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

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EHEDG 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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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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Ask an EHEDG Expert

Have a question that you don't dare to ask anymore? We understand. Nobody likes to appear ignorant, especially among fellow experts. But hasn’t fear for mockery always been the biggest ball-on-a-chain for improvements? How can we expect to fully understand complex issues when our simple questions stay unanswered? EHEDG Connects dares to ask simple questions to EHEDG Subject Matter Experts, and invites them to provide us with some clear answers. Today's expert is dry materials handling expert Karl-Heinz Bahr (Thales Consult). He answers our simple questions on hygienic fluid bed and spray dyer design. Thanks for your clear answers Karl-Heinz.

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Why do we put food stuff in liquid to then dry it again?

Karl-Heinz Bahr: “For various reasons, but mostly to produce food particles with consistent properties, and to improve the quality of the product, for example by adding vitamins or minerals prior to drying. Many of those dried food products are intended to be dissolved prior to consumption, like milk powder. And of course, after you dry a product, you don’t need to transport the water, so this typically reduces the weight of the product by 70-80%. Transporting dried products is therefore less expensive and better for the environment. Also, the (microbial) stability is much higher in dried products."

 

 

 

How to get the hygienic dryer that's best suited to our needs?

“By defining your requirements as clearly as possible. Start off with your product and user requirement specifications. Every detail is equally important: the kind and type of end product you want to produce, the look and feel, the smell and taste. The viscosity and transition temperatures of your product matter, as well as the droplet size required to produce your dry material particles. And let's not forget about the rheology of your product - it determines the shape and size of the spray nozzles. Furthermore, you have to think about the needed pressure, the temperature, the amount of air, and even the shape of the spray dryer. Some people think that all dryers are the same, but dryers come in various shapes. Also the liquid can be prepared in various ways, so it is not only the spray dryer itself that matters. That's why the building design and the utilities should be considered as integral parts of the process. The environment has a big influence on the product as well, not only in relation to energy consumption - it also needs to be hygienic and, most importantly, as dry as possible to avoid microbiological issues. The goal is to realise consistent and effective drying processes without wasting resources. Even big food companies cannot do this alone. They seek support from experienced system integrators. To a layman's eyes, spray and fluid dryers may not look very sophisticated, but they are in fact very delicate thermo-energetic systems.”  


Why is that?

“The temperature, pressure and energy balances within the installations determine their effectiveness and the quality of the product. Spray dryer and fluid bed dryer installations are very prone to the slightest fluctuations in temperature, pressure levels, the quality and quantity of the drying air and so on. Therefore, when designing and configuring spray dryer and fluid bed dryer installations, it’s always a challenge to find the best possible balance between the productivity, the water and energy consumption and of course the food safety and quality aspects. You can imagine that to reach this balance, you need a top-class team of suppliers and operators."


Sounds like a lot of work. Time consuming? Expensive?

"Spray dryers are not cheap, so you need to do your homework before making investment choices. If you want to educate yourself, the newly updated EHEDG Guideline Document 31 Hygienic Engineering of Spray Dryer and Fluid Bed Plants is certainly a good place to start, since this guideline contains a comprehensive oversight of many hygienic engineering and design principles applicable in spray dryer and fluid bed plants, not only related to the equipment but also for the environment it is placed in. The guideline is developed by experts of the EHEDG Working Group Dry Material Handling. Many details of the process and the environment are thoroughly discussed and related to specific design choices. Because even when you work with an experienced system integrator, you are always better off when you are aware of some of the details that you need to pay attention to. This helps you to make sure you have a hygienically sound spray or fluid bed drying installation in place."


What are the most common mistakes?

“We have to make a clear distinction between operational and process line design mistakes. 
First of all, people tend to underestimate the effects of a lack of control over the system process variables, for example when using unconditioned airflows. When the humidity of the air outside of the plant changes, it can affect the system in unexpected ways, resulting in fluctuating product quality or material deposition on the inner walls of the drying chamber, ducting, cyclones and product transport lines. A general rule of thumb is that better hygienic design dryers allow for more inconsistencies in these variables without immediately compromising on food safety and food quality. However, to really optimise food safety in spray dryer and fluid bed dryer plants, one has to look at the system and the environment as a whole: as a combination of design and usage aspects. The process is the product.”


The process is the product?

“Yes, because with most dry particle food products, taking samples for product release purposes doesn’t make much sense, since it’s impossible to take a representative sample. This is particularly true for microbiological testing. In a powder product, only one square centimeter in a full batch could be contaminated while the rest is fine. That means that besides a trustworthy hygienic design of your installation, you need very strictly supervened cleaning procedures and operating instructions and a top-class team to run, clean and maintain the installation. Hygienic engineering and design can definitely minimise contamination risks, but only if all food safety determining variables are fully controlled.” 


