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AI and UV driving new approaches to personal hygiene

23 February 2024
AI and UV driving new approaches to personal hygiene

Close attention to the personal hygiene of workers is critical to managing risks in processing facilities. AMPC is close to completing a project at one of the country’s biggest pre-pack processing facilities to see how AI technology and UV sanitisation could help reduce the risk.

The Casino Food Co-op Retail Ready Value Add Processing Plant is a major supplier to the Australian retail sector, with beef coming to the value-add plant via the company’s own beef processing facility and others. 

“We pack close to 100,000 packs per day across 300 SKUs, and we know that close attention to QA and risk management is essential at every point in our processes,” says Trevor Moore, Executive Group Manager at The Casino Food Group. “We already have a rigorous QA management system, and our team monitors every pack and box that leaves our factory. Innovative technology has the ability to support and enhance this process.”

The AMPC project’s focus has been the personal hygiene ante room, where new technology is helping protect employees and product. The room’s entry and exit points are both monitored and an AI-driven system will remind staff to follow the strict hygiene processes using a hands-free, digital, high-volume traffic washer. It works by using a series of cameras in the ante room to asses employees for compliance in handwashing procedures, foreign object control, and the use of personal protective equipment by using AI.  Once complete, the employee moves through to the boot wash which is automated by sensors that detect employee presence. Employees will then get access to the product area once sanitiser is applied and deemed acceptable. 

The project is also making use of high-end novel equipment and a UV sanitising system to ensure the cleaning equipment itself remains sanitary.

The project will be monitoring outcomes as it progresses. It will do this through various phases of configuring and refining the AI technology to identify compliance and further reporting applications. 

AMPC Program Manager Ann McDonald says the project demonstrates the utility of new technology in helping to manage risk in high-volume processing environments. We are looking forward to measured improvement in hygiene outcomes and will report back on the project’s success at the conclusion of the project later this year.

“Managing staff hygiene is an essential part of lowering the risk of contamination in plants. Technologies like AI are really changing the way we ensure not only that the right processes exist but that staff are able to follow them,” she says.

AMPC is working together with The Casino Food Co-Op, Jarvis, Lumachain, and Australian Ultraviolet on this project. Jarvis has supported the project by sourcing the equipment, Lumachain have provided the technology and continuous assistance in the development of the AI system, and Australian Ultraviolet supplied the UV sanitising system. The combination of these multiple technologies is providing a unique project concept that is providing an increased level of food and employee security and learnings. 

For more information, contact Ann McDonald.