Low risk high risk high care

Food Factories: Low Risk, High Risk, High Care - What's the Difference?

The role of production zones

If your factory is going to meet hygiene and safety requirements, you need to embrace the concept of production zoning. Products and ingredients cannot be handled in the same way. Instead, specific environments need to be established, with each environment acting as a direct reflection of the risks and requirements of the products within them. Defining clear zones in this way is a vital part of overseeing the production process. It is also the best way to ensure the relevant controls are in place. As detailed in Issue 9 of the BRCGS Global Standard in Food Safety, the most common areas to consider are: low risk, high risk, and high care. We decided to create a guide to each of these three areas, also addressing ambient high care areas, along with their compliance and equipment requirements. 

What is a low risk area?

As the name suggests, low risk areas handle products with a reduced risk of microbiological contamination. One possible reason that a product belongs in this area is that it is set to undergo a kill step at a later stage. A kill step is an action that helps to destroy bacteria. Examples include certain kinds of cooking, freezing, pasteurization, and chemical washes. Another reason for a product being handled in a low risk area is that, either naturally or by design, it doesn’t support the survival of the pathogens that would typically grow during storage or use.  

A product is considered low risk if it: 

  • Is always going to be cooked by the consumer 
  • Is processed within the final container 
  • Doesn’t support the growth and/or survival of pathogens 
  • Is a ready-to-eat product that has been stored, chilled or frozen 
  • Is a raw material or prepared product that is going to undergo a kill step 

What are the compliance and equipment requirements for a low risk area?

‘Low risk’ should never result in ‘low standards’. Instead, good manufacturing practices should be upheld at every turn. Otherwise, it will be impossible to drive hygiene standards, secure audit compliance, and nurture the correct culture amongst your workforce. As with all the zones at your factory, you need to ensure the relevant equipment has been calibrated, Cleaning Instruction Cards are up to date, and team members have the correct clothing and utensils.  

It is also essential that equipment from a low risk area isn’t travelling into a high risk or high care zone. Colour coding is one of the best ways to prevent this from happening. Not only will this impress retailers and auditors, it will also make it easier for your operatives to keep track of equipment. Say a green brush is taken into a blue zone or a red squeegee is taken into a yellow zone, this breech will be immediately obvious and much easier to resolve. This will be even more likely if your equipment is stored on corresponding Shadow Boards, as it will be easy to confirm that everything has been returned to the right place.

What is a high risk area?

High risk areas are self-contained zones that handle products that have been through a kill step but are yet to have the full protection of packaging. A product or ingredient is considered high risk if it:

  • Requires chilling or freezing during storage 
  • Has undergone a full cook to a minimum of 70°C for two minutes (or the equivalent)
  • Supports the growth and/or survival of pathogens 
  • Is ready-to-eat, ready-to-heat, or is likely to be eaten without adequate cooking (e.g. cooked crustaceans) 

What are the compliance and equipment requirements for a high risk area?

One of the most important compliance requirements for high risk areas is segregation. Time segregation isn’t an option, so physical barriers are a must. The ideal barrier is a full wall that has undergone a comprehensive risk assessment. It needs to be capable of preventing cross-contamination caused by:  

  • Workers moving between zones
  • The movement of equipment, utensils, and materials 
  • Water or other cleaning liquids washing into the area 
  • Pathogens moving across from a low risk environment 

You should also be thinking about airborne contaminants, including dust particles and water droplets. One way to manage this factor is to pay close attention to the air pressure in different zones. This is especially important if there is a wall mounted transfer hatch operating between a high risk and low risk area. Although there is no threat posed from air travelling from the former to the latter, there are significant risks if the air is travelling in the opposite direction.  

What is a high care area?

High care areas are physically segregated zones that have been established with the intention of minimising contamination of products or ingredients. Examples of high care products include sandwiches and pre-prepared salads.

As with high risk products, high care products must be ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat. Alternatively, there may be a high likelihood of them being eaten without first being heated to the recommended temperature. Another requirement is that the finished product requires chilling or freezing during storage, and is vulnerable to the growth and/or survival of pathogens. One final consideration is if a process has already been carried out in an effort to reduce product contamination from microbiological hazards to an acceptable level. Only once a product or ingredient meets all these criteria will it qualify for entry into a high care environment.  

What are the compliance and equipment requirements for a high care area?

An effective high care area protects products from recontamination, so it needs to have suitable segregating barriers. Before entering a high care area, vulnerable ingredients and products undergo a process that reduces pathogenic bacteria to a level that is safe to eat. Spoilage organisms will still be present, but they can be controlled through temperature and shelf-life requirements. One of the most effective ways to do this is with the use of a Wireless Monitoring System. Instead of relying on time consuming manual checks that could be open to human error, a wireless system will provide automatic updates and will even set off an alarm if an error occurs.

Discover the WatchmanOne Wireless Monitoring System

What is an ambient high care area?

