Blog / 18 December 2023

Safety and hygiene: Essential rules for food companies

Food companies around the world face a range of rules and regulations to ensure the safety and quality of food. In this article, we highlight some of these common rules for food companies and focus on the core principles of hygienic design of equipment and facilities. Discover how these regulations and design approaches play a crucial role in the food industry.

Common rules for food companies

Rules for food companies vary depending on the country and region in which the company operates, but generally, there are some common rules that food companies worldwide must adhere to. These rules and regulations cover the processes, buildings, facilities, and work procedures. Here are some of the key ones:

  • Food Safety: Food companies must comply with food safety standards to ensure that their products are safe for consumption. This includes, among other things, preventing contamination, adhering to hygiene standards, and controlling production processes to prevent food-related illnesses.
  • Labeling: Food products must be correctly labeled according to the legislation of the respective country. This includes listing ingredients, providing nutritional information, indicating expiration dates, and identifying any allergens.
  • Traceability: Companies must be able to trace and document the origin of their ingredients so that quick actions can be taken in case of a food safety incident. It is also important that each production run has its own batch code to ensure traceability.
  • Product Quality: Food items must meet certain quality standards, such as consistency in taste, texture, and appearance.
  • Laws and Regulations: Food companies must comply with national and international laws and regulations regarding food production, packaging, storage, distribution, and marketing.
  • Food Additives: The use of food additives must adhere to specific rules and guidelines regarding type, quantity, and labeling.
  • HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points): All European food companies are required to develop and implement HACCP plans to identify and control potential hazards to food safety.
  • Inspections and Audits: Government agencies and certified organizations conduct regular inspections and audits to verify whether food companies comply with all relevant regulations.

Kernprincipes hygiƫnisch ontwerp

The hygienic design of equipment and facilities is applied in food companies and other sectors where hygiene is crucial. The aim of hygienic design is to create production environments and equipment that can be easily cleaned and disinfected, minimizing the risk of microbial issues. Here are some core principles of hygienic design:

  • Smooth surfaces: Equipment and surfaces should be as smooth as possible to prevent the accumulation of dirt, bacteria, and other contaminants. Rough, porous, or uneven surfaces are challenging to clean.
  • Rounded corners and edges: Sharp corners and edges are difficult to clean, and dirt can accumulate there. Hygienic designs typically incorporate rounded corners and edges.
  • Materials: Materials used in hygienic designs must resist cleaning and disinfecting agents, and they should not release substances harmful to the product. For example, stainless steel is commonly used due to its durability and corrosion resistance.
  • Easy to disassemble: Equipment and components should be easy to disassemble to enable thorough cleaning and inspection.
  • Access to Hard-to-Reach Areas: When designing, consideration must be given to easy access to all parts of the equipment or facility.
  • Proper Drainage: Hygienic designs often include integrated drainage systems to prevent water or cleaning fluids from accumulating or lingering in the installation.
  • Separated Systems: Hygienic design also involves separating different processes and systems to prevent cross-contamination. For example, by physically separating areas where raw materials are processed from areas where finished products are packaged.

In summary, ensuring compliance with rules for food safety and quality requires adherence to strict regulations, ranging from labeling to production processes. At the same time, the principles of hygienic design play a crucial role in minimizing microbial risks.

Our expertise in the food industry is at your disposal. For further questions or a need for hygienic design advice, we are ready to assist you. Together, we ensure the production of safe and high-quality food products.

Would you like to discuss your challenge further?

Mark Horvers

business development manager
+31 88 20 11 700 / +32 9 26 95 100

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