About the 3-A Symbol

Introduced for commercial use in 1956, the 3-A Symbol is a registered mark used to identify equipment that meets 3-A Sanitary Standards for design and fabrication. Voluntary use of the 3-A Symbol on dairy and food equipment conveys assurance that equipment meets sanitary standards, provides accepted criteria to equipment manufacturers for sanitary design, and establishes guidelines for uniform evaluation and compliance by sanitarians.  

The requirement for an independent Third Party Verification (TPV) inspection applies to all equipment built to 3-A Sanitary Standards that is licensed to display the 3-A Symbol. A licensee must engage a credentialed inspection professional, a Certified Conformance Evaluator (CCE), to conduct an on-site evaluation of finished equipment and other product attributes to affirm the equipment conforms to provisions of the applicable 3-A Sanitary Standard. Any deficiencies discovered in an inspection must be corrected before the equipment can be authorized to display the 3-A Symbol. Equipment manufacturers that do not comply with the TPV inspection requirement risk losing the authorization to use the 3-A Symbol.  

The 3-A SSI website features all information on obtaining the authorization or license to use or display the 3-A Symbol.  The site also provides public, on-line access to complete certificate information for all 3-A Symbol licensees. This public information offers detailed information on models/equipment covered under a company’s license to assist regulatory sanitarians, processors, equipment fabricators, and other interested parties. The information is searchable by the unique authorization number, equipment type/standard or company name. A copy of the actual authorization certificate may also be printed from the database. 

The TPV requirement, combined with easy access to licensee information, has enhanced the level of integrity and recognition of the 3-A Symbol for everyone concerned with the safety of consumers of food, beverages and pharmaceutical products.  

See more details on the Benefits and Marketing Advantages of the 3-A Symbol.