Ambient high care areas handle products that are vulnerable to the survival of pathogens. The term ‘ambient’ refers to the fact that the finished products within these areas are stored at room temperature, as opposed to the environment being temperature controlled. As with the finished products in standard high care areas, they will be ready-to-eat, ready-to-heat, or will be likely to be eaten without adequate cooking. The finished products will also be susceptible to the survival or growth of vegetative pathogens, and this has the potential to result in food poisoning. Consequently the production process for these products will include a process, such as a microbiological kill step, in an effort to remove or reduce these pathogens.  

The final requirement for products handled in an ambient high care area is that they must be a raw material that is prone to contamination with a vegetative pathogen. It is also worth noting that if the risk of vegetative pathogen contamination from a raw material has been handled by a supplier and controlled at an earlier point in the chain, this would mean it no longer fits the criteria of an ambient high care product. However, the supplier in question would be expected to have completed a full risk assessment.  

What are the compliance and equipment requirements for an ambient high care area?

When establishing the proper compliance and equipment requirements for ambient high care areas, it is recommended to draw on any experience of running high risk and high care environments. This is because many of the controls will be very similar. Issue 9 of the BRCGS Global Standard in Food Safety only includes two clauses relating to ambient high care areas. The first is that the map of the production site includes the location of the pathogen control step(s).

The second is that a documented risk assessment is completed to determine the risk of cross-contamination. This risk assessment will need to: 

  • Identify potential sources of microbiological contamination 
  • Examine the raw materials and products 
  • Detail the air flow and quality 
  • Document the provision and location of utilities (including drains) 
  • Examine the flow of raw materials, packaging, products, equipment, personnel, and waste 

If you would like further guidance relating to the equipment needed for the different zones in your factory, the Klipspringer team would be happy to help. Share your details below to arrange a free consultation.


    Optical Refractometers vs. Digital Refractometers: An honest comparison

    Breaking down the pros and cons of optical and digital refractometers for use in the food industry.

    Most commonly used in the food and beverage industry to measure sugar (°Brix), a refractometer tracks an optical constant and uses this information to reveal characteristics of the materials it is testing. Put simply, the speed of light is constant when recorded in a vacuum, but decreases whenever it passes through a material. The ratio of these two speeds is the optical constant known as the refractive index.  

    Although it’s interesting to think about the science behind this process, refractometers save you the trouble of thinking too hard. Instead, you can rely on this ingenious piece of kit to reveal everything from sugar and salinity levels to glucose and fructose. You can also focus your attention on choosing between an optical and digital refractometer – using our honest comparison to weigh up your options. 

    On the subject of honesty, we wanted to be upfront about the fact that Klipspringer supplies both optical refractometers and digital refractometers. With this in mind, we have endeavoured to be as unbiased as possible – drawing on our 22 years of experience and sharing only the most relevant insights. Our goal is always for you to make the right decision for you and your site, and we hope this overview helps to make this possible. 

    Optical Refractometers

    First, let’s consider the benefits of an optical refractometer. With a durable rubber grip, replaceable prism flap, and a well-balanced design that sits in the palm of your hand, this robust piece of equipment is suited to the daily demands of factory life. It is also IP65 water resistant and doesn’t require any batteries or power source.  

    Recognised by operatives across the country and favoured by workers who have a tentative relationship with technology, optical refractometers are a tried and tested solution. This model is a great fit for simple factory applications, as it can measure within an extremely specific range. Measuring a more significant range proves to be a problem though, with many factories having to purchase multiple units to cover the ranges relevant to their processes.  

    At Klipspringer we provide optical refractometers that work within the following parameters: 

    Unlike a digital refractometer, it isn’t possible to purchase an optical unit that covers 0-95%. This is because as the range of an optical refractometer increases, it becomes more and more difficult to secure accurate results. With optical refractometers already open to human error, this is a risk that factories can’t afford to take.  

    Instead of benefiting from the clear LCD display of its digital counterpart, the optical refractometer must be read by an operator through an eye piece that is held up to the light. Although this is a fairly straightforward process, there is always the possibility of results being impacted by an operative that has poor vision, doesn’t fully understand what they’re looking for, or is rushing through their duties. By comparison, the digital refractometer takes two seconds to display an accurate reading that doesn’t need to be interpreted.

    View the Eclipse Optical Refractometer

    Digital Refractometers

    In recent years, we have seen a major shift towards digital refractometers, with the possibility of optical models being phased out entirely. This is because units such as the OPTi Digital Handheld Refractometer not only cover the full 0-95 Brix scale in one unit, but also boast an onboard library of 50 common scales. These scales include: 

    • °Brix 
    • Fructose 
    • Glucose 
    • Maltose 
    • Invert Sugar
    • Total Solids of Waste Milk

    • Salinity (NaCl) 
    • °Butyro 
    • Mass Sugar (°Brix) 
    • Alcohol Probable (AP) 
    • °Baumé
    • °Plato

    View the complete list

    This digital monitor also allows you to pre-set up to three scales, empowering your operatives to move between, for example Brix, Alcohol Probable, and Fructose, with just the touch of a button. This should result in huge savings on time and effort. It will also allow you to de-skill this aspect of your operation, as workers of all abilities will be able to easily operate this piece of kit. 

