Ontario egg-processing plant places focus on food-grade lubricants
Each week, six million eggs pass through the Burnbrae Farms processing plant in Strathroy, Ont. That’s 1.2 million eggs that are washed, graded and packaged there daily.
“We are concerned about two things,” senior plant supervisor Alex Davenport says. “You have to make sure the eggs are safe and you don’t want the machines to stop.”
Burnbrae Farms is a family owned and operated company dedicated to the processing and distribution of eggs and egg products throughout Canada. They are committed to providing consumers with products that meet the highest standards of quality and safety.
The eggs have a long way to go from the hen to the grocery shelf, but it’s the six minutes from the loader to the egg carton Davenport worries about. It’s his job to make sure the sorting and packing machines are running efficiently and that the eggs don’t get broken or graded incorrectly. Legislation requires that all eggs sold in retail stores and restaurants must be graded at a station that conforms to rigorous federal standards.
“Petro-Canada is a leader in food grade,” says Davenport, a 32-year veteran at the egg processing plant. “Petro-Canada’s Purity FG lubricants are registered for use around our eggs. That’s the No. 1 reason why we switched.”
Meeting Food Safety Regulations
“We adopted HACCP three years ago, so we had to find an accredited food grade oil,” says Pat Marentette, maintenance supervisor at Burnbrae Farms. The internationally recognized HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) system is used to enhance food safety and its use is supported by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. HACCP principles require that potential hazards in production are analyzed and critical control points are set to eliminate or minimize the risks in question.
All of Petro-Canada’s Purity FG lubricants meet the high standards of the food industry and fit perfectly in good manufacturing practice, or GMP, plans.
“Everywhere you go, you read about it in every magazine, safety is so important in our industry,” Davenport says. “That’s why we geared up with Petro‑Canada; they are ahead of a lot of other companies out there and do a lot of research in that area.”
At the Burnbrae Farms processing plant, eggs are stacked in plastic trays and then transferred through a machine called a loader. The loader is lined with black plastic ultra-high molecular-weight strips that move the trays through the machine. A vacuum system sucks the eggs up and releases them onto a washing conveyer. The eggs are then “candled” by passing them over a strong light to assess internal qualities and grade out any rejects.
Marentette uses Purity FG WO on his loader and Purity FG MF aerosol lubricant on stainless-steel chains in the wash-down areas. Purity FG WO is ultra-pure, blended with a stabilizer for extended shelf life and suited for select applications that require a straight, non-toxic white mineral oil. Purity FG MF is a multipurpose food grade aerosol lubricant with special tackifiers to reduce spatters from moving parts. It can be used in applications where there is the potential for incidental food contact.
“I’ve seen much less wear on my transfer strips,” Marentette says. “I used to have to replace them every five months and now I replace them only once a year.”
According to Petro-Canada, the Purity FG fluids and lubricants are blended from 99.9-percent-pure, crystal-clear base oils produced from a patented HT Purity process and formulated to meet the tough demands of food processing operations while maintaining food grade CFIA and NSF H1 requirements. As well, Purity FG white mineral oil 15 is approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for use as protecting oil on shell eggs processed in plants operating under the USDA voluntary shell egg grading program.
“Purity FG WO is odorless and transparent and much cleaner than what we were using before. It doesn’t take much time at all to remove the excess,” Marentette says.
A Winning Approach
For four years in a row, Burnbrae Farms has been nominated for a Canadian Grand Prix New Product Award. Their award-winning products include Naturegg Omega 3, Naturegg Break Free and Naturegg Omega Pro.
Burnbrae’s products also carry the distinction of being accepted into the Heart and Stroke Health Check program. Only products considered to promote good health and general nutrition can carry the distinction.
Davenport has been in the industry for over three decades and says Petro-Canada’s food-grade lubricants are acceptable for use in food plants while keeping the machines lubed up and running efficiently.
“Beyond that, it is very, very simple,” Davenport says. “It is just an egg in a shell.”
This in an edited article provided by Petro-Canada. For more information, visit www.petro-canada.com or email email@example.com. This was originally published in the April 2010 Food & Beverage Engineering & Maintenance supplement.