EHEDG Connects Webinar "Cleaning and Disinfection"
EHEDG launches a new series of free EHEDG Connects Webinars. On February 22 at 4 p.m. CET, EHEDG Working Group Cleaning & Disinfection Chair Dirk Nikoleiski (Food Safety Director at EHEDG Company Member Commercial Food Sanitation) shares his expertise on cleaning & disinfection in food manufacturing. His presentation will be followed up by a 30-minute live Q&A session. Register here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6203211936112170327

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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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EHEDG Guideline Document 50 on CIP now ready for download!

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

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EHEDG Guideline Fish Processing

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

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

 

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

 

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

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


Why did it take until now to develop this guideline?

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


Who should read this guideline?

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

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EHEDG President's Quarterly Message

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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New EHEDG Guideline 'Hygienic Design and Application of Sensors'

Sensors can offer great benefits for inline quality control, but they must be designed and applied as described in the new EHEDG Guideline Document 37 'Hygienic Design and Application of Sensors'. Working group chairman Holger Schmidt invites you to join his group and contribute to a follow-up guideline aimed at sensor suppliers, and builders of food processing plants and food processing machines.

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The European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG) has just published a comprehensive hygienic design guideline  (EHEDG Guideline Document 37) dedicated to the hygienic design of sensors. 

 

Chair of the Working Group Sensors, Holger Schmidt (Baumer): ‘Sensor technology is emerging to become the single most important driving innovation in optimizing food safety.’

 

This new guideline covers all food contact processes, including wet, dry, and powder, focusing on the product contact area of the sensor. Aside from the certified sensor itself, it is just as important to ensure hygienic integration into the process. This document will help define those hygienic requirements and provide guidance on how to use them.

 

Schmidt: ‘There is a trend over the last several years towards more automation, which in turn requires more information out of the processes, so the sensors are gaining importance.’ Without widespread use of sensors, food producers cannot expect to remain competitive. Sensors now allow for inline quality controls which enable adjustment during the ongoing process. Inline quality controls enable producers to maintain the corridor they’ve pre-defined for their production. Development is always a match of interests. Therefore, working in a group like this Working Group 37 helps not only sensor suppliers, but also enables the end users to get an insight of what is to come and to ensure that what is developed matches their requirements.’ 

 

A primary aim of the Working Group 37 was to support automation in a way that the process itself does not suffer and that end users are supported in utilizing the equipment, while still getting the signals they need for quality improvement and sustainability. This process requires a sensor that is installed the right way and supplies a high quality signal whenever needed. Therefore, a strong focus was placed on a customer and user-centric setup of the guideline that gets into the nitty gritty of dealing with the different technologies in process automation sensors. 

 

This new document provides a practical guideline to choose and install sensors according to the hygienic requirement of the application. EHEDG Guideline Document 37 also helps to define the hygienic requirements for the sensors and offers guidance for how to use them. 3D drawings display critical or interesting hotspots in the sensor design requiring access. 

 

A subsequent guideline is in process for the designers and developers, as well as for sensor base plant, and machine builders. The combined knowhow of the three groups allows for the development of another valuable new guideline to supply the best usability and assist the industry. Schmidt: ‘Both guidelines serve the basic aim of EHEDG: to improve the industry.’ 

 

Contributors:

EHEDG Guideline Document 37 is developed with the contributions of a variety of stakeholders and professionals who are experienced in optimising machinery and signals. The team consisted of experts from sensor manufacturers, automation specialists, processors, valve, meter and pump manufacturers, as well as flow and controls. This wide spectrum of professionals enables the end users to make use of this guideline with great confidence.

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Basic Cleaning and Disinfection Principles for Food Manufacturing

EHEDG published a comprehensive hygienic design guideline (EHEDG Guideline Document 52) dedicated to the Basic Cleaning and Disinfection Principles for Food Manufacturing. Dirk Nikoleiski, Chair of the EHEDG Working Group Cleaning and Disinfection: ‘Oftentimes, the basic principles of cleaning and disinfection are not well understood, so companies may rely on what they’ve done for many years. This guideline will give manufacturers the knowledge to help them making the right decisions for setting up effective cleaning regimes and cleaning protocols.’

 

 

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Globally, laws are in place that oblige food producers and manufacturers to set up cleaning and disinfection regimes; however, the laws only outline what has to be done and not how. This guideline is provided for all stakeholders in the food industry and provides different methodologies. It includes the differences in approach between dry and wet cleaning and disinfection, as well as basic fundamentals on soil and soil characteristics. This will provide a holistic overview on cleaning and disinfection.

 

Nikoleiski: ‘Hygienic design will determine the options you have as to cleaning, and in turn, when you set up a cleaning protocol because of product attributes, the reliability of the product requires a certain cleaning regime, which determines the design.’

 

Contributors

With input from all stakeholders, including suppliers, cleaning services, equipment and food manufacturers, retailers, and researchers the working group relied on a variety of engaged experts to contribute to this substantial guideline that utilises sketches, illustrations and some publications from other sources in order to provide the best guidance available.

 

Simultaneously, EHEDG publishes another guideline related to Cleaning Validation, which belongs in the same cluster as the EHEDG Guideline Cleaning and Disinfection. Together, along with guidelines previously published by EHEDG and and the recently issued EHEDG CIP (Cleaning-in Place) Guideline, these documents complement each other in assisting all parties involved in food safety to ensure their equipment is properly cleaned and their food processing lines and environments meet all requirements for safe food production, optimised productivity as a result of effective cleaning and minimised cleaning time intervals, and less use of water and cleaning chemicals for improved sustainability.

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Word of the EHEDG President Ludvig Josefsberg [Q1/2021]

A new year lies before us, with new challenges and opportunities. At the start of 2021, there’s a sense of hope that innovations in medical sciences will enable us to feel safe again. We are determined to meet each other again soon! In this current spirit of our shared hope, allow me to regularly (once every quarter) provide you with updates on the ongoing developments at the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group that may be of interest to you.

 

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In this current spirit of our shared hope, allow me to regularly (once every quarter) update you personally on the ongoing developments in the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group that may be of interest to you.

