Stopping your customers going elsewhere
|Pressemitteilung von: Bizerba GmbH & Co. KG|
|(openPR) - Bizerba hygiene expert Ralf Steinhilber on hygienic slicing
Crises like the recent EHEC outbreak create a new kind of consumer; one that is more critical than ever when watching how counter employees handle food. Slicers in particular must be able to stand up to this scrutiny, otherwise customers go elsewhere. In this Bizerba expert interview, Ralf Steinhilber, Director of Food Processing, explains what hygienic slicing is all about.
Frank Schmidtbauer (freelance journalist): What does the customer expect from the fresh food counter?
Ralf Steinhilber: Retailers score points with customers if they demonstrate that they slice foods hygienically. In this context, it is tremendously important that the customer himself understands all of the functions of the slicer. He must have the feeling that even he could clean the machine without any problems. This poses considerably challenges for us in terms of design.
F.S.: What are the principles that you apply when designing slicers?
R.S.: A key term is "hygienic design". The GSP, for example, is completely clear of obstructive features. It has smooth, sealed surfaces and few corners. We have lifted the edges of the casing slightly so that liquids do not drip onto the floor. There is a run-off trough at the stop plate. The machine stands on relatively high feet, so that the employee can also clean the counter at any time. This construction style facilitates effective cleaning and helps prevent contamination by bacteria.
F.S.: What are retailers demanding nowadays?
R.S.: Retailers are demanding optimum cleaning results with minimal effort. For this reason, we design according to the following principle: either the components can be reached and cleaned easily or they can be removed quickly. For example, there is enough room between the motor tower and knife for employees to be able to clean from behind, including the cleaning the knife. We don't use screw caps. The carriage can be folded up easily; the cover and end cut pusher plate have a clip mechanism, meaning you have them in your hand in one click. It pretty much entices you to clean.
F.S.: You developed the new surface coating Ceraclean. How did that come about?
R.S.: We developed the Ceraclean coating to make slicers even more robust, corrosion-proof and resistant to cleaning chemicals – as compared with the well-known anodised surfaces. Ceraclean is made up of synthetic resin, ceramic and a polymer of fluorine and carbon. It has outstanding non-stick and easy-slide qualities. Liquids form beads and run off much better than they do with anodised surfaces, and even grease can be removed more quickly. The first pilot customers have confirmed that the can now clean their machines significantly more quickly – by hand and even in the dish washer for individual parts.
F.S.: And how did you test the material?
R.S.: Last year we subjected the material to the toughest possible tests in the laboratory. In the abrasion test, we tested the surface with sandpaper of grain size 240 using a machine. The anodised surface withstood 1,300 strokes, whilst Ceraclean withstood 45,000. This was more than we expected and we were suitably delighted.
F.S.: Intertek, an independent testing laboratory, also put the material through its paces.
R.S.: Exactly. There the employees spread test contaminants on the slicer and let them dry in. They wiped the surface with damp cleaning cloths and determined the remaining amount of bacteria. As compared with the contamination level at the start, they had reduced the number of bacteria by 99.9 per cent. For us this was proof enough that the surface was destined for food service.
F.S.: And there are no concerns regarding contact with foodstuffs?
R.S.: The American organisation the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed that all of the raw materials required are in conformity with the FDA. The GSP machine has also received a hygiene certificate from the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). This means that we are meeting one of the most strict hygiene standards that exist internationally.
F.S.: The BS 38 machine slices without oil. What hygienic advantages does that bring?
R.S.: In the case of slicers with grates you are forced to use oil. Unfortunately, oil is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. If germs transfer to the bread, it will begin to go mouldy long before its use-by date. Therefore, the BS 38 slices without oil. This makes life very difficult for mould and co.
F.S.: Mr Steinhilber, thank you for doing this interview.
Since 1866, Bizerba has been leading technological progress in weighing, labeling, information and food service systems. We are creating the future. Bizerba offers all its solutions from a single source: hardware and software, consulting, financing and services. We are active around the globe and present wherever you need us.
As market and technology leaders, we provide state-of-the-art, comprehensive solutions. Retail scales with multimedia databases, cash-point solutions and checkout scales, materials and store management systems, slicing and meat processing machines, labels and consumables, software-supported control scales, foreign body detectors, labeling systems as well as industry software for data flow – from goods receiving through to shipping. Bizerba’s consistently high quality is the result of systematic Global Quality Management. We are always a step ahead and with clear targets in the foreground, so that our customers can capitalize on the best available solutions today. Bizerba quality stands for technological leadership.
Bizerba is represented in over 120 countries around the world – with 41 partnership holdings in 23 countries and 54 representative offices. Company headquarters are located in Balingen, Germany, where we employ a staff of close to 3,000. Further production facilities are located in Messkirch and Bochum (Germany), Vienna (Austria), Mendrisio (Switzerland), Milan (Italy), Shanghai (China), Forest Hill (USA) and San Luis Potosi (Mexico).
If you have any questions, please contact:
Bizerba GmbH & Co. KG
Director Marketing & Communication
PO Box 10 01 64, 72301 Balingen
Telephone: +49 7433 12-3300
Fax: +49 7433 12-53300