EHEDG Connects Webinar Recording: Debra Smith - Hygienic Design - Raising the bar
Full recording of the EHEDG Connects Webinar with Debra Smith, Global Hygiene Specialist at EHEDG Company Member Vikan. In this webinar, Debra addresses food processing environment areas that are often neglected and underestimated. Includes recorded Q&A session. Enjoy and learn. Thank you Debra for sharing your insights with this community - very much appreciated!

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Ask an Expert: hygienic validation of closed food processing

Insights and guidelines to optimise food safety & quality

Closed food processes may offer food safety advantages compared to open food processing, like a better protection against external hazards. But there are also disadvantages: how do you know for sure that your closed process circuit is sufficiently clean? EHEDG Authorised Trainer Martin Barnickel shares valuable insights on how to maximise food safety performances of closed food processes by applying hygienic cleaning validation techniques.

 

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About the Expert 

Martin Barnickel studied agricultural sciences at the Technical University Munich in Weihenstephan with a focus on dairy technology and processing. Since 1991 he has been working as a trainer and teacher for dairy managers and technicians for the Lehr-, Versuchs- und Fachzentrum für Molkereiwirtschaft (Training, Test and Competence Center for Dairy Systems) in Kempten/Germany. He also develops and designs test equipment and works on plant engineering and design as a chief project manager and shares his expertise as a seminar lecturer, author of scientific literature and as a consultant.

 

What’s the importance of validation to guarantee food safety? 

Martin Barnickel: “Regardless whether you are a food safety manager working for a food producer or an engineer developing components for closed food or packaging processes - there’s nothing more reassuring than thorough quantitative validation of cleaning regimes. To guarantee food safety, several physical, chemical and biological hazards need to be addressed and validated.” 

 

What are specific challenges for closed food processes? 

“Closed food processes are prone to a wide range of food safety hazards, such as microorganisms and their toxins, residues of previous products or cleaning and disinfection agents and lubricants, and unwanted food ingredients from previous production batches that can constitute as allergens. Therefore, all closed processes need regular and effective cleaning, with or without disinfection/sterilisation. Unfortunately, some installations are quite difficult to clean thoroughly, with potentially devastating effects ranging from minor health discomforts to food poisoning illnesses and even deaths.” 

 

In your publications, you speak of the ‘kinetics of contamination’. Please enlighten us.

“Let’s have a closer look at the kinetics of contamination in a very common closed food process in dairy plants: pasteurisation. In these closed food-processing systems microfilm growing and contamination often occurs at the preheating and in the heat recovery stage at temperatures under 55 degrees. A precise control and documentation of pasteurisation conditions (usually 75°C for at least 15 seconds) is an absolute prerequisite to guarantee food safety in closed food processing. In general, the rule of thumb is that no one should settle with solely applying disinfection techniques when sterilisation is technically achievable.”

Picture: Martin Barnickel (interview continues below picture)

Can you share another example with us?

“Another example of kinetics of contamination is a contamination hazard that’s triggered by a panel breakthrough that may cause contamination of heated product with pathogenic microorganisms. Breakthroughs in plate heat exchangers should be tested therefore at least twice a year. Plates should not be in use for more than 5 years. In general pasteurized products should not be processed longer than 20 hours without CIP even then when the facilities were sterilised at the beginning. Otherwise a pasteurisation resistant flora may take the upper hand after that period of time. Others hazards can arise from deteriorating hygienic conditions due to aging installations. That’s why processing facilities need to be regularly tested for cracks, cavities, dead spaces and leaks. Sterile product sometimes is processed for days without interim cleaning. To prevent a facility from becoming a source of recontamination, it should be entirely free of dead spaces, it has to be bacteria-tight and operated in a professional manner at all times.”

 

What are the most telling validation criteria?

