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

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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, 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, 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.”


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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EHEDG Global Expansion: China

EHEDG is also active in China, where 1.4 billion food consumers are served by a rapidly modernising Chinese food industry, and where volunteers of the EHEDG Regional Section China offer support and raise awareness for hygienic engineering and design. If you like this article, you might also want to read the upcoming interview with the Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST).

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Since the official establishment of the EHEDG Regional Section in China in 2015, EHEDG volunteers have supported the Chinese food industry in various ways. By exchanging knowledge and by establishing new networking connections in the colourful Chinese food industry sector, with Chinese universities and the Chinese government, these volunteers raise awareness for the benefits of hygienic engineering and design. How did they approach their mission and how are they doing so far?

In this article, Monica Chen (ACO Drainage Technology Shanghai and Secretary of EHEDG Regional Section in China) and Hui Zhang (Hygiene Expert of a multinational company of FMCG and Chair of the EHEDG Working Group Cleaning and Validation) share their views on hygienic engineering and design awareness in their country of birth, where processes tend to unfold slightly differently than in other parts of the world.

Are the Chinese interested in what EHEDG has to offer?

Monica Chen: “They certainly are. China’s food industry is modernising at its fastest pace ever, using more technology to scale up and meet higher standards, and our EHEDG training courses, conferences and seminars are very popular in China. Nevertheless, it took us quite some time to start things up. The first steps towards the acquaintanceship between China and the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group were taken in 2013, when ACO Industrial opened an office in Shanghai and started gathering professionals while building a local network of food industry stakeholders. One of the strategic aims was to introduce young professionals and Chinese students to western food safety and hygienic design knowledge.” 

The food safety regulations in China are complex. How do you find your way around them?

Hui Zhang: “There are many government departments that oversee and enforce the policies in China, including ten national government departments like the Ministry of Health, the State Food and Drug Administration, the Ministry of Agriculture, the China Institute of Food Science and Technology, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the National Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety. In addition to these legislating bodies there are also many local and regional food safety agencies active in China. For outsiders, it sometimes seems that there’s no clear formal hierarchy structure between these agencies on the local and national levels, but processes tend to unfold differently in China than in other parts of the world, and you just have to find the right approach to reach your goals. The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and the State Council also regulate food safety issues. The Food Hygiene Law of 1995, passed by the NPC, amended the 1982 Food Hygiene Law and still regulates most aspects of food safety.” 

How did you approach your goals?

Monica Chen: “After two years, we had established connections with Shanghai Ocean University via the Dean of the School of Foods Science and Technology (SHOU) Wong Wang Chi Xi Chang, who is very committed to convey an hygienic engineering and design mindset to the university students. In 2016, the first group of students of SHOU followed an EHEDG training and after that, more universities and university teachers joined the program, like Jiangnan University in Wuxi. Our strategy is to raise the awareness for hygienic engineering and design from the bottom up, starting with the new generation of professionals that enters the Chinese food industry. In order to introduce EHEDG guidelines and training courses we also wanted to establish an EHEDG Regional Section, but no non-governmental organisation is allowed to be active in China without the approval of the Chinese government. In order to obtain that approval, we first had to find a Chinese organisation that would be willing to accredit our EHEDG Regional Section in China. Eventually, we found a valuable partner, the Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST), which is playing a leading role in the Food Industry in China. In 2015, Mrs. Meng Suhe, President of CIFST visited the EHEDG Foundation Board in Frankfurt to sign the Regional Bylaws between EHEDG and CIFST.”

What will 2019 bring?

Hui Zhang: “We hope of course that the importance of hygienic Engineering and Design for food safety and sustainable economic development will be acknowledged by the legislative organisations in China, because as soon as that happens, things may unfold very quickly. In the meantime, EHEDG China will continue to organise EHEDG training, conferences, seminars and help food factories to innovate.” Monica Chen: “Since the Chinese food industry consists of many different and mostly small sized companies, it’s quite a challenge to find key audiences to maximise the impact of EHEDG. This year we will focus on reaching more students, teachers and the big Chinese food producers to establish a firm base for the future development and integration of hygienic engineering and design expertise in China.” 

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Microbes: facing the common enemy

The first thing that’s striking is how tiny they are - thousands of microbes can hide in the full stop at the end of this sentence. Then you realise that their microscopic size is just one of their survival tactics. How can we beat them? For a simplified scientific explanation of the types, hazards and survival tactics of microbes, EHEDG Connects turned to microbiologist Richard Brouillette.


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After obtaining his degrees and working as an industrial microbiologist, Brouillette quickly moved to corporate sanitation and quality roles in which he developed sanitation and training programs for Kraft Foods North America and Mondelez International. Nowadays, Brouillette shares his expertise as an independent Food Safety Director for the consulting, training and education company Commercial Food Sanitation. For reasons of comprehensibility, EHEDG Connects unobtrusively asked Dr. Brouillette to refrain from using scientific jargon as much as possible.

Microorganisms tend to be elusive, until they strike and poison our food - and harm our health and the reputation of our food companies. To know our enemies a little better, EHEDG Connects puts the most common (and most dangerous) microbes under the microscope of microbiologist Richard Brouillette. He helps us understand how they live and grow, how they survive attacks and how they multiply and eat - for these are the common enemies we need to defeat.

What types of microbes represent the biggest threat to our food safety?
Richard Brouillette: “First we need to understand that the term microorganism, or microbes, encompasses all species of fungi, bacteria, and viruses. When we focus on microbes that can be found in food processing equipment, we could say that most fungi are merely spoilage organisms that don’t cause food poisoning. Some fungi are even used in food processes like baking and brewing to transform sugar into carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. Some bacteria can be useful as well, for example for making yogurt or cheese out of milk. Viruses form a league of their own. The ones that can be found in food can be hazardous, but they usually don’t derive from equipment since viruses cannot survive without a living host, so they are less an issue in food processing than bacteria that can very well grow on non-living surfaces. It’s safe to say that within the vast domain of microbes, pathogenic bacteria (the ones that can make people ill) represent the biggest threats in food processing environments.”

What characteristics do most bacteria have in common?
“Bacteria are individual living cells. They can have a number of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals. Despite their simplicity, they have well-developed and unique cell structures which are responsible for their ability to adapt, to survive and to ultimately cause a variety of negative health effects. Unlike most other types of cells, the bacterial DNA is not situated inside a membrane-bound nucleus but moves around freely in the bacterial cytoplasm (the gel-like substance enclosed within the cell membrane). Also, their organelles (small organs that fulfil a variety of functions) are not membrane-bound like in many other types of cells. In bacteria, all the components, typically a few micrometers in length, roam around freely in the cytoplasm, rather than in separate cellular compartments. This enables the bacteria to transfer cellular information easily and to interact with other bacteria. This helps them to adapt to changing environmental conditions quickly. Perhaps the most obvious structural characteristic of bacteria is (with some exceptions) their small size, which allows for rapid uptake and distribution of nutrients and excretion of wastes. This makes bacteria evolutionarily very fit.”

