Our understanding of global food safety requirements means that we are well positioned to provide compliant products to customers across multiple markets – including the United States, China and Europe – all while meeting the region-specific standards that fall in between. This allows our customers to become undisputed in-market leaders when it comes to food safety standards.
What can food and beverage businesses do to ensure compliance?
By paying attention to evolving regulatory requirements, food and beverage businesses at all stages of the supply chain can stay ahead of the curve when it comes to food safety. At Xylem, we are committed to playing our part by offering a broad portfolio of superior solutions that are engineered to meet the most stringent food safety requirements, every time.
For OEMs who are looking to get ahead of the competition, implementing food safe products can be transformative. To ensure compliance, it is always best to disclose the intended use of a particular piece of equipment to your solutions provider. From there, they can determine the best solutions to meet your needs.
If you have any questions about any of our food safe pumps, want to get a quote, or just want to provide feedback, feel free to contact us and one of our team members will contact you.