First CPO adopts hygienic design benchmarking requirements in auditing standard
The first Certification Program Owner (CPO) adopted GFSI Hygienic Design Benchmarking Requirements JII into its auditing standard. Will other CPOs follow? 'This is the biggest change for hygienic design in my lifetime', says Dr. John Holah [EHEDG Hygienic Design Benchmarking Support Group]. Dr. Holah is the Principal Corporate Scientist Food Safety & Public Health at Kersia, and Honorary Professor of Food Safety and Hygienic Design at Cardiff Metropolitan University. To attend the presentation of Dr. John Holah, register for the EHEDG World Congress 2022: www.ehedg-congress.org

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EHEDG Quarterly Message Q2/2022

We are halfway into 2022, so let me start off my halftime message by reminding you of our shared mission, which is to raise awareness of hygienic design and engineering, develop guidance and solutions, provide a platform to promote expertise, and facilitate networking across the world. Now let me also share some action points that we recently aligned in our EHEDG Executive Committee meeting.

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'At EHEDG, we understand that hygienic design is just one of many contributing factors to safe, productive, and sustainable food processing, yet we also know that it is a fundamental one. While hygienic design is not a goal by itself, a good understanding of hygienic design enables our members to effectively optimise their processes.'



EHEDG Membership Value

The value of the EHEDG Membership is fuelled by you, the volunteers who contribute to reach consensus in various EHEDG leadership and working groups. You develop new guideline documents, you refine our certification process, and you develop valuable new training and education offerings. Your practical experiences in various industry areas, your combined subject matter expertise, and the wealth of knowledge and perspectives that you bring to the table sets EHEDG apart as the worlds’ leading hygienic design expertise platform. And most importantly: it enables EHEDG to offer consensus-based guidance that industries willingly take to heart. Thank you for all your contributions to EHEDG. They help us to maximise the EHEDG membership value for all.
 

Internal and external growth

Our objective is to reach as many industry professionals as possible. We do this based on a dual track approach. While we continue to grow our international membership base by adding new regional sections and member organisations, we also connect with more professionals within each existing EHEDG member company. We increased the number of individuals per member company that have access to our guidelines, based on the size of the food related turnover of each company member. This way, EHEDG can contribute more effectively to the operational goals of our company members.  
 
During the first half of 2022, we welcomed close to a hundred new EHEDG Company Members, which is a significant growth compared to the same period in 2021. This means that EHEDG manages to reach more organisations across the globe, powered by our existing members who testify to the real-life practical value of the EHEDG membership.


Identifying gaps in the EHEDG Product Portfolio

To lay out the right track for the future, we need to further align our membership offerings with the changing industry needs. We held a member survey to identify gaps in our current EHEDG Product Portfolio, and the results will be presented at the EHEDG Plenary Meeting in October.

The preliminary results point to an industry demand for several new EHEDG services in areas such as developing standards that can complement our guidelines, hygienic design risk assessment, and testing and certification of integrated systems. Since these requests cover a wide activity field, the final survey results need to be discussed based on our fundamental directive that EHEDG continues to focus on developing hygienic design guidelines (the ‘what’ and ‘why’ aspects of hygienic design), and selectively proposing solutions on ‘how’ to follow our guidelines effectively.


Communication

Communication is crucial for a global knowledge community that builds its membership offerings on input from subject matter experts. That’s why we focus on developing new and improved communication tools that enable our members to connect with EHEDG and with each other.

In Q1, we completed the updating process of the EHEDG website, which is now much more responsive and user-friendly for regular website visitors as well as for participating working group members. We are also pleased to welcome the new Chair of the EHEDG Sub-Committee Communication Anna Caliendo from Bühler. On July 1, she takes over this role from Karl-Heinz Bahr, who has served EHEDG for many years. Thank you, Karl-Heinz, on behalf of all of us at EHEDG, for your long-standing commitment!   


Regional development

In collaboration with EHEDG France, we addressed the unbalance of individual memberships which resulted from incorrect individual membership registrations. Since individual memberships are exclusively attainable for students and retired people, we wanted to make sure that all our members are treated equally by offering all companies and institutes the same membership benefits. Most of the companies in France that were formerly represented by individual members wanted to remain associated to our global foundation and became EHEDG Company Members.

By applying the French approach, we now also help other individual members who represent big companies to convince their companies to become full EHEDG Company Members. I am also happy to share with you that we are currently in the final stage of reinstating the EHEDG Regional Section Poland, and that we also hope to establish more new regional sections in the coming years.

Our colleagues in the EHEDG Sub-Committee Regional Development are now in the process of introducing more targeted and transparent key performance indicators that will help harmonise the regional activities and focus on the important areas: their role is to increase our global impact by attracting new members, to actively develop and share the EHEDG knowledge base, and to provide input for the continuing development of EHEDG services and capabilities. The EHEDG Regional Sections also fulfil an important role in utilising their regional presence to understand regional local regulatory requirements.


Loyalty programme

We have decided to introduce an EHEDG Loyalty Recognition Program for EHEDG Company Members, and an EHEDG Honorary Membership Program for individuals. These programs will be launched at the upcoming EHEDG Plenary Meeting in Munich. The Plenary Meeting will be held in conjunction with the EHEDG World Congress in October. If you haven’t registered yet, please do so here: EHEDG World Congress 2022 Registration

I am looking forward to meeting you there in person!

With best regards,

Ludvig Josefsberg
[EHEDG President]

 

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EHEDG starts testing and certifying open food processing equipment

EHEDG developed a new test method to reliably assess the external design of open food processing equipment. This new EHEDG Open Plant Cleaning (OPC) test method brings the benefits of EHEDG certified equipment within reach of food industries that process their food in open plant environments, such as meat, fish, and bakery companies. This method will enable food processing equipment developers to optimise their designs and support open food processing companies to mitigate food contamination risks.

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Across the globe, major food and beverage companies rely on EHEDG certified components to ensure the effectiveness of their cleaning-in-place efforts. By choosing EHEDG certified components, they optimise food safety, food quality, productivity, and sustainability of their closed food processing environments. The new OPC test method will also enable companies that apply equipment in open plant cleaning settings to assess the real world cleanability of their components exposed to exterior surfaces. Ultimately, the launch of this new OPC test method is also exciting news for food equipment component producers who supply open plant processing clients and want to obtain competitive advantages for their innovations. 