 

Amongst the many lessons learned last year, the most meaningful may be that we do not need to meet in person to carry out our important work. By making good use of our digital platforms, we managed to yield excellent results. 

 




Firstly, I want to thank all members for their continuous support to this foundation in 2020, and in particular during the election period in November. Thanks to your engagement, I can now proudly present the new EHEDG Foundation Board, EHEDG Advisory Board and EHEDG Executive Committee. 

 

On behalf of EHEDG, I herewith want to thank the leaving EHEDG Advisory Board members Matilda Freund, Hugo Piguet, Hein Timmerman and Paul Wirtz for their valuable contributions to the development of this organisation. They make way for the new Advisory Board members Anne-Claire Carrere, James Hartley, Georg Kalss and Frederik Wellendorph (while Matilda takes on the role of EHEDG Treasurer and Hein becomes the new chairman of the EHEDG Sub-Committee Product Portfolio as of 1 april). Thank you all, for your support and advice and for contributing to a great team effort!  

 

Meanwhile, the new EHEDG Foundation Board has already held its first meeting this year. The Advisory Board will meet on January 27, and the first EHEDG Executive Committee meeting is planned on March 17. All meetings so far are taking place online of course.

 

Congratulations to the EHEDG Transition Team, led by Piet Steenaard and our new Operations Director Adwy van den Berg, for completing the move of the EHEDG Secretariat in Germany to the new EHEDG Head Office in Naarden (The Netherlands). This transition will enable EHEDG to operate independently and with retained efficiency. By establishing this new Head Office in Naarden, with an Operations Director in charge, and with a team of communication and online experts, EHEDG will considerably enhance its ability to initiate and drive our strategic objectives.

 

A special thank you goes out to the much-appreciated Susanne Flenner and her departing team at the former EHEDG Secretariat in Frankfurt, for their many years of excellent professional work and outstanding service to the EHEDG community. We wish you all the best and hope to see you again in good health. Last but certainly not least, I want to express the gratitude of the entire European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group to our longstanding EHEDG Treasurer and Secretary Piet Steenaard, for his truly exceptional commitment. Dear Piet: thank you so much for your dedication, expertise and insights, and for help shaping EHEDG to what it is today. Thank you, Piet, you did a truly great job over the past 25 years. We will all miss you! 

 

Despite all disastrous humanitarian and economic developments of last year, our European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group continued to grow larger in 2020. As of 2021, EHEDG now has 607 company and institute members (compared to 561 a year ago), with 6 of the 46 new members being companies of the two largest categories. We also established two new EHEDG Regional Sections, namely Portugal and Chile, which means that EHEDG is now represented in 38 countries around the world.

 

Another fact worth mentioning is that the number of active EHEDG Certificates has recovered from the temporary decline that resulted from the introduction of the new recertification format. As of January 1 of this year, over 200 certificates are active and more than 100 certificate applications are in process.

 

As a result of the membership growth, and the lower spending on events and travels last year, and despite of a considerable one-time expense on the Transition Project, the financial health of EHEDG is excellent. The balance sheet stronger than a year ago, and even stronger than ever before. 

 

The financial strength of EHEDG enables us to continue and even to intensify the development of tools and services for our membership. In 2021, we aim to further develop the value of your EHEDG Membership, with new services and new (online) opportunities to connect, to exchange expertise, to network and to collaborate in various new projects. Together, we continue to raise awareness for the benefits of hygienic engineering and design, with guidance and solutions, expertise and networking platforms for hygienic engineering and design experts from all over the world. 

 

Thank you for your continued engagement, and while we join our efforts to beat the virus, let’s also continue to innovate so that we can emerge from this pandemic stronger and wiser than before. In the meantime, follow the guidelines of your respective companies and authorities, connect with us online on social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube) and be safe and prosperous! 

 

With best regards,

 

Ludvig Josefsberg 

(President EHEDG) 

 

 

 

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Significant boost for hygienic design

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

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


Current status and beyond

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

_________________________________________________________________________

3-A SSI and EHEDG


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


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

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Call for Treasurer / Secretary of EHEDG for 2021-2022

The task of being a Treasurer/Secretary (T&S) within EHEDG is extremely interesting and rewarding on a personal level, but of course the contribution is fully on a voluntary basis. We have estimated that the average time allocation required by the T&S will be 4 hours a week including formal meetings like Executive Committee, Advisory Board, and Plenary. Please be aware that the deadline for nomination is set to September 15, 2020.

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Dear member, member company and member institute;

After more than 25 years of service to EHEDG our dear current Treasurer & Secretary (combined role) Piet Steenaard has decided not put forward his candidacy for the next term 2021 and beyond.

Piet has done a tremendous job for EHEDG and among many other important achievements managed to steer the ship with a solid balance sheet throughout all times.

We will of course thank Piet adequately for his service to EHEDG at a later date and occasion.The purpose of this message is to invite all members to come forward with a new candidate to replace Piet.

Since the recent strategy adjustment and recruitment of an Operations Director, the role of the Treasurer & Secretary will change.

By definition the new role of the T&S will be much less operational and more focused on leadership.

The T&S will continue as member of the Foundation Board and the Executive Committee, and will provide assistance to the Operations Director in financial and administrative matters.

The T&S does not need to have a technical background, but a keen interest to support the mission of EHEDG when it comes to hygienic design and food safety.

We would recommend the candidate to carry a business administration and or financial background, without necessarily being a financial expert.

The task of being a T&S within EHEDG is extremely interesting and rewarding on a personal level, but of course the contribution is fully on a voluntary basis. We have estimated that the average time allocation required by the T&S will be 4 hours a week including formal meetings like ExCo, AB, and Plenary.

The best way to fill any gaps of information is to contact the current Foundation Board members:

-        Ludvig Josefsberg President +46733366001 or ludvig.josefsberg@tetrapak.com

-        Patrick Wouters Vice President +316106555536 or patrick_woutersProtected mail-address@cargill.com

Piet Steenaard Treasurer & Secretary +31653145756 or 
steenaard@kpnmail.nl

 

Please be aware that the deadline for nomination is set to September 15, 2020.