    The key point that could cause a factory to hesitate before investing in a digital refractometer is the slightly higher price point. There is also the ongoing cost of replacing the unit’s batteries. Even with this in mind, we’ve found that once a technical manager considers the time saving benefits of a digital refractometer, they can identify the long-term savings.

    Another factor that informs their decision making is the fact that digital refractometers cover the full 0-95 Brix scale. This allows them to purchase just the one unit, as opposed to multiple optical versions. Finally, with 10,000 readings provided by two AAA batteries, this small expenditure doesn’t undermine the overall benefits.  

    View the OPTI Handheld Digital Refractometer

    Key Points to Consider

    Digital Refractometers:

    • Increased accuracy 
    • Durable IP65 rated body 
    • Read time of two seconds per sample 
    • 10,000 readings on two AAA batteries 
    • 50 scales available 
    • Option to pre-set three different scales 
    • Full 0-95 Brix range (and 1.33-1.53 RI) 
    • Stainless steel prism dish to stabilise sample temperature 
    • Slightly higher price point 
    • Additional cost of batteries and calibration 

    Optical Refractometers:

    • Smooth eyepiece adjustment 
    • Well balanced in the hand 
    • Durable rubber grip 
    • Replaceable prism flap 
    • IP65 water resistant 
    • No need to replace batteries 
    • Open to user interpretation 
    • Less accurate 
    • Limited range 
    • Additional cost of purchasing multiple refractometers to cover multiple ranges 

    Calibration and Verification

    When it comes to purchasing a new piece of equipment, it is always worth considering the calibration or verification process. Optical refractometers don’t need to be calibrated. On the one hand, this could be seen as an opportunity to save money. On the other, it could be another limitation, as instead of having the option to adjust an optical unit, as you would a digital refractometer, it will either be functioning or void. What’s more, its prism flap is the only replaceable part. In contrast, the digital refractometer can be calibrated – a service provided by Klipspringer’s in-house lab.

    We have also launched a series of calibration materials that allow you to carry out at least some of your calibrations remotely. In addition to this, we now stock a range of solutions that give you the option of validating your refractometers on site.

    Access our Calibration Services

    In Conclusion

    That brings us to the end of our honest comparison of optical and digital refractometers. When it comes to evaluating the pros and cons of each option, the most important thing is that you prioritise the specific requirements of your factory. After, all nobody understands your site better than you! However, we do hope this overview has been a useful resource – helping you to evaluate the risks and applications associated with either purchase.  

    With around 22 years of experience supporting over 4,000 food and beverage sites across the UK and Ireland, we are always happy to share our honest feedback and findings, determined to assist you in making the best decision for you and your site.

    Both ranges are available to view and purchase online at klipspringer.com, and if you require further support with your refractometers, don’t hesitate to contact the Klipspringer team!

    Need support with your refractometer requirements?

    Reach out to the Klipspringer team on 01473 461 800 or via our Contact page.

    Food Safety Innovation Conference

    Food Safety Innovation Conference 2023 - Inaugural Event Receives Glowing Reviews

    Food Safety Innovation Conference 2023 - Inaugural Event Receives Glowing Reviews

    Held at the University of Lincoln on Tuesday 5th September, the Food Safety Innovation Conference 2023 brought together over 150 industry professionals – unified in their determination to advance food safety and hygiene, challenge the status quo, and shine a light on true innovation.

    The product of months of careful planning, the conference was a collaborative effort from Klipspringer and FoodClean, with both companies determined to have a positive impact on the food industry and those working within it.  

    Opening Remarks

    After starting off the morning with hot drinks and a selection of pastries, attendees were welcomed to the conference by Alec Kyriakides (chair of the event), Alex Carlyon (Director at Klipspringer) and Dan Turner (Director at FoodClean).  

    Drawing on his experience working as the former Head of Technical Operations at Sainsbury’s, Alec delivered an inspiring presentation on Food Safety: past, present and future – covering everything from the events that have shaped our food safety regulations to the potential risks and opportunities we face moving forward.

    The Presentations

    Attendees were then treated to a series of presentations from five of the leading voices in the food industry:

    Nikos Manouselis, Co-Founder and CEO of Agroknow, discussed Innovation in Food Safety Management, offering fascinating insights on the role of AI technology. 

    Katie Satterthwaite, Factory Standards Manager for Marks and Spencer, made a compelling case for Innovation in Hygienic Design, raising awareness of the GFSI scopes JI and JII. 

    Dave Duncalf, Head of Chemical Technology at FoodClean, delivered a brilliant presentation on Innovation in Cleaning Automation and Robotics, paying particular attention to the ‘Sinner’s Circle’. 

    John Michael Piggot, EU Head of Food Safety at Amazon, discussed Innovation in Analytical Assurance, outlining the pros and cons of different analytical techniques in terms of food quality control and safety.