Where technology meets food industry needs

EHEDG developed the new OPC test method in collaboration with Fraunhofer Institute IVV (Germany), to comply with repeated requests by EHEDG Company Members for such a testing method. Since the method involves the use of a robotic arm, it currently allows EHEDG Authorised Testing Laboratories to test the external design features of machinery components with dimensions up to 0,6 x 0,6 x 0,6 m³. The first three EHEDG Authorised Testing Laboratories in Germany, France and Spain that offer the EHEDG OPC test method are willing to size up their testing capacity as soon as more requests to test bigger components start coming in.

 

Challenge of complexity
If there’s such a need for open plant cleaning tests, then why didn’t EHEDG develop such a method much earlier? Marc Mauermann, Deputy Director at Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV Dresden: ‘Developing a cleaning test method to assess the external cleanability of components proved to be a very complex undertaking, particularly because of the many test-result determining aspects involved, like the fluid dynamics, and the sheer variety of external surface designs. EHEDG tests typically consist of three stages: a soiling stage, a cleaning stage, and a cleaning validation stage. For this new test method, we had to approach these stages in completely new ways.’

Max Hesse, Group Leader Machinery and Process Development at Fraunhofer IVV: ‘If you design a test method for closed systems, the system boundaries define themselves just by the shape of the components that are being tested. So, when testing a pump for example, you apply pressure and adjust the mean velocity of flow, and of course the temperature of cleaning fluids, cleaning time and detergent solutions. With external cleaning however, you must consider much more, like: what kind of nozzle do I use? What spray angle? How many nozzles do I use? And how should the spray pattern move around the test object? We eventually managed to overcome all of these challenges by using an industrial robot arm that could perform a consistent, reliable, and reproducible test method.’

                                                          

Tracy Schonrock, EHEDG Executive Committee member and Co-Chair of the EHEDG Sub-Committee Product Portfolio: ‘EHEDG has wanted to close this gap for a long time, but we had to make sure that we’d do it in the right way, and we finally did. Besides Fraunhofer IVV in Germany, the EHEDG Testing Laboratories ACTALIA in France, and Technology and Innovation Centre AINIA in Spain, will also start offering this new EHEDG testing service. We are aiming to roll out the OPC test method across more EHEDG Authorised Testing Laboratories around the world in the coming years.’


Best guarantee to be food contamination-free

Hygienic design contributes to effective food safety management. That is why food and beverage companies all over the world adopt hygienic design. It is also why regulatory and legislative bodies are now starting to include hygienic design in their food safety standards and prerequisite programs. The new hygienic design benchmarking requirements, issued by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), represent another step towards an industry-wide acknowledgement of the importance of hygienic design.

EHEDG plays a central role in this development. Over the course of decades, dozens of hygienic design guideline documents have proven to be fundamental for an effective testing and certification of food processing equipment. EHEDG Hygienic Design Testing and Certification basically defines which components may rightfully be labelled as hygienic design, and which may not. Therefore, a new EHEDG test method for open plant cleaning equipment is more than just another service that EHEDG offers to the industry - it is a first step that will ultimately result in the further adoption of hygienic design in all food processing environments by the entire global food processing industry. <

    

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Our new website is live!

You may have noticed something different on www.ehedg.org. We are excited to announce the launch of EHEDG’s newly designed website: responsive, faster to load and providing a more user-friendly experience for our valued members and stakeholders, across all devices.

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Amongst the new features, the website contains integrated forms to improve communication with the EHEDG subject matter experts and the Head Office. You can for example submit a request for a specific guideline or topic to be developed, or express your interest in sharing your knowledge within a certain Working Group.

The information architecture has also been enhanced to align with the expectations of our users: our new website makes it in fact quicker and easier to learn about EHEDG’s product portfolio and services, and to feel involved with our vision and mission. And it is available in English, French, German and Spanish!

In the membership login area you can find a section called “Brand Identity” with our digital assets: a resource for you to produce all your business, communications and marketing collaterals and ensure they reflect our branding in cohesive way.

As our foundation grows and evolves, new or different features may be needed. Feel free to explore our website and share your feedback at office@ehedg.org 

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New EHEDG Guideline Document 51:

How to clean food processing tanks most effectively and efficiently? To answer this question, we first need to examine how our tanks are designed and constructed, because it’s the design of a tank that affects its cleaning potential, and consequently its effectiveness as a trustworthy part of a productive, safe and sustainable food processing line.

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It was this fundamental understanding of the interdependence between the hygienic design and cleaning aspects of tanks and vessels that made the members of the EHEDG Working Group Tank Cleaning decide to include both the design and the cleaning aspects of tanks and vessels into one comprehensive guideline document.

 





Hygienic Design Guideline Cluster

EHEDG Guideline Document 51 is part of a series of new EHEDG Guideline Documents that focus on this correlation between design characteristics and obtainable cleaning results, among recently published guidelines like EHEDG Guideline Document 50 on the Hygienic Design Requirements for Cleaning-In-Place (CIP) Installations, and EHEDG Guideline 45 on Cleaning Validation, Monitoring and Verification. This newest EHEDG Guideline Document 51 on the Hygienic Design Aspects for Tank and Vessel Cleaning in the food industry completes this guideline cluster, and is now also ready for download from the EHEDG website: www.ehedg.org/guidelines

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One guideline, various perspectives

EHEDG Guideline Document 51 is developed by experts who work in different areas of the food and food equipment industry, from hygienic design consultants and auditors to end-users of tanks who process different types of food products. The working group was also consulted by scientists who have performed extensive scientific research on the effectiveness of different types of tank cleaning. Last but not least, the working group also incorporated some of the largest tank cleaning machine vendors in Europe.

 

What differentiates tank cleaning from conventional CIP cleaning of pipe systems?

Bo Boye Busk Jensen, chair of the EHEDG Working Group Tank Cleaning, and R&D Engineer at Alfa Laval Tank Equipment: ‘This new EHEDG Guideline Document addresses one particular part of the CIP process:  the tanks that are used throughout the industry for various types of food processing. Compared to CIP cleaning of pipe systems, the CIP cleaning of tanks is more challenging, because it’s much more difficult to obtain a consistent mechanical force on the inner surfaces of tanks and vessels than on the inner walls of pipes, where it often suffices to pressurise the cleaning fluids to obtain effective cleaning results.’

 

So you need different cleaning actions and different cleaning mechanisms inside the tanks?

Jensen: ‘Yes. You could do it with static spray devices, where you pour water into the tanks and then it runs down the tank surfaces. You can also use more advanced tank cleaning technologies, and all this is also included in the guideline that we are making. And then also the soiling itself is more severe in the tank, often because you have dry and semi dry conditions, while in a pipe system it will probably always be fully flooded with the product and you don't have these interfaces between product and air where you get more soiling where the soil layer can dry onto the surfaces and when it gets dried to the surfaces then it's more difficult to remove.

