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The Heat is On: Quality and Compliance in Food Manufacturing with Temperature Control

Ben Seddon
Ben Seddon

The same chemicals that manufacturers depend on to keep food production clean can also be a health and safety risk if not stored correctly.

Without temperature-controlled units, the quality of any manufacturer’s food production would quickly expire. But there’s another application for temperature-controlled storage solutions in this area of industrial manufacturing, and it’s just as important for people’s safety.

If you’re running any kind of sizable food manufacturing operation, you’ll store cleaning chemicals in bulk. However, many of these chemicals shouldn’t be stored together. Others can actually catch fire if exposed to certain temperatures or environments. In either case, improper storage introduces new risks to your operations that could easily be mitigated.

How could poor compliance surrounding these chemicals impact you, where can you find out about responsible storage practices, and what kinds of solutions are available to you?

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Acids and alkalis can produce toxic vapours

One side effect of storing cleaning chemicals in bulk isn’t just the quantity of the chemicals involved but also the variety, with many solutions of different chemical make-ups and concentrations held on-site to ensure surfaces and machinery can be cleaned effectively.

But acid and alkaline solutions can give off fumes, which are harmful if inhaled. This is especially dangerous when the two solution types mix, leading to the creation of toxic fumes, the severity of which will depend on the specific chemicals and volumes in question.

Insulated storage units help maintain a consistent temperature within the storage area. They also provide a barrier against external temperature fluctuations, ensuring that the chemicals are not exposed to extreme heat or cold that could compromise their integrity. Many can be equipped with air conditioning or other ventilation, key for dispersing harmful fumes. For certain chemicals, like concentrated acids or alkalis, this level of temperature compliance is critical to prevent evaporation, which can lead to increased volatility and greater risk. 

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Flammable cleaning chemicals

Solvents. Aerosol propellants. Degreasers, and certain surface-active agents in place to help the cleaning products penetrate and lift dirt and grime. By their design, cleaning products often contain substances capable of dissolving other substances. But common solvents like alcohols, acetone, or hydrocarbons are highly flammable. They evaporate quickly, releasing vapours that can ignite easily when exposed to heat, sparks, or flames.These all introduce flammability and fire risk into food manufacturing. Flammable chemicals are classed as:

Extremely flammable

Liquids which have a flashpoint lower than 0°C and a boiling point (or, in the case of a boiling range, the initial boiling point) lower than or equal to 35°C.

Highly flammable

Liquids which have a flashpoint below 21°C but are not extremely flammable are classified as highly flammable.


Liquids which have a flashpoint equal to or greater than 21°C and less than or equal to 55°C and which support combustion when tested in the prescribed manner at 55°C.

When storing flammable cleaning chemicals, fire safety becomes a paramount concern. Fire-rated units are specifically designed and constructed using fire-resistant materials to withstand exposure to fire. Reviewing the data sheets for the chemicals you store on-site will help you understand what responsible compliance looks like for those chemicals. In some cases, storing flammable chemicals in fire-rated units can help you comply with regulatory standards and industry best practices for fire safety. Investing in fire-rated storage solutions can also demonstrate your commitment to protecting your operation’s people, company property, and the environment from the risks associated with storing flammable substances.

Related read: If You Can't Stand the Heat: the Importance of Fire-Rated Storage in Food Manufacturing 

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Keeping your operations and your compliance clean

The measures you take to secure your cleaning chemicals, and what compliance looks like to your operations, will be circumstantial based on all manner of factors unique to your site.

For some operations, a specialist storage unit is neither necessary nor recommended. For others, these kinds of reliable solutions could make all the difference in the event of a health and safety incident. The key to understanding your site’s requirements is to review any and all sources of storage requirements for compliance:

  • The data sheet that comes with each chemical sets out clearly how the product should be stored, including details of temperature thresholds, risks, whether it is acid or alkali-based, chemicals it should not be stored with, and its flammability.
  • What does your industry’s legislation dictate in terms of compliant storage of the cleaning chemicals you keep on-site? 
  • Insurance companies can also specify their own storage requirements for compliance.

From a compliance perspective, each of these sources is extremely helpful, equipping you with the information you need to effectively adapt your cleaning chemical storage. And if you’re still unsure or it’s not immediately clear how to process or consolidate these terms, guidelines, or legislation, you can always get in touch with us here at Emtez. Between us, my colleagues and I have decades of experience in this area. We’d welcome a conversation about your site’s requirements and what you can do to keep your operations compliant.

If you’re unsure about the regulations or guidance with which you should be complying, or you’d like advice around an insulated/fire-rated storage solution, get in touch today.