New Device Tests for Microbial Contamination in Compressed Air Systems
The Filtration and Separation Division of Parker Hannifin Corporation, the global leader in motion and control technologies, has introduced an innovative compressed air microbial detection device which allows users to quickly test for microbial contamination in compressed air that comes into contact with food and food contact surfaces.
The warm, dark, moist environment inside a compressed air system provides the perfect conditions for microbes to flourish and grow. These bacteria flow along with the air stream and begin their journey through the compressed air system. Introducing this type of microbial contamination to food products is very risky and would be considered a lack of control by the facility. It is not always apparent where the compressed air is contacting the food. Working surfaces such as counters and conveyors are obvious and manageable contact points. However, air is invisible and leaves no visible trace where it contacts the food, food contact surfaces, or packaging.
Currently, the only devices capable of sampling compressed air systems for microbes are expensive and cumbersome and require lengthy sample times and extensive training.
The Parker Balston CAMTU detection device allows food safety personnel to quickly and easily test for contamination present in compressed air supplies that come in direct contact with food products or food packaging / processing equipment. The CAMTU is portable, weighing less than 1lb, and is supplied with connection tubing, a shut off valve, pressure regulator and metering orifice.
To obtain a sample, simply plug the CAMTU into the compressed air system, expose the petri dish for 20 seconds and then incubate the dish for 24 to 48 hours.
Testing is critical for understanding how to properly treat the compressed air. The CAMTU will assist with identifying hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) risks. Without adequate treatment in place, an increased risk of food product contamination exists.