 

You focus both on the design of the tank itself, and on the design and the cleaning of the tank cleaning devices inside the tanks. Why did you decide to combine those two into one guideline?

‘The idea has always been to not only focus on on tank design and not only on tank cleaning but to put them together in one guideline, because there is a big interaction between the tank cleaning machine and the design of the tank itself, and you can't really take one and not talk about the other one. So that's the main reason why we have kept the tank design in the guidelines for now. There's been some discussion if we should have pulled it out and should have made a parallel standard or guideline for tanks, but we decided to keep it in for now, because then we have everything in one place, and it has been a benefit in our discussions to have it all in one place, because then we could go back and forth and change some recommendations to the tank cleaning device, depending on our recommendation for the tank design, for example.’

 

Many different types of tanks are used in many different areas of the food industry. How did you approach the complexity of this topic?

‘We included a table that provides an overview of the different types of soils and soiling characteristics that we encounter, and that offers a matrix pointing to the relevant sections in the guideline document. The reader then determines the best suitable tank cleaning technology to clean a particular tank with a particular purpose based on volume flow, or on time or on total cost of ownership. The guideline covers six different methods for tank cleaning, ranging from simple fill-and-dump-cleaning up to more sophisticated types of cleaning, like burst cleaning.


What are the advantages of more sophisticated types of cleaning related to more simple ones like fill-and-dump? Are you also addressing that in your guideline?

‘Yes we do. Comparing fill-and-dump to burst cleaning reveals the wide scope of this guideline, and how combining different types of cleaning technologies can offer major productivity and sustainability benefits. To save on the cleaning liquid for example, you can conduct a  burst cleaning using any of the current tank cleaning device technologies that we have today: static devices or single-access devices or multi-access devices. You burst it using a limited amount of cleaning liquid, and then you let it rest there for two to five minutes to let the chemistry interact with the soil. The chemistry partly dissolves the soil and partly separates it from the surfaces. Then you add another burst, which will then run down the surfaces. You apply some chemistry, and combine that by removing the rest of the soil that has been loosened by the first burst of chemistry with a second burst cleaning action.’

 

Do you also address specific cleaning  issues, related to agitators, for example?

‘Yes, this guideline also addresses the cleaning of agitators, because if you have an agitator, you often also have to deal with shadow zones,  e.g. with surface areas in the tank that are difficult to reach for the agitator. We address different strategies to clean the agitators themselves, like letting it rotate slowly when you have a spray device that is spraying liquid onto it, or you can add spray devices beneath the agitator plate so that you can also clean the agitator from below.’

 

Besides focusing on food safety and food quality, various new EHEDG Guideline Documents also point to additional benefits of hygienic design, like the productivity and sustainability aspects. Does your guideline include those as well?

‘Yes, very much indeed. Optimising the effectiveness and efficiency of tank cleaning processes is the best and easiest way to significantly reduce water, energy and chemistry consumption. The potential savings are particularly high here because food processors can choose from a wide range of different tank cleaning technologies, that offer specialised ways for cleaning different types of tanks that are used for specific purposes. Many lightly soiled tanks can be cleaned quickly and effectively with just a static spray device for example, but the effectiveness of cleaning heavier soiled tanks can really benefit from more advanced tank cleaning devices that apply combinations of chemistry and mechanical force.’

 

What actual saving potentials can be realised by optimising tank cleaning?
'The potential savings are significant, and that’s supported by best industry practises throughout the industry that show evidence of water savings up to 70 to 75 percent and up to 50 percent of cleaning time reductions. This often results in productivity increases, since you save so much cleaning time, and in investment cuts as well, since you don't have to establish a parallel process line next to the one you already have in order to increase production.'

 

So, this guideline helps to improve on cleaning, as well as productivity and sustainability results?
‘Yes, it does.’

 

To download this guideline and put it into practice, please visit www.ehedg.org/guidelines.

 

 

 

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EHEDG President Ludvig Josefsberg:

On behalf of EHEDG, I thank you and your organisation for sharing your collective expertise in EHEDG Working Groups, Sub-Committees and Leadership Teams. Together, we add value to the food industry, while helping each other to be successful in the space of hygienic engineering and design. Please find in this message an overview of our plans and projects for 2022.

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During this pandemic, we have learned that we cannot take our health for granted. No wonder that we also see an increased focus on food safety, and consequently on the importance of hygienic engineering and design. The newly established GFSI Hygienic Design Benchmarking Requirements confirm that hygienic design plays a foundational role in delivering consistent food safety and quality. Furthermore, the industry now widely acknowledges that applying hygienic design can also contribute to productivity and sustainability gains.

 

To support its members with guidance on how to interpret, prepare for, and comply with the new GFSI requirements, EHEDG established a strategic collaboration with 3A-SSI and embraced the development and publication of Hygienic Design Benchmarking for Food Safety Management systems by the GFSI organisation. We will shortly issue a white paper to support the EHEDG members with guidance on how to interpret, implement and comply to these new HD benchmarking requirements. These kind of initiatives align with our objective to offer our members a consistently high membership value.


The how

How do we plan on going forward in 2022? EHEDG is committed to living up to its mission: to be the leading source of expertise in hygienic engineering and design.To further increase the EHEDG membership value, we will continue to professionalise our membership services. We have implemented clear performance objectives for our Head Office and instructed our Sub-Committees to initiate and deploy new projects and services within the EHEDG strategic framework. These new projects will offer our members better access to the wealth of combined expertise that EHEDG offers.

 

New projects  

Last year, we witnessed a low training activity - a direct effect of the pandemic related restrictions. To facilitate the deployment of our training modules, we decided to invest in an online training platform. We also plan to streamline our guideline document development processes to support our Working Groups and to comply to our five-year renewal cycle. This process optimisation enables EHEDG to issue 10-15 new and updated guideline document releases every year.

 

Initially, the implementation of the five-year renewal cycle for certification was a painful process, but it has now come up to speed, and today we have more active certificates than ever before, plus a solid backlog of certification requests. This illustrates that the revised EHEDG Certification Program is highly valued by our members.

 

And after last year’s successful pilot, we are currently inviting hygienic engineering and design experts to conduct a new set of freely accessible EHEDG Connects Webinars. We will also launch the new welcome kit that will help our new members to quickly find their ways around the EHEDG community.

