10 Process Safety Tips for Handling Chocolate Crumb Hazards

Chocolate crumb is a compound ingredient used to make milk chocolate and a variety of other chocolate flavoured products; despite its innocuous sounding ingredients (sugar, cocoa liqueur and milk), the risk of dust explosion is very real.

Dust issues, and the subsequent explosion risks, arise from the handling of all powders used in the process - sugar, cocoa and/or milk powder - and from the drying, handling and milling of chocolate crumb. Dust layers form on equipment and in silos. Secondary explosions, consuming fugitive dust releases, often cause greater devastation than the primary explosion. Exacerbating the problem is a lack of sensitisation to the hazards posed with the handling of these types of ingredients, and the fact that attention tends to be focused on occupational or food safety rather than on process safety in food processing.
To help safeguard against dust explosion and other incidents, we have assembled a list of 10 tips to promote the safe processing of chocolate crumb.