“The very sensitive criteria for the effectiveness of cleaning programs is the differential TOC analysis in rinsing water. Visual cleanliness and the absence of odors and biofilms are not enough by far. It is pointless to further examine equipment that doesn’t meet these most basic validation criteria. UV light generally helps to detect traces of residual material (> 4 µg/cm²). Similarly, dyes can be used to detect unwanted residuals in the closed process line. With the help of a endoscopes difficult to access and hard-to-clean spots in plants can be visually inspected. However, in many cases, a periodic disassembly may be required as well for control purpose. Because it is nearly impossible to install anti-biofouling strategies hygienic plant design, residual free cleaning an effective sterilisation is mandatory. The applied monitoring techniques should be able to quantify the hygienic level before and during the production. Problematic biofilm formation can only be avoided by cleaning in time. Rising differential pressure can be regarded as an imprecise online early warning tool. In addition to these, biological parameters such as ATP content (a constituent of all living cells central to energy transfer), total direct cell counts (TDC), which represent the concentration of microorganisms or assimilable/total organic carbon (AOC, TOC), substances which promote microbial growth, and the biofilm formation rate (BFR) may be used for assessing the hygienic level of the plant after CIP and SIP.”

 

More info

Please stay tuned for a more in-depth article on this subjects by this EHEDG Subject Matter Expert on www.ehedg.org/connects. For a comprehensive overview of validation techniques for closed food processes, please download the EHEDG Guideline publications of the EHEDG Working Groups Cleaning and Disinfection and the EHEDG Working Group CIP on www.ehedg.org

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In memoriam: Ir. Ernst Paardekooper

Knowledgeable and charming, with a creative and inquisitive mind

EHEDG lost one of its greatest hygienic design and food safety ambassadors. Ir. Ernst (E.J.C.) Paardekooper, who was widely respected for his expertise in microbiology, agro-technology, food safety and quality, passed away on November 6 at age 88. With his work, expertise, ideas and commitment, Paardekooper consistently contributed to global food safety and the development of the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group for more than 30 years. 

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After he completed his studies at the Technische Universiteit Delft in 1976, Paardekooper became the division manager of the Food Technology and Microbiology Department at TNO Voeding. He always remained true to his lifelong passion for food safety, and from 1989 to 2019, he was the chairman of the EHEDG Regional Section in the Netherlands, while continuing his work for TNO Voeding until his retirement in 2002. Ernst was a forward-looking visionary who, for example, already predicted the future of non-animal sourced proteins in the meat industry and the affiliated convenience food industry. In 2015, EHEDG distinguished him as an Honourable EHEDG Member for his lifelong contributions to the foundation. 

Ernst will be missed by many, and for many years to come. First and foremost by his beloved family and friends, and also by countless professionals in the global food industry, who valued him very much for his substantial body of knowledge, his creative and inquisitive mind, his relentless passion for food safety, and his talent to connect professionals of all backgrounds to contribute to food safety advancements around the world. The life and the legacy of Ernst Paardekooper will continue to be an inspiration to all of us.

Frans Saurwalt, Chair EHEDG Regional Section The Netherlands:
“With our honourable EHEDG member and longstanding EHEDG chairman Ernst Paardekooper, we lost a memorable and amiable expert and food safety ambassador of great stature. Right from the very start of EHEDG, Ernst contributed to a professional domain that was really close to his heart: food safety. His impressive knowledge, extensive network and his experience where of great value to establish safe food production through hygienic design. His personal efforts, enthusiasm  and commitment greatly helped EHEDG-NL to obtain an important position within the food industry. We feel deeply grateful to have known him, and we wish his next of kin solace and strength.”

Patrick Wouters, Vice-President EHEDG International:
“We remember Ernst with a great sense of gratitude. He was always full of enthusiasm, and full of ideas for new initiatives. He was able to encourage and motivate anyone to really go for it. His devotion to manage food safety, in particular through hygienic design, was remarkable and provided guidance and support to the Dutch Food Industry.”

Frank Moerman, former Chair EHEDG Regional Section Belgium: 
“Ernst was a charismatic motivator for many, and he played an active role in the development of the regional EHEDG section in Belgium. We’ve lost a true ‘compagnon de route’ and we will miss his companionship and great knowledge.” 

Carina Grijspaardt Vink, former chief-editor technical journal VMT:
“Ernst was a true inspirator with so many ideas, and he had a great interest in new developments. Besides his expertise, his extensive network was his greatest strength. He was able to connect people from different backgrounds and his out-of-the-box way of thinking was very valuable for VMT.”  

Judith Witte, chief-editor technical journal Voedingsindustrie:
“Ernst was a real visionary, who was often far ahead of his times. In his roles as chairman of EHEDG and the Amplitude Foundation, he continuously shared his knowledge, while raising the awareness for technological advancements that could contribute to improving food safety. He was a true explorer at heart, and was always very well informed about the latest developments and innovations.”  