 

As with regard to member events: we have decided to run the EHEDG World Congress every second even year, repeat the successful EHEDG Online Event from 2021 every second uneven year, and run a physical EHEDG Plenary Meeting every year. So, EHEDG is ready to organise a large EHEDG World Congress in München in October this year, which was originally scheduled for 2020. We express our appreciation for the loyalty shown by all sponsors for their continued support of this delayed event.

 

Additionally, we have decided to launch a loyalty recognition programme for EHEDG Company Members, distinguishing them as EHEDG Company Gold Members, as well as an EHEDG Honorary Member programme for individual volunteers that have actively contributed to EHEDG over a long period of time. Details of the loyalty recognition program will follow.

 

Behind the scenes

With the completed transition of the Head Office to the Netherlands, all operational support and office activities are now officially unlinked from the former VDMA offices and systems. This was a necessary step to comply with the legal requirements that apply to managing EHEDG as a non-profit ANBI-status foundation. The last step in this transition is the ongoing replacement of web shop functionality.

 

We will launch a redesigned four-language website in the second quarter of 2022. This updated website will offer a better user experience, with simplified navigation, enriched member data updates, and a better integration of back-office processes. Part of this process is to redirect all local EHEDG domains to ehedg.org, which will enable us to harmonise our communications in line with the EHEDG values. In other words: we are moving with the times, for your benefit, and we thank you for your patience and support.

 

Some changes in leadership

Frederik Wellendorph has left the EHEDG Advisory Board and is followed up by Holger Schmidt (Mettler-Toledo). Karl-Heinz Bahr has decided to step-down as the chair of the EHEDG Sub-Committee Communication. A process to find and appoint a new chair for this sub-committee is ongoing. Karl-Heinz has kindly offered to stay on until a replacement has been identified.

 

Wishing you all a healthy, safe and successful start of this new year,

 

EHEDG President Ludvig Josefsberg

 

 

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EHEDG Connects Industry Stories:

EHEDG offers various options to show share and show off your expertise. Click on read more for an overview. Do you work in marketing and communications and is your company an EHEDG member? Drop us a line with your contact information at: office@ehedg.org - include subject line: "MarCom Contact"

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The Networking Value of EHEDG
EHEDG Members open up to EHEDG Community

What's the best place to network? Press play and find out. Interview with Maria Francheteau, Communications Department Manager at EHEDG Company Member Polysoude S.A.S. Do you work in marketing and communications and is your company an EHEDG member? Drop us a line with your contact information at: office@ehedg.org - include subject line: "MarCom Contact" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAXc3GSzS_s



EHEDG Connects Polls
Monthly statements for online discussion

Once every month EHEDG Connects publishes a statement related to hygienic engineering and design. EHEDG members (and not-yet-members) are invited to share their opinions and their practical experiences on the EHEDG company page on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ehedg

 

Ask an EHEDG ExpertEHEDG subject matter experts answer questions related to hygienic engineering and design. Follow EHEDG on LinkedIn, Youtube and Twitter to stay connected and find all previous episodes on: www.ehedg.org/connects

 

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EHEDG Guideline Documents

Several EHEDG Working Groups completed their new guideline document updates this year. The new EHEDG Guideline Documents will soon be freely available for EHEDG members via the EHEDG.org website. In the meantime, check out this article series on EHEDG Guideline development with various EHEDG Working Group Chairs: issuu.com/ehedg/docs/ehedg_connects_magazine_edition_3/26

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In conjuction with new EHEDG Certification and EHEDG Training and Education offerings, the new guidelines raise the EHEDG Membership Value, illustrated in the EHEDG Membership Value Wheel. Also check out the new EHEDG Guideline Document Search Engine on: www.ehedg.org/guidelines

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14th EHEDG Plenary Meeting

On the 20th and 21st October, more than 70 delegates representing the EHEDG Foundation Board, Advisory Board, Executive Committee, Sub-Committees, Regional Sections and Head Office attended the 14th Plenary Meeting, which was delivered in a hybrid in-person and virtual model due to ongoing worldwide Covid-19 restrictions.

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The main purpose of this meeting was to present the organisational strategic direction, share the latest projects, developments, achievements but also portfolio gaps and challenges, introduce and welcome new EHEDG colleagues, and bid farewell to old ones too. The participants had in fact the opportunity to say goodbye to Piet Steenaard, who ‘retired’ from his role as EHEDG Treasurer – a position that he has diligently and passionately covered for almost three decades.

For his longstanding and meritorious service not only to our foundation but also to the community, Piet was awarded an honorary knighthood of the Dutch order of chivalry of Orange-Nassau, which dates back to 1892. The prestigious title was bestowed by the mayor of Almere Franc Weerwind, on behalf of the King of the Netherlands. In an intimate ceremony Piet was joined by his family, long-time friends and colleagues, from the different associations he has been involved in, as a volunteer in the last 50 years...

 

Picture: Piet Steenaard, proudly wearing the insignia of Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau, with at his side his wife Ada. 

 

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EHEDG Brand

We noticed that the EHEDG brand is not consistently represented across offline and online channels and platforms. There are many deviations from the official logo that should be discouraged, to safeguard the recognition, brand value and trustworthy reputation of EHEDG. As we aim at retaining the core identity and the integrity of our foundation, we opted for a brand refresh: a makeover, rather than a total transformation, that calls for an updated logo and other design components.

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EHEDG Brand

We are refreshing our visual identity!

 


Refreshed look. Same vision and mission.

We didn’t start over. We kept the most recognisable and important elements to align with our history and culture, to whom we are and what we stand for. To ensure consistency and support EHEDG recognition in the marketplace.

The outline that we introduced around the logo captures the mission we’re relentlessly committed to: be the leading source of hygienic engineering expertise, and enhance food safety and quality across the whole industry.



 

Branding guidelines.

In order for a logo and other brand elements to be effective, they need to be used cohesively.

We have created a practical guide that translates our organisation’s mission, vision and values into visual design. A resource for you to produce all your business, communications and marketing collaterals and ensure they reflect our branding when it comes to colour palettes, typography, text positioning, proportions and so on.

Manual and visuals will be available for download by mid-November. Just access your EHEDG dashboard using your credentials and head to the folder ‘Brand Identity’.

 

A phased roll-out.

