Presco Environmental technicians, Kenan and Te Kepa, looking over HVAC reports for a dairy factory

 The Critical Role Air Hygiene Plays in Food Safety

Saskia Prestidge
May 02, 2021

A Presco Environmental article, originally published in FOODtechnology June 2021 Issue

We know cleaning plays a vital role in keep the food being produced in NZ factories safe, but how do you ensure you’re cleaning in the most efficient and effective manner?   

Have you ever stopped to think about the critical part air plays in the cleanliness of your factory?  

Presco Environmental are New Zealand specialist industrial cleaners who have been maintaining hygienic food factories for the last 16 years.  They are experts in critical hygiene and believe that taking care of your HVAC system’s hygiene is one of the most important parts of food safety. 

Air is a great carrier of pathogens, and it can bring so many unwanted particles into your factory.  It’s easy to think that if we have filters up in the HVAC system, we are safe.  In reality, there is so much more that can go wrong before and after your filters, and there is so much more to HVAC servicing than just standard maintenance and filter change outs. 

None of us want to be the factory that becomes overrun by phorid flies, because no one looked in the HVAC system and saw them breeding there.  Or the factory with a huge mould problem, because no one noticed the condensation pan underneath the cooling coils was blocked, and harbouring mould.  

Presco Environmental see many food producers doubling up on reactive cleaning inside their factories, rather than tracing the problem back to its source – the HVAC system – and handling it here.

Presco Environmental’s Total Air Care HVAC hygiene service

Presco Environmental’s HVAC hygiene servicing looks at your HVAC system from a food safety perspective rather than a mechanical perspective.  This includes things like securing all seals so no dirty air is sucked in; removing any condensation so mould cannot grow and spores don’t enter the factory; checking no lights are broken and cannot turn off so they don’t constantly attract insects; and deep cleaning your entire AHU every year to remove soil and pathogen build-up. 

Their Total Air Care HVAC hygiene service can be broken up into three parts:

  1. A thorough assessment of your HVAC system’s initial condition. Technicians provide a full condition report including a list of actions to correct any issues found.
  2. A built-for-you service package, which includes 6 services:
    1. Air filter selection, supply, installation and bypass test
    2. End-to-end deep clean of air supply ventilation system
    3. End-to-end clean of extraction system
    4. Recommendation of technologies that will assist in keeping your system clean all year round
    5. Water cooling tower cleaning
  3. Scheduled hygiene maintenance programs to help your HVAC system stay in accordance with IRHACE best-practise guidelines. Documented evidence is provided for your factory records.



 Questions on HVAC hygiene in your plant?  Email or call 0800 773 726 today.