    Finally, Denis Treacy, Former Chief Officer for Safety & Quality at Pladis Global, delivered a passionate presentation on Innovation in Professional Development – empowering attendees to energise their influence on a strategic level. 

    The Workshops

    Following on from a morning break filled with canapés and a performance from the Klipspringer band, attendees sat down for their choice of two out of four available workshops. 

    Led by speaker Katie Satterthwaite and Phil May, Group Hygiene Manager for Greencore, Workshop One encouraged its participants to take a closer look at Equipment Design and Cleaning. Phil and Katie shared their secrets to achieving an effective clean and even brought along equipment to illustrate their point.  

    Running alongside this discussion was Workshop Two, led by speaker Nikos Manouselis. This session built on his earlier talk on Innovation in Food Safety Management, offering a deep dive into the world of Predictive Analytics.  

    After a short break, Workshops Three and Four were underway. The former offered an in-depth look at Analytical Assurance, more specifically the testing process for allergens and microorganisms. This session was headed up by Marissa Schwoch, Microbiologist and Auditor at Food Microbiology Solutions Ltd and former Group Food Safety Manager for Arla Foods.  

    Workshop Four was all about Food Safety Management Systems. In this session Richa Bedi-Navik, Senior Global Standards Manager for BRCGS and Helen Taylor, Technical Director at the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre, worked through the intricacies of BRCGS Version 9.  

    The Panel 

    Acting as a fantastic networking opportunity, the buffet lunch allowed everyone at the conference to establish new connections and discuss their biggest takeaways from the morning. It was also the perfect time to submit questions via the FSI app in preparation for the afternoon’s panel session.  

    The panel was made up of speakers Katie Satterthwaite, Denis Treacy, and John Michael Piggot. Workshop host Phil May and Kelsey McEvoy, Global Quality Systems Manager for the Kerry Group, were also valued panel members.

    After being inundated with questions, the panel worked hard to answer as many as possible. Some of the questions raised included:

    • What is your top food safety concern and what is your advice on addressing it?
    • How does a business maintain a consistent level of quality or food safety performance when the workforce is often made up of transient agency staff?
    • The area of genomics is rapidly moving, is the industry moving at a fast enough pace to keep up with it?
    • Biofilms have received significant attention in recent months and years. What’s their risk and how are they best managed?
    • What are the most effective methods for removing allergens and validating allergen cleans?

    Closing words

    Once the panel session had wrapped up, it was time for Alec to close the conference – thanking Klipspringer and FoodClean for arranging the event, thanking the speakers and workshop hosts for their invaluable contributions, and thanking the attendees for their unwavering enthusiasm.

    The day also ended with the promise of more to come, with the countdown already on for the Food Safety Conference 2024! 

    Feedback from the 2023 event

    I loved connecting with so many people and took away some great nuggets to think about. Thanks to all the speakers and looking forward to the Food Safety Innovation Conference 2024”.  

    Katie Satterthwaite, Factory Standards Manager at Marks and Spencer 

    “The FSI Conference had such informative and thought-provoking content delivered by a fabulous line up of presenters via a great mix of formats that made it all so easy to engage with. There was a real buzz throughout the day.” 

    Alec Kyriakides, former Head of Technical Operations at Sainsbury’s 

    “Not only was this the first FSI conference, but it was also the first event of this kind I’ve personally had the opportunity to attend. The industry experts invited to present during the day were excellent.” 

    Jade Mayhew, Retail Distribution Compliance Lead at Gist 

    “Absolutely incredible day! Brilliant people, fascinating insights from all over the industry, and even an uber-talented Klipspringer band!”  

    Phil May, Group Hygiene Manager, Greencore   

    “Thank you to all the brilliant presenters, along with the teams at FoodClean and Klipspringer. I found the day very informative, and it was great to catch up and talk hygiene and technical with peers and ex colleagues. I must also add that the hospitality was fabulous.” 

    Hemant Chhiber, Experienced Interim Hygiene Manager  

    “The FSI Conference is the new benchmark in food safety innovation networking. A collaborative, workshop based, disruption forum lead by genuine industry experts who have hundreds of years of collective experience working directly in the global food supply chain. If you can only get to one forum in 2024, then choose well, or you will probably have your food safety agenda set by your auditors as usual. Gain a competitive advantage in food safety, don’t dither, get to the FSI. 

    Denis Treacy, Former Chief Officer for Safety and Quality at Pladis Global 

    Ready to secure your spot at the 2024 event?

    To receive information and alerts, along with an Early Bird Discount when bookings open, click the button below and register your interest for the FSI Conference 2024. 

    Register your interest

    Commercial Kitchen Show

    Klipspringer Announce Attendance at the Commercial Kitchen Show 2023

    What is the Commercial Kitchen Show?

    Here at Klipspringer HQ, we are counting down the days until the Commercial Kitchen Show 2023. As the UK’s only dedicated event for catering equipment buyers, the show promises to be a fantastic opportunity for the decision makers involved in equipping and running professional kitchens.  