 

Ir. Ernst Paardekooper (right) is granted the Honourable Membership status at the EHEDG Building Congress 2015, by Dr. Patrick Wouters.

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Engineering food safety: adopting the right mindset

An interview with the hygienic design engineers of Iv-Industrie

How do companies integrate EHEDG products into their products and services? Find out how engineering agency Iv-Industrie develops its hygienic design engineering services and applies EHEDG expertise in their engineering projects to optimize the cleanability, productivity and sustainability of their clients’ facilities.

 

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Regardless if you are involved in greenfield or brownfield development projects, the work of engineers can greatly affect the food safety aspects of production plants. So how can we ensure that hygienic engineering guidelines are effectively implemented? EHEDG Connects posed this and more questions to Deputy Director Jeroen van den Boezem and Senior Project Engineer Christian Hospers, who both work at Iv-Industrie, an engineering agency specialised in hygienic engineering.

How would you define good hygienic engineering?

Jeroen van den Boezem: “Good hygienic engineering incorporates food safety considerations in all engineering design aspects of a food production site, from the buildings down to the supporting facilities and process lines, and thus permeates all development levels. Good hygienic engineering is only feasible if the engineering agency has a thorough understanding of all the specific requirements and local food processing circumstances. Whether it concerns new constructions or upgrades for factories, warehouses, utilities and process installations - this understanding is always the foundation on which we base our engineering and consultancy services. We then provide all necessary expertise on hygienic engineering and design, food and process safety, production logistics, hygiene zoning, laws, regulations, standards and guidelines. By hygienic engineering, we enable food manufacturers to pragmatically develop effective and hygienic processes and applications.” 

How exactly do you determine these hygienic requirements?

Christian Hospers: “Oftentimes, clients approach us with an assignment to engineer a hygienic solution. The first thing we do then is to define what they mean by hygienic design. When they say it has to be easily cleanable, we keep on asking questions, because essentially, every installation is cleanable if you have enough time and resources. Together with the client, we determine their exact needs and requirements, until we have a measurable goal, like for example: this specific part of the process line needs to be cleanable within a time frame of two hours, after which there may only be a maximum number of microbes per square centimeter. Now that is a goal that can be validated, and a clear starting point for our services.”

> Jeroen van den Boezem, Deputy Director Iv-Industrie
   (interview continues below picture)

What’s the best way to select a suitable engineering agency for a HD-project?

Van den Boezem: “Food and pharma companies are advised to first have a critical look at their own organization and situation, to determine the boundaries of their own expertise and the level of involvement they want in a specific project. Do you expect your engineering agency to primarily execute engineering work while following up on your own hygienic engineering and design standards? Or are you looking for an engineering partner that can challenge you to find new and better solutions that might have been previously unknown to you? It’s crucial to be clear about functional requirements right from the start, and to also define hygiene requirements in measurable terms. Having a baseline measurement will help to do this, and of course an early mapping of logistic challenges will limit the impact of a project on ongoing production processes.”  

> Christian Hospers, Senior Project Engineer Iv_industrie
   (interview continues below picture)

What do your engineers need to create the best hygienic design?

Hospers: “Good hygienic engineering starts off with a thorough assessment of all the clients’ needs and functional requirements, because to create the best possible engineering design, we need to have a comprehensive overview of all related aspects. We don’t need to know every specific technical detail of the food process itself. Our main task however is to translate functional production requirements into a hygienic building and installation design that serves all functional and food safety goals. So the first thing that a good engineering agency will do is to ask the right questions, and to explain what specific information they need in order to develop the best possible engineering design. It’s why we invest extra time and effort in creating effective project teams in the pre-engineering phase. The type of project determines how we do that. In a brownfield-situation, we start with carefully mapping the existing situation. At this stage, we don’t analyze anything yet - we initially only collect information. We map the existing situation to know our spatial, functional and logistical boundaries.”

How do you implement hygienic design guidelines in your engineering?

Van den Boezem: “Since many hygiene-determining aspects influence each other, many single engineering design choices together determine the final food safety performance of a plant. We often approach engineering projects from a building design level. Zoning is extremely important, and so are logistics and product and people flows. Zooming in on the different process line areas follows up after that. We always strive to minimize food safety risks in the early engineering design phases, for example by adapting the piping routes to optimize cleanability, and by performing maintenance work away from the production areas. And we consistently validate each engineering process step by applying a validation model. In this V-model, the first stage is the most important one, because it determines the requirements which are critical, e.g. which cannot be compromised upon.”   