 

Kind regards,

Ludvig Josefsberg, on behalf of the EHEDG Foundation Board

 

 

 

 

 

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EHEDG launches election process  

On behalf of the EHEDG Foundation Board, we hereby invite the General Assembly members to elect the future Advisory Board Members, the President, the Vice President and the Secretary/Treasurer at a date to be announced before the end of 2020.

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Aiming to improve the services for its valued members, EHEDG embarked some years ago on a path to more professionalism and transparency in its organisational structure. These changes include the election of a Foundation Board and an Advisory Board, as well as the creation of the Sub-Committees on Product Portfolio, Regional Development and Communication to assist the Executive Committee (ExCo) with its long-term strategy as well as the day-to-day operations. The third EHEDG Election is scheduled to take place before the end of the current term in the fourth quarter of 2020. 

Our Constitution and Internal Rules foresee a Foundation Board (consisting of the President, the Vice President and the Treasurer/Secretary) as well as an Advisory Board. All these positions are going to be elected or re-elected at the end of 2020, starting on 1 January 2021. In an effort to secure continuity in the Foundation Board and the Advisory Board, it has been decided to change the election term as will be further detailed in the call for candidates to be issued in mid of July. In accordance with the EHEDG policy, we strive to engage our members into future EHEDG developments and decision-making processes, with the purpose of maintaining full transparency.

On behalf of the EHEDG Foundation Board, we hereby invite the General Assembly members to elect the future Advisory Board Members, the President, the Vice President and the Secretary/Treasurer at a date to be announced before the end of 2020.

This invitation is addressed to all EHEDG contact persons of your company/institute who are listed in our database. If you are not aware of the other recipients in your entity, please ask the EHEDG Secretariat for a complete name list to facilitate the appointment of your General Assembly member. If you are not the right person to handle this important request, please forward this message to whom it may concern.

We kindly ask you to inform us of the name and contact details of the person who will be the designated representative of your company/institute in the General Assembly. Please submit these contact details to the EHEDG Secretariat (secretariat@ehedg.org susanne.flennerProtected mail-address@ehedg.org), no later than 1 September 2020. All upcoming communication about the election process will be done through this representative.

In case of not specifying a General Assembly member, we regret that your company/institute will not be considered in the upcoming election process.

Individual EHEDG members receive this message for information only as they do not have voting rights as per the EHEDG Constitution and Internal Rules. Nevertheless, individual members can be nominated by others for the future EHEDG Presidency and Vice Presidency as well as for the position of the Treasurer/Secretary. In a second step, we will call for candidates for all above positions. The election procedure will be communicated in due time.

More details about the EHEDG Elections can be found in our Constitution, Articles 10 -11, page 8, in our Internal Rules, Article 6, page 13, and in Bylaw No. 1 on "Election Procedures" which you will find attached to this invitation.

We ask all EHEDG Company and Institute Members to fill in the following information and to return it to the EHEDG Secretariat (secretariatProtected mail-address@ehedg.org or susanne.flennerProtected mail-address@ehedg.org):

We hereby nominate the following representative of our company/institute as a member of the EHEDG General Assembly. We understand that this person is authorised to vote on behalf of our company/institute as specified in the EHEDG Statutes & Internal Rules:

First Name / Last Name:
Postal Address:
E-Mail Address:
Phone:


We ask you to take advantage of your voting rights and your empowerment of taking part in the election process.

Thank you in advance for getting back to us with the name of your General Assembly representative before 1 September 2020.

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New Operations Director for relocated EHEDG Secretariat

EHEDG President Ludvig Josefsberg: "I am happy to announce that EHEDG appointed Adwy van den Berg as the new manager of the EHEDG operations, with the title Operations Director. Adwy will be based in our new office in Naarden, the Netherlands, which will open on September 1, 2020. From September 1, and up until December 31, 2020 Adwy will work closely with our current Office Manager Susanne Flenner, and staff based in Frankfurt, Germany, after which he will take full responsibility for the EHEDG operations. Adwy will report directly to the EHEDG President."

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As was previously announced EHEDG has decided to transfer its main office from Frankfurt to Naarden. The transfer project has been ongoing since early 2020 and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. In this process we will build a new team in Naarden, and Adwy was the first to be recruited. Our aim is to have as little disruption as possible of our operations and services to our members during the transition and replacement of existing staff.

 

The main responsibilities of the Operations Director will include:

  • Finalizing the transition to Naarden.

  • Leading and managing the EHEDG operations, including office staff, consultants and suppliers.

  • Establishing and supporting EHEDG working groups, technical committees and regions.

  • Supporting the EHEDG Executive Committee and Advisory Board.

  • Assuring that the values, brand and activities of EHEDG are consistently communicated to its members and stakeholders.

 

Photo: EHEDG Operations Director Adwy van den Berg (text continues below)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adwy currently holds a position as Client Service Director at ISIC and brings with him an extensive international management and cross-cultural experience. His formal background includes a bachelor´s degree in hospitality management. He is a graduate from the hotel school in the Hague and is a registered marketer RM, and a marketing lecturer in his spare time. He is 54 years of age, with a daughter of 18, and lives in Abcoude, close to our new office in Naarden. 

 

Please join me in welcoming Adwy van den Berg to the exciting and challenging world of EHEDG.

 

On behalf of EHEDG:

Ludvig Josefsberg (EHEDG President).

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Now ready for download:

EHEDG is pleased to announce the publication of the new EHEDG Guideline DOC. 54 “Testing of Hygienic Weld Joints”. A big thank you goes out to the EHEDG Working Group members (Martin Barnickel, Thomas Kopitzke, Dr. John Wahlers, Georg Slavik, Nikolai Petri, and working group chairman Peter Merhof) for donating their valuable expertise and working hours in developing, reviewing, and completing this document. EHEDG Guideline DOC. 54 is available on the EHEDG website and is free for download for all EHEDG company and institute members. EHEDG Regional Chairpersons will find the MS Word file of the document for translation on the website under ‘My Folders > Regional Sections > RG WG Chairs > Guidelines’.