We do not expect the migration from the old to the refreshed logo to happen overnight. To remain budget conscious while maintaining our new brand standards, we ask that you please begin phasing out the use of the old logo based on the below timeline. Questions? Feel free to reach out to us at officeProtected mail-address@ehedg.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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EHEDG President Ludvig Josefsberg:

‘We are living in times of great change’. This message was expressed in various keynote speeches during the EHEDG Online Event 2021. After an era of globalisation, and now recently a global pandemic, many industries find themselves confronted with new demands for safer, more sustainable, and less wasteful processes. Consumers and investors demand full accountability for the environmental impact of industrial activities, and new legislative rules raise the bar for sustainable success and create new level playing fields in various sectors. The food industry, being one of the biggest sectors in the world, is called to lead by example. That’s why we continue to advance towards rising standards in food safety, food quality, productivity, and sustainability, while minimising food waste, energy consumption, and the daily usage of water and cleaning chemicals.

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EHEDG Membership Value

EHEDG can play a pivotal role in these challenging times, because educating yourself and investing in hygienic engineering and design offers many opportunities to optimise food production. With its 600+ EHEDG Members, representing leading food processing companies, machine producers and academic institutes around the world, I feel that EHEDG has a special obligation, and capability, to support its members in the most practical ways. That is why I am convinced that EHEDG needs to continue to invest in developing its product offering to further increase the value of your EHEDG Membership.

 

 

 


EHEDG Certification

We know why food processing companies prefer to invest in EHEDG certified components: they don’t want to worry about the cleanability of their food processing lines. We also know that there is a growing demand for certified systems and complete production lines. The EHEDG Testing Laboratories are currently very well equipped to physically test and certify components, but we need to expand our joint activities in this area quickly. The recently developed new testing method, that is applied in the testing of the external cleanability of open process equipment, is a small but good step in the right direction. The newly established GFSI benchmarking requirements will further force the industry to adapt to secure the primary goal of food safety management systems: food safety will always be our main priority, and that’s why we must make sure that every single EHEDG certification scheme is always firmly grounded in relevant EHEDG Guideline Documents.        

 

EHEDG Guideline Development

With the need for more flexible, scalable, and productive food processes comes the need for more process oriented EHEDG Guidelines. That is why the expert volunteers of the EHEDG Working Groups started developing guidelines dedicated to specific food process categories. The first results can be downloaded from the EHEDG Website. EHEDG will continue to develop hygienic engineering and design guidelines that meet the evolving practical needs of the food industry.

 

EHEDG Guideline Documents contain the current expert consensus on hygienic design directives. Following the rapidly growing industry demands to optimise not only food safety and quality, but also productivity and sustainability, we will need to broaden the scope of the EHEDG Guideline Documents. This cannot be done overnight, as there are many EHEDG Guideline Documents in place, but future EHEDG Working Group requirements will have to reflect this transition.

 

EHEDG Training & Education 

The pandemic reminded us that we need to rapidly expand our online training offer. Since online training doesn’t require participants to travel, and is therefore also more affordable for all concerned, it will allow even more food industry workers around the globe to increase the knowledge about hygienic engineering and design, and level up their performances within their own working environments.

 

The challenges that EHEDG faces are not only related to the technical education platform, but also to the certain limitations of online training and education. Being able to physically touch and components is an important benefit of real-life courses. That’s why we are investigating options to set up a hybrid training and education course environment that combines online training with a hands-on training experience.

 

EHEDG Networking

EHEDG Certification, EHEDG Guidelines and EHEDG Training & Education have always been considered the major membership offerings of an EHEDG Membership. I would like to add that the invaluable EHEDG Networking should be considered as the fourth EHEDG Membership offering. More and more food and food equipment industry professionals and scientists have joined online EHEDG Working Group meetings and were able to connect with each other via our social media channels. Currently almost 9000 professionals can be contacted directly via our LinkedIn-page now (www.linkedin.com/company/ehedg).

Networking, connecting and sharing knowledge is all about engagement. EHEDG wants to offers its members more opportunities to connect, so we currently evaluate a communication platform that will help you to quickly find trustworthy answers to practical hygienic design related questions. Of course, this initiative can only be successful with your support and engagement. I therefore invite you to share your best industry practices with all of us, so that we can all learn from each other’s’ experiences. Just drop us a message at
office@ehedg.org and our communication team will be happy to turn your experiences into stories that inspire others and that highlights your company as a leading member driving positive change and innovation. 

EHEDG Hygienic Design Strategy

EHEDG unites experts from all areas and levels of the food industry and academia, and they all share a universal sense of obligation to further advance food safety, quality, productivity, and sustainability. EHEDG has been doing that for 30 years, but we are now living in times of extraordinary change. The new GFSI Hygienic Design Benchmarking Requirements (Document JI & JII) have the potential to result in new legislative enforcement that will drive companies on all levels of the food supply chain to adopt and apply hygienic design.

Simultaneously, tougher demands by food consumers and food industry investors will accelerate the need for sustainable processing, and hygienic design is a key element of being able to comply with those demands. I invite you to look into this
EU document about Best Available Technologies for Pollution Prevention & Control (Sustainability), particularly page 119: https://eippcb.jrc.ec.europa.eu/reference/food-drink-and-milk-industries.


Let there be no doubt about it: the research results, gathered in real industry situations, proof that investing in hygienic design leads to major savings in cleaning time, water and chemical use and equally significant productivity gains. In other words: investing in hygienic engineering and design is the most effective investment strategy for sustainable success. At EHEDG, we will continue to support you along the way. 

 

With best regards,

EHEDG President Ludvig Josefsberg

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Cleaning Validation in the Food Industry

EHEDG is about to publish a comprehensive hygienic design guideline dedicated exclusively to cleaning validation. Chair of the EHEDG Working Group Cleaning Validation Hui Zhang (Unilever): ‘Everyone involved in food processing who wants to strengthen the reliability of their cleaning validation processes can put this guideline to good use. It will help to tackle cleaning challenges and minimise contamination risks.’ After publishing this guideline, EHEDG will include the topic of Cleaning Validation in its training program in order to further support medium and small companies to optimise their cleaning validation processes. Please also read the article below.

 

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The Working Group Chair:

Hui Zhang currently works as a Quality Expert for the Unilever Global Quality Group. Her focus area is hygienic design, cleaning and disinfection. Before she started her job at Unilever, she obtained her master’s degree in molecular plant science at Leiden University. As the chair of the working group Cleaning Validation, consisting of multidisciplinary experienced experts, her main responsibility is to provide leadership and facilitate the process of the guideline development, from drafting towards completion. She also serves as the first point of contact when people have feedback, technical questions or any comments about the contents of the guideline.

  

The Working Group Members 

The members of this working group work at diverse companies, from manufacturers of foods and food raw materials, via manufacturers of cleaning and disinfection chemicals to machinery manufacturers and consultancy companies that provide food hygiene services and hygiene solutions. 

 

What are the basic criteria which food processing companies should apply to determine the correct degree of cleaning validation, specifically enhanced cleaning validation?