What’s your best advice to engineering agencies and their clients?

Hospers: “Hygienic engineering is more than a procedure that you can apply just by adopting EHEDG guidelines. To realize effective hygienic engineering results, everyone in the project team must understand the implications of each engineering decision for the hygiene and cleanability of the total solution. It requires a right mindset, based on experience and up-to-date knowledge. That mindset is not something that young engineers learn at their education institutes yet, so by enrolling them in EHEDG training courses, one can ensure that every engineer adopts this hygienic engineering mindset right from the beginning.” 

 

 

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Ask an EHEDG Expert

Edition 3: Air Handling

EHEDG Connects poses simple questions to EHEDG Subject Matter Experts, and invites them to provide us with straight answers. Our questions on air handling are answered by Dr. Thomas Caesar, Director Global Filter Engineering at Freudenberg Filtration Technologies. Dr. Caesar is also the chair of the EHEDG Working Group Air Handling that developed EHEDG Guideline Document 47 on air handling systems in the food industry.

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EHEDG Document 47 only focuses on air quality control for building ventilation. Why?
Dr.Thomas Caesar: “When our working group started to work on this guideline back in 2006, it didn’t take us long to understand that in order to enhance the practical value of the  guideline, we first needed to narrow down the scope of the contents. After all, what use is a guideline that tries to cover everything, but only scratches the surface of the various food safety determining types of air handling? EHEDG Guideline Doc. 47 is a comprehensive document, that is closely aligned with EHEDG Guideline 48 on building design (as it should be), and it now offers a valuable insight in air quality control for building ventilation.

 

Of course, our working group also plans to publish a guideline on air handling for process oriented air handling as well, but since it’s all purely voluntary work, it will take us more time to complete it.”

What’s so complex about air handling that we need multiple guidelines for it?
“For starters: air is everywhere. In almost all food processes, even closed ones, food gets into contact with the air surrounding it. If this air contains particles that microbes can attach to, food safety risks may arise, so a well thought-out approach to air handling is fundamental for food safety. Since air tends to move around through freely through production plants, we need to approach air handling on all levels - from building ventilation to exhaust air, dust handling and compressed and non-compressed air flows. Each level is a world on its own and should be covered by a dedicated EHEDG Guideline Document. Our working group started off with narrowing the guideline down to building ventilation as this is applicable to many different types of food processing. Our next guideline, however, will focus on process air filtration.”

How do I know if my air handling is effective? 
“You can install particle counters that provide a better insight in the contamination risks connected to air quality. Since micro-organisms can only spread through the air if the air contains particles that the microbes can attach to, it is safe to say that minimizing the number of particles in the air benefits food safety. Despite of the availability of new technical solutions to monitor air quality in food processing environments, there are still many food producers that only start to improve air handling systems after they are confronted with serious product quality fluctuations. This is mainly due to the fact that most monitoring systems are still quite expensive. The most cost-effective way to monitor the air quality is to monitor the amount of airborne particle in the active air handling units. To do this, you can add special membranes to the filter units that collect the particles and allow users so you can grow and count them. Before you do this, you need of course to know what your critical control parameters are for your specific product.”


Dr. Thomas Caesar [interview continues below picture]


What are the most common causes for food contaminations by air?  
“Air connects everything: exteriors and interiors, different building zones and everything within it. A common cause for bad air quality is bad air flow design. We often see plants with air flowing from a contaminated (technical) area to critical food processing areas. A general rule of thumb is to always lead the air flows away from the critical process areas. That can be quite a challenge in big open spaces with multiple food processing lines. If you don’t have a good understanding of the actual air flows in your building, it can be difficult to pinpoint air quality issues related to the zoning design. Examining the sources of the airflows is also a good way to start your investigation. Since most buildings make use of recirculated air, major causes of air contamination can often be traced back to dirty or wrongly installed pocket air filters in the air handling systems, or bad water quality in the humidifier. Installing a filter unit directly above a wet floor doesn’t help either. We recommend to use exclusively EHEDG certified air handling components, but it’s not only the design of the air handling system that counts, it’s also how the people use it, how the maintenance is performed and so on. It’s all connected and each air handling system is as good as its weakest link, so you need a comprehensive approach to really optimize food safety in a sustainable way.”

What would be the best steps to take in order to improve air handling?
“It all starts with describing your critical control parameters, with making a thorough risk analysis and with qualifying the specific needs for your type of food product. After that, you can consult the EHEDG Guideline Documents. Zoning generally has a big impact on air flows, so the EHEDG Guideline on Building Design is a good document to start with. Then continue with our guideline on air handling with regard to building ventilation. These two guidelines are strongly intertwined, so we made sure that they are well aligned with each other. A relatively new and effective trend is to install air handling units directly at the points where the most critical process steps take place. This enables food producers to decouple their most critical processes from the rest of the air flows in a production environment. Since these locally focussed systems generally need to move much smaller volumes of air, they need less ventilation power than conventional systems and therefore can provide additional benefits like a significant reduction of energy consumption. In the end, it’s all about minimizing risks on all levels, from the engineering and design up to the daily usage and maintenance of the air handling systems.”

EHEDG members can download EHEDG Guideline Doc. 47 for free here: www.ehedg.org/guidelines  

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In remembrance of Dr. Tadeusz Matuszek

“Thank you for your expertise, your commitment and your friendship”

Dr. Tadeusz Matuszek, who passed away earlier this year, held two Masters in Science (in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Informatics) and a Ph.D. in Technical Sciences. He lectured at the University of Gdansk, relegating his knowledge to a new generation. When he passed away, many of us were suddenly reminded of how much Tadeusz has done for EHEDG over the course of so many years.

 

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“For many of us working in the world of technology, it often feels more comfortable to talk about facts and figures than to engage in personal conversations. When we talk about progress, we often think of technological advancements instead of progressing our relationships or enjoying each other’s company on an emotional level. Throughout his lifetime, Tadeusz Matuszek never forgot about the things that really matter, because he loved people as much as he loved technology.

 

Dr. Tadeusz Matuszek, who passed away earlier this year, held two Masters in Science (in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Informatics) and a Ph.D. in Technical Sciences. It seems like only yesterday that he stood there, lecturing at the Gdansk University of Technology, relegating his knowledge to a new generation.

When he passed away, he left us behind confused, because suddenly we realized what we had lost, and how much he has done for us over the course of so many years. It took me some time to find the words to express my feelings of gratitude towards Tadeusz, for his generosity, his wisdom, his commitment and his sincere friendship, in a way that would do him justice.

As the longstanding chairman of the EHEDG Regional Section Poland, Dr. Matuszek was the driving force behind the promotion of hygienic engineering and design in Eastern Europe. He was a busy man, who nevertheless faithfully attended many EHEDG meetings and always found time to wholeheartedly greet his fellow EHEDG members as good friends, handing out small gifts, like little souvenirs or liquors that he brought over from his home country Poland. He was also able to effortlessly commemorate conversations and shared experiences, even many years after they occurred.

Tadeusz was so joyful and humble. He would often take people aside to joke around or let them in on some entertaining confidentiality. Tadeusz was able to connect with people on many levels, simply by being his sincere self. He really loved the EHEDG community, and stayed fully committed to its cause right until the very end of his life. Dear Tadeusz, on behalf of the entire EHEDG community, I express my gratitude for your commitment, your expertise, your wisdom and commitment and your friendship. Our condolences go out to all of your family members and closest friends. You where loved and you will be sorely missed.”


With highest regards,

Andres Pascual Vidal, EHEDG Regional Development

 

 

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EHEDG Guideline Document 50 on CIP now ready for download!

Hygienic Design Requirements For Cleaning-In-Place (CIP) Installations

Do you want to feel confident that your Cleaning-In-Place (CIP) installations meet all hygienic design requirements? Then select, upgrade, design, build and operate them in compliance with EHEDG Guideline Document 50. Download, comply and rest assured: www.ehedg.org/guidelines

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EHEDG Guideline Fish Processing

EHEDG Guideline 49 ready for download

Associate Professor at the University of Zagreb and Chair of EHEDG Working Group Fish Processing Prof. Dr. Sanja Vidaček Filipec explains the value of combining practical and academic hygienic design knowledge. The article provides insights in how the EHEDG Fish Processing Guideline Document 49 helps to tackle food safety challenges in fish processing.

