Sanitary Design Principles

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Developed by the Equipment Design Task Force of the American Meat Institute (AMI), the 10 Principles of Sanitary Design were originally focused toward the minimizing the spread of Listeria in meat processing plants.

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April 6, 2011

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Developed by the Equipment Design Task Force of the American Meat Institute (AMI), the 10 Principles of Sanitary Design were originally focused toward the minimizing the spread of Listeria in meat processing plants. However the general criteria is applicable to the sanitary design of equipment and structure for any food or beverage processing plant..

The 10 AMI Principles are:

  1. Cleanable to a microbiological level: Food equipment must be constructed to ensure effective and efficient cleaning of the equipment over its lifespan. The equipment should be designed as to prevent bacterial ingress, survival, growth and reproduction on both produce and non-product contact surfaces of the equipment.
  2. Made of compatible materials: Construction materials used for equipment must be completely compatible with the product, environment, clean ing and sanitizing chemicals and the methods of cleaning and sanitation.
  3. Accessible for inspection, maintenance, cleaning and sanitation: All parts of the equipment shall be readily accessible for inspection, maintenance, cleaning and sanitation without the use of tools.
  4. No product or liquid collection: Equipment should be self-draining to assure that liquid, which can harbor and promote the growth of bacteria, does not accumulate, pool or condense on the equipment.
  5. Hollow areas should be hermetically sealed: Hollow areas of equipment such as frames and rollers must be eliminated whenever possible or permanently sealed. Bolts, studs, mounting plates, brackets, junction boxes, nameplates, end caps, sleeves and other such items should be continuously welded to the surface, not attached via drilled and tapped holes.
  6. No niches: Equipment parts should be free of niches such as pits, cracks, corrosion, recesses, open seams, gaps, lap seams, protruding ledges, inside threads, bolt rivets and dead ends.
  7. Sanitary operational performance: During normal operations, the equipment must perform so it does not contribute to unsanitary conditions or the harborage and growth of bacteria.
  8. Hygienic design of maintenance enclosures: Maintenance enclosures and human machine interfaces such as push buttons, valve handles, switches and touchscreens, must be designed to ensure food product, water or product liquid does not penetrate or accumulate in or on the enclosure or interface. Also, physical design of the enclosures should be sloped or pitched to avoid use as storage area.
  9. Hygienic compatibility with other plant systems: Equipment design should ensure hygienic compatibility with other equipment and systems, such as electrical, hydraulics, steam, air and water.
  10. Validate cleaning and sanitizing protocols: Procedures for cleaning and sanitation must be clearly written, designed and proven effective and efficient. Chemicals recommended for cleaning and sanitation must be compatible with the equipment and the manufacturing environment.