In the United States, Irish pub owners (who were actually raised in Ireland) have long joked that St. Patrick’s Day is every publican’s “favorite English holiday.” It can be an extraordinarily profitable day for them. The pubs teem with revelers. Pints pour endlessly. And no shortage of corned beef and cabbage is served.
It doesn’t really matter if one celebrates any personal connection to Ireland; and the celebratory day, replete with green garb, loud toasts, and huge gatherings, has extended well beyond US borders—including to Ireland.
Many regard the day for its raucousness, but it is a true public feast day. And nearly all of the food and drink that will be consumed has been produced, handled, and made safer at some point in its journey by compressed air.
Compressed air purity is essential to many manufacturing, food processing, bottling and packaging operations. From pneumatic conveyor and handling systems to the use of desiccant driers in production to ensuring the safety of wrapping, sealing, labeling and palletizing products for shipping or storage, clean compressed air is critical.
Many standards and guidelines are in play to ensure compressed air is safely used…but no single standard or guideline fully regulates a food and beverage operation. Plant engineers must combine some aspects and design something closer to a site-specific compressed air safety plan. The alphabet soup of FDA, HACCP, FSMS, ISO, FSMA, SQF, etc. provides guidance, but effectively interpreting and utilizing these guidelines and regulations to create safe, efficient and economical operations requires a thorough understanding of a facility’s air quality.
Independent compressed air testing provides that assurance so that you can be certain the compressed air you use in your operations is, as the SQF Code states, “clean and present[s] no risk to food safety.” The code also notes, important, that “compressed air used in the manufacturing process shall be regularly monitored for purity.” Again: independent testing.
So as you unwind on St. Patrick’s Day, take a moment to consider the critical role safe air plays in the production, shipment and storage of your food and drink. Food and beverage companies work hard to produce quality products, and their facility engineers work hard to ensure that it remains safe at each stage.
TRI Air Testing provides independent laboratory support for many food and beverage companies and offers 24-hour turnaround time and online access to testing reports. Plant engineers throughout the United States use testing equipment and media provided by TRI to collect compressed air samples as part of their facilities’ air quality compliance, safety and energy efficiency assurance measures.