Why Welding Matters to Food Safety

Welding uses heat to fuse together the various pipes and pieces of stainless steel that make up the food processing equipment we manufacture. The quality of the weld is a determining factor in whether or not the product meets hygienic design standards for the food processing industry. What is considered an acceptable weld will vary depending on the industry and product being welded. When fabricating food processing equipment weld quality is extremely important to maintain the integrity of the products being processed. When it comes to food safety, we take no chances. 

A weld does not meet hygienic design standards if there is potential for contamination. Contamination can result from there being cracks, crevices, 90 degree angles, corrosion, or over-stressed surfaces in the processing equipment. All of these commonly found issues can become harbourage points and leave room for the smallest amount of food to get stuck.  When product is stuck in a crevice it becomes very difficult to remove through regular cleaning leaving the potential for bacteria to build up and contaminate additional food products.

Welds should not be done in 90 degree angles. Welds in a 90 degree angle are difficult to clean and provide a breeding ground for bacteria once food is lodged there. To prevent this from happening corners should be rounded, and welds done on flat surfaces.

welding

Differing materials should not be welded together. When welding two different materials together the strength and integrity of the equipment can be compromised. Risks to the equipment include corroding surfaces, cracking, and possible food contamination. While stainless steel is non-corrosive, if welded together with a different material corrosion can occur. Differing thermal capacities in materials can result in heat stress cracking when two different materials are welded together. Once cracks occur, the equipment is susceptible to causing food contamination. CMP uses only 304 and 316 stainless steel in the fabrication of food processing equipment, ensuring the entire piece of equipment is non-corrosive and integrity of equipment remains intact.

The surface finish of equipment is equally as important to the hygiene of the finished product. When cleaning and polishing welds, welders must use caution not to use an abrasive polish or overstress the stainless steel. Doing so has the potential to remove and expose the protective oxide layer exposing the steel layer underneath. This leaves the equipment susceptible to corrosion, which, as previously mentioned, makes it susceptible to contaminating food. 

From our designers to our welders, each member of the CMP team keeps hygienic design top of mind when creating food processing equipment for our clients. We share a common passion for food safety which we bring to life with our designs, welding and fabrication. If you want to learn more about how we design and build hygienically designed food processing equipment for your facility, speak with one of our technical experts. 

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