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Every food processing line benefits from hygienic engineering and design, but fish processing is particularly receptive for microbiological contamination. That’s why every fish handling process should comply with the latest EHEDG guidelines. It is also why EHEDG published a new guideline dedicated exclusively to fish processing.

 

Food Technologist Sanja Vidaček Filipec is Associate Professor at the University of Zagreb and the Chair of the EHEDG Working Group Fish Processing. She talks about the unique hygienic design challenges in fish processing and explains how the new EHEDG Fish Processing Guideline 49 can help to tackle fish processing challenges and minimise contamination risks.

 

What sets industrial fish processing apart from other food handling processes?

Sanja Vidaček Filipec: “Firstly, fish come in all sorts, shapes, and sizes and varieties differ greatly around the world. Consequently, there are many technical approaches to processing fish. This represented a challenge for our working group members who committed themselves to develop a comprehensive and international industry guideline. Secondly, fish processing environments are always humid, and humidity is the single most compromising factor for food safety because it manifolds the risk of microbiological contamination. Thirdly, since fish is highly perishable, speed and efficiency are particularly important in fish processing, even more so than in processing red meat or even poultry. That’s why fish trailers freeze their fish right after each catch. It is also why modern industry fish processing lines that make good use of EHEDG guidelines not only optimize their food safety and food quality conditions but also their efficiency and productivity.”


Why did it take until now to develop this guideline?

“In the past years EHEDG published technical guidelines on specific areas of open processing that also apply to fish processing - we refer to quite a lot of them in this new guideline. It took quite some time before all those separate guidelines were detailed enough to support a comprehensive guideline on fish processing. In the meantime, our working group focused on developing a set of fundamental hygienic design principles that would apply to different types of fish processing plants, in line with the basic hygienic design principles in EHEDG Guideline 8. This EHEDG Fish Processing Guideline 49 offers just that and more because it also addresses hygienic aspects that are specific to contemporary fish processing techniques, like the use of vacuum systems to remove by-products. EHEDG Fish Processing Guideline 49 took several years to develop because there are so many food safety and food quality determining aspects to industrial fish processing that had to be investigated. On a detailed level, every fish processing plant has to apply this guideline in accordance with their circumstances.”


Who should read this guideline?

“Everyone involved in the processing of salmon, white marine fish, and freshwater fish can put this guideline to excellent use. EHEDG Fish Processing Guideline 49 is even applicable for fish processing on fishing vessels. Overall, this new guideline offers great value during the procurement process, the plant design, installation, and microbiological sampling phase. It provides a comprehensive overview of all the everyday hazards and challenges of fish processing and does so in clear, non-technical descriptions. All members of our working group wanted to make sure that everyone could understand the principles. We expect this guideline to contribute to a more widespread awareness of food safety and food quality determining aspects of fish processing on all levels in the industry. Now every decision-maker in the fish industry can refer to this guideline and specify what is meant when requesting hygienic design solutions. Moreover, equipment producers striving to certificate new equipment for the fish processing industry know what criteria their components have to comply with. The EHEDG Working Group Fish Processing is convinced that this guideline will help to optimise food safety and food quality in fish processes all over the world.”

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EHEDG centralizes certification processes

Securing validity of certificates and preserving level playing fields

One of the first decisions of the newly compiled EHEDG Executive Committee was to centralise the allotment of EHEDG certifications. Dr. Peter Golz, chairman of the EHEDG Product Portfolio Sub-Commission, explains how retrieving the mandate for issuing EHEDG certificates will secure the validity of EHEDG certificates in the years to come.

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For many years, certificates were issued by test institutes. Why change that?

Dr. Peter Golz: “The independent test institutes are doing a great job and will continue to take care of all the product testing in the future. EHEDG centralised the final stage of the allotment of EHEDG certificates to make sure that all tests are harmonised and that all current EHEDG certification criteria are applied. Another reason for the centralisation is that EHEDG needs to have control over the prolonging of the certificates. Prior to the centralisation, there was no system in place for the recertification and re-evaluation of formerly certified products. Equipment that was certified in a time when old certification schemes were operative remained valid after new guidelines and certification schemes came into effect. This created an uneven playing field for new applicants. By centralising its mandate for issuing certificates, EHEDG can continue driving innovation and can guarantee that every single piece of EHEDG certified equipment listed on its website complies with the applicable EHEDG certification criteria.”