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Martin Barnickel

Thomas Kopitzke
EurIng Dr. John Wahlers Georg Slavik
Nikolai Petri
Peter Merhof**

May 2020

©EHEDG

Bayerische Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft, Deutschland, Germany

ENCOMA GmbH, Germany
Stream Engineering Solutions Limited, UK STW GmbH, Germany
Baumer Electric AG, Switzerland
GEA Tuchenhagen GmbH, Germany

* This report has been prepared by the Working Group “Welding” of the European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group (EHEDG).

** Chairman 

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We are hiring!

The EHEDG Foundation has decided to transfer the center of its operation from Germany to Naarden in The Netherlands and is looking for an excellent Operations Director that can assume an extremely challenging, interesting and rewarding position.

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The European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group (EHEDG) was founded in 1989 as a non- profit foundation, comprising of equipment manufacturers, food producers, suppliers to the food industry, research institutes and universities. The mission of EHEDG is to raise awareness of hygienic engineering, develop guidance and solutions, and provide a platform to promote EHEDG expertise that facilitates networking between hygienic engineering experts from around the world. The organization has over the years grown to 600 member companies and institutes, and 300 individual members from around the world. For more information about EHEDG, its strategy, members and activities please log on to www.ehedg.org

The Foundation has decided to transfer the center of its operation from Germany to Naarden in The Netherlands and we are looking for an Operations Director that can assume an extremely challenging, interesting and rewarding position.

Your role:

As our new Operations Director you will lead a small team of employees, coordinate work performed by volunteers as well as manage consultants and suppliers. You will be based in the office in Naarden, but you should expect international travelling, mainly in Europe, up to 25% of your time.

Your main responsibilities:

  • To initially implement the transition of activities from Germany to The Netherlands, including the establishment the new office, recruitment of staff and securing knowledge transfer

  • To lead and manage the office staff, consultants and suppliers

  • To help establish and eventually manage working groups, technical committees and projects

    in cooperation with the Chairpersons

  • To administratively support the EHEDG Board, the Executive Committee and Sub-Committees

  • To assure that the values, the brand and activities of EHEDG are continuously communicated to the members and outside world

  • To implement the approved annual EHEDG budget


    Your profile:

  • Excellent communication skills ability to understand and communicate technical information

  • Experience in business and budget management

  • Good organizational skills experience in office management and databases

  • Good command of the English language, both verbal and written

  • Technical degree, Bachelor’s level or higher (preferably engineering, food science or other related degree)

  • Experience in the food and beverage industry

  • Excellent people skills 

     

    What will make you successful in this position:

  • Excellent moderation and listening skills, ability to drive conversations to consensus

  • Strong leadership skills and ability to independently manage an office, act as first point of contact for EHEDG and appropriately represent and communicate basic technical information

    regarding Hygienic Engineering.

  • Display a keen interest in the food industry and have a strong motivation to participate in the

    mission to improve food safety and quality.

  • Flexible and able to work in an international and multicultural environment

  • Willingness to travel

    We offer:

    As EHEDG Operations Director you will be part of a global team with a vision to be recognized as the leading source of hygienic engineering expertise and its application, focused on solutions for enhancing food safety and quality across the food industry. We engage highly skilled and passionate colleagues and an international challenging environment. Your benefit package will be based on competitive market rates.

    Care to join?

    Target starting date is set to July 1, 2020. Please submit your CV, motivation letter and application in English before May 1st to secretariat@ehedg.org.

    To know more about the position please contact either
    Ludvig Josefsberg, EHEDG President at +46 733 366001 or
    ludvig.josefsberg@tetrapak.com or Patrick Wouters, EHEDG Vice President at + 31 6 10655536 or patrick_wouters@cargill.com

    EHEDG is cooperating with the following recruitment agency for this vacancy: Velde N.V, ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands 

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EHEDG relocates headquarters to The Netherlands

EHEDG separates its organisational structure from its long-term partner VDMA (the German Engineering Federation) in Frankfurt to establish its base in The Netherlands. With this strategic move, the EHEDG foundation aims to achieve full operational independence.

 

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Message from the EHEDG President

EHEDG President Ludvig Josefsberg: “After a careful evaluation of options, the EHEDG Executive Committee, advised by its board, decided that a legal separation between the EHEDG and VDMA organisations is necessary to create a fully independent EHEDG, in order to protect the brand and secure the independent position of EHEDG. It makes sense to bring the organisation back to the Netherlands, the legal home of the Foundation.”


Clear Priorities
Our first priority is to maintain the high-quality operational performance during the transition and thereafter that EHEDG members are accustomed to. The transition will be guided and monitored by a Steering Group comprising myself as the chairman, EHEDG Vice President Patrick Wouters, Hugo Piquet of Nestlé, Matilda Freund of Mondelez, and Ulf Thiessen of GEA.

Transition Phase 1: Planning
In order to address the strategic move and the physical and organisational transition of EHEDG in a professional manner, the EHEDG leadership decided to engage a consultant to help plan the transition. This planning phase was recently completed, and the execution phase and completion of the transition process will now follow. 
In this second quarter of 2020, EHEDG has initiated the execution phase. Target date for completion is set to January 1, 2021.This phase will be managed by a team led by EHEDG Treasurer Piet Steenaard, supported by EHEDG Secretariat Office Manager Susanne Flenner, and EHEDG Advisory Board Member Ulf Thiessen.

Message continues below (picture: EHEDG President Ludvig Josefsberg)

Transition Phase 2: Execution
The execution phase includes, among many other activities, the recruiting of an EHEDG Operations Director, the physical relocation of the EHEDG Secretariat to a new office building in the Dutch city of Naarden (commuting distance from Schiphol International Airport) and the outsourcing of several office-supporting services. We expect that the Operations Director will be on board, and the new office will be established, by September 1. And we are happy to inform you that EHEDG Certification Officer Mirjam Steenaard, already stationed in the Netherlands, will continue her services without interruption. Additional staff members will be recruited in the third quarter of this year. But between now and January 1, 2021 a tremendous amount of knowledge, processes and systems will be transferred, and new staff being trained. And this cannot be done without the dedicated support of our current staff and all the volunteers engaged. 

