Vending proves itself

The AVA is committed to quality and, of course, hygiene is an important part of the established AVA Quality System. AVA members have always been confident that they operate to the highest hygiene standards but up till now no scientific study had been conducted to prove the point. Now that study has been done and the evidence published in scientific journals.
For several years as part of their investment in research and development and quality, the AVA and AVA member companies CoffeePoint, CoinaDrink, Crane Merchandising Systems, Mars Drinks, Nestlé Vending, Selecta and Autobar companies Business Beverages and Refreshing Times, in collaboration with the dti have sponsored research on the effectiveness of cleaning protocols used when operating drinks vending machines. The research, carried out at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff by Andrew Hall under the supervision of Professor Adrian Peters has now been published in the Journal of Food Science and the Journal of Foodservice.
For the first time there is clear evidence of the effectiveness of simple cleaning protocols for drinks vending machines. The research shows that cleaning the mixing bowl with a brush and warm water not only removes the small amounts of ingredient left after vending but reduces bacteria to very low numbers. It also shows that weekly cleaning of the water contact parts of a hot drinks vending machine either using an industrial dishwasher or by brushing in warm water followed by a hot water rinse keeps bacterial numbers well below anything that could cause concern.
This is the first time that any national vending industry has produced evidence that its procedures are effective. In these days when customers are increasingly cautious and demanding this evidence will help to reassure them. The Food Safety Directive 852/2004 which came into force at the beginning of 2006 required food businesses to have evidence that their food safety procedures were effective. Thanks to this research vending operators can now feel confident that they can comply with this Regulation.
Andrew Hall is now writing up his thesis for his PhD and will be publishing more papers in the New Year, providing the evidence that will allow vending operators to remain confident that trained operatives using simple procedures can keep machines at a high standard of food safety. 
Following up on this research the AVA Quality Co-ordinators Steve Collins and Simon Hill will be offering training courses for AVA operators on cleaning traditional hot drinks vending machines.
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