How do they grow and multiply?
“Just like multicellular organisms, single-celled organisms like bacteria also have their distinct process of growth and reproduction. They reproduce through a form of cell division called binary fission: the cell grows to twice its starting size and then splits in two. Another phase of enlargement then follows this process if conditions like moisture, nutrition, pH and temperature are favourable. By absorbing water and food, a cell enlarges to its original size. Under favourable conditions, some kinds of bacteria can double their mass in about 20 minutes. Within 12 hours one single microorganism can produce almost 17 million cells. Depending on the type of surface and conditions, the bacteria cells will form long chains, flat plate-like colonies or irregular three-dimensional colonies.”

Are bacteria consistently growing at all times? 
“During an initial period of one to several hours, there is little or no increase in cell numbers. This is the time the cells need to adapt to the new environment. When the cells begin to divide, they usually continue to do so at regular intervals until the maximum growth that can be supported by the environment is achieved. After this logarithmic phase of growth, the rapid growth can be halted again, this time by depletion of nutrients or accumulation of waste products. Unless the cells are transferred to a new environment that is capable of supporting continuous growth, they will eventually die.”

So they’ll die by themselves? That sounds comforting.
“Only if there’s not enough nutrition, which is rare in continuous food processing environments. Moreover, if the environmental conditions become unfavourable as a result of a lack of water and nutrition or severe temperature fluctuations, some bacteria types deploy an effective defence mechanism to protect the cells from dying. They will go into a sort of dormant state, by forming an endospore. In this stage most metabolic activity is suspended, the bacterium duplicates its DNA, and a hard, resistant wall is formed around it, the endospore, which makes it very resistant to external influences. This way, endospores can remain alive even for a long time, even in poisonous chemical substances. When the conditions are favourable again, the endospore is set free and can start growing and reproducing again.”

What other survival mechanisms of bacteria do we have to know about?
“Bacteria have some amazing survival mechanisms incorporated into their genome. They can, for example, produce a diverse group of enzymes and proteins, which help them overcome adversity. Bacterial cells also have amazing DNA repair mechanisms to preserve the integrity of the genome and are capable of lateral gene transfer. If there is a particular strain of bacteria that has acclimated to adverse conditions, the genes for that adaptation can be shared between bacteria. One of the most effective survival mechanisms of bacteria in food processing is when they form biofilms on surfaces. To do so, they produce chemicals that keep them together and protect them from the outside environment. The outside cells are more likely to be killed, but they then form even more of a barrier between the inner cells and the adverse conditions. Their ability to replicate quickly is one of the most effective defence mechanisms of bacteria. This allows them to gain both high populations and to evolve quickly. They can take large hits, and as long as a few survive, they can grow back without losing the mutations that are beneficial to their survival.”

Click on the EHEDG Connects Magazine for an infographic on the different types of pathogenic bacteria.

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The effective food safety culture of Sachsenmilch & Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller

This is Europe’s biggest dairy plant. It's situated in the German town of Leppersdorf near Dresden and it’s a convincing paragon of German engineering and efficiency. The dairy company Sachsenmilch Leppersdorf GmbH, a subsidiary of Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller, produces a wide variety of popular dairy products here. Food safety conditions are optimised with support of EHEDG.

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Every single day of the year, 200 Sachsenmilch trucks pick up more than five million litres of raw milk in an area of 200 kilometers around Leppersdorf. They make sure that the enormous cooled tanks on site can continue to supply the many processes taking place. The annual production volume of Sachsenmilch encompasses 2,6 billion pots of yoghurt, 320.000 tons of UHT milk, 150.000 tons of milk and whey ingredients, 100.000 tons of cheese and 70.000 tons of butter.

These numbers, as impressive as they may be, are not the only reason why Sachsenmilch is a leading supplier in the dairy product world. Sachsenmilch also leads by example concerning effective and consistent food safety management, with a company culture that enables every Sachsenmilch employee to embrace hygienic engineering and design rules. Dr. Lars Gorzki, General Production Leader Sachsenmilch Leppersdorf GmbH, explains how they do it.

What processes are the most hygiene-critical around here?

Dr. Lars Gorzki: “One of the most sensitive processes here is the production of dry mix lactose, a basic ingredient of baby food. To maximise the food safety of the lactose production units, we established an extremely hygienic production zone by implementing EHEDG guidelines while also creating a hygiene focused company culture. That’s why everywhere on site you see billboards with babies on them, accompanied by the message: our customers, our responsibility. We made it a personal responsibility of each and every employee working here to strictly adhere to these core elements, by posing one simple but meaningful question: ‘Would you feed today’s lactose product to your own baby?’ We have quite some fathers and mothers of young children working on site, and this message really struck a chord.”

What about the others?

“To create an effective food safety company culture, you need to first create a solid support foundation, represented by a critical number of workers who are intrinsically motivated to optimise food safety - in this case: the operators of our plant who are also fathers and mothers. In the first two years of the development of this plant, we invested extensively in creating a high level food safety culture by putting the emphasis on everyone’s individual responsibility, in order to make it socially acceptable to point out safety hazards to each other. By now, everyone here feels comfortable to address a colleague in case any hygiene regulation might get touched. To make this possible, we of course needed to implement crystal clear rules and regulations, and to find effective ways to convey them to our staff. EHEDG helped us to get everything right. We are proud to be an EHEDG Company Member, and we implement the comprehensive range of EHEDG products and services to optimise food safety at our production site, from the training to certification services to the guidelines and the networking opportunities that EHEDG offers to exchange ideas and best practices with other food companies, hygienic engineering and design experts and equipment suppliers.”

Can you give us some examples of how you implemented hygienic design on site?

“It all started with the layout of the premises. We positioned the Molke 5 building where the lactose is processed behind another building that we use as a sort of a buffer. There’s only one entrance to get into the buffer building, and consequently from there into the different food safety zones. Everyone has to change clothes twice and to avoid any misunderstandings, the floors are coloured to match with the different green and red safety zones. In the red zone (also called the dry zone) where our fluid bed dryers are located, we only use EHEDG certified components and materials. There’s decontamination chambers for all equipment going in and out of this zone, all electrical cabinets are hygienically designed, with sloping roofs for easy cleaning, we have online air quality and pressure systems running that we can log into from anywhere in the world. I could go on for a long time here, but believe me when I say that a great number of details are addressed here. However, as soon as we see a possibility for further optimisation, we will look into it. That’s another reason why we are an EHEDG member: we stay in touch with the latest developments."

