General Information about Certification
Authorized EHEDG institutes are offering several types of certification to the benefit of both equipment suppliers and food manufacturers:
Their equipment can be approved by EHEDG authorized organisations to be in compliance with EHEDG criteria. In certain cases, approval may only be granted after testing by a laboratory accredited by a notified body, using EHEDG test methods.
They may select hygienically designed equipment although users must still validate that such equipment is suitable for its intended use.
EHEDG may authorise the use of the EHEDG
Certification logo for equipment complying with the EHEDG hygienic design
criteria at the date of issue (month + year). Certification may involve testing
of equipment according to the certification class type.
EHEDG has authorised several institutes to certify the use of the EHEDG compliance logo. Testing and certification are independent activities and may be done by different organisations.
The Test Methods Working Group consists of members from EHEDG Authorised Institutes who perform the EHEDG Test Methods, equipment manufacturers, food processors and Regulatory officials. The purpose of the Group is to maintain and develop test methods and assessment schemes for equipment to ensure the manufacture of safe and wholesome food. Guidelines on different test methods have been published and are reviewed periodically. New test methods are also under development, e.g. open equipment.
History about EHEDG Certification
Beginning in 2000, EHEDG established the EL certification scheme for liquid handling equipment. This EL certificate was mainly meant for equipment intended to be cleaned in-place (CIP) without dismantling. The equipment was certified (and a logo placed on the equipment) if it met EHEDG Document No. 8 Hygienic design criteria. Equipment was subjected to practical testing using Guideline Doc. 2 to demonstrate compensation for non-compliance for essential technical or functional reasons and suitability for cleaning in-place applications. Prolongation was required annually and the EL certificate included only the original date of certification. In this original certification scheme, the date shown on the EL logo for each certified piece of equipment indicated that the equipment met the EHEDG design and evaluation criteria on that date and the date remained unchanged as long as the equipment design was not modified.
Due to many inquiries from the industry requesting certification of other component types, EHEDG began revising the EL certification scheme and introduced several new certificate types since 2009. Equipment is now categorized as Class I and Class II according to the definitions of equipment, which can be cleaned in-place (Class I) or must be dismantled for cleaning (Class II). Equipment which is used in aseptic applications can be certified according type EL Aseptic. Another special type is the certificate for equipment used for dry cleaning procedures, type ED.
Equipment certified after 2009 has been evaluated according to criteria in EHEDG Document No.8 and any additional criteria contained in other Guidelines applicable to the equipment. Certificates issued after 2009 also list the elastomers that were tested (if applicable) during the evaluation of the equipment.
As knowledge on hygienic design has evolved, EHEDG has published additional guideline documents and identified new assessment criteria for testing and certification. Only equipment, which is designed according the latest state of the art, is considered suitable for installation in food processing plants to enhance food safety. Therefore, EHEDG decided in 2014 to review the whole certification process and introduced a completely new scheme and certification requirements. A New type of certification Class was introduced for equipment used in open processes located in close proximity to the product contact area or where it could have an influence on the product contact area, and could become soiled and must be cleaned in place. These kinds of equipment (e.g. conveyor drives, vision sensors, etc.) are now categorized in type EL Class I AUX for auxiliary equipment. The existing type ED has been divided into two categories according to the EHEDG definitions type ED Class I, dry cleaning without dismantling and type ED Class II, dry cleaning with dismantling.
Beginning in December 2014, the certificates now have a 5 Year lifetime. On a 5-year basis all certificates are checked to determine if the requirements of testing and certification have been changed. If this is the case the certificate is out of date and the equipment must go through the whole certification process again. As was previously the case, a certificate will also be invalid if any changes are made to the design of the equipment. In addition to the annual prolongation process to verify that the design has not been modified, each certified piece of equipment must also have its certificate renewed after 5 years. This 5-year renewal will allow EHEDG and equipment purchasers to confirm that the equipment meets the latest hygienic design criteria and certification procedures. This means that every 5 years the logo and certificate will have a new date of certification. Consequently only new certificates (not older than 5 years) are up to date. Old certificates are based on the requirements at that former time.