Gratefulness
On behalf of the Foundation Board, I want to express my gratefulness for the tremendous support of our current staff members in Frankfurt, Susanne, Johanna and Alexandra, for their commitment to make the transition a success. Since they are all domiciled in the Frankfurt area and formally employed by the VDMA, they understandably choose to stay with their current employer. We regret their decision, since their experience is valuable to EHEDG, but we respect their choice are and are thankful for their dedication to EHEDG. And I also want to thank the VDMA management, represented by Managing Director Mr. Richard Clemens, for the generous agreement to continue to support the EHEDG organisation beyond year end in case the coronavirus pandemic will result in unforeseen delays. By that a smooth transition is guaranteed.

 

 

 

With highest regards,
Ludvig Josefsberg
(President European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group)


>> EHEDG will regularly publish updates on the progress of this transition project. Please follow EHEDG on LinkedIn (
www.linkedin.com/company/ehedg) and the EHEDG website (www.ehedg.org) to receive future updates and stay up-to-date.

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EHEDG contributes to Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)

In November 2017, the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) sent out a call for participation in the GFSI Working Group for Hygienic Design of Food Facilities and Equipment. The objective was to define hygienic design benchmarking requirements for the GFSI recognised food safety certification programs covering food processing equipment and food processing/handling facilities. This working group incorporates a significant body of EHEDG expertise.

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This is what the selected team members of the GFSI Working Group Hygienic Design of Food Facilities and Equipment are working on:

 

      Define benchmarking requirements for design, installation, engineering and (preventative) maintenance to benchmark Certificate Programme Owners (CPO’s).

      Develop criteria that are suitable to be included in the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements.

      Include references to relevant recognised industry standards regarding hygienic design.

      Provide a basis that, in conjunction with the other elements of the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements, could be used for equipment manufacturing certification.

      Develop a proposal on how to handle connections with existing benchmarking requirements.

      Recommend relevant definitions to be included in the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements glossary.

Growing awareness

Alongside the call for participation, GFSI issued a statement illustrating the growing awareness that hygienic engineering and design is key to optimise food safety:

“Correct design of food handling and processing equipment and food manufacturing facilities is more important than ever before. As we move forward with the implementation of food safety programmes, we also need to give more scrutiny to hygienic design of facilities and equipment for the entire food supply chain. In most regulatory and industry food safety programmes this is momentarily addressed in a general manner. However, the terms used are only broadly defined, and interpretation of acceptability is left to the individual auditor and their particular aptitude for equipment evaluation. GFSI, powered by The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), is uniquely positioned to bring the key stakeholders together to collectively address this issue.”

 

EHEDG experts at work

The experts who dedicate their time and expertise to GFSI working groups do so on a voluntary basis. To ensure the entire industry spectrum is taken into account in an unbiased way, the GFSI Working Group for Hygienic Design of Food Facilities and Equipment is composed of a wide variety of representatives including retail, manufacturing and food service representatives, as well as international organisations, governments, academia and service providers to the global food industry. The following experts take part in the GFSI Working Group for Hygienic Design of Food Facilities and Equipment:

 

Patrick Wouters Cargill / EHEDG Foundation Board & EHEDG Executive Committee member
Edyta Margas Bühler AG / EHEDG Working Group Dry Particulate Material Handling member
Rick Heiman 3-A Sanitary Standards
Hugo Piquet Nestlé / EHEDG Advisory Board member
Yi Xu Tetra Pak Processing System / EHEDG Working Group Foreign Bodies member
John Holah Holchem Laboratories Ltd Cleaning / EHEDG Working Group Hygienic Design Principles for Food Factories member
Jonathan Hopkinson The Coca-Cola Company
Melanie Neumann Neumann Risk Services Matrix Sciences
Juliane Gonçalves Flavor Food Consulting / EHEDG Authorized Trainer and member of the EHEDG Working Group Training & Education
Joe Stout Commercial Food Sanitation
Adriaan Van Deventer Hygienicon Consultancy
Corinna Begueria Fromageries Bel / EHEDG Working Group Foreign Bodies member
Mark Morgan The University of Tennessee / EHEDG Authorized Evaluation Officer
Muhammad Shahbaz Mawarid Food Company
Anna Starobin Ecolab
Justyna Kostarczyk Metro
Zachary Becks Gray Architects and Engineers
Katie Satterthwaite Marks and Spencer / EHEDG Working Group Cleaning & Disinfection member
Izabela Palgan IFS
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Ask an EHEDG Expert

Do you have a simple question that you never dare to ask anymore? We understand. Nobody likes to appear ignorant, especially amongst experts, right? But how can we expect to answer difficult questions when even simple ones stay unanswered? In this series, EHEDG Connects poses simple questions to EHEDG Subject Matter Experts, and invites them to provide straight answers. Our 'cleaning-in-place' questions are answered by Food Technologist and EHEDG Advisory Board Member Hein Timmerman, who is the Global Sector Specialist at integrated cleaning solutions provider Diversey, and chairs the EHEDG Working Group Cleaning In Place (*)

 

(*) currently finalizing EHEDG Guideline Document 50: HD Requirements for CIP Installations.

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How does a CIP installation work?

Hein Timmerman: “Cleaning In Place, or CIP, points to cleaning activities that don’t require any dismantling of production equipment. Most production environments will have one central cleaning unit that is connected to all closed food production processes. This centralized CIP unit pump connects to all pipes and components that need to be periodically cleaned from within. Traditionally, CIP installations first rinse the system with warm water, then use an effective yet affordable cleaning solution like sodium hydroxide or nitric acid for a thorough cleaning, and finally rinse with water before the production line can be used again.”

 

 

 

Have CIP systems evolved throughout the years?

