SIG, a global leader in packaging systems and solutions, again received approval to display 3-A certification for its entire line of SIG SureFill 40 bag-in-box fillers.
3-A certification is a voluntary certification conferred by 3-A Sanitary Standards, a non-profit organization in the US that evaluates products and ensures they meet standards for the hygienic design of equipment used in the dairy industry.
Pete Raftis, equipment manager americas at SIG, “3-A certification is an indication that a piece of equipment has been third-party verified to meet 3-A standards by a certified conformance evaluator (CCE). Any equipment used in food, beverage, and pharmaceutical manufacturing operations can be 3-A certified.”
3-A standards were created by regulatory sanitarians, equipment fabricators, and processors to promote safety by establishing uniform guidelines to evaluate food production equipment. Items that receive 3-A certification can be properly sanitized, avoiding bacterial growth and cross-contamination. The requirements that must be fulfilled for a 3-A certification are comparable with standards that have been defined at the European level by the EHEDG (European Hygienic Engineering Design Group).
“The main standards and practices that adhere to 3-A Sanitary Standards, Inc.’s mission is to protect food meant for human consumption from contamination and to guarantee that all product contact surfaces can be mechanically cleaned and dismantled manually for thorough inspections,” says Raftis.
“In 2018, we were the first equipment manufacturer that qualified for 3-A authorization on bag-in-box fillers, and we're proud to receive that honor again on our line of SIG SureFill 40 fillers. They are compatible for the filling of aseptic, chilled, ESL, and ambient products which do not need additional sterilization. Food processing equipment is routinely evaluated by the USDA, FDA, and local regulatory agencies, and the 3-A certification communicates that equipment complies with sanitary and fabrication standards. 3-A certification assures our customers that our filling technology gives them the safest and most hygienic means to package their products into SIG packaging,” says Raftis.
All equipment that goes through 3-A authorization must be verified by an independent Third Party Verification (TPV) inspection. Inspection consists of an on-site evaluation of finished equipment and other product attributes to affirm the equipment conforms to provisions of the applicable 3-A Sanitary Standard.