    Discover hundreds of new products, unlock incredible networking opportunities, and hear from leading operators and associations in the free live seminar programme. You can also connect with hundreds of exhibitors, including the Klipspringer team, who will be showcasing the latest innovations in back-of-house solutions. 

    Useful Information

    Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th September
    10:00am–5:00pm (last entry at 4:00pm)
    ExCel London (One Western Gateway Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1FR)
    The event is FREE to visitors who register in advance.

    Award-winning Innovations

    Since 2019, Klipspringer has been an ever-present feature at the Commercial Kitchen Show, solving customer questions with detailed industry expertise, exhibiting ground-breaking products, and even winning an award for originality in 2021.

    The accolade in question – Commercial Kitchen’s Innovation Challenge Gold Winner – was awarded to our LazaPort Mono thermometer calibrator, with judges labelling it as “a solution to an age-old issue”. Our team of experts are eager to share more details on the Mono with commercial kitchen decision-makers at this year’s show, following its successful implementation at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium by Compass Group.

    Looking Forward to the Commercial Kitchen Show 2023

    This year, we want to have an even stronger presence at the Commercial Kitchen Show, building on our status as the leading provider of food safety compliance. We’re anticipating that most queries will relate to our specialisms, which include:

    • minimising risks, costs, and audit non-conformances 
    • supporting workplace organisation and management with bespoke shadow boards 
    • offering a market-leading range of colour-coded food grade products 
    • removing the guesswork from your thermometer checking process 
    • driving forward your compliance agenda with the use of digital food temperature probes and thermometers, along with infrared thermometers 
    • replacing the hassle, time, and cost of paper checklists with a cloud-based food safety and quality management system 

    What products will we be showcasing?

    Along with the award-winning LazaPort Mono, Klipspringer will also be showcasing our thermometer range, as we are extremely proud of our selection of digital food temperature probes and thermometers. We also supply infrared thermometers for every stage of the food supply distribution process.  

    In addition to this, we are excited to walk attendees through our broad selection of Shadow boards. Providing a dedicated home for cleaning equipment, small utensils, and mobile tools, this bespoke storage solution supports efficiency, health and safety, and hygiene standards.

    Finally, we will be showcasing our Digital Quality Management system: TRAKKD. Helping you to move away from paperwork and store your food safety data in one secure location.

    As Klipspringer’s cloud-based quality management system, TRAKKD will empower you to reduce waste, save time, and minimise system costs. The move from paper to digital checklists will also help you to reach your sustainability targets and reduce the risk of inaccuracies. TRAKKD could even support employee retention, as your workforce will no longer have the hassle of filling out and managing endless sheets of paper.  

    Thanks to the use of sensors that are compatible with TRAKKD’s state-of-the-art software, your team is also going to be saved the hassle of time-consuming probe checks.  

    Instead of relying on manual processes, you and your workforce will enjoy the benefits of a real-time wireless monitoring system with Bluetooth connectivity. The result will be automatic data input that eliminates the risk of human error and simplifies the management process. 

    Another key benefit is the system’s approach to alarms and notifications. Helping you to avoid cost and confusion, TRAKKD allows you to set customisable alarms that will only notify the relevant team members. You can be safe in the knowledge that if an alarm doesn’t go off, your operation is running correctly.

    Proud of this innovative approach to maintaining food safety compliance, we can’t wait to continue this conversation at the upcoming show. 

    Interested in attending the Commercial Kitchen Show 2023?

    Already got your free ticket?

    Visit Stand CK120 to chat with our friendly and knowledgeable team about your kitchen requirements.

    Detectable Pens in the Food Industry - Everything you need to know

    Why are Detectable Pens important? 

    In America alone, there has been a 20% year on year increase in food recalls over the past decade. With the average cost of a significant recall valued around $12 million, factories and the teams working within them are under a huge amount of pressure to protect their product and drive hygiene standards. As 50% of the physical contamination recalls relate to metal, plastic or glass, there has never been a better time to evaluate the small and moveable items in your factory.*  

    Detectable Pens are the perfect place to start as they will be used by most if not all of your operatives. When designed correctly, they can be easy to use, easy to store, and almost impossible to break. However, the wrong pen design could pose a serious risk to the reputation of your brand, along with your chances of audit compliance.  With that in mind, we have put together a comprehensive guide to finding the right Detectable Pen for your factory.

    What to look out for when purchasing a Detectable Pen? 

    What is the ink life?

    We’ve decided to start out with the ink life of a pen, as this area is often overlooked, even though it provides a prime opportunity for you to drive down costs and boost efficiency. Throughout the industry, ink life can vary from 1-2km to 10km of writing length. This is worth remembering when evaluating the cost of your pens, as a pen offering 1-2km may appear to be the more cost-effective choice, when in fact, a 10km pen with a slightly higher price point is the one that will save you money and time in the long run.  

    What type of ink is used?

    It’s also important that you consider the type of ink used in your pens. Say your factory operates at chilled or sub-zero temperatures, a gel ink will ensure the pens work perfectly in these conditions. Alternatively, you may be interested in pressurised ink if your pens need to write on soiled or greasy surfaces. Colourful ink will support the colour coding of your documents, a fine tip permanent marker is ideal for writing on shiny surfaces, and then of course, there are regular ink pens suited to most standard factory applications.  

