Hygienically Clean Certification Advisory Board, Users Group Review ’21 Program Updates

TRSA’s Hygienically Clean (HC) Advisory Board and Users Group each reviewed a range of issues related to the Healthcare certification program on the opening day of TRSA’s Dec. 1-3 Virtual Healthcare Conference.

The Advisory Board session, Chaired by Randy Bartsch of  Ecotex Healthcare Linen Service, Vancouver, BC, Canada, drew 15 attendees representing, laundry operators, supplier partners and medical professionals, including infectious-disease specialists and representatives of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Their session, information from which was shared with the Hygienically Clean Users group that met later that afternoon, addressed topics including:

  • A review and approval of Standard Language changes to the certification.
  • Reviewed ultraviolet (UV) disinfectant. Attendees discussed whether UV should be added to the Hygienically Clean (HC) standard. The Board determined that UV should be recognized as a best management practice (BMP), but information on UV will not added to the HC standards
  • Chief Inspector Bob Corfield reviewed a case study with the Advisory Board that highlighted errors found during an inspection and the difference in the requirements of how the Healthcare Standard handles the correction action process  vs. HC HACCP Programs (Food Safety, Food Service, and Hospitality). The case study findings included the following recommendations and items for discussion:
    • Consider adding documented Corrective Action Reports (CAR’s) to the HC Healthcare Standard
    • When should errors generate a reinspection – Inspector will provide a list of infractions that may trigger a reinspection (1Q 2021 call)
    • Review of OSHA Related Documentation for SDS and MSDS sheets. Update Standard to reflect the latest OSHA updates
  • Realignment of Standard verbiage to meet ISO and ANSI standards
  • Formalized and Documented web-based complaint process
  • Continuation of Virtual inspection process after COVID travel restrictions are lifted (hybrid of in-person and virtual inspections offered based on customer preference)
  • The Advisory Board was presented with a proposal to test linen at the hospital that would prove the cleanliness of the linen using a luminometer Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP tester)
    • Board Chair Bartsch reminded the presenter that the purpose of the program is to prove that the process generates a hygienic outcome
    • Other Board participants discussed the validity of the test casting doubt on the accuracy of ATP testing on soft or porous surfaces
    • Suggested the Advisory Board review an Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) report on ATP
    • Follow up with labs to validate new claims whether ATP tested can be used on soft surfaces (Hygenia, 3M, and Charm Sciences Inc.)


The Hygienically Clean Users Group, comprised of individuals representing facilities that have earned the HC designation, drew roughly 25 attendees to discuss best practices, share information and review the outcomes of the Advisory Board meeting including:

  • New laboratory forms and pricing 2021. TRSA Director of Certifications Angela Freeman reminded the Users Group attendees to make sure they fill the forms out correctly to avoid double billing.


Finally, Freeman offered both sessions an overview/update of the Hygienically Clean Certification program. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, during 2020 the program has added:

  • 12 new plants participating in Hygienically Clean certification with 17 new plants certified and 44 renewals
  • Four new plants certified for Food Safety and 21 renewals
  • Two new plants certified in Food Service and six renewals
  • 10 new plants are participating in Hospitality with four new plants certified and one Renewal


Questions about Hygienically Clean certifications may be directed to Freeman at afreeman@trsa.org.