Hui Zhang: ‘The primary criteria of cleaning validation is visual cleanliness. In addition, acceptance criteria should be set up based on food safety requirements, like pathogens, allergens etc; or based on product quality requirement, like spoilage organisms, colour or other appearance attributes of the finished product etc.. It should be product-specific or product group specific, considering the worst-case product. From the operational point view, when people take the sample on the product contact surface after cleaning and disinfection, the acceptance criteria may be expressed as maximum limits for the amount of residual on the surface, for example in microgram per square cm for organic matter, or CFU colony forming unit per cm² for target microorganisms. When taking samples from the rinse medium after cleaning, the criteria may also be expressed as the maximum limits of residual in the ‘rinsing fluid’ for example in µg/mL for organic matter or allergens, or in CFU per mL from microorganisms etc..’

  

What are the differences between validation, monitoring and verification, and how do they relate to each other?

‘These three activities are intimately related with each other. Cleaning validation is a process of obtaining evidence that the cleaning program is effective and delivers consistently the predefined results when predefined cleaning processes are conducted. Typically, it answers the question: does my cleaning procedure work? Monitoring is performed during every cleaning procedure. It includes a planned sequence of observations, measurements, records of control parameters, to assess whether the cleaning procedure is performing within specifications. Monitoring activities are typically “real-time” measurements during cleaning, and it answers the question: is it working? Verification determines that the control parameters have been implemented as intended. Verification occurs during or after the cleaning procedure through a variety of activities, including observation of monitoring activities and review of records. Typically, it answers the question: did it work?

  

What are currently the main challenges with regard to cleaning validation?  

‘While everyone in the food industry agrees that cleaning validation is critical to guarantee the consumer safety and product quality, there is still a knowledge gap about how to conduct cleaning validation correctly and effectively.  Substandard cleaning validation may put the safety of our consumers at risk; on the other hand, taking an extremely conservative approach is also unnecessary, time consuming and creates impractical demands on resources.’

 

What is the scope of this guideline, what’s new and what is not included?

‘This guideline provides the overall concept, a master plan of cleaning validation. The Master plan is a structured approach with step-by-step guidance to complete the cleaning validation. Particularly, I would like to mention that this guideline provides a template of cleaning validation protocol and record, which is a new element in the EHEDG Guideline. We give clear instructions on how to use the template and what should be filled. I hope users can easily follow the protocol to establish their own validation, monitoring and verification programs. This guideline provides general advice and does not cover specific validation programs for a specific product.’

  

Is this guideline also valuable for big companies like Unilever that have their cleaning validation practices firmly in place? 

‘EHEDG is a great platform for companies to exchange knowledge and experiences with each other. All member companies can benefit from the extensive professional network of the EHEDG organisation, regardless of the business size. During the development stage of this guideline, we shared our practical experience with each other. After publication of the guideline, EHEDG will include Cleaning Validation in its training program and will help medium and small companies to build up their capability through training courses. After publishing this guideline, EHEDG will include the topic of Cleaning Validation in its training program to further support medium and small companies that want to optimise all of their cleaning validation processes.’ 

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Safe food, smart processing, sound investment

In my role as EHEDG President, one of my responsibilities is to enable this organisation to adapt to the evolving needs of the food industry. The EHEDG Advisory Board supports me and the other members of the EHEDG leadership team in this regard. The board members speak on behalf of food producers and food equipment manufacturers that strive for excellence in performance in food safety and quality, as well as in productivity and sustainability, through hygienic engineering and design.

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Safe food, smart processing, sound investment  

  

Driven by the daily practical challenges faced by the food supply chain, EHEDG continues to offer hands-on support through its membership offerings, powered by our widely applied Guideline Documents. Check out the interviews in this newsletter with Hui Zhang and Dirk Nikoleiski, who chair the two EHEDG Working Groups that have recently published new EHEDG Guideline Documents. These guidelines are also foundations for our certification schemes, and the training and education programs. 

 

 

Membership must be value-adding

 

EHEDG membership benefits are essential tools to enable our Company Members to swiftly adapt to new food trends without compromising on food safety. Regardless of the wide variety in taste preferences, we all expect our food and beverages to be safe to consume. That’s why our main mission is to effectively contribute to global food safety by providing guidance in hygienic engineering and design. However, the fact that choosing hygienic design can also yield benefits in food quality, productivity and sustainability is a great bonus, which value should not be underestimated. 

 

Investing in hygienic engineering and design is the smartest choice that any food company, big or small, can ever make. That’s why EHEDG continues to grow consistently, with new members joining from all over the globe. During the this first half year alone, we registered 37 new member applications (27 of which are processed so far). We welcome them all, big and small, as EHEDG is a great community for all companies that want to learn and share expertise.

 

It is also important to remind ourselves of our history and acknowledge those we owe our success to. Thus, we are currently evaluating how we can adequately show our recognition and gratitude to long term members and consistent personal contributions. We expect to implement a program for this in 2022.

 

Events, plans and collaborations

We are happy to see that the Covid-19 epidemic slowly loses its paralysing grip on our global community. That’s why we are optimistic to plan our global online EHEDG Online Event in September and our Plenary Meeting scheduled for October. These we expect to be a combination of digital and real-life events. The EHEDG World Congress in Munich, that has been postponed twice since 2020, will finally take place in October 2022. 

 

Meanwhile, we continue to strengthen the close collaborations with like-minded organisations like 3A and GFSI. The new GFSI Hygienic Benchmarking Requirements are expected to significantly boost the demand for hygienic engineering and design, and that’s why our Hygienic Design Benchmarking Support (HDBS) project, with the aim of developing guidance and training on benchmarking and risk assessment, is so vital. The first outcomes of this initiative are expected during the second half of this year.

 

P.S. At EHEDG, we all work on a voluntary basis, but we also need to fulfil our responsibilities as a societal non-profit foundation. Therefore, allow me to address those few EHEDG members that, even after having received several reminding notices, still lag behind in their membership fee payments. Our policy states that members that have not fulfilled their payments for two consecutive years will be cancelled. In the interest of transparency and fairness to members that fulfil their obligations, we have as of 2021 started to implement this policy.

 

With best regards, 

Ludvig Josefsberg

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EHEDG President’s Quarterly Update

In this first EHEDG Quarterly Update of the year, I like to update you on the current developments at EHEDG, which mark the completion of recruitment of new staff, the transition of operations from Germany to the Netherlands, as well as the initiation of a strategic move forward, aimed at further increasing the EHEDG membership value.

