ALEXANDRIA, Va. — TRSA (the Textile Rental Services Association) has added a new certification for laundries serving the food manufacturing/processing sectors to its series of certifications for the textile services industry. TRSA President and CEO Joseph Ricci introduced the Hygienically Clean Food Safety program at the recent American Reusable Textile Association (ARTA) Education Conference in Orlando, Fla.
The program aims to emphasize best practices for laundry processes and quality control, and will be verified though facility inspection and microbial testing of reusable textiles by independent, third-party testers, TRSA says.
Evaluation of a plant’s hazard analysis procedures, its use of an operational flowchart, and confirmation of other handling and processing practices are among key activities for certification, and will be conducted in an initial inspection.
The inspection will additionally verify that laundries are adhering to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) directives, the association reports.
As part of the certification process, facilities must undergo monthly bacteriological testing. TRSA says that a laundry that passes inspection and three consecutive months of testing will be awarded certification, and to maintain it, tests must be replicated every six months and the plant must pass inspections every three years.
The Hygienically Clean certification program was the first in the U.S. to establish measurable microbial limits for laundered textiles, TRSA says. The new food safety program was developed from Hygienically Clean for Healthcare, a program introduced in 2013.
“Hygienically Clean provides a quantitative measure that ensures ongoing adherence to best practices and outcomes based on internationally recognized, proven and accepted testing for bio-contamination,” Ricci says, emphasizing that TRSA does not mandate laundry practices, but evaluates the effectiveness of a laundry’s chosen techniques.