How an Innovative Starbucks Processing Plant Takes Food Safety to New Levels
Starbucks collaborated with Stellar to create a unique soluble coffee plant in Augusta, Georgia, focusing on producing their VIA instant coffee products. Food safety was a key priority for Starbucks throughout the design and construction process of the facility. Despite the absence of specific regulations for soluble coffee, Starbucks voluntarily adhered to the rigorous food safety and quality certification programs of the British Retail Consortium (BRC). The plant incorporated several measures to ensure food safety:
1. Back-in dock doors: Rubber-sealed doors were implemented for trucks to back into during unloading, reducing the risk of contaminants entering the facility.
2. Green bean receiving: The design included elevated silos with walls to minimize the risk of contamination when receiving coffee beans.
3. Advanced automation: The plant minimized human intervention by utilizing specialized pipes and equipment, nitrogen blanketing, and a control room for centralized control and real-time data review.
4. Clean-in-place (CIP) capability: The plant employed a CIP system that allowed for cleaning during each step of the process, ensuring efficient and sanitary operations.
5. Separation of raw and finished product: The plant design ensured a complete separation between the raw material and finished product areas to prevent cross-contamination.
Starbucks' commitment to food safety and their innovative approach has allowed them to create a simple and safe brewing experience for consumers while maintaining the highest quality standards.