“Yes, they have, and mostly in recent years. For a long time, the ‘remote washing machine’ approach (with one central CIP station that does all the cleaning in a production environment) has been the most common way to use CIP. But since modern food consumers want more variety on their plates, more and more food producers lean towards more decentralized CIP systems that consist of several satellite CIP units. These new systems are better suited to meet varying CIP demands and therefore offer more flexibility combined with the required traceability. To determine which CIP system is best for you, you really need to look into the specific needs, from the products being processed to the local circumstances. Oftentimes some kind of hybrid system turns out to be the best solution for the job.”

 

Why should CIP installations be hygienically designed?

“First of all, CIP installations should be designed, fabricated, constructed and installed according to hygienic design principles to ensure a continuous and consistently effective cleaning in place operation. Since it is difficult to inspect the cleaning results from within, it’s extremely important to control all hygienic aspects of CIP cleaning on a detailed level. The best way to achieve this is by applying hygienic engineering and design guidelines throughout all design, fabrication, construction and installation stages. Another big benefit is that hygienic design CIP installations generally use less water and cleaning solutions, which makes them more sustainable and more efficient in use. The newest CIP systems also focus on product recovery and help to minimize food waste.” 

 

> Article continues below photo of Hein Timmerman, Global Sector Specialist Diversey

 

What are the main risks regarding CIP?

“Let’s start at the beginning. CIP is a cleaning technique that has been very widely applied for many years, and because of that, many things are taken for granted. Some people tend to pose statements like: ‘We’ve always done it like this, so just copy the old CIP system to clean a new process line.’ But every process line needs a dedicated system, and if you forget to describe your user requirement specifications right at the start, some food safety parameters will be difficult to control. Also, CIP cleaning is generally done in the middle of the night, and many bulk volume cleaning procedures are not sufficiently validated. Sure, the operator starts the CIP-procedure and checks if it finished before restarting the production process, but a green signal doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the end result is satisfactory. New monitoring techniques, that make use of real time sensor data, provide operators with more information to validate real life cleaning results and ascertain food safety risks more accurately, but these types of sensors are expensive, and you will always still need to take samples and perform visual check-ups. We use long camera-equipped endoscopes for this to see what’s really what’s going on inside the tubes and equipment. If you want to improve the food safety of your CIP processes effectively without breaking the bank, the best place to start with is the central CIP unit. A clean heart is a good start to achieve trustworthy CIP cleaning routines.”

 

Does the quality of the cleaning solution affect the cleaning results?

“It certainly does. When choosing a cleaning solution, you really need to address the specific cleaning needs with regard to your installation and the product that you produce. A well-suited, tailormade cleaning solution will not only improve the cleaning results, but will also let you accelerate the cleaning procedure, which results in productivity increases. Even more importantly, it dramatically reduces the risks of food contamination, call-backs and shut downs. The importance of good CIP is often undervalued, but only by people who don’t realize how much effective CIP significantly contributes to lower total costs of operation. Since CIP is a complex working field that requires the combined expertise of food technologists, microbiologists and engineers with knowledge of flow mechanics, one is well advised to consult the necessary experts before taking any irreversible investment decisions. Another good advice I can give you is to read the hygienic design requirements for CIP installations in the upcoming EHEDG Guideline Document 50. EHEDG Connects will keep you posted on when that new guideline is ready for download, so make sure to stay connected via: www.linkedin.com/company/ehedg.”

 

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EHEDG Guideline Doc. 23: “Only the right lube will do”

The EHEDG Working Group Lubricants has published a comprehensive update of EHEDG Guideline Doc. 23, that teaches us how to properly use (part 1) and produce (part 2) food grade H1 and HT1 registered lubricants. EHEDG Working Group Lubricants Chairman Taco Mets: “If you don’t want to put your food safety at risk, and if you want to optimise the reliability and lifetime of your machines, then only the right lube will do.”

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It’s a rewarding moment for Working Group Chairman Taco Mets and his EHEDG Working Group experts from Fragol, Klüber and Tetra Pak, who contributed to this new EHEDG guideline publication. Mets has been advocating the use of food grade lubricants for almost thirty years now, partly to serve his employers at Van Meeuwen Industries, but also because he’s a mechanical engineer at heart, who strives to take away misunderstandings and to create awareness that the choice and use of lubricants determine the reliability and productivity, longevity and food safety of industrial manufacturing processes. Mets: “This guideline shows food producers and machine equipment engineers that lubricants are vital construction elements that deserve their full attention.”

Are there any industrial processes that don’t need lubricants to work properly?
“Almost none, but there are considerable variations with regard to the amount of lubricants needed for producing different kind of products. In general, it’s safe to say that closed and dry processes need significantly less lubricants than open and wet processes. With the exception of modern pumps, most industrial production machines need lubricants to function properly. Lubricants avoid wear and prevent internal damage resulting from friction by mechanical forces. All lubricants are meant to establish some kind of “aquaplaning” to separate moving components with a lubricant layer, but only H1 and HT1 registered food grade lubricants also take food safety into account.” 


What parameters determine the quality and effectiveness of lubricants?

“Quite a few, but besides viscosity, one of the most important ones is the temperature. Just a rule of thumb: an incremental temperature increase of only ten degrees will halve the lifetime of most lubricants. Synthetic lubricants offer a better heat resistance and flow ability at low temperatures, and some fluorinated lubricants are even applicable for temperatures of up to 280 degrees, so they can be used to lubricate conveyor bearings in ovens. Another parameter is speed. Machines that operate rather slowly need thicker lubricants with higher viscosities than machines with fast rotating components. Other functional quality determining parameters are directly related to the specific use of an application. A hydraulic system needs other lubricants than a gear box or a compressor. The amount and frequency of relubrication and oil changes is also directly related to the applications, conditions, and the productivity of machines.”


What’s new? 

“We included many new and very useful elements, like a list of requirements and recommendations for the use and storage of food grade lubricants, hand-on tips to minimize product contamination risks and information on the deterioration of lubricants during operation and the use of lubricants during maintenance. We also included real life examples with pictures, and a flowchart that illustrates how to shift from conventional to food grade lubricants. This document now offers a lot of practical value. It also clarifies a lot of misunderstandings about lubricants, especially with regard to the H1 and HT1 registrations that are often unrightfully perceived as EC 1935/2004 food contact materials regulation.


