With the current pandemic situation, the restaurant sector has made a great effort to adapt its facilities with additional safety, hygiene, and health measures(hydroalcoholic gel, safety distances between tables, menus with QR codes, disinfection devices, improvements in ventilation, filters, temperature control …). Other measures can contribute to the biosecurity of professional kitchens: Passive Food Safety Systems (SPSA).
Passive Food Safety Systems
Passive Food Safety Systems (SPSA) are all those technological utilities that, applied in kitchens and related sectors, help to provide a space in which to produce safer food. SPSAs are a management tool and a hallmark of food safety systems based on:
- Materials, equipment, and tools
- Processes and procedures
Although traditionally food safety has largely fallen on handlers – in their health and training, in the implementation of hygienic procedures, and self-control processes – the role that the design of the space and especially the materials should not be underestimated and professional kitchen equipment have on the safety of the final product.
Concerning this aspect, Passive Food Safety Systems focus on materials, equipment, and tools, providing state-of-the-art systems that provide additional safety and hygiene against possible microbiological contamination.
Professional kitchens incorporate materials and equipment that improve their level of safety and hygiene. It is no longer valid only to clean and disinfect a kitchen, but from its origin it must be conceived as a healthy space, facilitating not only its cleaning and hygienic practices, but also incorporating advanced systems for the protection of biological contamination.
More than 10 years have passed since Maite Pelayo, microbiologist and Food Safety specialist, developed the idea of SPSAs for the Silestone Institute. A concept in continuous evolution that continues to incorporate new safety systems and mechanisms in professional kitchens. Some of them are:
Latest generation materials and coatings
- Hygienic materials and surfaces help prevent the proliferation of microorganisms.
- Biofilm prevention: surface sensors and biosensors.
Refrigerators and other kitchen appliances
- Coolers with internal lining with silver particles limiting bacterial growth.
- Independent refrigeration circuits that prevent the transmission of microorganisms between refrigerators and freezers.
- Dishwasher with antibacterial parts for added protection.
Kitchen tools and utensils
- Anti-cross contamination cutting boards provided with colors according to the type of product (work lines).
- Knives and tools with antimicrobial treatments.
Other systems for kitchens
- Automatic soap and water dispensers with the sensor.
- High-speed microcurrent air dryers.
- Hygienic waste receivers with infrared technology.
- Air purifiers and filtration units reduce the microbiological load of the environment.
- Extractor hoods and environmental control systems that avoid biological risk Tº and% of humidity.
Treated with an antibacterial varnish that guarantees unlimited coverage. The sanitizing components do not go away with daily cleaning or the passage of time, but they last the entire life of the furniture. It does not alter the characteristics of the materials and is free of toxic components for human contact.
With anti-mold, anti-virus, and anti-bacterial treatments. Color-coded rags to avoid cross-contamination.
Kitchen cleaning and disinfection
Cleaning and hygiene utensils must also be sanitized but that is equipped with additives that prevent the massive proliferation of microorganisms.
IT tools and digital technologies that enhance food safety:
- Interconnected kitchens: internet of things (smart refrigerators equipped with a touch screen with a view of food without opening – it facilitates uniform temperature control -, management of stocks and useful lives …)
- Refrigeration is a field of intense application in the “Internet of Things” and “Cloud Computing” (autonomous decision making). Artificial Intelligence (learning from experience automatically) optimally manages cooling resources, guaranteeing the SA of the products.
- Blockchain technology, the new traceability tool.
- Mobile devices such as PDAs (small pocket computers) that register the entry of food into the pantry by reading the infrared barcode and thus store information as important as the expiration date of each product.
- Intelligent technology for personalized cleaning and disinfection: packages of automatic cleaning tools connected online, traceability and management of services with real-time information, application of QR codes …
- Some of these SPSAs have the added value of also being management systems against food waste.
Within the New Food Safety Paradigm in which not only the effect of food on our body (sensory, nutritional, health …) but also our impact on food safety is raised, the SPSA must meet other requirements, mainly related to :
- Sustainable production: low impact on the environment.
- Recycling of materials that make it up (especially plastics and microplastics) within circular economy processes.
Is it interesting for you? These reflections are just an appetizer of what you can learn and analyze this article of professionals who have been at the foot of the hygiene and food safety processes in their companies during the pandemic.