The Importance of HVAC and UVC in Food Refrigeration

The Food Safety Standards of Australia and New Zealand 3.2.2 indicates that the environmental conditions required for processing and storage to maintain the safety and suitability of food. The most popular method to prevent contamination is the use of HVAC-R systems with UVC technology.

“An HVAC-R system is a climate control technology that is widely used in the food industry. Through this system, food manufacturers and distributors can preserve desirable food characteristics for an extended period.”, explains Lucy Philips, operations manager at Rapidbiz.

What are the most suitable environmental conditions for food?

If food is not kept under strictly regulated environments, it can become unsafe for consumption or lose its desired quality. Pathogens can proliferate within hours of favourable conditions. Microorganisms living within walls, flooring, pipes, and ventilation can also produce toxins that can contaminate food when swept by air. Moreover, a contaminant isn’t always identifiable, so all factors must be aligned with the safety standards to prevent food poisoning or any unpleasant incident.

An adequately installed HVAC-R system can help your facility comply with the following standards:

  • Store potentially hazardous food at 5°C or below or 60°C or above to mitigate the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Of course, some food can be safely stored between these ranges. These are also indicated in the Australian Standard and by the manufacturer.

  • Prevent moisture build-up to discourage mould growth. Take note that the moisture can also damage the packaging (especially biodegradable materials) and speed up food deterioration.

  • Prevent warm conditions which can cause food spoilage. 

  • Protect heat-sensitive food products from softening or melting. 

  • Limit light exposure. For example, potatoes increase more toxic glycoalkaloids when exposed to light for an extended period. Light can also change the chemical composition of certain liquids.


How Important Is HVAC-R Hygiene?

HVAC-R system continuously filters the air to prevent airborne contaminants from getting into your facility. Unfortunately, over time, microorganisms and organic materials accumulate around coils—lowering net cooling capacity, increasing the need for deep cleaning, and rushing the deterioration of your equipment.

HVAC-R hygiene generally means removing dust, debris, and all biological matter that amassed in different parts of the system. In addition, regular cleaning of internal and external components from corrosion and maximises your investment. Cleaning is usually complemented with an inspection, which allows you to identify issues and implement repairs immediately.


How Can You Benefit from a UVC Installation?

Clean-Air UVC Installation can substantially reduce the maintenance requirements by slowing down the growth of any biological matter throughout. This technology produces the same UV (ultraviolet) light produced by the sun, which inactivates bacteria, virus, and fungi by altering their DNA. Once their DNA is changed, they can no longer reproduce and colonise---consequently reducing the potential contaminants in your indoor air. UVC can also be used for decontamination of packaging, refrigerators, display cabinets, and food preparation equipment.

Clean-Air HVAC-R hygiene maintenance and UVC installation are designed to support the highest industry performance. All our equipment and processes have been independently measured and verified by esteemed organisations in Australia. For more information, contact  07 3274 2833 or email