The October/November 2016 issue of Food Safety Magazine included
an article by Margaret D. Hardin, Ph.D. I read the article, “Retrofitting
a Food Plant to Maximize Sanitation,” with great interest. This issue can
be a significant problem and cost for a processing plant with multiple
pieces of “heritage” equipment. In the article, Dr. Hardin highlights the
North American Meat Institute’s “ 10 Principles of Sanitary Equipment
Design” and the “ 11 Principles for Sanitary Facility Design.” Both of
these lists are laudable principles that any food processing facility is
well advised to follow.
I was disappointed, however, that she did not reference any of the internationally recognized
leaders in hygienic equipment design or hygienic facility design. 3-A Sanitary Standards Inc.
(3-A SSI) in McLean, VA, publishes a large catalog of internationally recognized sanitary
standards and accepted practices for the sanitary design of processing systems. The European
Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG) in Frankfurt, Germany, also has a large
catalog of guidelines covering food processing that are widely used around the world.
The 10 principles, however praiseworthy, do not provide the details of how to practically
obtain those principles. Retrofitting an existing processing facility generally falls on the
shoulders of in-house maintenance and engineering staff. Most processors must accomplish
these changes while still maintaining an effective processing schedule. The catalogs of individual
equipment standards or guidelines published by both 3-A SSI and EHEDG include documents
detailing the basic general requirements applicable to all types of equipment throughout the
food processing industry.
Readers wishing to obtain more details about the design, fabrication and materials of
construction, as well as the cleanability, inspectability and installation that can be used to
support the goals of the 10 principles can contact these hygienic design organizations at
www.3-a.org and www.ehedg.org.
Using these documents for the maintenance and retrofitting of processing facilities can
greatly assist processors to “get it right the first time” rather than making changes that are
subsequently found not to accomplish the desired improvement in sanitation or are rejected by
F. Tracy Schonrock, Schonrock Consulting
Changes in Listeria,
The European Union (EU)
has released a summary
report on trends and sources
of zoonoses, zoonotic agents
and foodborne outbreaks
that occurred in 2015.
In that year, EU Member
States reported a total
of 2,206 human cases of
listeriosis. The number
of Listeria-related deaths last
year (~270) is the highest
number ever reported in the
The report also represents
the most recent data on
foodborne infections linked
to Campylobacter and
Salmonella. In 2015, there
were 229,213 reported
most commonly reported
foodborne illness in Europe.
The second most commonly
a prevalence of 94,625 cases
in 2015, compared with just
over 92,000 in 2014. It is
believed that the increase in
reported cases is probably
due to better surveillance
and diagnostic methods.
There were 4,362 reported foodborne outbreaks
in 2015. The most common
cause of outbreaks was
with consumption of eggs.
However, the number of
Salmonella outbreaks has
fallen by 41 percent since
The report is available at
FDA Announces Updated FSMA Training Strategy
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has
published an updated training strategy that reflects
progress made with the agency’s Food Safety
Modernization Act (FSMA) over the past year or
FDA has awarded funding for the development of training curricula and delivery. Co-operative agreements have been awarded to
the National Farmers Union Foundation and
the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
Federal grants have been awarded for the
establishment of regional centers to facilitate
training delivery under FDA’s partnership with
the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National
Institute of Food and Agriculture.
This program is focused on farmers, small food
processors and small produce merchant wholesalers.