Michael Drumm
/ Categories: 2020

Significant boost for hygienic design

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Issued by 3-A Sanitary Standards Inc. (3-A SSI), and the

European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG)

Free for publication as of: November 11, 2020

For additional information, please contact:

- Timothy R. Rugh, CAE, Executive Director 3-A SSI trugh@3-a.org

- Adwy van den Berg, Operations Director EHEDG adwy.vandenberg@ehedg.org

Please also take notice of the position paper that 3-A SSI and EHEDG developed to inform food industry stakeholders on how to find support in complying with the new GFSI hygienic design requirements:

- 3-A SSI: https://www.3-a.org/News-Events-Updates/News

- EHEDG: https://www.ehedg.org/ehedg/new-gfsi-hygienic-design-benchmarking-requirements/

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Significant boost for hygienic design

New GFSI benchmarking requirements underline the necessity for hygienic design

Mc Lean, Virginia, US / Naarden, The Netherlands, October 2020 - With the 2020 publication of two new hygienic design benchmarking requirements, the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) paves the way to incorporate hygienic design in food safety management programs. What practical implications can be expected for food processing companies and their equipment suppliers?

Rick Heiman, Board Member of 3-A Sanitary Standards Inc. (3-A SSI), and Patrick Wouters, Vice-President of the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG) agree: “GFSI deserves much acclaim for taking this important step forward. The new GFSI hygienic design benchmarking requirements demonstrate that hygienic design plays a pivotal role in safeguarding food safety, food quality, and productivity across the food supply chain.”

Current status and beyond

The new GFSI benchmarking requirements for the Hygienic Design of Food Buildings and Processing Equipment are published in 2 scopes: JI for building constructors and equipment manufacturers, and scope JII for building and equipment users. Heiman: “JI and JII address both food processing companies and food equipment providers, thus contributing to better communication between end-users and developers of food processing sites and equipment.”

Wouters (EHEDG): “In recent years, hygienic design guidelines have been widely adopted and applied by food processing companies and their equipment suppliers, which contributed to improved cleanability of food processing lines and environments. But not all food industry stakeholders are sufficiently aware of the necessity of hygienic design yet. Since the GFSI benchmarking process has been adopted by the global food industry, these new benchmarking requirements are bound to change how hygienic design is integrated in food safety management systems. Consequently, hygienic design will assume a central role in food equipment development processes. We also expect this to have a harmonizing effect on certification systems since these new hygienic design benchmarking requirements set a clear and unified baseline for all standards.”

Heiman (3-A SSI): “Last but not least, we expect these new GFSI hygienic design benchmarking requirements to encourage more food industry stakeholders to look into the proven benefits that hygienic design brings to the table: safe food production, more productive and sustainable food processes due to minimized cleaning intervals, and spotless reputations for responsible stakeholders in the global farm to fork food supply chains.”

EHEDG and 3A-SSI will continue to assist food industry stakeholders and help them understand how to comply to all requirements with regard to the hygienic engineering and design, fabrication, installation, maintenance, and cleanability of facilities and food process equipment. For more information, please follow this link to the position paper that 3-A SSI and EHEDG published on this topic:

- 3-A SSI: https://www.3-a.org/News-Events-Updates/News

- EHEDG: https://www.ehedg.org/ehedg/new-gfsi-hygienic-design-benchmarking-requirements/

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3-A SSI and EHEDG

3-A SSI: The first standards known as ‘3A’ were developed in the 1920s and 3-A SSI today consists of the associations representing U.S. regulatory sanitarians, processors and equipment fabricators.  3-A SSI maintains a large inventory of standards accepted by both USDA and FDA for virtually all types of major food processing equipment and accepted practices for processing systems.  3-A SSI also oversees a voluntary program for use of the 3-A Symbol on conforming equipment. Website 3-A SSI: https://www.3-a.org/

EHEDG: Founded in 1989, the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group encompasses members of different stakeholder groups in the food supply chain and has regional sections in Europe and other regions in the world. Its main goals are the promotion and improvement of hygienic design and engineering solutions in all aspects of food manufacture. EHEDG has active working groups for developing and publishing guidelines, develops training materials and organizes training, and certifies processing components through third-party testing facilities. Website EHEDG: https://www.ehedg.org/

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