In the world of global trade, food safety deserves particular attention. The toughest quality standards in place to ensure this safety are the regulations enacted by the US-American Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As such, FDA-compliant production is crucial for food producers to survive in international trade. Synthetic process belts from GKD – Gebr. Kufferath AG (GKD) now also provide vital added value with their end-to-end FDA-certification. Whether for dewatering, drying, or cooling: every one of the application-specific belts is FDA certified, including the seam. That makes the GKD belts the globally approved first choice for the transport and processing of unpackaged foodstuffs. In the food industry, only companies that work to FDA standards – which also means using appropriately certified components and materials in production – stand a chance of surviving in global competition in the long run. It follows then that process belts in direct contact with foodstuffs must also meet extremely strict requirements in order to prove that they ensure the necessary safety. They need to be able to stand up to the relevant processing conditions, the material used may not transmit any harmful substances to the foods or alter their constitution, it must be tasteless and odorless and easy to clean, as well as highly durable. As the leading international producer of process belts for the food industry, GKD ensured that its products conformed to food safety standards very early on and has gradually acquired the relevant certifications. The overall FDA certification for the polyester belts with PAD seam that has most recently been received clearly highlights the manufacturer's leading role. The plastics used for the mesh as well as the glue and staples of the seam fulfill the tough FDA specifications. This compliance is regularly monitored and certified by an external testing institute. As such, the belts also meet the European standards of EU 10/2011 and EC 1935/2004. Plus, GKD actively follows the code of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and a strict HACCP concept (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points), which ensures that the products are free from metal contamination or other foreign bodies. Observance of the relevant process routines is monitored by quality assurance in line with ISO 9001:2015.
FDA approval for maximum requirement
The added safety bonus with the FDA certification is provided by the inspection parameters created by GKD, each of which fulfills maximum requirements. As such, the belts not only meet the FDA standards under moderate working conditions, but are tested according to the actual loads. In order to ensure this, GKD developed maximum risk assessments together with the customers and seamlessly adapted the processes and the materials used to them. Extensive documentation verifies the underlying concept, risk definitions, and the measures taken to avert them. For example, the synthetic belts meet the FDA requirements when washing lettuce just as well as when drying herbs or producing fruit juice and milk. The belts tested and FDA-certified for single and multiple contact up to a contact duration of 120 minutes at 90°C therefore offer food contact safety of the highest level. The entire delivery chain was arranged accordingly to achieve such levels through audits and quality agreements – including the obligation to audit the respective upstream suppliers as well.