    Is the pen shatter proof?

    Opting for a shatter-proof design is a great way to prepare for everyday occurrences such as your workers dropping their pens on the floor or banging them against equipment. Instead of having to deal with plastic splinters that could fly across the factory, your shatter-proof pens will remain intact.

    This is also a benefit when it comes to the detection process, as the smaller a foreign body is, the less likely it is to be detected. The ‘rule of thumb’ ratio is 1:10, so a piece of metal detectable plastic typically needs to be ten times the size of an equivalent piece of metal if it is going to register. 

    Is it a retractable or non-retractable design?

    Another decision to make is whether you want a retractable or non-retractable pen. If retractable pens aren’t permitted in your factory, you will need to select a pen with a fixed cartridge that will stay in place regardless of how much pressure is exerted on the writing point. If retractable pens are permitted, it is still worth ensuring the cartridges in your pens don’t jump out of place. A positive retracting mechanism will make this possibleholding the cartridge in position at all times. You can then enjoy the many benefits of a retractable design, with the nib protected from drying out and the ink lasting longer. Another benefit is that retractable pens don’t need caps, which are considered foreign body risks. 

    Does the pen contain metal springs?

    Talking of foreign body risks, it is important to find out if your pens contain metal springs. After all, having small pieces of metal present in your factory could result in foreign body contamination and an expensive recall. This is because even the very best metal detectors will struggle to pick up on such a small, coiled piece of wire if it makes its way into your product. This is an unnecessary risk to take when there are pens on the market with a unique cartridge suspension system that provides a firm writing experience without the need for any metal springs.  

    Do you require pocket clips or lanyard loops?

    Finally, one of the best ways to maintain an effective and loyal workforce is to make life easier for your operatives. Features such as pocket clips and lanyard loops might seem like small details at first, but they will make it so much easier for your team to safely store their pens. This will encourage your workers to feel a sense of ownership over their equipment. It will also reduce the risk of time being wasted as team members search for missing items. 

    What sets Klipspringer’s range

    of Detectable Pens apart? 

    Klipspringer's Detectable Pens 

    • Made from shatter resistant polymers 
    • Hygienic design features a smooth and easy-clean surface 
    • Contoured for finger and thumb  
    • P8902 and P8903 pens offer 10km of ink 
    • Quality European cartridges with Tungsten Carbide balls 
    • Unique cartridge suspension that eliminates the need for a metal spring 

    Standard Detectable Pens 

    • Easy to shatter and snap off parts 
    • Unhygienic design features a mottled surface that is hard to clean 
    • Difficult to grip  
    • Offer 1-2km of ink  
    • Cheaper nickel balls that are susceptible to damage 
    • Made up of multiple parts including a metal spring and non-detectable plastic 

    Klipspringer’s Detectable Pens are available with three different ink types: regular, gel, and pressurised. This allows you to choose the ink that best suits your factory environment. As to be expected from a market-leader in colour coding, we also have a number of options when it comes to the colour of the ink and the housing of your pens. Our ink colours include black, blue, red, and green. Then there are four different housing colours: green, red, blue, and yellow. 

    The Klipspringer range also features retractable and non-retractable pen designs. Both options are compliant with food safety regulations such as BRCGS and they are also free from metal springs in an effort to reduce the risk of foreign body contamination. Finally, our pens have been developed to provide the ideal clip design for your specific operator requirements – featuring a lanyard loop either with or without a pocket clip. 

    View our full range of Detectable Pens

    Whether you are interested in the money saving potential of our 10km ink pens, would like to learn more about our unique cartridge suspension system, or have an added interest in the highlighters, permanent markers, and drywipe markers also in our detectable range, the Klipspringer team would love to talk to you! 

    Need support with your Detectable Equipment requirements?

    Reach out to the Klipspringer team on 01473 461 800 or via our Contact page.

      * Data used in good faith from a selection of sources including; Retreeva Global, Food Engineering, Food Navigator,  Food Safety Tech, Quality Assurance Mag and Food Safety News.

      Peak Season Production

      Six Ways To Better Manage Peak Season Production​

      Rising energy prices and economic uncertainty means reducing downtime and increasing efficiency on production floors is more important now than ever before. Below we’ve listed our six easy tips that will make a big difference when it comes to managing peak production. Implementing these small measures will increase the overall efficiency of your team, ensuring your operations continue to run smoothly – and profitably – over this busy period.

      Skip straight to the section most relevant to your needs…

      1. Suitable equipment to manage increased ingredient volumes
      2. Mobile Area and Line Segregation
      3. Versatile and Clear Visual Management
      4. Food Safe Equipment Identification
      5. Hygienic Storage of Handheld Utensils
      6. Eliminate Wasted Time on Thermometer Verifications

      You can also read the full article below.

