Air Liquide announced today that its innovative ALIGALTM FZ cryogenic freezing system has become the first tunnel freezer certified under the USDA Dairy, Meat and Poultry Program as acceptable equipment for meat and poultry processing based on 2010 NSF hygiene requirements.

The ALIGAL FZ freezing tunnel was developed by Air Liquide in the US to meet the industry’s top standards for hygienic design and fabrication, while also meeting needs for increased productivity, ease of operation and versatility. The ALIGAL FZ can freeze a range of food products and operates with either liquid nitrogen or liquid carbon dioxide as the freezing agent.

The USDA Dairy, Meat and Poultry Program evaluates the ease at which meat and poultry processing equipment can be sanitised based on NSF hygiene requirements, which were revised in 2010.

The ALIGAL FZ has been certified under the program as meeting the 2010 requirements, including: Hygiene Requirements for the Design of Meat and Poultry Processing Equipment (ANSI/NSF/3-A 14159-1-2010); and, Hygiene Requirements for the Design of Mechanical Belt Conveyors Used in Meat and Poultry Processing (ANSI/NSF/3-A 14159-3-2010).

Mark Lostak, president of Air Liquide Industrial US, commented, “We are proud to announce the USDA’s acceptance of the ALIGAL FZ, one of our cutting-edge innovations for the food processing industry. This achievement marks Air Liquide’s latest success and is another milestone in its continuous effort to raise the bar for providing the safest and most efficient solutions for our customers.”

An additional food safety milestone that Air Liquide is working to achieve in 2013 is obtaining the Food Safety System Certification 22000 – an internationally-recognised standard for food safety systems – for all of its liquid nitrogen plants and carbon dioxide liquefaction facilities in the US that manufacture gases for the food and beverage industry. Many of these facilities have already received the FSSC 22000.