How do you know how effective your efforts are in your day to day operations?

“We monitor everything: the quality of the purified air in the production areas, the presence of microbes on the floors, on the equipment and even in the drains. And we have clear regulations for all processing aspects, not only regarding our cleaning procedures, but also with respect to our employees. They know how to behave in all work areas and situations. For example, momentarily there is a small flu outbreak in this region, so a temporary rule is in effect that prohibits our employees to shake hands. Everyone here understands and respects a rule like that, because we know that it’s aimed at minimizing food safety risks. There is a continuous awareness to proactively think about food safety risks, based on our own personal responsibility for the health of our actual end customers. In the end, our customers are not the food companies we supply, but the babies consuming our food ingredients. We make sure that everyone is reminded of that responsibility every day. In fact, personally I don’t believe that key performance indicators alone can guarantee food safety. However, I do believe in the value of continuous risk assessment and management. Don’t misunderstand me: kpi’s are important and that’s why we monitor everything, but they are by far not enough to guarantee food safety, not even when you link them to financial incentives. You cannot intrinsically motivate an operator with extra money, but you can do it by conveying a real sense of personal responsibility. At the end of the day, every one of us wants to go to sleep feeling comfortable that our days’ work will be for the benefit and high quality nutrition of babies.”

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New EHEDG Guideline Hygienic Engineering of Spray Dryer and Fluid Bed Plants

Seventy percent of all industrial food processes in the world make use of dry materials produced by fluid bed and spray dryer installations. It’s why the EHEDG Working Group Dry Materials Handling consists of experts from various expertise areas. Like Dr. Gabrie Meesters, chair of the EHEDG Working Group Dry Materials Handling and Assistant Professor Solids Processing and Product Design at TU Delft: “This EHEDG Guideline Document 31 is a must read for anyone involved in fluid bed and spray dryer plant and component engineering, design and operation.”

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What’s the most important hygiene rule when handling dry materials?

Gabrie Meesters: “The most relevant general directive is to keep your plant environment as dry as possible during operation. Pathogenic bacteria need nutrition and moisture to multiply, so the best way to guarantee food safety in dry food material processing areas is to effectively prevent condensation and all other forms of humidity. Compared to other food ingredient processes, dry materials come with their own specific challenges. In general, spray dryer and fluid bed plants require less frequent cleaning than wet food processing facilities, but you have to understand the reason why and how to make use of this in a hygienic way.”   

So what’s new?

“The previous edition of this guideline was published in 2005. Since then, the worldwide use of fluid bed and spray drying plants has increased significantly. Notwithstanding that most of the applied techniques are based on the same basic technical principles that have been around for ages now, the local circumstances may differ greatly and that’s where this new guideline comes into play. EHEDG Guideline 31 not only focuses hygienic engineering aspects of fluid bed and spray dryer installations as such, but also covers food safety determining aspects related to the direct surroundings of these continuing drying process installations, like supply air systems and liquid feed handling. In this updated version, it now covers the total scope, from hygienic plant layout via component design to plant operation within forty pages. So it’s almost twice the size of the previous guideline on this topic.”   

Is EHEDG Guideline 31 suitable for all types of particulate material production?

“Yes, you will find valuable insights for every type of dry material process that makes use of either fluid bed or spray dryer technology. Hygiene risks are always linked to process conditions of heat and humidity and the positioning of the process in the whole processing line. Regardless if you are producing simple starch or complex baby-milk powders - all relevant precautions that should be taken to prevent the transfer of allergens between products, reduce cross contamination possibilities and avoid growth and survival of microorganisms can be found in this guideline.”

How did you determine the new scope of this guideline?

“Our working group comprises members from various areas of the food industry. We each bring in our own expertise and together we have a comprehensive overview of the practical industry needs. In this guideline we addressed all common misconceptions and mistakes made in engineering, designing and operating fluid bed and spray dryer plants. On request of other EHEDG members, we also included a fair number of schematic overviews that help readers to quickly identify and address hidden risk factors. These overviews help readers to quickly implement hygienic design and operation requirements for their types of particulate materials processes. We decided to primarily focus on the hygienic safety of dry particulate materials, so aspects as personnel safety and environmental protection are not addressed in this document. We also excluded de-watering systems such as centrifuges, decanters and filters, since these are addressed in other EHEDG guidelines. Apart from that, EHEDG Document 31 covers everything you need to know about fluid bed and spray dryers, from materials of construction and air handling systems down to the nuts and bolts, bearings, insulation seals and welding. All of this focussed on plants handling dry materials” 

So who should read it?

“Everyone dealing with solids processing, because this guideline offers hands on instructions to make optimum use of all current hygienic engineering, design and operation insights. When implemented correctly, EHEDG Guideline 31 offers full control over all food safety aspects of continuous drying processes. There’s only one way to put it: this is clearly a must read for anyone involved in fluid bed and spray dryer plant and component engineering, design and operation.”

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EHEDG Authorized Trainers: the true HD teachers

In a brief, informal and warm-hearted ceremony at the EHEDG World Congress 2018 in London, the long-sitting chair of the EHEDG Working Group Training and Education Knuth Lorenzen handed over his position to his trusted co-chair Marc Mauermann. A perfect time for a retrospect and a sneak preview of the future EHEDG hygienic engineering and design training and education activities.

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Since the first official EHEDG training courses on hygienic engineering and design started off in 1995, EHEDG Authorised Trainers have educated thousands of professionals on numerous hygienic engineering and design topics. The number of experts that enrol in EHEDG training courses has increased ever since. Worldwide, a grand total of 385 EHEDG training courses have been conducted. How did the EHEDG training and education product portfolio arise and how will it evolve in the future?

Before we invite the new chair Marc Mauermann (who has been a loyal member of the EHEDG Working Group Training and Education since 2010) to share his vision on the future EHEDG training and education activities, let’s first look back with the man who has been incomparably influential in shaping the current EHEDG Training and Education portfolio over the course of the past twenty years.

What did you encounter when you became the first chairman of this working group? 
Knuth Lorenzen: “Before I became the chairman of the EHEDG Working Group Training and Education, a number of hygienic engineering and design experts already provided individual training courses that were mainly based on their own knowledge, experience and training materials. I quickly realised that those various individual training schemes differed too much to be usable for other trainers. So I changed the system by centralising the allotment of EHEDG training materials. I convinced EHEDG that all materials should be issued exclusively by EHEDG, based on our own existing guidelines and proposed that we should develop our own modular and ready to use training material so we could select and train our own trainers. It was basically an early step to safeguard the quality and consistency of the emerging EHEDG training and education portfolio.”

