A mass quantity of water is used by poultry processors to maintain a hygienic work environment. This water evaporates and can cause condensation on the ceiling, walls and equipment within processing areas.
Claxton Poultry in the USA received a warning letter from the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) due to the presence of condensation in the workplace. Officials of the USDA FSIS told Claxton that condensation is not permitted to form either in product or non-product areas, where the potential for dripping can occur; as this can cause contamination of the product.
For many years the problem had been addressed by using plastic sheets hung from the ceiling, along with employing personnel dedicated to wiping away condensation as it formed. This proved to be a costly and time-consuming solution which was unable to control condensation to meet with USDA compliance.
Claxton contacted Polygon in search for a dependable, cost-effective solution.
A quick response was required to prevent any production downtime. Polygon provided a temporary
Condensation Control System (CCS) to solve Claxton’s condensation related problems. The CCS works by supplying dehumidified air that absorbs moisture and controls the formation of condensation.
The CCS consisted of desiccant dehumidifiers, cooling modules and chillers. The condensation began to disappear within hours of the equipment installation. The USDA warning letter was lifted after 90 days of operation without receiving an NR (Non-Compliance Record).
Claxton has seen other benefits of using dehumidification. A significant number of workers were dedicated to wiping away condensation and installing plastic sheeting. These workers are now able to perform other functions within the facility which has reduced labour costs.
Sanitation has been improved within the factory because with dehumidification operating, Claxton has been able to run sanitation right up to shift start. This allowed “on time” shift starts which have improved production management. Defrost cycles on existing cooling equipment have been reduced from four to once per day because desiccant dehumidification delivers air at lower dew point temperatures. Claxton Poultry is successfully using Polygon Condensation Control Systems in further processing areas, including evisceration.
The Polygon equipment has allowed Claxton Poultry to operate without condensation-related NRs.
John Seibel, Complex Manager at Claxton.
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