Waterless knife sterilisation for meat processing plants
Solution providers wanting to develop new solutions for sterilisation of knives and other tools for Australian red meat abattoirs. Participants may be:
- Wishing to brainstorm and evaluate (without substantially building) new approaches (this can be initially focussed and limited to knife sterilisation)
- Ready to build and evaluate designs for new approaches
Industry challenge: Meat processing is a capital, labour and energy intense industry. Sterilisation, the cleaning of dirt and microbial remnants is required on all slaughter floor tools between each carcase. The process consumes large amounts of water and energy, requires twice the number of cutting tools at each station and at 82°C is also a health (burn) risk to staff.
Current opportunity: Currently in abattoirs worldwide operators must clean their tools, including knives between carcases. This means dipping the tool for a minimum of six seconds into a steriliser pot of hot water maintained at a temperature of no less than 82°C (180° F). Consequently two tools are required per station, so that the operator can move immediately to a new carcase.
Temperature and time sterilisation of these tools are part of a HACCP program . A common practice to ensure that these standards are unquestionably met is to have the water temperature much higher than the required 82°C. In addition, more water than is required is often continuously passing through the sterilisation pot. This widespread practice necessarily increases water and energy consumption, requires two sets of tools and increases the risk of heat burn to staff.
Past R&D: The industry has supported a number of investigations into waterless applications in the red meat sector, although the majority of these do not focus specifically on knife and tool sterilisation:
Technical support on the application of < 82°C water for knife and equipment sterilisation
Validation of an alternative procedure for knife cleaning on the slaughter floor
Robotic Front Vac San (Uses steam)
Robotic Rear Vac San (Uses steam)
The effect of different water temperatures on knife decontamination
Waterless cleaning initiatives
Waterless cleaning of meat processing facilities
Water Collection and Data Analysis
Energy and Water Use within processing plants.
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