The known versus the unknown

by Laurie Gorton
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ANSI Z50 is now the baking industry’s equipment standard for sanitary design and operational safety.

When it comes to certification standards, a known gets more acceptance than an unknown. That’s why ANSI Z50 is now the baking industry’s equipment standard for sanitary design and operational safety. It completely replaced those written by the Baking Industry Sanitation Standards Committee (BISSC). While bakers knew BISSC, public health agencies did not.

“There is a lot of machinery out there carrying the BISSC certification symbol, but most local and state sanitation officials don’t know BISSC,” said Philip Domenicucci, baking systems specialist, AMF Bakery Systems, and vice-chairman of the American Society of Baking’s (A.S.B.) Z50 committee. “However, they do know ANSI.”

The industry (American Bakers Association, A.S.B., BEMA and other groups) decided to rewrite the standard into a version acceptable to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The result was a set of equipment design standards covering both safety and sanitation.

“Safety refers to the safe operation of the equipment,” Mr. