1 in 5 food industry decision makers admit to not combating dust despite it being an issue

1 in 5 food industry decision makers admit to not combating dust despite it being an issue

We recently conducted research into dust-related problems in the food industry to determine how highly these issues were regarded. As part of this, we polled 100 UK based food industry professionals to garner their opinion and insights into their approach to tackling the problems that arise around dust.

Respondents to the study were asked: 'How big of an issue is dust within your workplace?' and given several options to choose from. One in five (21%) selected the answer 'Dust is an issue for us, but something we don't address as much as we should'. 23% said it was 'a big issue, one which we address regularly', while 21% of respondents said, 'a massive issue, where we have put certain procedures in place'. The remaining 35% didn't believe that dust was an issue in their workplace.

Our study then looked at the extent of dust extraction in the industry, posing the question: 'Within your workplace, are you using dust extraction equipment?' to which 66% stated that 'yes', they were. However, 24% said 'no', with an additional 10% stating 'not sure', suggesting that as many as 1 in 3 businesses either don't have extraction procedures in place or, if they do, it's practically unnoticed.

We then also probed respondents specifically about the use of vacuuming around food, asking 'Do you use vacuum cleaning for your food surface area?' to which 49% said 'yes'. However, 43% said 'no' with 1% responding 'not sure'. The remaining 7%, alarmingly, didn't know it was possible.

James Miller, who is the General Manager at Dustcontrol UK, commented on the results of the study: "The findings are certainly eye opening. Dust is a prevalent issue in the food industry and to find that one in five key decision makers are aware of potential problems yet don't address them is concerning. Dust is often underestimated and seen as a nuisance rather than a genuine hazard, when it very much is."

James continued: "Dust is a major issue in the food industry thanks to the presence of airborne allergens, which, while a problem for workers' long-term health, can also pose issues further down the line for consumers. Failing to undertake appropriate cleaning measures and tackling dust in hard to reach areas can affect product quality, while also running the risk of cross contamination – with potentially fatal consequences in the event of extreme allergic reaction."

At Dustcontrol we've developed and recently launched coloured antistatic brushes specifically for the food industry in order to meet its strict hygiene standards.

The Good For Food brushes offer a unique combination of properties. They're antistatic and ESD certified, which means they can be used in Atex Zone 22, where dust explosions can occur. They are also approved for food surface contact, being both FDA compliant and the European equivalent.

The brushes' colour coding, covering five handle colours and two interchangeable brush colours, allows for different applications in the factory, different areas or even for different days of the week depending on need. In addition, their material composition makes them detectable via metal detector as well as being autoclavable up to 121 degrees Celsius, allowing for high pressure saturated steam cleaning.

The brushes can work in conjunction with our high-quality extraction equipment, ensuring that food hygiene areas are the cleanest they can be – keeping the potentially serious side effects of dust to a minimum You can find out more about our brushes here. Alternatively, please phone us on 01327 858001 or email sales@dustcontrol.co.uk.