 

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Transition project

On January 1, 2021, the new EHEDG Head Office in Naarden (The Netherlands) took over all operational tasks and responsibilities from the former EHEDG Secretariat in Frankfurt (Germany). As of now, all matters related to the daily operational aspects of EHEDG should be addressed to the new EHEDG Operations Director Adwy van den Berg and his team in Naarden. The new EHEDG employees have been introduced to the EHEDG Advisory Board and the EHEDG Executive Committee, as well as to the global EHEDG community. 


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Thanks to the constructive support offered by the departing team members in Frankfurt, we succeeded in bringing the transition to a full completion as scheduled and within budget. In 2021, we will further enhance the new financial, data management and back office systems. Making use of upgraded tools will further improve EHEDG membership support services. New logo variations will distinguish long-term EHEDG Company Members and volunteers who, over the years, have contributed significantly to EHEDG.            

 

Organisation

EHEDG implemented a new election procedure to secure continuity in the Foundation and Advisory Boards. The transparent digital election process resulted in four newly elected members supplementing the EHEDG Advisory Board, and one new member joining the EHEDG Foundation Board. 

 

On behalf of EHEDG, I want to express my sincere gratitude to all the departing EHEDG Advisory and Foundation Board Members for their invaluable contribution, especially to Piet Steenard, who decided to retire as Treasurer & Secretary after more than 25 years of dedicated service. His post will be taken over by former Advisory Board member Matilda Freund. A change in the Executive Committee shall be noted by Hein Timmerman taking over the chairmanship of the EHEDG Product Portfolio Sub-Committee from Dr. Peter Golz, who kindly agreed to continue supporting the Sub-Committee for at least the remainder of 2021. The long-term service and continued support by Peter is greatly appreciated! In the coming weeks, we will introduce all new key people via our social media channels.

 

Strategic alignment

In 2020, we started a process of strategic alignment, based on the established mission and vision statements. The purpose of the alignment is to make sure that the development of EHEDG products and services are adequately aimed at continuously improving the EHEDG membership value. 

 

Under the direction of the newly installed EHEDG Head Office team, a member survey was conducted among EHEDG Company Members. The outcome indicates that besides food safety and food quality aspects of hygienic engineering and design, our members are particularly interested in gaining new insights in the factual productivity and sustainability benefits of hygienic engineering and design. It also revealed that small and medium sized food processing companies are lacking a clear value proposition from EHEDG. In particular, there is a perceived gap, according to the SME´s, between our general hygienic design guidelines and the SME´s capability of practical application on the work floor. The survey provides important direction to future EHEDG portfolio developments, support and communication activities.      

 

Collaborations      

In the world of EHEDG, everything revolves around establishing fruitful connections between professionals on all levels and from all areas of the food supply chain. By joining forces, we can better meet our professional and societal duties to contribute to safe food production. The close collaboration between EHEDG, 3A SSI and the food industry, and the new Hygienic Benchmarking Requirements of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), are great examples of this. A new Hygienic Design Benchmarking Support (HDBS) project is in execution within EHEDG, with the aim of developing guidance and training on benchmarking and risk assessment, facilitating the certification of production facilities. The first outcomes of this initiative are expected before the end of this year.

 

EHEDG is ready to advance, so I encourage you to connect and work together, so we can successfully serve our great common cause together. Thank you for your attention.   

 

 

With best regards, 

EHEDG President Ludvig Josefsberg    

 

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Winning assembly in hygienic pipe couplings

In food-processing, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry process environments, piping is used for many purposes, from gas and fluid distribution to cleaning/steaming in place, filtration or heat exchange. All these networks require the execution of numerous manifolds, among which many T-joints. These manifolds are usually manufactured from stainless steel, following the recommendations of EHEDG Guideline Document 8 - “The construction materials must also be corrosion-resistant, non-toxic, mechanically stable, and their surface finish must not be adversely affected under the conditions of intended use”.

 

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Another leading guideline is the ASME BPE standard, which advocates the use of 300 series stainless steel, and more specifically 316L. Indeed, for hygienic applications, 316L stainless steel is cleanable, cold-formable and contains 2 to 3% of molybdenum, which significantly increases its resistance to corrosion.

 

For the execution of branches, there are three principal methods:

- The installation of pipes on holes drilled in the manifold (Fig. 1 and 2)

- The installation of T-joints on lengths of pipe (Fig. 3)
- The forming of the branch connections directly from the run pipe (T-DRILL method) (Fig. 4)

 

Fig. 1: Drilled holes

Fig. 2: Fish-mouth connection


 

Fig. 3: Welded T-Joints

 

 

 

Fig. 4: Extruded collar (Source: T-Drill) 

 



For pipes of a thickness of even up to 12,7 mm, the best and most effective method of manufacture of these manifolds consists of mechanically (T-DRILL) forming the branch connections directly on the run piping. This minimises the need for welding, which also minimises the possible locations of leaks or locations susceptible to trapping contaminants. If an additional polishing of the pipes at the welded points is required, it is more effective with mechanically formed branch connection, since there is minimum amount of butt welded and perfectly perpendicular connections.

 

In the field of the installation of pipes over hole, there are so-called “fish mouth” connections (Fig. 2).


Although the “fish mouth” connection has been the most widely used method for a very long time, it is nowadays the one which presents the greatest risks with regard to hygiene. Indeed, the shape is complex when it comes to welding and, for reasons of productivity, manual welding is widely employed. This method, even with the best manual welder, cannot guarantee a smooth, clean weld bead at the most tortuous areas. Moreover, this shape presents areas where cleaning becomes uncertain.

 

Where possible, one of the most effective methods consists of elliptical hole milling, mechanically extruding or shaping (collaring) the branch connection and trimming the face of the extruded portion, all without having to move the pipe. After many years, it is accepted that automatic orbital welding is the most recommendable solution for assembly due to the quality of the result, the gains in production, and the fact that it meets all the requirements of High Purity.

 

Fig. 6: Equipment for mechanical extruding and collaring of tubes


 

 

Another common aspect of these industries is that their systems are manufactured from polished austenitic stainless-steel pipe, generally assembled by autogenous butt welding or by fusion. When executed correctly, and when the sulphur content of the elements is very similar, this type of weld produces a highly solid join, with no cracks or porosity which might trap elements susceptible to subsequently contaminating the product. It might be necessary, in the field of Ultra-High Purity, to carry out an electropolish in order to optimise the flow.

 

To ensure correct assembly, a number of characteristics inherent to the execution of these manifolds with extruded holes must also be taken into consideration. Mechanically forming the branch connection systematically involves a very slight ovalisation which must always be included in the normalised values of the orbital welding.

