Firstly, what is EHEDG?
Founded in 1989, the European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group (EHEDG) comprises a global group of equipment manufacturers, research institutes, academic bodies and food and drink companies which works collaboratively to drive the adoption of best practice in food and beverage production. With a remit to share and encourage an understanding of the vital role of hygienic engineering and hygienic design in the food and drinks industry, its global network of experts disseminate knowledge on the design, installation and cleanability of food-processing equipment. They also help to specify best practices for hygienic operations, supply and maintenance. Represented in more than 55 countries, EHEDG is undoubtedly a major force for good within the food industry world-wide.
Eric Partington (Chairman of EHEDG in the UK and Ireland) provides some key facts about EHEDG and explains how it is supporting Britain’s food and drinks industry.
What practical support does EHEDG provide to Britain’s food and drinks industry?
EHEDG supports the industry in five key ways:
1. Best practice guidance
EHEDG provides engineering guidance and advice based on the very latest academic research, industrial experience and best practice. At any one time, no fewer than 350 experts worldwide are cooperating to develop new Technical Guidelines or to update existing ones, all of which can be accessed by EHEDG members worldwide. To date EHEDG has published more than 50 of these on subjects as diverse as air handling, the principles of hygienic drainage, the use of food-grade lubricants and the testing of hygienic welds.
2. Knowledge sharing and collaboration
EHEDG is a central, internationally-recognised source of excellence on hygienic engineering and it provides networking opportunities to help people to establish global contacts. The EHEDG World Congress is key event in its calendar. More than 400 key figures from the global food and drinks industry attend the event which is held biennially to give delegates an opportunity to learn about the very latest developments in hygienic engineering and design, to see examples of best practice and to review findings of new research undertaken by some of the world’s leading organisations working in the field of food technology. The next World Congress will be held in 2024.
EHEDG develops test procedures for the certification of equipment. The tests themselves are undertaken in one of the eight authorised institutes and organisations in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Taiwan and the USA. EHEDG certification sets recognised quality standards for manufacturers which are aiming to design equipment that meets the highest hygienic standards. The Regional Section for the UK & Ireland (UK&IE) is looking at establishing an Authorised Test laboratory here in the UK.
EHEDG delivers high-level training based on material developed by recognised industry experts. It holds several advanced training courses worldwide every year. Now that face-to-face meetings are possible again, EHEDG UK & Ireland is re-commencing a programme of conferences, seminars and Training Courses.
EHEDG also contributes to European legislation and it influences regulatory bodies by demonstrating practically how to follow existing requirements and meet standards.
How can companies in the UK and Ireland get involved?
There are several ways in which organisations can become involved, ranging from membership through to joining the Management Committee for EHEDG UK and Ireland, to contributing towards the drafting of future technical guidelines.
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