Harpak-ULMA announced it received 3-A Certification for three of its smart, connected thermoforming packaging platforms, the TFS500, 600, and 700 series. Food safety is a number one priority for producers and consumers alike. Safety is predicated on the sanitary design of both equipment and facilities. While procedural controls are a key aspect of food safety practices, sanitary machine design is a fundamental building block to ensure foods are produced and packaged free of biological contaminants.
Harpak-ULMA’s certification effort is part of a broad-based, phased approach to offer this widely recognized certification as an option for customers who require adherence to the most demanding food safety guidelines. While Harpak-ULMA packaging machines already adhere to all core principles of sanitary design (including enabling microbiological cleansing, using compatible materials, wash-down capabilities, sealing crevices or hollow areas, and stopping condensation build-up), the 3-A certification designates an ultra-sanitary design. Conforming to 3-A design, installation, and use criteria encompasses rigorous standards and guidelines for materials employed in contact surfaces, fabrication of both product and non-product contact surfaces, finishes, and cleaning and inspectability procedures. All machines bearing the 3-A logo have been independently vetted by an accredited, independent credentialed authority – a Certified Conformance Evaluator (CCE) – thus assuring producers and inspectors alike of the design veracity. Since innovative machine characteristics can and often do change, designs are audited on a regular basis, at a minimum of every five years.
“The regulatory agencies tasked with food plant inspection’s recognize the uniformity of design and construction principles included in 3-A standards” says Mel Jolly, a well-known, equipment hygienic expert and CCE. “Equipment bearing a 3-A logo results in inspections that are more sophisticated, consistent and reliable – which creates value for consumers, producers, and equipment manufacturers alike.”
Harpak-ULMA TFS product manager, Ken Forziati, noted, “Sanitary design is a continuing, integral, and well-executed aspect of our smart, connected packaging solutions. However, more and more customers are demanding sanitary designs that embrace the highest possible standards and rely on 3-A design and safety criteria. Producers that utilize 3-A validated equipment reduce the probability – and liability – of contaminated products making it out the door. The 3-A standards organization has been evolving since the 1920s. The current 3A SSI Inc., reorganized in 2002, enjoys industry recognition and acceptance world-wide. That made its standards the logical choice for ultra-sanitary versions of our TFS lines. We’ll continue to extend this approach to offer it as an option for our most popular platforms.”