Q: John, please can you explain how are EHEDG technical guidelines produced?
A: EHEDG guidelines are developed by more than 400 active experts in EHEDG’s Working Groups which gather knowledge and best practice from global food and drink manufacturing industries, food equipment manufacturers and academia. The co-authors share their particular knowledge with other experts in order to draft new or update existing EHEDG guidelines on specific topics.
Q: So who and what organisations can help draft EHEDG technical guidance?
A: Anybody who is a member of the EHEDG. In an ideal world, a working group developing a guideline should be a proportionate mixture of 'equipment' manufacturers, 'equipment' users and interested parties including academics and legislators.
Q: What opportunities exist to become involved?
A: The EHEDG is a broad church and is open to all who have an interest in food safety and hygienic engineering. Individuals are able join as individuals or as part of a company.
Q: On what topics are EHEDG currently looking to draft guidance?
A: Topics must have relevance to the food manufacturing industry. Other associated industries such as pharma and cosmetics have not been traditionally supported by the EHEDG. Topics should have an element of hygienic design, be a process (such as cleaning, or maintenance) to maintain hygienic design and/or have an engineering bias related to food safety.
Q: What guidance is already being drafted and how could someone get involved with the groups drafting these guidelines?
A: Currently no less than 30 Working Groups are drafting guidelines on topics as diverse as air handling, fish processing, cleaning validation and test methods for open equipment. Most EHEDG guidance documents are updated approximately every five years or sooner if there is a pressing need to do so. EHEDG members can join any existing group (at the discretion of the working group chair) when the group is in the process of writing a new guideline or revising an existing one. For a current list of Working Groups and contact details for group Chairs, please email the EHEDG secretariat at secretariatProtected firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Is it possible to propose a topic for guidance and if so, how would someone go about this?
A: Absolutely, proposals for new topics to work on are encouraged and there is a process to follow in order to have such topics considered and approved/rejected. EHEDG members who wish to propose the creation of a Working Group and guideline on a specific topic and are welcome to email their proposals to the EHEDG secretariat. The proposed topic can then be reviewed by EHEDG’s Product Portfolio Sub-Committee and EHEDG ExCo.
Q: How can I gain access to existing EHEDG Guidelines and best practice information?
A: EHEDG members can download copies of existing guidelines from the EHEDG website. In addition, the forthcoming EHEDG World Congress gives attendees an opportunity to learn about the very latest developments in hygienic engineering and design and its contribution to food safety, see examples of best practice, and review findings of new research undertaken by some of the world’s leading organisations working in the field of food technology. For the first time in the EHEDG’s 29 year history, the World Congress is being held in the UK and will take place at ExCel London on 21 and 22 November. More information about the Congress can be found at www.ehedg-congress.org.