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< prev - next > Water and sanitation Water quality and treatment Water supplies for food processing_KnO 100428 (Printable PDF)
Food and water are two of the relatively few items that people take into their bodies each day in
order to stay alive (air and sometimes medicines being others). It is therefore essential, that
food processors take the utmost care to prevent their products from becoming contaminated and
causing illness or even the death of their customers.
Foods are naturally contaminated with a wide range of bacteria, moulds and other organisms that
can cause illness, but these are destroyed or prevented from growing during food processing
when it is properly carried out.
Three potential sources of contamination that can make properly processed foods unsafe are
water supplies, unclean equipment and the operators in the production unit. This technical brief
examines ways of ensuring that the risk of contamination from these sources is minimised.
Most countries have laws governing the hygienic requirements of food factories and food
handlers. These should be checked during the planning stage of a food processing project.
Water supplies
Water supply
Water is used for
cleaning equipment,
cooling containers
and as a component
of some foods. In
each case only
potable water should
be used, it may
Cloudy water
Clean water in use
therefore be
necessary to treat
water before it is
used. There are two
types of treatment:
removal of suspended soils and
removal/destruction of micro-
Figure 1: Double settling tanks arrangement. Clean water is
taken from one tank while impurities are left to settle in the
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