Thanks for your clear answers.

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Food Safety Intelligence: sharing data for food safety

It’s a bright new day for the global food industry, at the threshold of the fourth industrial revolution: the next step in our technological evolution that promises unprecedented productivity increases. But does the digitalisation of the global food industry also bring new advancements in food safety? EHEDG Connects Online investigates.

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The Germans call it Industrie 4.0, others talk about smart industries, but essentially everyone is pointing in the same direction: a future in which every piece of industrial processing equipment is connected, via the Internet of Things (IoT), with each other and with management systems in a massive cloud of data. But as exciting as the digital future may seem, the question is: can all of this contribute to our food safety?

So how to improve food safety by digital means? We can of course start off by putting sensors in every single piece of our food processing equipment and adjust our process parameters to the incoming real time data streams, but the real opportunities for improvements lay in the possibilities to connect all data streams across the supply chain. 

In a world where food industries are faced with new food safety challenges every day (some of them related to globalisation of supply chains and markets, others to declining consumer trust), digitalisation may offer much-needed possibilities for improvements. Food suppliers, especially farm to fork companies, are expected to drive innovations to control food safety aspects across the food supply chain. After all, these are the companies that need to stay on top of global food safety risks. It seems however that some of the most promising innovations are driven by technology companies. By looking into new possibilities to harness the power of digital technologies, they aim to find new competitive advantages in a highly competitive food equipment market. One of these companies is the Bühler Group. This Swiss Food Technology Company recently launched an online information platform that intends to help food processing companies to optimise the traceability of their raw material and product streams. 

 


Giovanna Pozzan, Digital Product Owner Data Analytics and Services at Bühler Group: “The globalisation of the food supply chains makes food safety management more dynamic and challenging, and a growing number of our customers that use Bühler food processing equipment approach us with questions on how to deal with food safety issues that arise due to the increasing complexity of their supply chains. They face new and sometimes unexpected challenges, for example because they find bacteria on food ingredients that they never encountered before. New global product routings and a growing number of transitional stages and intermediate food ingredient locations create a demand for real time contamination data." 


Pozzan: "It is why Bühler Group launched the online information platform safefood.ai, that scans thousands of online data sources for local and regional contamination news and that enables food producers to better predict food safety issues in their supply chains. By scanning the latest product recall news, alerts and warnings from international and national food authorities, web pages and social media news, safefood.ai helps food producers to stay aware of trends and risks before they can affect their business.” 

Besides investigating new digital possibilities to optimise food safety individually, food industry related companies also start to share their resources to ramp up the innovation power needed to meet future challenges. Coincidentally, this momentarily also occurs in Switzerland, where The Swiss federal institutes of technology ETH Zürich and EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Féderale de Lausanne) launched a joined research initiative with Givaudan, Nestlé and Bühler [link]. 

While this initiative focuses primarily on research related to consumer trends and sustainability, other initiatives bet on the promises of blockchain technology to optimize the digital traceability and consequently the food safety of food ingredients. Food retailer Walmart for example is working with IBM on a food safety blockchain solution and announced that Walmart is requiring all suppliers of leafy green vegetable for Sam’s and Walmart to upload their data to the blockchain by September 2019 [link]. Meanwhile, Dutch retailer Albert Heijn makes an effort to enhance traceability and transparency across its orange juice supply chain by implementing blockchain technology as well [link]

Blockchaining the food supply chains 

What can blockchain technology already do for food safety? That depends on who you ask. In this Forbes article [link], food, science and health writer Jenny Splitter states that ‘despite the promises that blockchain technology will transform the entire food industry by increasing efficiency, transparency and collaboration throughout the food system, essentially it’s just a digital ledger, a digitised record of whatever data is added by its members, with no ability to verify the accuracy of the underlying data itself.’ 

When asked to comment, Fraunhofer Institute Deputy Director and Head of the Department for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV Dresden Marc Mauermann begs to differ: “After one of the stakeholders in a specific food supply chain has added information to his blockchain, it is impossible (or at least extremely difficult) to erase or alter that data entry without detection. This makes blockchain technology suitable to become an important part of the big technology puzzle needed to manage food safety risks across food supply chains. The benefit for food safety is perhaps the biggest benefit of digitalisation for the food industry, even bigger than the efficiency benefits."
  