How does this centralised certification and recertification process work?

“To assess whether a specific application meets all the necessary current EHEDG certification class criteria, one needs reliable test results and the right expertise to interpret those results. The test institutes still gather their test results based on clear testing instructions, but the evaluation of these results is done collectively by the members of the EHEDG Certification Working Group. This group consists of Authorised Evaluation Officers who control each other and must follow strict procedures that are defined by the EHEDG Executive Committee and guarded by an independent EHEDG Certification Officer. This Certification Officer is also responsible for granting or denying EHEDG certificates and reports to the EHEDG Executive Committee. A comprehensive system of checks and balances secures that all working group members can act objectively and independently and that all approvals and rejections of certification applications are well substantiated. Furthermore, anything that can have an impact on the certification and recertification process is discussed by the members of the working group. They also prepare, monitor, update and develop test methods and assessment schemes.”

What does this mean for holders and applicants of EHEDG certificates?

“According to the new certification scheme, certificate holders have to sign up their components for a recertification process once every five years. Once a year they are requested to declare that the design of their certified component has not changed since the certification date. Certificate holders who want to renew their certificates need to initiate the recertification process in time to receive a new certificate issued under the current EHEDG certification scheme. As the re-evaluation needs to be done by one of the EHEDG Authorised Evaluation Officers, the applicant should contact one of them to initiate the process. A list of these officers is published on the EHEDG website. For equipment that was tested and certified before the introduction of the current certification scheme in 2015, EHEDG implemented a transition policy. By 2020 only certificates which have been issued or reissued under the current certification scheme will be listed on the EHEDG website.”

Is everything going according to plan up to now?

“We are making great progress, but initially we experienced some unexpected drawbacks because we underestimated the time and efforts it takes to obtain all the certification data from the various test institutes. Some contact data was outdated, and some test institutes that issued old certificates no longer exist. As a result, some holders of old certificates weren’t noticed about the need to re-certify their certificates as timely as intended. Our apologies for that. In hindsight, it would have been better to have finished the centralisation first and to implement the recertification policy later. For now, we are completing our certification database and developed an online registration tool that certification holders can use to update their information and help us to reach the appropriate people within in their organisations before we have to take down their equipment from the EHEDG website.”

Does equipment that is withdrawn from the EHEDG website bear a higher hygiene risk compared to the listed components?

“Not necessarily. It simply means that the withdrawn equipment was due for recertification and hasn't been re-certified in time. Nothing may have changed from a technical point of view, and the equipment might still meet all requirements of the current EHEDG certification scheme, but EHEDG cannot guarantee it. There is no other way for EHEDG to ensure that every single piece of equipment listed on its website complies with the current EHEDG certification criteria than to clean this list up. It’s in the common interest of food producers an all stakeholders contributing to the advancement of hygienic design. There are clear procedures on what needs to be done to get withdrawn equipment back on the list. If in doubt, please contact us. We are happy to help out."

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Guidelines Pasteurisation & Sterilisation

EHEDG Guideline 1 & 6 ready for download

Chairman EHEDG Working Group Heat Treatment  Bengt Eliasson: "These two completely renewed guidelines on pasteurisation and sterilisation of liquid food offer new insights in how to optimise food safety, food quality, productivity and energy efficiency of continuous pasteurisation and ultra-high temperature sterilisation processes.” 

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We’ve been pasteurising and sterilising for ages. Why renew these guidelines now?

Bengt Eliasson: “Pasteurisation and sterilisation are well established, most widespread and important methods to preserve liquid food. This is why the initial guidelines for continuous pasteurisation and sterilisation were the very first guidelines that EHEDG published to optimise food safety in the food industry. That was back in 1992. Since then, new technologies and new legal requirements and regulations have emerged. EHEDG translates all those new developments into practical guidelines that the food industry and its suppliers can work with to comply with all requirements. EHEDG also wants to help its community members to find the information they need more efficiently. Therefore, all EHEDG working groups recently agreed to structure their guidelines in a new format. So now the guidelines for the pasteurisation and sterilisation of liquid food are published in this new, more user-friendly format.”

So what’s new?