 

Extrusion also involves some reduction in the thickness of the mechanically formed branch outlet; this is perfectly known and under control, depending directly on the ratio between the diameter of the branch and the diameter of the manifold. Knowing that the more similar the run and branch tube diameters are, the more important the thinning of the wall is, a ratio close to 2 is generally used to optimise the result of the assembly.

 

The height of the collars thus formed is determined by the material used, its elongation and the dimensions/ratio of the run and branch pipes. Typically, the collar height varies between 2 and 20 mm between the small and large pipe dimensions. This height is of course altered by the operation of trimming the face to guarantee an optimal contact surface with the branch pipe. It has been experienced that with the height of the mechanically formed collar it is perfectly possible to carry out the assembly via orbital TIG welding.

 

Of course, the height of the collars implies that in certain cases the welding head should feature specific equipment. It must have a system which tilts or skews the electrode to position it in the area to be welded, ensuring an effective gas shield in order to prevent any oxidation. According to the type of heads used, the gas shield will be either in a closed space (Fig. 7) or by diffusion (Fig. 8).

 

Fig. 7: Orbital TIG welding with a closed chamber welding head


 

 

Fig. 8: Orbital TIG welding with an open type welding head with shield gas diffuser



 

Evidently, an additional precaution, whichever type of head is used, will be to implement a gas system on the other side to prevent any oxidation of the internal weld bead as well. Nowadays, welding generators are equipped with dialogue systems which enable the selection of the best operating method according to various parameters such as the diameters implemented, the materials, etc. Assisted programming favours weld quality. Division into welding areas facilitates mastery of the weld pool in every respect, and more specifically, its position, its thickness and its shape within the joint.

 

In conclusion, technical breakthroughs and technological innovations in the mastery of welding materials and procedures currently guarantee the quality of products and installations while improving productivity. Mechanically shaping the collars on the manifolds minimises the number of secondary welds and operations, reduces the quantity of T-joints purchased and is perfectly compatible with an orbital TIG-welding equipment, ensuring weld repeatability in complete safety.

 

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EHEDG Sub-Committee Communication Team:

We are the EHEDG Communication Team. We support EHEDG Working Groups with communication services.

Two years ago, we embarked on a venture to increase the visibility of the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group, to reach a wider audience of food industry stakeholders. Want to know where we are heading? Tap on 'read more' to learn more about our EHEDG communication support services, and connect with us on LinkedIn to start benefitting from it: www.linkedin.com/company/ehedg

 

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We set up online communication platforms, developed magazines, brochures and leaflets, and we started publishing articles, video reports and interviews on the EHEDG website, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube channels. By now, we've managed to reach our first goal: attract a high-quality group of industry food and food safety industry professionals for our publications. The group of food industry professionals that follows EHEDG online keeps on growing steadily, from 200 when we started out to the current 6500 food processing and food processing equipment professionals that are eager to hear what EHEDG has to say about hygienic engineering and design. So now is the time to share your knowledge and views, in EHEDG Working Groups, and on our EHEDG Publication Platforms. Welcome in the golden era of hygienic design!

Questions to answer
EHEDG wants to be a lively community that actively promotes the benefits of hygienic design by offering hands-on support to the industry. That’s why our next goal is to actively connect food industry stakeholders with EHEDG subject matter experts. In the coming years, we plan to find new ways to unpack the wealth of expertise available within this growing expert community, and we need your support to do so successfully. Our audience is looking for practical answers to practical questions about hygienic engineering and design - questions like: what level of hygienic design do I need for my application? How do I reach that level? Where do I start? How do I apply the guidelines, certification and training offerings to optimise the food safety, productivity and sustainability of my food processes? If you can provide clear answers to these questions, contact us. If you can share best practices that illustrate the value of hygienic design, contact us. If you are passionate about a new innovation that can help EHEDG members to move forward, contact us at: editorialProtected mail-address@ehedg.org.

Where do you fit in?
Did you contribute to an EHEDG Guideline Document and could you help an equipment manufacturer to apply that guideline in an engineering process? Why not share your expertise in one of our future Q&A sessions? Or are you an EHEDG Authorised Trainer who can lead an online masterclass for food producers striving to optimise their operations and maintenance results? Why not let us know how you apply hygienic engineering and design? Send your contact info to editorial@ehedg.org and we might well be able to connect you with your future audience. 

Supporting Working Groups and Sub-Committees
The EHEDG Sub-Com Communication Team currently offers a set of communication services for EHEDG Working Groups that are about to publish a new guideline update. These existing efforts are aimed at generating interest and media exposure for the new guideline documents, so that more food industry stakeholders take notice of the practical value of each new official EHEDG Guideline Document. We now plan to expand this communication support by connecting food industry stakeholders with EHEDG subject matter experts who can answer their practical questions. Simultaneously, we are developing an editorial support service for all active EHEDG Working Groups to free them from the burden of tedious word-smithery, which often consumes big portions of the working group meetings. By making use of this editorial support during the guideline development process, the working group members can focus entirely on discussing the actual contents of their guideline. We expect this to significantly speed up the guideline development processes. Last but not least, we actively support the other EHEDG Sub- Committees (EHEDG Sub-Committee Regional Development and EHEDG Sub-Committee Product Portfolio) in their communication activities.

Future steps: new communication goals and projects
In the coming years, we continue to show to a growing audience that EHEDG helps to make smarter engineering, design and investment decisions for improving food safety, food quality, productivity, sustainability, and consequently the profitability of industrial food processing. We will deliver hands-on, practical information and provide communication support for a number of projects, like the development of new online training modules, new publication materials, online expert platforms, and a more user-friendly EHEDG website. A guideline search engine to unlock the valuable information in the EHEDG Guideline Documents effectively is also in progress of being developed.

We are happy to contribute to the important societal mission of EHEDG to support food safety, food quality, productivity and sustainability, and to present EHEDG to the world as the leading expertise community in hygienic engineering and design. To do that effectively, we need your support, your expertise and your engagement. The first step is to get in touch with, so please do so, by sending us an email at: editorial@ehedg.org. We are happy to connect.

With best regards,

EHEDG Sub-Committee Communication
Cristina Annoni, Lammert Baas, Claudia Baenen, Karl-Heinz Bahr, Bengt Eliasson, Michael Evers, Susanne Flenner, Rob Groot, Kees van de Watering.  

Please feel free to connect with us via LinkedIn: 
www.linkedin.com/company/ehedg


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Ask an Expert: hygienic validation of closed food processing

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

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

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

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

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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