> continue below the photo of EHEDG Working Group Lubricants Chairman Taco Mets
 

 

Why does this guideline only focus on H1 and HT1 food grade lubricants? 

“Because our EHEDG Working Group members unanimously agree that to optimize food safety, food producers and machine equipment suppliers should exclusively use H1 and HT1 registered food grade lubricants. If you also use conventional (not H1 or HT1 registered) types of lubricants, you will need tight and strict procedures and documentation systems to keep your workers from using the wrong lubricant at the wrong places. Lubrication is an area of expertise that has been greatly underestimated for many years, but there seems to emerge a general awareness now that you just can’t use lubricants that contain lead, chlorine, sulphur or graphite in food production environments. Luckily, there are plenty of food grade lubricants available these days that don’t use toxic additives. This guideline helps you to learn what aspects you have to pay attention to when it comes to choosing the right lubricants for your needs. This basic knowledge will help you not only to protect your gear and your food safety, but it might even save you quite a lot of money in the long run, because lubricants are often sold in package deals and lots of end users don’t really know what they buy.”  


Lubricants in package deals? How does that work?

“Lubricants are often sold in combination with machines, because some machine builders want to engage in the maintenance, repair and operations market. And some of them essentially force their machine users to buy aftermarket lubricants (often rebranded under some private label) by linking it to their warranty policy. It’s probably legal, depending on the full scope of their business model, but from a technical and food safety perspective, it is downright bad practice, because it totally disavows the importance of high-quality food grade lubricants. It’s another reason why all food and food equipment producers should read this guideline. The right knowledge is always the best way to protect yourself from scams and from taking decisions. It’s important to create more transparency in the food industry.”   


Food grade lubricants are expensive compared to conventional lubricants…

“They certainly are, at the moment that you have to buy them, but when you look at the big picture and take the actual use of your machines into consideration, then high quality food grade lubricants often turn out to be very interesting investments. By using H1 and HT1 registered lubricants, food lubricant experts have managed to reduce their processing downtimes related to re-lubrication by up to 90 percent. This guideline helps you to make not only technical, but also well-thought-out economical decisions. Because the better your lubricants match with your applications, the less time and effort you’ll have to spend to keep your processes to run smoothly. “ 

 

What’s next?

“This guideline will serve the industry in the upcoming years, but lubricants will continue to evolve in line with new machine equipment industry developments like the ongoing miniaturization of sump volumes, increasing mechanical stress and rising operating temperatures. All of these developments have consequences for the future use of lubricants and will keep lubricant producers busy. In the meantime, EHEDG will develop an update for its EHEDG Training Installation, Maintenance and Lubricants, which will be based on this new guideline as well. Our goal is to make everyone in the industry understand the benefits that good lubrication offers for improving food safety, productivity and reliability of machinery. It’s an area where many food producers can still take advantage of untapped reserves, and it all starts with reading this EHEDG Guideline Doc. 23.”  

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EHEDG Connects Online Content Contest

Which hygienic engineering & design projects deserve the full attention of the global food industry? In our previous newsletter, we invited you to submit your article ideas. We received several proposals, but who are we to choose? Why not let the EHEDG members decide for themselves? To participate, please submit your story idea in the comments section on the EHEDG LinkedIn page: www.linkedin.com/company/ehedg

 

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To participate, please submit your story idea in the comments section on the EHEDG LinkedIn page: www.linkedin.com/company/ehedg

After the final submission deadline on July 1, all participants will be asked to cast their votes (3, 2, 1 points) for their favourite top 3 topics. The winning story ideas will be featured on EHEDG Connects Online and on this EHEDG LinkedIn page for the whole food industry to see. 

Contest rules: 1) The contest is open for all registered EHEDG members (personal and company members). 2) Article idea descriptions in max. 150 words including max. two links. 3) One article idea submission per applicant. 4) Every article proposal may only be submitted once. 5) Final submission deadline: July 1 at noon. 6) Voting starts on July 1 and ends on July 10 at noon. Only participants can vote and only participants that cast their votes in time stay in the race. 7) And voting for your own story idea is not allowed, of course ;-) Happy submitting! 

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Hygienic design saves traditional brewing process

Brewmaster Hans-Peter Drexler shows how the Schneider Weisse brewery regained full control over its quality parameters while staying faithful to its Bavarian brewery traditions. By implementing EHEDG certified hygienic design equipment, the pure taste of Schneider Weisse wheat beer, brewed in line with the German 'Reinheitsgebot' beer purity law since 1872, can be enjoyed by future generations of beer-connoisseurs.

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Yes, beer is considered food, at least in Bavaria it is. In this southern part of Germany, it has been officially so since 1516, the year that Duke Wilhelm IV wrote history by drafting the first food law in the world. A contemporary version of ‘Das Reinheitsgebot’ still regulates the purity of Bavarian beer until this day.    


Beer and Bavaria go together like Bavarian Beer and Bratwurst with Sauerkraut, and not only Germans can enjoy it. Beer is exported from Bavaria to beer connoisseurs all over the world. Consequently, many new breweries emerged in Bavaria, but only a handful brands brew the traditional Bavarian Weissbier like the Schneider Weisse G. Schneider & Sohn GmbH brewery does: in the authentic traditional way, by adding the yeast to the wort in open tanks, and by letting the final fermentation stadium continue inside the closed bottle to make the beer even more tasteful and refreshing. 

 



The impressive neoclassical Befreiungshalle (Hall of Liberation), that commemorates the victory over Napoleon in 1815, dominates a hill above the town and oversees the picturesque village and the Danube river. The historic building of the Schneider Weisse brewery is situated at the central market square of Kelheim. In 1607, it was transformed into a wheat beer brewery by the Bavarian Dukes of Wittelsbacher. In 1928 the Schneider family, that had been brewing wheat beer since 1872 in Munich, continued brewing the legendary Schneider Weisse wheat beer here in Kelheim. After the 1970’s, the wheat beer market expanded and step-by-step the distribution spread out globally.

