A laundry facility seeking Hygienically Clean certification must pass an independent, third-party inspection and initial microbial testing of sample laundered items.
Inspection confirms the laundry’s dedication to compliance and processing using best management practices (BMPs) per the Hygienically Clean standard as described in the facility’s quality assurance documentation, the focal point for inspectors’ evaluation of critical control points that minimize risk. The inspection confirms essential evidence that:
Various types of such items (workwear, towels, linens, etc.) are subject to microbial testing. If products pass an initial test, a second test of different items is scheduled. When these pass this second test, the laundry facility inspection is scheduled and conducted. A third such test takes place as part of the inspection protocol. A successful inspection and passed test at this juncture certifies the facility. Maintaining certification requires testing on a quarterly basis and inspection (with testing) as often as twice every three years.
All testing is done by a Hygienically Clean-approved laboratory accredited by an accreditation body recognized under the ILAC MRA (Mutual Recognition Arrangement) or recognized by federal or state agencies for microbiological testing. Examples of acceptable third-party accreditation bodies include the International Accreditation Service (IAS), American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), and ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board doing business as ACLASS. Laboratories recognized by federal or state agencies such as EPA, FDA, Department of Agriculture, CDC, CPSC, and OSHA are also approved.
A Hygienically Clean representative conducts inspections. In the second inspection and all subsequent ones, the Hygienically Clean representative selects two items for testing projected to have the highest potential to fail based on previous such examination. These samples are then shipped to a Hygienically Clean-approved laboratory chosen by the laundry.
Inspection management protocols for Hygienically Clean certifications are under the auspices of an inspection program administrator and auditor to administer the inspection process and train inspectors. Learn more about how this contributes to the program’s expertise, consistency and impartiality.
Initial Certification/Testing Procedure
Upon applying for the program, applicants should read the entire standard for the Hygienically Clean certification they seek, then contact Angela Freeman, 877.770.9274, ext. 111 to discuss any questions about timetable, testing, and inspection. This will clarify textile product types that require testing. Tests used in different combinations at various junctures in qualifying for and maintaining certification are the RODAC plate test (ensures reduction of overall microbial content) and USP 62 (elimination of specific bacteria); see schedule below. Laundries ship their goods for testing to a Hygienically Clean-approved laboratory of their choice, packaged with this lab’s Chain of Custody (COC) form.
Process for Submitting Samples for Biological Testing
Please submit the chain of custody form (found below) along with your samples for testing.
Sample Testing Schedule for Certification
Upon inspection, please submit the samples selected by the inspector using the form marking one test piece for USP 62 and one for RODAC. (3rd test)
Once certified, please submit two items per quarter for sample testing. A schedule for testing will be provided.
Use the links below to download forms as required for one of the approved labs: