The American Meat Institute Foundation (AMIF) on Feb. 3 released an updated version of its Sanitary Equipment Design Principles: Checklist & Glossary. The Principles have been a leading factor in food safety advances in meat and poultry plants including the reduction of Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat meat and poultry products. The Principles were developed through an Equipment Design Task Force (EDTF) that was charged with developing equipment sanitary design principles that meet the expectations of the meat and poultry industries.

The design principles provide an opportunity for equipment providers and users to work together to identify issues of common concern before equipment reaches the plant floor while creating a standardized food safety focus for equipment evaluation. The principles also include a checklist, glossary and new photo examples for plants to use when evaluating their equipment.

The 10 principles of sanitary design are:

  1. Cleanable to a microbiological level
  2. Made of compatible materials
  3. Accessible for inspection, maintenance, cleaning and sanitation
  4. No product or liquid collection
  5. Hollow areas should be hermetically sealed
  6. No niches
  7. Sanitary operational performance
  8. Hygienic design of maintenance enclosures
  9. Hygienic compatibility with other plant systems
  10. Validated cleaning and sanitizing protocols

The Sanitary Design Principles were originally developed in 2002. The original EDTF was honored with AMI’s 2003 Industry Advancement Award for its work. The updated Principles were developed by an EDTF comprised of representatives from 11 meat and poultry processing companies who consulted equipment manufacturers, certifying organizations and government officials to identify the critical nature of equipment design in reducing the risk of contamination by pathogens.