Safety First

Alkar, RapidPak, and Sani-Matic design equipment and provide services with food safety in mind.
Three leaders, now as one company — Alkar, RapidPak, and Sani-Matic — stand at the forefront of sanitary design. While Alkar and RapidPak have established themselves as leading manufacturers of food-safety designed thermal processing and packaging machinery, respectively, Sani-Matic is a leading specialist in sanitation technology.
“We [Alkar, RapidPak, and Sani-Matic] have made sanitary design one of our preeminent, top-of-focus goals as a custom manufacturer in efforts to enhance food safety,” says David Wildes, director of marketing for the Wisconsin-based company.
All of their equipment is custom engineered to customer specification.
One insider makes note of the role these companies are playing to enhance food safety.
“The [equipment manufacturing] leaders are now starting with a clean piece of paper [blank CAD screen] to totally redesign their next generation of equipment,” says Dave Kramer, vice president engineering, Sara Lee Meats, Cincinnati, OH, and a member of the American Meat Institute (AMI) Committee on Sanitary Design. “The principles of sanitary design are embedded in their design process. RapidPak was one of the first to adopt this approach. The result was a packaging machine designed from day one to provide an easier-to-clean piece of equipment.
“The process has not stopped at Alkar/RapidPak/SaniMatic,” he adds. “We continue to work with their team to improve the sanitary design of every system they deliver to us. They have committed the resources to continuously improve sanitary design and advance food-safety initiatives through investment and training.”
Alkar’s core products are batch and continuous cooking and chilling systems. It extends this range with new systems for post-packaging pasteurization, belt ovens for roasting, renovation/upgrades on installed equipment, and service programs.
“Specific to machine design, we follow the AMI’s Ten Principles of Sanitary Design, as well as develop innovative ways to allow meat products to pass through our equipment in the safest and most efficient manner possible,” Wildes says. “And there were a number of [design changes made] in our smokehouses’ duct work to make them much easier to clean.”
RapidPak supplies horizontal thermoform, fill, and seal vacuum packaging machines. Among the key food-safety features differentiating RapidPak from the competition is its machines have earned Dairy 3A, 23-04 sanitation standard compliance.
“RapidPak has also developed new guard designs,” Wildes says. “It also further improved the accessibility to the inside of the machines to ensure effective cleaning. And we’ve increased the convenience factor. The guards open up for cleaning so you don’t have to remove them from the equipment.”
Sani-Matic designs and manufactures sanitation systems used in meat processing and other industries. Sani-Matic technology assures the customer’s process equipment is suitably cleaned and complies with company-imposed standards and those of appropriate regulatory agencies.
“We have been able to take Sani-Matic’s technology and integrate it into the RapidPak and Alkar equipment,” Wildes points out.
Sanitary equipment design is becoming more important throughout the meat industry.
“Cleanability does not just affect food safety, it also directly affects the productivity of the equipment,” Wildes says. NP
For more information, phone (608) 592-3211 and ask for Tim Moskal — Alkar, Daryl Shackelford — RapidPak, or David Wildes — Sani-Matic.