      #1 – Suitable equipment to manage increased ingredient volumes

      Increased line output usually means increased volumes of ingredients needing to be managed. Ensuring you have an organised, colour-coded system of quality storage containers can prevent mistakes and reduce downtime. With sizes ranging from 15L to 140L, Klipspringer’s range of materials handling containers are ideal for managing increased ingredient volumes, and are available for same-day despatch. Indelible marking is also available for product/ingredient traceability and segregation of allergens or recipes where required (see point 4).

      View the full range of ingredient containers

      #2 – Mobile Area and Line Segregation

      New product runs, fresh recipes, additional allergens, engineering maintenance, shorter hygiene windows… In peak periods such as Christmas production, the need for temporary segregation is everywhere, and often at short notice. Many proactive and lean factories are using SegriScreen X-TEND for this exact reason.

      As the latest addition to the SegriScreen family, it’s available in multiple sizes, colours and with bespoke printing messages. Simply connect the screens together to form a continuous, highly-visual and waterproof barrier which spans production lines, cordons off areas at risk or creates temporary room partitions. When finished, nest them neatly in the corner or wheel them to the next location.

      View the SegriFamily range

      #3 – Versatile and Clear Visual Management

      The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than words. This makes it important to make instructions as visual as possible for staff (especially new recruits and temporary agency staff) as well as ensuring the signage is in the right location. Whilst visual management isn’t a new thing, it’s rapidly becoming embraced in a wider sense, to overcome language barriers, show quality standards, signify CCPs and reinforce other training points.

      As well as magnetic and wall-mounted signage, several large factories use the Unipole from Klipspringer so that messages such as allergen controls and listeria hot spots are clearly visual yet mobile. Magnetic mounting is becoming an increasingly popular option for training ‘on the job’, as it prevents compromising hygienic wall cladding – saving time, damage and bacteria harbourage. It is also very cost-effective for messages that may need to be updated at regular intervals.

      View Klipspringer's Visual Management Options

      #4 – Food Safe Equipment Identification

      With endless uses, IndeliMarking has given many food manufacturing sites the equipment identification needed for audit compliance and full equipment traceability. Whether it’s operative names, food contact types or department areas, IndeliMarking ensures that equipment doesn’t go wandering.

      Not only has it been proved to reduce equipment replenishment costs, it also stops utensils drifting between departments and workers. Klipspringer’s unique laser-marking technique allows equipment items such as production utensils, thermometers and even pens to be indelibly identified – in a completely food-safe way.

      How does IndeliMark work? Watch the video now.

      #5 – Hygienic Storage of Handheld Utensils

      Numerous factories are faced with extra workers and higher production volumes through Christmas production season, a time when handheld equipment items are in high demand. Especially with new or temporary staff members, this not only leads to missing tools and wasted time, but also ‘alternative’ equipment being used to complete the task – risking hygiene and foreign-body non-conformances.

      Hundreds of factories have implemented shadow boards as a way of mitigating both Covid’s potential to spread and also reducing production downtime, as they ensure that handheld equipment items are always accounted for. With bespoke board designs and a wide range of mounting options – including magnetic – fully customised shadow boards can be delivered on site in just 3-5 working days.

      Browse the Shadow Board gallery

      #6 – Eliminate wasted time on thermometer verifications

      Manually verifying your thermometers and probes using ice and boiling water is a time-heavy, laborious task, which is all the more painful when time is short. While some sites resort to test caps or electronic simulation verifiers, most teams have identified that these do not check the accuracy of the thermometer probe, which is where most inaccuracies occure.

      Thermometer verification can easily be streamlined using Klipspringer’s LazaPort family. Not only does this free up time for those verifying, it is also much more consistent and reliable than traditional methods (including traceability to UKAS). For larger sites verifying probes daily, Klipspringer’s LazaPort8 is the perfect time- saving solution, giving your team peace of mind and ensure you remain audit-ready.

      Calculate my payback time on the LazaPort8

      Discuss your site requirements with one of our friendly consultants...

        The Hygiene Hustle

        Introducing The Hygiene Hustle Podcast

        Introducing The Hygiene Hustle – an exciting new podcast brought to you by Phil May in association with Klipspringer. From challenging stereotypes and exploring key processes to offering insights informed by Phil’s twenty years in food factories, this podcast aims to provide both recognition and support for the hygiene teams working tirelessly throughout our industry.  

        In its premiere episode, The Hygiene Hustle sets the record straight on the role of Hygiene Operatives – highlighting the importance and intricacies of the work they carry out. Phil also takes you through the process of creating Cleaning Instruction Cards and finishes up with a guide to recording a Validated Clean.  

        Skip straight to the section most relevant to your needs…

        1 – Welcome

        2 – Hygiene Operatives 

        3 – Cleaning Instruction Cards (part one) 

        4 – Cleaning Instruction Cards (part two) 

        5 – Cleaning Instruction Cards (part three) 

        6 – Creating Cleaning Instruction Cards 

        7 – Recording a Validated Clean 

        You can also watch the full podcast below:


        Hygiene Operatives

        A common misconception among those outside of the food industry is that the title of Hygiene Operative is interchangeable with the title of Cleaner. Although cleanliness is a key consideration for Hygiene Operatives, Phil grants them several additional titles: 

        Engineer: Hygiene Operatives need to have an in-depth understanding of the machinery at their factory. To ensure an effective clean takes place, they will often have to take apart their machines and put them back together. 

