What products and frequency of testing are required?

Eventually, the process should test the majority, if not all, products laundered at the facility. Testing will be conducted on two different products in each of the first three months of subsequent testing. If all test results meet the minimum microbiological performance specifications in the standard, testing frequency will then be on a quarterly basis.

How are products selected to be tested?

Products should be properly cooled and dried selected from the end of the processing line as if they were being sent to your customers.

Can you infer a direct relationship between product cleanliness and processing quality?

No. Laundries are extremely diverse and their individual plant processes are often significantly different even within the same companies based on machinery, product mix, chemicals, etc. Inferring relationships is subjective; Hygienically Clean’s certification programs are quantitative.   There has been a paradigm shift as healthcare facilities are compelled to verify quality objectively. Specifying water temperature, chemicals, finishing, etc. does not guarantee that a laundered product is hygienically clean.

As the authority on certification of processes, the International Standards Organization (ISO) emphatically states that certifications of processes do not reflect product quality.

What tests are used?

We use USP 62, a test for the absence of seven specified microorganisms on nonsterile textiles. The Pass/Fail criterion is 0 colony forming units (cfu) per square decimeter (PSD). The protocol also includes the Replicate Organism Detection And Counting (RODAC) microbiological test to determine the total amount of micro-organisms (general hygienic state) is appropriate for healthcare, food safety and all others (less than or equal to 20 cfu PSD or 50 cfu PSD).

Is certification available outside the United States?

Yes, Hygienically Clean standards are based on Domestic and International Standards

How are the linen samples sent out for testing?

Samples are sent to the testing laboratories in sealed plastic bags such as zipper bags found in grocery stores. Learn more.

Some healthcare organizations require HLAC certification. How does Hygienically Clean address this issue so that laundries not HLAC accredited but certified by Hygienically Clean are recognized equally?

Hygienically Clean invests substantial resources to educate healthcare decision-makers, such as environmental services directors, hospital administrators and more about Hygienically Clean – Healthcare program and the importance of quantifiable results. The Hygienically Clean program qualifies as “certification” as much as HLAC. Any facility requiring HLAC certification should contact Hygienically Clean for complete details about Hygienically Clean – Healthcare.

What materials do the Hygienically Clean programs provide to interested facilities to aid in the decision-making process?

Materials can be found here.

How many opportunities does a facility have to pass initial sample testing?

A plant is certified when three bacteriological tests meet the minimum Microbiological Performance Specifications and the plant has passed inspection. If a plant fails any test, the laundry has 30 days to make corrections and retest.

Which Hygienically Clean program is most appropriate for industrial uniforms and industrial garments?

An industrial launderer who services food manufacturing/processing businesses should participate in Hygienically Clean – Food Safety. 

Can I obtain a QA/QC manual to use as a model for my operation?

Yes we do have a QA Manual template we offer to build the QA manual. Those requiring additional support should use HC consulting services.

How do the anticipated changes in the federal hazard communication standard affect our Hygienically Clean certification?

Our standard requires compliance with OSHA’s new emphasis on the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for classifying and labeling chemicals as well as other hazcom rules. View TRSA’s GHS webinar for more details.

What happens when a certified plant fails a test?

A facility has 30 days to retest its goods to bring the plant back into compliance. Subsequent failure will revoke, suspend or modify certification. Any suspension or revocation requires notification to customers that textiles are no longer certified hygienically clean.

Am I required to keep a copy of the standard in our plant?

Yes, as it is the only document containing all information explaining the requirements for a Hygienically Clean certification.

Will all product classifications be tested for Hygienically Clean?

All types of products processed are subject to testing.

How does the program relate to the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen standard?

The healthcare standard requires compliance with OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen standard. The other two standards do not, as they are not intended to guide handling of textiles expected to contain human blood.