Mauermann: "Imagine a digitally connected food supply chain, gathering and sharing information amongst all stakeholders. With this information, smart data processing and modelling, based on effective structures, we might get a better picture of the performance of the full range of the food supply chain that is connected to one specific food product - from the farm, via processing and packaging to logistics and retail. It can really change the rules of the game, since bad food supply batches can be easily traced back to their sources. Consequently, the pressure on every stakeholder in a food supply chain to comply with good manufacturing practices will be much higher than it is now.”

Infrastructure 

As promising as the perspectives for digitally powered food safety may be, the development of digital process, information and traceability management will only take off after the underlying digital infrastructures are put into place. Another challenge is that at this point in time, food processing companies are not yet used to handle big data streams. A survey, conducted in 2018 by GFSI and DNV, amongst six hundred food industry professionals concludes that most of them just don’t know yet how to utilise blockchain technology to improve food safety. However, swift changes are to be expected here, since 44 percent of the respondents stated to already use sensor technology and the other 56 percent expects to start implementing sensors within the next three years. Also, 40 percent expects to start using blockchain technology with the next three years. 

What remains to be seen is if all those survey respondents will have put the necessary IT-infrastructure in place before then. Mauermann: “At the Fraunhofer Institute, we are momentarily working on different parts of the backbone of digitalisation, for example directly on machinery processes, where we develop monitoring systems and adaptive cleaning procedures based on real time process data coming from sensory systems. To do this on a large scale, digital twin representations of the process lines have to be designed. In other words: everything starts with engineering. Many food industries still work with legacy design processes and machines that are not ready for digitalisation. That’s why we are investigating new ramp up scenarios and methods for effective transitions from legacy to digital twin machines. The time has come for food producers to really look into the digitalisation options for their current process data. We need to find out if existing inline monitoring systems can be mathematically linked to quality criteria and if not, how we can renew our systems to make them future-proof and suitable for upcoming digital developments. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but it’s definitely worth the efforts, since the potential benefits are great, especially for food safety.” <

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The Chinese Perspective

This is the second article covering the global expansion of EHEDG in China. Since the EHEDG Regional Section China works together with the Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST), we asked the CIFST team members to share their views on the developments of hygienic engineering and design in China, and we received unanimous answers.

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How does CIFST contribute to food safety in China?

CIFST: “CIFST has always attached great importance to the standardisation of food safety, and lists the formulation and revision of food safety standards as an important part of its annual work priorities. In recent years, in the process of developing and revising China’s national food safety standards, CIFST has organised a strong scientific and technological community to safeguard the healthy and sustainable development of the industry. In 2016-2018, CIFST participated in the development and revision of more than 20 food-related standards. CIFST has participated in the formulation and revision of the National Food Safety Standard-Good Manufacturing Practice for Milk Products, the National Food Safety Standard-Good Manufacturing Practice for Powdered Formulae for Infants and Young Children and other national standards related to hygienic design in food production; with an increasing focus on food hygiene factory design, CIFST has gradually shifted the focus of food safety control to the hygienic engineering and design of food factories.

In order to better align the testing method with international standards, CIFST has signed a cooperation agreement with AOAC, and further established the working direction for CIFST-AOAC cooperation to gradually align the testing method with international standards. In order to effectively carry out the publicity and implementation work for food safety standards, answer questions for the industry, and promote the implementation of standards, CIFST has coordinated relevant authorities, expert teams and related enterprises in the process of standard formulation and revision to increase the interpretation, publicity and implementation of standards, and used the institute’s conference reports, seminars and a variety of new media to explain relevant national standards.”


What added value does EHEDG and the EHEDG Regional Section China offer to CIFST and food industry stakeholders in China?

“EHEDG is a well-known professional organisation dedicated to food hygiene engineering design. Its credibility and recognition level in the global food industry is self-evident. At the end of 2015, at the invitation of EHEDG, Meng Suhe, President of CIFST, visited Europe with a group of people. After field visits to and exchanges with local food and related enterprises, testing centers and EHEDG headquarters, the two sides signed a strategic cooperation agreement and agreed to assist the promotion of EHEDG’s philosophy across China so as to provide technical guidance to the whole process from plant design, equipment procurement to manufacturing installation and operation and maintenance for Chinese food enterprises so as to ensure the safety of food production. CIFST has held a series of seminars, training sessions and other activities with the support of EHEDG.