“These new guidelines contain hands-on information aimed at food producers, machine equipment developers and plant designers who need to comply with the latest food hygiene regulations. The old versions of these guidelines focused primarily on milk production, thus limiting the possible applications of these guidelines. The renewed guidelines also cover the production of other liquid foods and high acid products like fruit juices. They provide practical technical frameworks that include a wide array of topics ranging from general considerations regarding the applied pasteurisation and sterilisation techniques to hygienic process design and technical matters concerning effective flow diversion, recirculation and cleaning and control processes. All information is presented in line with the new EHEDG guidelines format that structures information into categories like design, production and maintenance aspects. For those who want to go one step further, these guidelines also contain useful information on techniques to optimise energy efficiency and minimise maintenance intervals.

Do these renewed guidelines cover everything we must know?


“There’s always more to know, but these publications are very comprehensive. They contain guidelines that help readers to make sure that correct temperatures and processing conditions are maintained, that any unacceptable deviation in key process variables results in an automatic flow diversion or shutdown and that the production process is stopped before fouling becomes significant or before thermophilic bacteria growth becomes too intensive. The guidelines relate to the importance of hygienic design in the different stages of the pasteurisation and sterilisation processes. The guideline on pasteurisation, for example, states that the process equipment downstream of the holding tube must be hygienically designed and hence cleanable, possible to disinfect and bacteria tight. This guideline furthermore offers means to prevent the risk of mixing pasteurised and unpasteurised products. Moreover, both of these guidelines even include practical guidelines on how to utilise hygienic design principles to tackle specific regional legislation requirements.”

You mentioned energy efficiency. How sustainable is hygienic design?


“Energy efficient solutions in general, and heat recovery techniques in particular, are becoming more and more important for food producers. They are willing to invest in new techniques to optimise efficiency - not only to save energy, water, and chemicals but also to maximise their productivity by minimising cleaning time intervals and waste. Hygienic design offers many possibilities to save energy and minimise downtime. These guidelines contain several chapters that help EHEDG community members to make sustainable choices to minimise contamination risks and to save energy and money. The guidelines illustrate that investing in hygienic design solutions is economically viable. By applying hygienic design we can shorten CIP times, make the production more efficient by overall increasing availability and reduce the total cost of production. Since investing in hygienic design improves overall efficiency, it’s is a cost saving investment it. It also avoids recalls and public health hazards.”

Is there a link between hygienic design and new forms of energy re-use?


“The guidelines also illustrate how certain systems work, for example, a system that enables producers to preheat their products by heat recovery using a secondary circuit. Heat recovery systems are in general more complex regarding plant design, but the results are very satisfying because they require significantly less energy. Even when investment budgets are limited, these guidelines offer interesting options. In sterilisation processes, for example, it’s also possible to preheat a product after the holding section with a sterilised product in a regenerative heat exchanger, making for less complex plant designs and realising the same amount of energy savings.”

So it’s not the germs we need worry about then - it’s our inner terrain.


“Exactly. And let me conclude with yet another quote of the great Louis Pasteur, who not only discovered the power of pasteurisation, but who also had a very clear vision on how to handle food safety in general: ‘Whether our efforts are, or not, favoured by life, let us be able to say, when we come near to the great goal, I have done what I could.’"

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Contemporary Communications

EHEDG Sub-Committe Communications invites

EHEDG Sub-Committe Communications invites all EHEDG members to make EHEDG well-known around the world and in all areas of food processing. Simply follow the steps as described below to contribute with your online communication power.

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Improving online presence of EHEDG

On the plenary meeting of the EHEDG World Congress, the EHEDG Sub-Committee Communications illustrated how each member has the power to make EHEDG well known around the world and on all levels of food processing companies. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 easy steps  to a higher social media exposure for EHEDG 

Step 1: Go to your LinkedIn account and type in the upper left search window: EHEDG

Step 2: Or go directly to: www.linkedin.com/company/ehedg/

Step 3: The EHEDG LinkeIn Company Page will show up. Click on the button 'Follow'.

Step 4: From now on you will receive all of the EHEDG social media updates in your timeline.

Step 5: If you like a post, show others that you like it by clicking on the 'like' button.

Step 6: Even better: share the post or post a comment. This will multiply the reach of the post.

 

For more insights on the new communication strategy of EHEDG, please read the interview with the chairman of the EHEDG Sub-Committee Communication Karl-Heinz Bahr in EHEDG Connects Magazine. 

 

On behalf of the EHEDG Sub-Com Communication and global food safety: THANK YOU!

 

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