Case Study:

Treats and Snax

 

Background:

Treats and Snax, a family controlled chain of 24 snack and sandwich bars in Central London, was established in 1978, and is supported by a highly efficient food-processing factory in Acton, West London.

All the snack and sandwich bars operate under the "Treats" banner and specialise in catering for the busy shopper and hungry office worker. A wide variety of food is available, from the humble sandwich to the more exotic samosa - the larger the location, the greater the selection.

The Snax Food Factory was developed as a central production unit to service all the Treats branches and to ensure they always have consistent top quality products to sell. The factory occupies some 13,000 square feet and is custom fitted to the highest standards.

There are three main production areas:

1. Sandwich room / salad production.
2. Fryer room - for production of cooked and savoury snacks.
3. Bakery - primarily for cake products.

Great care is taken during and after preparation, with experience supervisors overseeing all aspects of production. The correct type of clothing is worn, i.e. hats, gloves, aprons etc., and all produce used is fresh and undergoes strict quality control procedures. Only the highest quality packaging is used.

This has resulted in The Snax Food Factory production and supply service becoming so successful that they now supply a range of products to other retail companies in the UK.

Problem:

Like many other major food processing companies in the UK, they have experienced significant problems with blockages in drain and waste pipelines due to the extensive amount of fats, oils grease and gelatine that find their way into the system. This necessitated a plumbing contractor to visit the Acton plant every four months to rod the drain lines.

Amin Merali, Director of Treats and Snax commented:

"The situation was becoming intolerable. We had a significant expense every four months with no permanent solution in sight. Although the rodding was effective, all it actually did was alleviate the problem, not cure it. All it did was move it on to become someone else's problem. We had to find a permanent solution and that's when I contacted Environmental Biotech."

Remedy:

An expert inspection team and carried out a full survey of all the drain lines at the plant. Using video imaging and dye marking they produced a detailed map of the drain system highlighting the many high-risk areas.

They then made a formal presentation to Amin Merali and his management team recommending a suitable course of remedial action. This involved a complete cleaning of the drain system, followed by the installation of an automatic pumped injection system that injects BioClear Solutions' live vegetative bacteria into the pipelines 12 times a day.

These short-life micro-organisms feed on the problematic fat, sugar, and starch and eventually digest the hydrocarbon-based compounds reducing them to harmless carbon dioxide and water. This eco-friendly process is known as bioremediation.
Every fortnight, service technicians return to inspect the drain lines and refill the injection system.

Amin Merali says:

"We've had the system installed for the past three months and it is working superbly. The fortnightly visits ensure that any minor problems are dealt with immediately and we can now run our business without unexpected emergencies and unbudgeted emergency calls."

"We have effectively handed over the management of our drain lines, which frees up the team here to concentrate on the other important aspects of the business."

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