Brewing Master and Executive Director Technology & Logistics Hans-Peter Drexler: “The challenge was to keep the high quality level consistent while transitioning from a local to an globally distributed product. As a reaction to unexpected beer quality fluctuations and product callbacks in 2004, the brewery started a journey that would introduce modern hygienic engineering and design to the traditional brewery process, while simultaneously preserving our unique traditional brewing process.”



Controlling food safety and beer quality

Drexler was on site when the first problems arose, and recalls the events as they unfolded: “One of the hygiene challenges related to our traditional brewing process is that our brewing is done under relatively high processing temperatures and that we don’t apply pasteurisation techniques that would compromise the taste of the final product. We always test the quality of each batch in our in-house laboratory, and product faults have occurred before, but could always be corrected, . However, the microbiological balance within the process seemed more and more seriously disturbed and out of our control, resulting in a significant increase in product faults. Since we didn’t know what caused the fluctuations, we decided to systematically investigate all probable causes. But where to start?” 

Drexler: “We suspected that the decline in product quality had to be related to some source of microbiological contamination, and together with the experts of GEA we started looking into those parts of the installation that were the most difficult to clean and replaced some couplings and valves, but that didn’t solve the problem. We started looking into the design of areas that were not initially conceived as being hazardous, like the whirlpool, where the wort that was cooked to a hundred degrees Celsius is rotated to secrete the turbid residues which are gathered at the bottom of the whirlpool while the remaining clear wort is pumped out from above. We found out that the drain valves within the whirlpool didn’t comply with the latest EHEDG Guidelines, so we replaced them by GEA valves that didn’t have any dead spaces. This intervention resulted in an instant improvement of the beer quality, but as it turned out, we weren’t quite there yet.” 

 

 

Looking further down the road

As Schneider Weisse and the hygiene experts of GEA looked further into other areas of the process lines that could potentially have caused the problems, they turned their attention to other areas in the process. Drexler: “We discussed the cleaning circumstances of buffer tanks, that where situated between the fermentation and the bottling process, and discussed different possibilities to improve them, while at the same time also considering the effects of every intervention on the final taste of our beer. We had to go about very carefully, because obtaining a consistent beer quality was just one goal we wanted to achieve - the other was to preserve the original taste of Schneider Weisse wheat bier. That’s why our quality control system consists of three steps. We start off by analysing the chemical and technical properties of each batch of our beer production in our testing laboratory, like the amount of alcohol and flavouring and the CO2- and PH-levels. Then there is a microbiological analysis phase that analyses the amount and combinations of the microbiological components that strongly determine the flavour. The third testing stage is the tasting.” 

Dream job

Every week, a panel of professional beer tasters gathers in a special beer ‘Stube’ in the Schneider Weisse brewery to thoughtfully taste, judge and discuss even the slightest variations in the overall taste of the final products. Drexler: “Yes, that sounds like a dream job, but it’s actually very serious work, because in the brewery, we utilise the combined outcomes from all of these tests to adjust our settings, like the amount of hop we add to the process. Beer is a natural product, so there are always variations to adhere too, due to variations in the taste of the natural ingredients. To brew beer with a consistent taste and quality, we have to control all of these fluctuations by adjusting our process accordingly. Even in these modern times, where we use high-tech monitoring systems to analyse the DNA-structures of the microorganisms in the beer, the sophisticated taste buds of a professional Bavarian beer taster is still the ultimate reference for monitoring flavour consistency.”

Back to beer business

After replacing various process components by EHEDG certified materials, Schneider Weisse G. Schneider & Sohn GmbH decided to invest in a new brewery process line to produce a range of new Schneider Weisse beer variations, like alcohol free and clear (filtered) wheat beers. Drexler: “It was the sign of the times back then, and we made good use of the extra investment opportunities to further optimise all of our ongoing processes, because after initially having restored the consistency of our product quality by replacing the drainage valves in our whirlpool installations, we experienced an unexpected downturn. It was caused by the yeast accumulation installation, that turned out to contain a few completely hidden weak points. We solved that problem by replacing the complete installation.” 

Schneider Weisse G. Schneider & Sohn GmbH consulted GEA again to develop a comprehensive hygiene concept that covered all separate installations in conjunction with all the relevant design criteria based on EHEDG Guidelines. Drexler: “Together with a team of Experts from GEA, led and conducted by Anton Ladenburger, we then improved the hygienic designs of the drainage system, the water and air conditioning, the mixing mechanics and the beer feeding system. Traditional Bavarian wheat beer needs to be feed with ‘Speise’ (unfermented wort) shortly before bottling. It is like feeding the yeast shortly before bottling to activate the final stage of fermentation inside the bottled product. This has to be done very precisely. If you put too little in, the carbonation and taste will be too flat, and if you put too much in, there will be too much CO2 causing the bottles to burst. Since this last addition enters the final product, this stage must be conducted in an extremely clean environment to prevent microbes to enter the bottle. one One could say that this last brewing stage is not only crucial to obtain the widely appreciated taste of Schneider Weisse white beer, but also to the food safety of the beer.” 

Future-proof future

When looking back on this period between 2004 and 2008, Drexler and his colleagues can safely say that the Schneider Weisse brewery has managed to safeguard the unique taste and quality as well as the food safety of their nutritious beer brands. Drexler: “We succeeded in gradually implementing hygienic engineering and design in an essentially very traditional brewing process, without compromising on food safety or taste. We did it step-by-step, without breaking the bank and without losing our identity and credibility as one of the best Bavarian brewing houses since 1872. And thanks to our commitment and the expertise of the professionals at GEA and EHEDG, we haven’t had any problems since 2008. We protect our strong legacy, our traditions including our Reinheitsgebot, and we guarantee the food safety of our beer. So why not give it a try and experience the real taste of our Bavarian beer brewing tradition? It’s all in there. After all, Schneider Weisse beer is more than just a beer beverage, it’s like healthy food, an honest nutrition for your body and spirit. Grüss Gott und Zum Wohl.”     

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