Need for know-how in hygienic engineering knows no borders - EHEDG

More than 400 experts participate in about 20 EHEDG Working Groups

The European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group (EHEDG) will establish 20 new regional sections by 2020.

Of the non-EU nations targeted for expansion, four are in the Americas (US, Canada, Chile and Peru); two in Oceania (Australia and New Zealand); three in Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia and South Korea); and four in Africa (South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia).

Austria, Romania and Bulgaria joined this year and Portugal, Hungary and Greece are projected to come on board in 2017.

Of the 30 EHEDG Regional Sections, 15 are from European Union (EU) countries. Non-EU EHEDG ones are in Armenia, Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey.

Members include Buhler, Cargill, Campden BRI, Coca-Cola, Diversey Europe, Ecolab, Heinz, KHS, Krones, Mettler Toledo, Mondelez International, Multivac, PepsiCo, SICK, Sidel, Tetra Pak and Vikan.

Industry trends and reaction

Trends in consumer demand—from minimally processed and reduced additive/preservative foods, to pre-prepared ready-to-eat/ready-to-cook meals—are placing increased pressures on manufacturers to innovate and stay on top of food safety challenges, said EHEDG.

Food producers must ensure products are protected throughout production by restricting access and controlling conditions for survival of microorganisms, pests, foreign bodies, and chemical contaminants such as lubricants or cleaning agents.

By giving hygienic equipment and facility design the same level of importance as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) programs, manufacturers reduce potential food safety hazards and can realise energy, water and cost-savings, it added.

EHEDG conference

The 5th EHEDG World Congress on Hygienic Engineering & Design 2-3 November 2016 at MCH Messecenter Herning in Herning, Denmark (www.ehedg-congress.org).

Ludvig Josefsberg, EHEDG president, said the need for applied science-based know-how in the hygienic engineering and design of food production equipment and facilities knows no borders.

“As the organisation’s pool of expertise expands throughout the world, so does EHEDG’s ability to drive improvements in industry food safety and hygiene standards, which will go a long way toward minimising food safety hazards and contamination risks to the benefit of all consumers,” he said.

“EHEDG provides food manufacturers with science-based but practically oriented guidelines and other resources for applying hygienic design and engineering principles in their plants enabling them to construct more food-safe, efficient, sustainable and cost-effective food production systems and facilities.

“In addition, we bring together top scientists and engineers from the equipment manufacturing sector and world-renowned scientific research centres to collaborate on ways to produce equipment and design facilities to improve cleanability and process controls.”

Working groups and guidelines

More than 400 experts participate in about 20 EHEDG Working Groups which develop technical guidelines or update existing ones.

A total of 45 documents have been published including Document 43, Hygienic Design of Belt Conveyors for the Food Industry and Document 45, Cleaning Validation in the Food Industry - General Principles, Part 1, published in 2016.

EHEDG does design reviews using test procedures for equipment certification. Certification evaluations are at one of seven EHEDG-authorised test institutes in Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, UK and US.

It also cooperates with international technology and standardisation organisations, including US-based 3-A Sanitary Standards.

Membership includes more than 400 companies and institutes and 270 individual members in 55 countries, including nearly 1,300 experts from food and food equipment industries and scientists in hygienic design and engineering.

The organisation offers two types of certifications to ensure food production equipment is constructed, installed and fitted to high standards of cleanability and hygienic operation.

Type EL certification applies to equipment cleaned with liquids, which includes closed and open equipment that undergo wet clean-in-place (CIP), sterilisation-in-place (SIP) or must meet other clean disassembly/reassembly requirements.

Type ED certification applies to open or closed equipment that require dry cleaning only, whether cleaning requires dismantling or not.

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