Food safety stories - learning from mistakes
EHEDG Connects Webinar 'Food Safety Stories: learning from mistakes', by Peter Overbosch: June 2 at 11 a.m. CET > Register here > In this EHEDG Connects Webinar, Peter Overbosch shares food safety stories collected in a new book publication titled 'Short food safety stories - a collection of real life experiences'. This is a 1 hour webinar, starting with a 30 minute presentation, followed up by a 30 minute live Q&A session. The short stories are written, edited and compiled by Peter Overbosch (former Vice-President Quality at METRO AG, Director Quality EU at Kraft/Mondelēz International, VP Quality Nabisco, and Head Food Quality Assurance Group at Unilever), Yasmine Motarjemi (former Corporate Food Safety Manager at Nestlé, Assistant Vice President and Senior Scientist in the World Health Organization) and Huub Lelieveld (former EHEDG President and current President of the Global Harmonization Initiative, served on the Governing Council of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) and was Chair of the IFT Nonthermal Processing Division and International divisions of Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)

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EHEDG Global Expansion

EHEDG welcomes EHEDG New Zealand

On occasion of the EHEDG Plenary Meeting 2018 held in London, the Bylaws with EHEDG New Zealand were proudly signed.

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EHEDG welcomed David Lowry (Managing Director Lowry Food Consulting Ltd.) at its Plenary Meeting in London, where the Regional Bylaws with New Zealand were signed with the EHEDG Foundation Board. David Lowry will soon start up by establishing a Regional Committee and is full of enthusiasm to spread the word about EHEDG at the other end of the world. If you are interested in the future activities of EHEDG New Zealand, please contact Dave@lowryfc.co.nz.

Ludvig Josefsberg (EHEDG President), David Lowry (representative of new EHEDG Regional Section New Zealand), Andrés Pascual (Chair of SubCom Regional Development), Piet Steenaard (EHEDG Treasurer)

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EHEDG centralizes certification processes

Securing validity of certificates and preserving level playing fields

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

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

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

How does this centralised certification and recertification process work?

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

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

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

Is everything going according to plan up to now?

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

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

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

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Guidelines Pasteurisation & Sterilisation

EHEDG Guideline 1 & 6 ready for download

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

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

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

So what’s new?

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

Do these renewed guidelines cover everything we must know?


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

You mentioned energy efficiency. How sustainable is hygienic design?


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

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


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

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


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

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Contemporary Communications

EHEDG Sub-Committe Communications invites

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

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Improving online presence of EHEDG

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 easy steps  to a higher social media exposure for EHEDG 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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