How did you do it?
“First, the members of the working group defined a set of standardised operating procedures, based on the most frequently used EHEDG Guideline Documents. I believe we started with EHEDG Guideline Doc. 8 and then moved on to the EHEDG Guidelines for open and closed processing, cleaning, welding and so on. We also extended our network extensively. The initial working group network consisted of 25 experts and we invited the very specialists to contribute to line up the contents of initially 15 main topics. However, this took quite some time, and after a year or two we decided to first develop a basic presentation in a standardised format, based on our existing guidelines, with a small group of people. These expert panels did most of the groundwork that was then completed by external professionals. We also started to work more intensively with the Fraunhofer Institute that initially translated the guideline contents into a presentation fomat to create a framework for each training course module.” 

What motivates people to attend EHEDG training courses?
“The launch of the Machinery Directive boosted the number of training requests coming directly from the industry. The Directive stated that all machine surfaces must be efficiently cleanable. To comply to these demands, engineers needed to start incorporating hygienic design guidelines in their designs. By that time, the EHEDG Training and Education portfolio was up and running and we were able to scale up our activities to meet the industry demands. But there was still a lot of work to be done, so in 2010 I asked Marc Mauermann who had previously been involved with our activities due to his work at the Fraunhofer Institut, to become a full member of our working group, to develop more ready to use training materials and to support us by aligning new training modules with our existing portfolio. In 2018, it was time for me to step down as the chair of the working group and I am delighted that Marc took over my position to give direction to the new activities of the EHEDG Working Group Training and Education in the years to come.”

Marc, what are your plans for the upcoming years?
Marc Mauermann: “To continue the good work of this working group, to further align the EHEDG training materials and to make good use of new possibilities to reach more food industry professionals from all over the world. This working group strived to raise knowledge levels with regard to hygienic engineering and design across all supply chains. To do so, we develop and maintain training modules based on the EHEDG Guideline criteria, we develop and maintain quality and process control procedures, we make sure that authorized EHEDG trainers comply with all required qualifications and we assist with training upon request and when available. We will continue to optimise the practical value of the current EHEDG training courses, but we also face the task to develop new training materials based on new guidelines. Ultimately, we have to make sure that all hygienic engineering and design aspects are covered by a manageable number of valuable training courses. That’s where our new EHEDG Training & Education Roadmap comes into play - it provides us with a solid foundation for all of our future activities.” 

Can you be more specific? What exactly are you working on right now?
“In general terms, I can share that we are currently developing several new training concepts, like micro learning, to webinars and targeted e-learning modules. That is necessary because training habits are changing. How we learn today is already very different from how we learned ten years ago. We need to adapt to new learning styles that utilise the power of online communication, but we want to do it thoroughly, so we can spread our messages effectively and reach as many professionals worldwide as possible. And in line with this we are also investigating possibilities to create an online EHEDG Academy. The goal is to offer professionals to learn about hygienic engineering and design anywhere and at any time, regardless if they are working for a big multinational or a small local food company.”

How important is it to support educational institutions?
“Very important, because the students of today will bring the changes of tomorrow. We noticed that more and more universities are interested to teach their students about hygienic engineering and design. The emergence of the first university master’s programs in hygienic design shows that this field of expertise is finally recognised as an important scientific area. , Together with the universities, we find new ways to optimise our support. Last but not least, the collaboration with GFSI may open up new possibilities to train the auditors. You see, we are currently still searching for the best ways to make good use of all the new possibilities. Our experts and training materials are ready, available and up-to-date, but we need to figure out the best ways to distribute EHEDG expertise via the different channels. Training courses where people can meet and learn in real life will always stay in demand, but we want to enrich the current courses with online modules to further enhance the value of the EHEDG training and education portfolio.” 

So what’s next?
“We have to think of business models to make this approach economically feasible, but I am sure we can work out something here. I think the interest in these courses proves that, on top of a basic understanding of hygienic engineering and design issues, food safety professionals are always looking for specific answers for specific problems, so the practicality of EHEDG courses should always be our first concern. Expert knowledge is important of course, but it only has a real life value when it’s correctly implemented on the working floor so it can improve food safety for everyone.” 

Thank you.

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Dr. Ellen Evans, Zero2Five Institute / Cardiff Metropolitan University

Dr. Ellen Evans studies the influence of human behaviour on food safety. Her university has a long track record in behavioural and cognitive research and incorporates new insights from other faculties to effectively deliver food safety messages. Dr. Evans: "Giving people a sense of responsibility is one of the most effective ways to optimise food safety."


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As a researcher at the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre (FIC), Dr. Ellen Evans is involved with all stages of research; from proposal application, the collation, entry and analysis of data, the preparing of final reports for funders; the dissemination of findings at conferences through oral and poster presentations, and at community education outreach activities, through to the preparation of research publications for international journals. She supervises BSc, MRes and PhD student projects relating to food safety; current student projects include the use of food-media to deliver food safety messages and the role of dieticians in the delivery of food safety information to vulnerable patients.

Dr. Evans personal research interests include cognitive and behavioural food safety risks associated with ‘at risk’ consumer groups. As part of the ‘Food Safety Research Group’, she is involved with various aspects of food safety research from microbiological analysis, the design of intervention strategies such as food safety education initiatives for consumers and food safety training for healthcare professionals, to assessing food safety compliance in the food industry and observation of food safety practices in the innovative model domestic kitchen at the FIC. 

In addition to her research activity at the FIC, Evans regularly contributes to the organisation of research events and she gives lectures on food safety research and education at community events and conferences. She also contributes to Welsh television and radio, and peer-review research articles for international food safety journals.

ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre: 
<link https: company zero2five>

Cardiff Metropolitan University: <link https: school cardiff-metropolitan-university>

Ellen Evans: <link https: in ellen-evans-66b761a7>


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Dr. Roy Kirby, Global Director Food Safety Mondelēz International:

Dr. Roy Kirby shares his views on food safety: "Sharing knowledge and best practices on food safety should be a non-competitive process, based on trust, just like the collaboration between EHEDG and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). We should all be able to learn from each other's mistakes and share best practices.” Click on 'read more' for the video.

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Prof. Dr. Ian Wilson (University of Cambridge)

Cambridge University Professor Dr. Ian Wilson is an expert in cleaning. Together with his fellow scientists of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, he studies the (cleaning) properties of complex fluids and surfaces. Their insights may lead to valuable applications in the food, pharma and chemicals industries. That is why Dr. Wilson is a member of the EHEDG Working Group Tank Cleaning Systems. Find out what he is working on and watch the video below.

