Critical Issues

Nearly every food plant design must face the following issues:

• Sanitary design. Hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) plans must be accommodated to ensure human safety and product quality. Certain aspects of sanitary design are dictated by government regulation, whereas others are voluntary but highly recommended.

• Efficient material and people flow. Flow of material and of people dictates plant layout and thus overall design. It also strongly influences expansion opportunities, sanitation, and safety.

• Environmental impact. A food plant discharges wastes that can require treatment. A plant can be affected by its neighbors' discharges, and it must be a good neighbor aesthetically.

• Minimum capital and operating cost. Food plants must be efficient competitors. Resources must be invested wisely in light of life-cycle costs and designs that minimize such costs as maintenance and sanitation.

Other more specific issues and further details on these issues are addressed in the description of the overall approach in the balance of this article.

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