Food processing facilities have remained in operation throughout the pandemic as essential businesses and have also been some of the hardest hit workspaces for the spread of the virus. The importance of providing fresh, filtered, conditioned outdoor air to protect our critical process workspaces and food supply is paramount.
Adding increased levels of fresh air provides a safer, healthier, and more productive indoor environment for employees. Airborne human infection control was likely not considered a priority when the HVAC systems in
most industrial food processing workplaces were
designed. However, when properly controlled with
the correct amount of outdoor air, leveraging critical
process make-up air HVAC systems (hygienic air
handlers) can lead to significant reductions in the
spread of airborne pathogens.
Food processing plants have been improving their indoor industrial
environments to ensure product quality and compliance with food
safety regulations. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, food production businesses rely on critical process air handling equipment to boost levels of fresh outdoor air to reduce exposure and protect workers. Clean filtered (multi-stage including HEPA) & refrigerated outdoor air provided by hygienic air handling units into sensitive raw food production spaces is recognized as the preferred HVAC technology as plants move away from ceiling hung cooling units.
Leading agencies such as the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration),
ASHRAE (Amerian Society of eating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers), and the WHO (World Health Organization) have all recommended increased fresh air ventilation to increase the indoor air quality of building spaces.