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Prof. Dr. Ian Wilson takes part in the Paste, Particle and Polymer Processing Group (in association with Sarah Rough and Bart Hallmark), and continues the activity started by John Bridgwater and Malcom Mackley. Their activities focus around fundamental studies, process modelling, product design and rheology, e.g. investigations of phenomena, such as wall slip, liquid phase migration, agglomeration and spheronisation, developing models of paste forming processes, such as rolling/calendering or screen extrusion and relating function, processing and formulation to deliver particular product properties. Ongoing projects include the extrusion of tungsten carbide pastes (with Sarah Rough) to understand monitor micro-structural development and defect formation, the rheology of bubbly liquids (aka cake batters and foamed cement, with Bart Hallmark), and extrusion-spheronisation of pharmaceutical materials (with Sarah Rough).

Fouling and Cleaning Mechanisms
A whole class of unwanted micro-structured materials can be found as fouling deposits on heat transfer surfaces, in distribution systems and other equipment. Fouling is a common (and expensive) operating problem in many processes, particularly the food industry, where the deposits formed can act as harbours for other problem species (e.g. bacteria ). This work relates to long-standing efforts in heat transfer and approaches the problem at three related scales: fundamental studies of deposit formation and removal (with particular focus on deposit structure and modelling), design, control and operation of individual heat exchanger units, both in production and during cleaning (e.g. for aspectic processing) and design and operation of large heat transfer networks, such as are used in energy intensive processes.

Recent work has looked at water scaling on copper surfaces (with Stuart Clarke) and novel, non-disruptive, in-situ methods for studying the growth or removal of soft layers in conjunction with John Chew  (University of Bath). The soft layers include biofilms and protein matrices undergoing swelling for controlled release. Their interest in cleaning in the food sector has expanded into studies of the flow behaviour of liquid jets impinging on vertical walls and their cleaning behaviour. This work (in conjunction with John Davidson) features collaborations with TU Braunschweig, TU Dresden and DAMTP in Cambridge.

The paper by Ishiyama et al. in Heat Transfer Engineering (2014) brought the strands of soft-solids and fouling together in a unified framework for managing fouling and cleaning cycles, where deposit ageing (converting deposit from a soft solid to a hard material) is a key factor. The Matlab code for this work is available from Dr Edward Ishiyama. Ian was awarded an ScD by the University of Cambridge for his work in this field in 2013.

Other Professional Activities
Ian is the Editor-in-Chief (Food) of the IChemE journal Food & Bioproducts Processing, IChemE University Accreditation Assessor, IChemE Food & Drink Subject Interest Group and member of the EHEDG Working Group Tank Cleaning Systems. 

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Connect with EHEDG by following us on LinkedIn


Click on this link:

Then click on 'Follow' and you're all set.


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EHEDG Certification Officer Mirjam Steenaard

Appointing an EHEDG Certification Officer was a sensible step in the 2018 centralisation of the EHEDG certification scheme. Now that a year has passed, it's time to make acquaintance with the person who gives substance to this position. Introducing: EHEDG Certification Officer Mirjam Steenaard.

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Last year, Dr. Peter Golz, chairman of the EHEDG Product Portfolio Sub-Commission, explained how this centralisation secures the validity of EHEDG certificates (click <link https: ehedg docs ehedg_connects_web_edition_051118>here to read his article in EHEDG Connects Magazine). Now that a year has passed, it is time to learn a bit more about the person who gives substance to this newly created position within EHEDG. Introducing: EHEDG Certification Officer Mirjam Steenaard. 


Nice to meet you. How did your first year at EHEDG unfold?

Mirjam Steenaard: “The first couple of months were quite challenging, because we were still transitioning from a decentralised to a centralised EHEDG Certification Organization. All the certification, contract and financial data of EHEDG Certificate holders had to be retrieved from the various test laboratories and as it turned out, many of the records were incomplete. By now, new certification and recertification applications run through the EHEDG website, where all the necessary information to start the evaluation and certification processes have to be entered, but that has not always been the case. Prior to my appointment to office, my new colleagues at the EHEDG Secretariat had already done a great deal of work updating the certification database, but I still had to really dive into the matter to complete it. I also had to learn how all processes are organised within EHEDG. I was very fortunate to find such knowledgeable and committed colleagues at the Secretariat. Susanne, Jana and Johanna did a fantastic job: they offered me all the support I needed to get started.”


What does an EHEDG Certification Officer do on a daily basis? 

“Since all technical evaluation and certification steps are handled by the Authorized Evaluation Officers (AEOs) and, if cleaning in place testing is required, by the EHEDG accredited test laboratories, my work as the EHEDG Certification Officer mainly focuses on the procedural, financial and legislative aspects of the certification allotments. The certification process consists of several procedural stages. Firstly, the applicant who wants to certify (or needs to recertify) a component will fill in the online application form on the EHEDG website and select a preferred AEO (for a list of all AEOs: <link testing-certification authorized-evaluation-officers>click here). What follows is an initial evaluation procedure, in which the AEO performs a design review to determine if all basic design requirements are met. After a successful design review, open equipment may be submitted directly for certification but most closed equipment will require cleanability in-place (CIP) testing by an EHEDG Authorised Test Laboratory (ATL, for a list of all ATL’s: <link testing-certification authorised-testing-laboratories>click here). Only after successfully completing at least 3 CIP tests, will the closed equipment be eligible for certification. The certification file will be completed by the appointed AEO and reviewed by at least one other AEO before being accepted by the EHEDG Certification Officer (me). I will then fill in the contract with all necessary details, make sure that the applicant accepts the terms of the EHEDG contract and will issue a "Certificate of Compliance" after which the equipment will be listed on the EHEDG website (for a complete oversight of the certification procedure: click <link file:260>here). Finally, I will forward the high resolution EHEDG Certified logo to the certificate owner and monitor the correct use of the logo. If a company misuses it, I will inform them and if necessary take legal action. Generally, on a typical working day I am also very busy with answering questions of certification holders with respect to contract details and invoicing and so on. So in essence, I mainly have a supporting role to make sure that the certification procedures proceed correctly and efficiently.”


What are your plans for your second year in office? 

“We are investigating new possibilities to optimise the administrative workflows with regard to the certification processes, for example by partly automating the invoicing. Furthermore, I will have to keep up with the globalisation of EHEDG. At this moment, we have EHEDG Accredited Testing Laboratories in Denmark, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Taiwan and the USA. With the global expansion of EHEDG, the range of EHEDG Certificate applications and testing laboratories is likely to expand as well. And with the new recertification policy in place, I also expect to answer many additional questions from certificate holder from all around the world (for more info on the new recertification policy: <link https: ehedg docs ehedg_connects_web_edi>click here). Fortunately, I speak five languages and I really enjoy communicating and working with different people, so I am looking forward to whatever future challenges I may encounter in my role as EHEDG Certification Officer. One thing I am sure of: there’s still a lot of work to be done to facilitate the EHEDG organisation and its members, and I am committed to offer my full support to any future needs and developments.” 

