The Importance of Disinfection and Hygiene in the Food and Beverage Industry


Dozens of complex components play unique roles in the production and distribution of food and beverage products, from sinks and tanks to assembly lines. In the midst of manufacturing and packaging, employees interact with the various components that make up the process. However, perhaps of the most crucial components of production is disinfection and hygiene.

Without proper cleaning and disinfection, a safe product cannot be delivered consistently, and devastating consequences often follow. As consumers are offered a more extensive product range, improved processes are required. Simultaneously, strict hygiene regulations demand efficiency and safety.

In the content below, we discuss the fundamental importance of cleaning within every step of the food and beverage production process and explore helpful cleaning and disinfection tools.

Hand Disinfection

Hand sluices are fundamentally important to food production and must adhere to the most sterile process possible. Therefore, regular hand disinfection can significantly reduce the risk of transmitting infectious diseases and cross contamination. The New Food Magazine explains:

The primary reason for washing hands is to prevent cross contamination of pathogens to food products and food contact equipment, which in the food industry could lead to food poisoning incidents. Additionally, the design of the hand washing facility should minimize contamination of the user and the wash room environment.

The primary tool utilized for hand washing is hand disinfection nozzles. Nozzles designed for hand hygieneshould provide an extremely fine atomization of disinfectant. Fine atomization allows for widest possible surface coverage, maximizing disinfectant effectiveness. Lechler’s innovative hollow cone nozzle is one such tool, providing consistent fine disinfectant atomization and widespread coverage.

Work Equipment Disinfection

Applying stringent sanitation requirements to all work equipment is critical to maintaining the quality of your equipment and protecting consumers.

Disinfecting equipment accomplishes the following:

  • Prevents the cross-contamination of chemicals or ingredients from one product to the next.
  • Prevents microbial contamination, often leading to reduced product quality and the spread of disease.
  • Saves money by both reducing waste from spoiled goods and extending the life of production equipment.
  • Increases safety for employees.
  • Improves efficiency within an operation. Soil residue can reduce the efficiency of equipment during the food or beverage production process.
  • Adhere to legal safety protocol and regulations.

Cleaning work equipment requires short throughput times, especially when disinfecting trolleys and containers for production. Lechler’s flat fan nozzles possess an intense spray force, ideal for thorough, quick equipment cleaning. Spray pipes equipped with flat fan nozzles consistently show uniform liquid distribution.

Sole & Boot Cleaning

Cross-contamination from footwear is often overlooked! However, employees can track contaminants from inside or outside the plant – thus, proper cleaning and sanitation is critical. Food and beverage industry facilities should implement footwear cleaning protocol to further reduce the spread of pathogens and foster a sterile environment. Sole and boot cleaning systems are often linked with hand disinfectant systems within the facility.

At Lechler, we recommend our Series 632 and 686 flat fan or deflector nozzles when working with brushes and spraying new disinfectant. The Series 632 nozzle provides a stable spray angle for the uniform, parabolic distribution of liquid. 686 flat fan nozzles are particularly clog-proof, projecting a wide flat fan with a sharply delimited jet pattern.

Other Disinfection & Hygiene Applications

Production Preparation Applications

Other production preparation processes, such as cleaning fruits and vegetables, also require the proper cleaning and disinfecting tools. Series 468 full cone nozzles are ideal for cleaning cut fruits and vegetables, with a 60 degree spray angle. The simple assembly process allows for quickly changing nozzles, as needed.

Bottle and barrel cleaning can be accomplished with various nozzles systems, including flat fan and deflector-type nozzles for heavy dirt applications. Full cone nozzles are utilized for rinsing while tank cleaning nozzles are primarily implemented for cleaning the interior of barrels. High-impact tank cleaning nozzles are also ideal for tackling soiling within tanks of various sizes. Depending on the specific application, identifying the best nozzle for your tanks will aid in cleaning and hygiene efficiency.

Flat fan nozzles and deflector nozzles are the preferred option for pack washers. Both nozzle options produce a powerful flat fan spray at low pressures.

Once more, tank cleaning rotating nozzles are the ideal solution for optimum container cleaning. Unique applications, such as sausage cooling, frequently implement full cone nozzles or cluster head nozzles to produce a cool, consistent sausage shower. Can cleaning requires thorough disinfection measures on the inside and outside of the can before food can enter. Once again, flat fan and full cone nozzles are commonly utilized for this process.

Product Processing Applications

Coating and disinfecting operations are extremely common in the food processing industry, and consistency and efficiency are critical. Lechler’s VarioSpray II Nozzle valve system provides extraordinary flexibility, allowing for broad or small, precise coating methods, depending on the desired use. Finally, belt cooling requires a unique tool, as the coolant is sprayed on the underside of the belt as the product is transported. Hollow cone nozzles are often preferred, due to their production of fine droplets.

Filling and Packing Applications

Series 136 pneumatic atomization nozzles are often used for sterilization, especially the internal disinfection of PET bottles. Filling machine cleaning requires a permanently installed, FDA and EHEDG-approved nozzle system. Manufacturers often choose Series 500 rotating cleaning nozzles or Series 594/595 hygienic whirly nozzles.

Belt lubrication, the process by which a slick solution is sprayed onto the conveyor belt to reduce friction coefficient, is often completed by the special Series 652.8H.03 flat fan nozzle. Lechler’s full cone or hollow cone nozzles are excellent for the pasteurization process, where shelf life can be increased. Heat is transferred using the nozzle, applying a dense water film onto the specific packaging.

Finally, manufacturers often prefer Lechler’s air nozzles for package and label drying, because the nozzles offer a low level of noise compared to the standard air nozzles. Additionally, Lechler’s air nozzles, such as the Whisperblast series, fully dry the seal so subsequent marketing is not smudged.

Lechler: Nozzle Innovation

At Lechler, we have a passion for precision innovation and the drive to always improve. Our global sales network includes more than 40 sales offices around the world, and we look forward to helping optimize yourdisinfection and hygiene process.

Feel free to reach out to our team of spray solution engineers today! You can reach us at 800.777.2926 or via our online contact form.