        Process specialist: Hygiene Operatives need to understand how the machines in their factory work, otherwise there is a high likelihood of a machine being re-contaminated once the different parts have been cleaned.  

        Chemical specialist: If their factory handles chemicals, it is extremely important that a Hygiene Operative knows what chemical to apply, what concentration they are working with, what time constraints they are working under, and at what part of the process the chemicals need to be used.  

        Cleaning specialist: Whether it’s a bottle and a brush or a squeegee and the floor, Hygiene Operatives need to know which processes to implement when they are cleaning specific pieces of equipment and machinery.  

        Time managers: Along with all of their other responsibilities, Hygiene Operatives are extremely talented when it comes to time management. They are tasked with making decisions, often on a nightly basis, in response to a variety of challenges. Say production overruns or a line breaks down and needs to be fixed before it can be cleaned, it is up to the Hygiene Operative to work out how to overcome these hurdles.  

        Cleaning Instruction Cards (part one)

        When writing a Cleaning Instruction Card, otherwise known as a CIC, Phil suggests linking the reference number and name to a specific area of your factory. For example, if you had a low risk cooking area, the reference number would contain: LRC. Alternatively, a high care change area would be: HCCH. This approach makes it easier to identify where a piece of machinery is when the time comes to clean it. It is also an option to assign an asset number for each piece of equipment.  

        Phil would expect to see two dates on a CIC. One is the date that the CIC was created and the other is the date it was last updated. This will be read alongside the version number to find out who has updated the card and when, making sure all operatives are working in accordance with the latest update.  

        To increase accountability, the CIC should feature the name of the person responsible for cleaning, along with the name of the person responsible for checking each clean.  

        Cleaning Instruction Cards (part two)

        CICs should feature all of the essential health and safety information. This includes the details of any chemicals that are going to be used, the concentration, and the relevant time frames. There should also be any instructions for lock offs. It’s helpful if there is a picture of where you lock off, then details of how the machine is locked off and at what stage of the process.  

        PPE also sits under the umbrella of health and safety. From cut resistant gloves to full face visors, all of the equipment requirements need to be clearly listed.  

        Finally, the CIC needs to include any special precautions. For example, there might be a piece of equipment that is especially heavy and needs two people to carry it. Alternatively, you might be working with a machine that requires a blade guard. Any such requirement needs to be documented in detail.  

        Cleaning Instruction Cards (part three)

        The bulk of the CIC is the method, essentially how you are going to carry out the clean. It’s possible there will be multiple processes for each piece of equipment. Think allergen cleans, daily cleans, deep cleans, periodical cleans, and interim cleans. Each process needs to have a different description and Phil strongly recommends using annotated photos.  

        Last but not least, the CIC needs to have key inspection points. These are the points that an auditor will check first, so it is important that they are checked after every clean. 

        Creating Cleaning Instruction Cards

        Most chemical companies have their own software for creating Cleaning Instruction Cards. CICs can also be created independently – built in Word or Excel. Hygiene Operatives are ultimately responsible for creating these cards, but it is often a good idea to turn to other departments for input. In his experience, Phil often turned to engineering to make sure the strip down of a machine is safe, that engineering doesn’t have to be directly involved in the strip down, and that the process is going to result in all the correct pieces of equipment being accessed. Phil also recommends turning to your health and safety department for guidance.  

        Recording a Validated Clean

        A complete Cleaning Instruction Card will also feature a Validated Clean. Establishing a Validated Clean can be a bit confusing, as the best way to work out what method to use is to clean the machine. However, it’s hard to do this correctly without a CIC in place. The solution is to find a version of the equipment that is already in existence and already has a CIC. You can then use this information to inform your initial clean.  

        You will also find that most cleaning processes have, more or less, the same six steps:  

        1. Rinse
        2. Chemical Foam
        3. Manual Agitation
        4. Second Rinse
        5. Disinfection
        6. Final Rinse

        For further details, it is worth reaching out to your cleaning supplier, as a lot of the major chemical companies employ application specialists. Another idea is to reach out to the manufacturer of the machine, as some companies share cleaning instructions alongside the expected manuals. These instructions will be very basic, so you won’t receive the details of which chemicals to use or when to clean the machines, but you will get a better idea of how to strip a machine and discover which parts are vital to the cleaning process. Finally, Phil recommends reaching out to your engineering department, talking to the person who ordered the equipment, and reading the manual that came with the order. 

        In the second episode of The Hygiene Hustle, Phil explores everything you need to know about Validation, so don’t forget to tune into the next release.

        For exciting updates, Phil is on Instagram @hygienehustlepod and receives emails at: thehygienehustle@hotmail.com. Phil is also happy to answer any questions and take topic requests for future episodes.