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Hygiene Group takes on Harbro Silos.

One of Scotland's leading livestock nutrition producers has turned to Hygiene Group, specialist cleaning contractor to the food industry, to undertake silo cleaning, a significant project which covers four sites and more than 120 individual storage silos.

Established in Turriff near Aberdeen in 1977, Harbro produces high quality feed for dairy, beef, pig, sheep and poultry farmers with a firm focus on improving animal performance and customer profitability. As its customers supply the major UK supermarkets with meat and dairy products, Harbro itself undergoes regular annual audits as a requirement of UFAS, the feed trade quality assurance body. With hygiene as part of this requirement and therefore of great importance to Harbro, a wide-ranging project to inspect and clean all 120 silos commenced in mid-2014.

With silos ranging in volume from seven to 1,000 tonnes, distributed across two sites near Aberdeen plus Inverness and Glasgow, the project required specialist capabilities and equipment. After having engaged Hygiene Group for previous overhead cleaning work, Harbro approached the company to develop a bespoke solution as Chris Armstrong, Mobile Projects Manager at Hygiene explained: "Each silo presents a unique challenge, from the sheer size of a 1,000 tonne, 23m high silo to the problems posed by top-access structures, but 30 years of experience plus up-to-date confined space training gives us the solutions to even the most complex tasks.

"Working with a specialist scaffolding supplier, we are using an ATEX-approved mobile tower to tackle the larger silos, while elsewhere a tripod and winch system with a Bosun's chair has proved successful. The key is designing a flexible approach which can be adapted to each silo and the available access points as necessary to get the job done."

Taking anywhere from two hours to clean a smaller seven-tonne silo to a job of five days for the largest structures, careful planning and fitting in with the seasonal production schedule has been vital in creating a cleaning timetable, as Tony Hendon of Harbro explained: "Our larger 1,000 tonne silos are continually in use, so finding the right window for cleaning is just one of the challenges Hygiene has risen to.

"Overall, it is imperative that we can demonstrate an exemplary hygiene record so that farmers and ultimately the consumers of their dairy and meat products can feel confident. As Hygiene Group has a long history of cleaning within the food industry, including taking care of all the necessary documentation, we knew they would be able to apply the same expertise and high standards to our silos, maintaining the quality of our animal feeds."

All members of Hygiene's Harbro team are trained in confined space cleaning, the use of breathing apparatus and testing equipment for silo use, scaffolding and pest control.

Contact Hygiene Group on tel 0121 451 3211 or visit

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Title Annotation:NEWS: #foodnews
Comment:Hygiene Group takes on Harbro Silos.(NEWS: #foodnews)
Publication:Food Trade Review
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 1, 2014
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