In 2016-2018, training sessions on food hygiene engineering and design were successfully held in Shanghai, Beijing and other places for three rounds, including the session in 2017 when Mr. Knuth and Mr. Gregorio went to Beijing to offer training, which was highly praised by the trainees for professionalism and practicality. In 2018, the EHEDG World Congress on Hygienic Engineering & Design was successfully held in London. The Chinese delegation was invited to attend the meeting. Through communication with EHEDG, the two sides enhanced mutual understanding and friendship. In addition, well-known multinational businesses in the area of food hygiene design, represented by ACO and Ecolab have long been actively participating in and supporting EHEDG in China. For CIFST, through continuous cooperation with EHEDG, CIFST has increased its voice in the area of food hygiene engineering in China and expanded its influence in the area; further improved its expert team in the area of food engineering and design in China through the export of technology and experience from EHEDG; promoted the diversified development of its business and strengthened the business contact and cooperation with related enterprises.

In the Chinese food industry, the focus is previously put on the technological advancement of equipment and processes, neglecting the cleaning and disinfection of pipelines, the hygienic design of water supply and drainage and other steps in the production process. Through the contact and exchanges with EHEDG, the design concept of food factories has been changed, with a strengthened food safety system management that provides technical confidence for ensuring food safety from the source. China has a huge food market and its food industrialisation level is on the rise. The production environment and technologies of food businesses are mixed, with many places in need of improvement. It is expected that EHEDG and CIFST will have more cooperation in the future.”


What are the challenges for the upcoming years (in relation to the further industrialisation of the Chinese food industry and/or demographic food trend developments)?

“China’s food industry has developed steadily in the country, the world’s largest and most attractive market, but not without setbacks. The food industry, which accounts for 11.2% of the country’s industrial economy, has many blanks in the core technologies of bioengineering, intelligent manufacturing, genetic engineering and many other fields. This requires the joint efforts of all food science and technology workers. In aspects such as food safety assurance, quality and brand improvement, environmental protection, energy conservation and emission reduction, industrial innovation and development, policy revision and improvement, and consumer education and guidance, all parties must make unremitting efforts and overcome difficulties to realise the healthy and sustainable development of China’s food industry so as to meet the people’s growing need for a better life.”


How do you envision the further collaboration between CIFST and EHEDG?

“EHEDG has advanced food engineering and hygiene design concepts and technologies, and has the authoritative certification capability in the industry. In the future, I hope that CIFST and EHEDG will strengthen cooperation in further promoting food engineering and hygiene design concepts and technologies in China, and step up cooperation in food hygiene engineering and design training sessions, seminars, EHEDG lecturer recommendation, and journals and magazines. The two sides may cooperate in multiple ways to spread more food hygiene design concepts.”


For outsiders it looks as if there's no clear formal hierarchy between the many national and local government departments that oversee and enforce food safety policies in China. How do new food safety regulations arise in your country?

“China has a long food industry chain and many departments are involved. The State Council established a food safety committee to set up the overall coordination mechanism that is committed to promoting inter-departmental policy coordination and cross-regional collaboration for food safety. Based on maintaining and promoting health, a food safety management model suitable for China has been formed.

Article 28 of the Food Safety Law of the People’s Republic of China further stipulates that “the establishment of national food safety standards shall be based on the results of food safety risk assessment and fully consider the results of risk assessment of edible agricultural products, with reference to relevant international standards and international food safety risk assessment results. The draft national food safety standards shall be released to the public to solicit opinions of food producers, traders, consumers, and relevant departments”.


What can China learn from other countries and what can the global food industry learn from China?

“As the country with the largest population in the world, China is of key importance in safeguarding food safety. It also faces great challenges in ensuring both quantity safety and quality safety. After years of integrated management and strict control, China’s food safety environment has shown a steady and improving trend, and food industry governance experience with Chinese characteristics are also formed: for a long time, the Chinese government has attached great importance to food safety and has always treated food safety as a major political task. As a priority issue in the field of public safety, food safety is managed in accordance with the “most stringent standards, regulation, punishment and accountability system”.

The country has improved laws and regulations, supervision systems, integrated regulation and investment support to continuously enhance the ability in food safety governance, fully demonstrating the institutional advantages of socialism with Chinese characteristics. More than 300 colleges and universities in China have set up food safety majors. The training of food professionals is undergoing a shift from quantity to quality, and efforts have been stepped up in training talents in food quality and safety majors so as to provide sufficient technical talent reserve for the future development of China’s food industry. With the extensive application of a large number of emerging technologies such as industrial cloud, big data, AI and blockchain in the food industry, science & technology and the food industry will realise seamless connection in the whole industry chain of raw material production, processing and manufacturing, and circulation and consumption. Sci-tech innovation has become a new driving force for the development of China’s food industry.” 

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