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Sustainable globalisation on a regional scale

Andres Pascual Vidal, chairman of the EHEDG Sub-Committee Regional Development, explains how every EHEDG region in the world can apply for and utilise financial and institutional EHEDG support to raise awareness for hygienic engineering and design.

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Quality over quantity, that is the prime directive for the EHEDG Sub-Committee Regional Development when regulating the regional growth of EHEDG around the world. With a clear set of strategic objectives and key performance indicators, EHEDG supports, monitors and aligns the activities of the EHEDG Regional Sections. 

What strategic objectives does EHEDG want the regional sections to contribute to?
Andres Pascual Vidal: “To raise the awareness for hygienic design in their regions, to provide guidance and to increase EHEDG recognition and technical abilities. Furthermore, the EHEDG Regional Sections are expected to realise a well-balanced membership structure, to support to EHEDG products and the EHEDG communication strategy and to increase the cooperation among their surrounding regional sections.”

How do you expect them to do that?
“One of the first things a newly established EHEDG Regional Section can do is to organise promotional meetings. Most Regional Sections do this once or twice a year, but to make EHEDG better known in the regions we stimulate them to organise at least three meetings yearly. The EHEDG Regional Sections can also develop regional EHEDG seminars, translate EHEDG guidelines into their regional languages and officially participate in external events and courses under the name of EHEDG. They are even welcome to submit ideas for stories to the new EHEDG Sub-Committee Communication to put their region in the global spotlight. We have developed a comprehensive roadmap containing hands-on information on how to deploy all of these activities. We invite all EHEDG Regional Sections, the long existing and the new ones, to follow this roadmap to reach their goals.”

What does the Sub-Committee Regional Development do in the meantime?
“The Regional Development Sub-Committee leads and develops strategies and programs for the EHEDG Regional Sections. The Sub-Committee members help the EHEDG Regional Sections to interpret and apply the EHEDG strategies, to identify needs, gaps and opportunities, to strengthen the interaction between EHEDG and its local extensions as well as to monitor and support regional activities to maximise their impact.”

Why assess and monitor the EHEDG Regional Sections in the first place?
”In the past, the growth of EHEDG was uncontrolled and unlimited. As a result, EHEDG grew very fast, but no structural performance data was coming from the regions to base EHEDG admission and funding policy on. To control the growth and safeguard the quality of EHEDG products and services, the EHEDG Sub-Committee Regional Development introduced key performance indicators (KPI) that enable us to evaluate all EHEDG Regional Sections in the same way. This also creates an honest level playing field for funding. Some EHEDG Regional Sections never ask for financial support. Others need more funding. On average EHEDG finances about half of the total costs made by the EHEDG Regional Sections. Thanks to the KPI’s, the EHEDG Sub-Committee Regional Development and the EHEDG Executive Committee can support, regulate and motivate all EHEDG Regional Sections strategically and transparently. We can now offer expertise and financial means in a targeted way to maximise the EHEDG value proposition in the regions while safeguarding the quality of EHEDG products and services worldwide.”

What are the primary selection criteria for admitting new EHEDG Regional Sections?
“First of all, every new EHEDG Regional Section must have an EHEDG Regional Committee, consisting of at least four members: a chairperson, a co-chair, a treasurer, and a secretary. Since we strive for diversity, all EHEDG Regional Committee members should ideally originate from different private organisations. Secondly, the EHEDG Regional Committee has to sign the current EHEDG bylaws that contain all strategy and process related rules of conduct. Furthermore, the applying region has to turn in an annual action plan and budget estimation that describes in detail how the EHEDG Regional Committee plans to contribute to the strategic objectives. The EHEDG Executive Committee handles the applications, advised by our Sub-Committee Regional Development and based on our preferences regarding the priority of admittance of new regions.”

Do you have any suggestions on how to promote EHEDG on a regional scale?
”It depends on the region of course, but most companies in the world of food are sensitive for a general set of compelling benefits that hygienic engineering and design can offer. Securing food safety by reducing contamination risks goes hand in hand with optimising plant productivity (as a result of shorter cleaning intervals) and with improving sustainability (through savings in chemicals, water, and energy). These economic and environmental effects are substantial and real and are underlined by the attributions of the recent “Life Best Project Awards” of the European Commission. Also, let’s not forget the business opportunities that the EHEDG community represents. Many EHEDG Regional Sections are hosted by universities and non-governmental organisations that promote EHEDG primarily from a perspective of food safety and social responsibility, but most potential EHEDG members are also interested in new business opportunities. I would suggest to always refer to several of these great benefits and opportunities that EHEDG has to offer.”

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The golden era of hygienic design

EHEDG President Ludvig Josefsberg: "On behalf of EHEDG, I cordially invite you to join us in this golden era of hygienic engineering and design. By sharing our activities, accomplishments, and plans with you, we hope to inspire you to share yours too. Connect with us so we can broaden our scopes and optimise food safety and food quality all over the world."

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The golden era of hygienic design

"These are exciting times for EHEDG. The global food industry collectively recognises the importance of hygienic engineering and design for safe food processing and packaging. Food producers, scientists, legislators, and equipment manufacturers acknowledge and advocate that hygienic design is an indispensable prerequisite for safe food production.

EHEDG is today a trustworthy and competent knowledge platform that provides the necessary expertise to improve food safety worldwide. Consequently, membership is growing. Since our previous print publication, we have again welcomed many new members in our community. Since all of these members bring in their unique knowledge and experience, EHEDG has more expertise to show for than ever before.

Connecting the dots and leading the way

The leading role of EHEDG in hygienic engineering and design is also noticed by other organisations that strive to make the world of food a safer place. The European Commission is considering including hygienic design as a best available technique. The 3-A organisation in the United States is referring to EHEDG guidelines to formulate its sanitary standards for food producers. Also, the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) decided to develop one of its scopes with the support of EHEDG expertise. These are great opportunities for EHEDG to position the working field of hygienic engineering and design in a broad context of global food safety.

EHEDG continues to emphasise that implementing hygienic equipment and engineering solutions optimises food safety, sustainability, and food processing productivity. This is the golden era of hygienic design because the industry realises that investing in hygienic engineering and design creates a win-win-win-situation for people, planet, and profits. In our quest to support food safety and food quality, EHEDG is blossoming into a lively community of people that care profoundly about food safety. The support base for EHEDG is solid and fertile. Our well-established product portfolio provides practical guidance to the industry; our certificates keep on proving their practical value and our training programs reach more industry stakeholders every day. They will continue to do so via face-to-face training as well as online e-training programs, all as parts of our roadmap to establish an EHEDG Training Academy. By continuously improving and communicating our product offering, EHEDG collectively contributes value to its member companies.

