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Department of Food Science at the University of Pretoria receives state of the art hygiene facility

PHT South Africa recently donated a high end three-part hygiene facility to the Department of Food Science, University of Pretoria. The hygiene system installed at the entrance 'lobby' of the food process pilot plant consists of a three-part system consisting of the Mano Complete Type 23765/23775 providing optimal hand sanitation including synchronized hand hygiene, contact free activation of all cleaning and paperless hand drying ultimately proving a log 5 (50000 bacterial cells) reduction. The second aspect of the system consists of an automated non-contact sensor-activated hand washing basin for washing and drying hands inside the processing plant. The last aspect of the system is a sole cleaning system equipped with rotating brushes with detergent for removing soil on shoes or boots hence providing a germ-free environment upon entry into and exist of the pilot plant.

Launch of the system took place at the annual South African Society for Dairy Technology (SASDT) Students’ Dairy Evening on 25th August, 2016 held at the Department of Food Science, University. As a sponsor of the event, PHT Managing Director Mrs. Deléne Boshoff, mentioned how she felt proud as an alumni of the Department of Food Science (formerly known as Department of Dairy Science) to give back especially at a time when it’s crucial to expose students to the latest food processing and hygiene technologies. This would familiarize them to advances in the sector prior to joining the food processing environment upon leaving school. “In Germany, it is customary for food companies to partner with education and training institutions through provision of equipment and training. So on one of my visits to the country I had this idea of donating this newly launched equipment to the Department of Food Science, UP. So I called up the Head of Department to see if it was feasible.” On her part the Head of Department, Food Science, Professor Elna M. Buys, mentioned how having such an advanced system, the first of its kind in South Africa, will expose students to the highest level of hygiene standards within food processing. The system which on the open market would cost approximately R350 000 greater reinforces the commitment companies such as PHT-South Africa have in building capacity within food science in South Africa echoing the ‘public-private’ partnerships echoed in many national and international development goals.

The evening also saw oral presentations from 4 Honours, 1 Masters and 2 Doctoral whose research topics had a direct link to food safety within the dairy industry. Ms Rufaro Nduna, Mr. Richard Beardsley and Mr. Thulani Sibanda Honours, Masters and Doctoral students respectively took home overall prizes for the best presentations in their respective groups. The evening culminated into a networking and interaction evening over dinner with Dairy Industry professionals and students.