When food manufacturers and processors review textile services options, every laundry under consideration should be Hygienically Clean Food Safety certified. The certification reflects laundries’ commitment to best management practices (BMPs) in laundering as verified by inspection and their capability to produce hygienically clean textiles as quantified by ongoing microbial testing. A laundry’s dedication to compliance and processing uniforms and linens using BMPs as described in its quality assurance documentation (QA) is confirmed. QA is the focus of inspectors’ evaluation of critical control points to minimize risk.
The independent, third-party inspection confirms essential evidence that:
- Employees are properly trained and protected
- Managers understand legal requirements
- Physical plant operates effectively
Laundries pass three rounds of outcome-based microbial testing, indicating that their processes are producing Hygienically Clean Food Safety linens and garments and negligible presence of harmful bacteria. To maintain certification, laundry plants must pass quarterly testing to ensure that as laundry conditions change, such as water quality, textile fabric composition and wash chemistry, laundered product quality is consistently maintained.
This process eliminates subjectivity by focusing on outcomes and results that verify textiles cleaned in these facilities meet appropriate hygienically clean standards and best management practices (BMPs) for servicing animal processing, dairies, fruit/vegetable, bakeries, grain and other food and beverage industry segments.
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) practices are examined, including the plant’s techniques for:
- Conducting hazard analysis
- Determining CCPs, monitoring their control, correcting them if not under control
- Validating and verifying HACCP system effectiveness
- Documenting and record-keeping to show ongoing conformance
Inspections also evaluate practices relevant to handling and processing textile products used in food manufacturing/processing establishments for adherence to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) directives. Introduced in 2014, Hygienically Clean Food Safety brought to North America the international cleanliness standards for laundering garments and other textile products for food manufacturing used worldwide by the Certification Association for Professional Textile Services and the European Committee for Standardization. Hygienically Clean's expertise in laundry BMP development is unmatched.
Hygienically Clean does not stipulate processes, chemicals or procedures to achieve BMPs-—only that whatever protocols the laundry deems appropriate are documented and practiced. Hygienically Clean Food Safety certified laundries are free to practice whatever tactics are needed to meet Minimum Performance Specifications for bacteriological testing. But they must document their tactics including written quality control procedures.