Maximizing the value of EHEDG products and services

To stay relevant, it is vital that EHEDG continuously optimises its value proposition for its members. The many EHEDG committees and EHEDG working groups will continue to offer guidance with factual and unbiased information. They keep up with new legislation and innovation developments, publish new and update existing guidelines, establish certification opportunities and enhance training programs. These volunteers will tell you that being part of the global EHEDG community and working collectively with people from all over the world is rewarding both professionally and personally.

All EHEDG members share a common objective: we want to help to secure food safety globally. Thus it is an essential mission of the EHEDG leadership to safeguard the objectivity of all EHEDG activities. That’s why the EHEDG Executive Committee chooses to operate and communicate in a fully transparent manner. As we speak, new online and offline channels are put into place so that every EHEDG member can safely share knowledge and exchange views under the flag of the protected EHEDG brand. Because sharing knowledge means caring for food safety.

EHEDG Connects

This publication shows how EHEDG connects people that care about hygienic design and food safety. The interviews with the chairmen of the EHEDG committees and working groups show us how their teams contribute to an expanding range of EHEDG services. They explain how realigning the management structure of EHEDG has made this organisation more agile, and how our recently centralised certification process secures the validity and comparability of EHEDG certificates. By implementing new means of digital communication and topic-oriented online forums, they stimulate knowledge exchange, and by streamlining guideline and training protocols, they help to adequately disclose all the valuable expertise that EHEDG has to offer.

On behalf of EHEDG, I cordially invite you to join us in this golden era of hygienic engineering and design. By sharing our activities, accomplishments, and plans with you, we hope to inspire you to share yours too. Connect with us so we can broaden our scopes together and optimise food safety and food quality all over the world." 

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EHEDG Guideline 28: H2O revisited

The recently published EHEDG Guideline 28 covers hygienic treatment, storage and distribution aspects of water in food and beverage factories. Chair of the EHEDG Working Group Water Treatment Dr. Anett Winkler explains why EHEDG Guideline 28 matters and why anyone concerned with food safety should take the time to read it attentively.

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Why do we need to read this guideline?
Dr. Winkler: “The quality of water used for food processing can be critical for the final product safety in the marketplace. It also affects the reliability of production processes and foremost: the health safety of personnel. In that respect, if water quality falls below acceptable standards and is allowed to form aerosols, food processing systems can become prone to microbes that can cause a potentially fatal disease in humans known as Legionnaires’ disease (to read more about the different types of microbes in EHEDG Connects Magazine: click <link https: ehedg docs ehedg_connects_web_edition_051118>here).

All types of water treatments, directly or indirectly linked to the production process, should therefore render the water microbiologically and toxicologically safe. 

What’s the scope of this guideline?
“This EHEDG Guideline summarises practices to ensure adequate water and steam qualities for safe use in food and beverage production as well as to how avoid the emergence of Legionella in various types of water systems. The guideline focusses on practices for product water and utility water. Utility water is used in secondary processes where no direct contact with the product occurs at any stage, for example hot and cooling water systems and fire fighting water storage. Product water encompasses the water used as a product ingredient, as rinsing water in food contact areas and water used by personnel for washing, food and drink preparation. All these types of water need to be adequately treated, stored and distributed in accordance to this guideline. EHEDG Guideline 28 covers all of these areas, from water sources to water treatments and water distribution systems, and from steam quality to Legionella control.”

How did the development of this guideline come about?
“The first steps were taken in 2003, after some Legionella outbreaks directly related to the use of inferior product and utility water quality had occurred. There was a need for clear guidelines on water management and treatment. It resulted in the development of EHEDG Guideline 23, 24 and 27. These guidelines covered different aspects of the use, storage and distribution of water in food factories and they cleared the way towards better control over water quality aspects, but until recently, there was no comprehensive hygienic engineering and design guideline covering all water management aspects in one document. So the members of the EHEDG Working Group Water Treatment teamed up to integrate the fragmented guideline chapters on water and steam management into one new guideline. EHEDG Guideline 28 is the result of that.”

What has changed since 2003?
“Most common water treatment methods remain valid. Some new insights related to the sustainability aspect of water use are included. There have also been some developments in the electrochemical treatment field, but we didn’t include guidelines on how to hygienically re-use processing water in food plants in this document. For this purpose, we refer to the Codex Alimentarius discussion paper on proposed draft guidelines and the current work being done at JEMRA: Risk based framework on water re-use, currently under development. However, since Legionella are especially dangerous when inhaled in an aerosol state, Guideline 28 does contain a section specifically dedicated to that subject. Complementary to existing legislation aimed at controlling Legionella, this guideline highlights especially those elements that are of particular importance for the food industry. So put EHEDG Guideline 28 on your reading list to learn about hygienic engineering and design aspects of different water treatment options, from sourcing via distribution to daily use in food and beverage plants.” 


You are welcome to download EHEDG Guideline 28 here: <link http: guidelines external-link-new-window internal link in current>


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Marks & Spencer Senior Hygiene Technologist Katie Satterthwaite

British multinational retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S) sells luxury food products through its more than 1000 stores in the UK (and 500 abroad). In this video, Senior Hygiene Technologist Katie Satterthwaite explains how M&S generates value from its EHEDG Company Membership, and why her company stimulates her to actively participate in EHEDG Working Groups.

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Please scroll down to watch the video. 


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Open food processes beware: here come the robots

Uniformly executed EHEDG certification and test methods create an honest level playing field for hygienic design innovation. Robot technology can significantly contribute to generate comparable cleaning test results for open food process equipment.

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EHEDG Executive Committee member Knuth Lorenzen is convinced that distinct EHEDG test methodology development is even more relevant after EHEDG reclaimed its rights for allocating EHEDG certificates.

Together with EHEDG experts and the EHEDG Working Group Testing & Certification, he developed a new approach that enables EHEDG Authorised test laboratories to assess the cleanability test for open food processing equipment in the a uniform way.

Why was this new test method guideline developed?
Knuth Lorenzen: “The first EHEDG test method guideline focused on assessing the in-place cleanability of food processing equipment and dates back to 1997. Between this publication and the last one launched in 2012 EHEDG published three more test method guidelines that focused on closed food processing equipment as well. This new and long-awaited EHEDG test method guideline is the first one specifically developed for testing open food processing equipment. It was requested by many food producers who want to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff when selecting new components - just like they do with closed processing equipment. This new test method guideline is the result of an extensive process of investigating and discussing the differences between testing closed versus open food processing equipment. In open food processes, there are many more factors that can influence the test results than in closed processes where testing conditions are much easier to control.”

How did you come up with the idea to introduce robot technology?
“After their first meeting in 2015, the working group members started to investigate methods to compare cleaning effects for various types of open process components. For a long time we’ve been looking for reliable and repeatable methods to first stain, then dry and finally clean open process equipment. This had to be done in ways that would justify comparing the cleaning results with our self-built reference components. To make the cleaning results comparable, both the test components and the reference components had to be stained, dried and cleaned in the same ways, with equal angles and distances between the cleaning nozzle and the surfaces during the whole staining and cleaning process. This was quite a challenge because many components for open processing have irregular shapes, corners, and surfaces. Eventually, I realized that the only reliable way to do this would be to use a programmable robot that traces all surfaces, based on a virtual twin model of the component.”

That sounds complicated.
“Due to recent advancements in robot technology, this is nearly not as complicated as it sounds. Most hygienic design equipment is already designed in 3D-modelling software, so the equipment producers can deliver the models to the EHEDG authorized test institutes. The test institutes can then feed the 3D-model to the robots and calibrate their testing procedures accordingly. The robots are off-the-shelf-products and can easily be obtained by the test institutes themselves. Just like the food processing companies, the EHEDG authorized test institutes are eager to read this new EHEDG test method guideline - because once they know which test method criteria they have to comply with, they can immediately start offering EHEDG testing and certification services for open food processing equipment. In cooperation with the EHEDG Working Group Testing & Certification, the Fraunhofer Institute is momentarily beta testing the new methodology in a real-life test setting. Please check the EHEDG website and the EHEDG social media news feeds to stay tuned.”

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EHEDG World Congress on Hygienic Engineering & Design 2018

Globally, retailers – and the food and drink manufacturers that supply them – increasingly recognise that hygienic engineering and design is fundamental to the production of safe food and drink products. But much more needs to be done.

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More needs to be done to ensure the minimisation of food poisoning outbreaks, which still occur because of cross contamination resulting from poorly designed, cleaned and maintained food factory environments, and from the production equipment within them. 

These key messages emerged from the sixth European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group (EHEDG) World Congress held in London from 21-22 November during the Food Matters Live event.The World Congress, which attracted 350 delegates from 51 countries around the world, heard about the very latest thinking on hygienic engineering and design from expert speakers from academia and industry, including food manufacturers Mondelēz and Cargill, and leading food retailer Marks & Spencer, whose senior food hygiene technologist Katie Satterthwaite spoke about the criticality of hygienic design to good cleaning practices in food and drink premises.

Twenty presentations over the two days were grouped into four sessions covering building and equipment design; cleaning; innovation; and upgrading and renovation. Speakers discussed everything from the use of mathematical modelling to optimise spray jet removal of waste deposits from the surfaces of process vessels, through to very practical advice on equipment design and maintenance to minimise the entrapment and retention of potentially dangerous pathogens.

They also described good layout of production facilities – including air handling and water management – together with the design of all-important drainage systems, to reduce the opportunities for cross contamination. The need to carry out risk assessments when changes are made to the fabric of food factory buildings, such as when new lines are added, was discussed by Richard Leathers of Campden BRI. The practical importance of this was then outlined by Cargill’s Haydn Mann, who described his experiences with a recent upgrade to one of Cargill’s poultry processing factories in the UK. 


Several presentations described the activities of EHEDG Working Groups, which have produced some 49 practical guidelines that are now being specified and used as prerequisites by companies, food safety organisations and governments around the world to ensure the quality and safety of foodstuffs on sale to consumers. However, EHEDG doesn’t stand still. It operates a process of continuous improvement in which guidelines are periodically reviewed, updated and added to by specialist working groups as more knowledge and expertise is gained. Some of these developments were also described over the two days of the Congress.

For example, work on updating EHEDG guidance on the validation of cleaning regimes was described by Dirk Nikoleiski of Commercial Food Sanitation, while forthcoming EHEDG guideline number 50 on cleaning-in-place (CIP) systems was described by Diversey’s Hein Timmerman.



On the first evening of the Congress, a gala dinner for delegates was held at which the Hygienic Study Awards were presented. First prize went to Sawsen Zouaghi, from the School of Industrial Biology at the University of Cergy-Pontoise in France, for her PhD thesis on biomimetic surfaces for dairy fouling management. 

Awards were also presented for the best technical posters displayed during the Congress, with the first prize awarded for the development of a flexible mobile cleaning device for open processing and packaging lines from the Fraunhofer IVV in Dresden, Germany.

The EHEDG Merit awards, which recognise outstanding contribution to the organisation and the food and drink sector generally, were presented to Ulf Thiessen of GEA Tuchenhagen in Germany and Hein Timmerman from Diversey in Belgium.

As delegates relaxed during the gala dinner, they were serenaded by the glorious classical singing of female vocalist duo Belle Voci, 2018 finalists in the hit British TV music talent show The Voice UK. 





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A message from the EHEDG Secretariat

2018 was one of the most exciting years in the history of EHEDG. We welcomed more new member organisations than ever before and offered substantial secretarial support to our communication services and certification services. What we wish for in the coming year? Enough resources to catch up with all ongoing changes and developments.

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A clear sign that EHEDG is growing is the expansion and diversification of the EHEDG product portfolio. For every new product or service, the secretariat makes sure that all necessary back office processes and workflows are put in place.

Then there is the new cooperation with the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) - a great opportunity for EHEDG experts to demonstrate their knowledge on a global scale and an enrichment of the EHEDG network maintained by the secretariat. 2018 was also the year of our biannual EHEDG World Congress. We’ve been working hard so that all members feel welcome and well cared for.

EHEDG Connects: people, policies, products

As the Head Office Manager of the EHEDG Secretariat I have the pleasure to point your attention to the first issue of EHEDG Connects, a new magazine created by the EHEDG Sub-Committee Communication with support of the EHEDG Secretariat. EHEDG Connects informs about last years most important EHEDG activities and achievements and marks the start of a new communication strategy, aimed at a broader audience that includes food industry decision makers, food safety managers, engineers, equipment developers, scientists and legislators. Compared to earlier yearbooks, you will find less technical information and more stories that provide insights in the goals and strategies that drive the development of EHEDG.

As the name implies, EHEDG Connects is all about connecting and motivating people to share their knowledge. To do this, we need to trust each other, and that is why transparency is important. In the key messages that you find in this publication, EHEDG Executive Committee and Sub-Committee members talk frankly about policies, strategies and ongoing developments. You will find interviews with EHEDG Working Group members who explain why and how they developed new guidelines and with food safety professionals who share how they utilise EHEDG products and services in their working fields.

This makes EHEDG Connects an excellent publication to inform yourself about the EHEDG community and its people, while enjoying a good read and encountering familiar as well as some new faces. I wish you a great reading experience and I hope to meet you soon. Until then, rest assured that our secretariat is always standby to answer your questions - and if we don’t have the answers ourselves, we always know someone who has. That’s the power of EHEDG and the EHEDG Secretariat: we love to connect people and their knowledge.

With kind regards,
Susanne Flenner

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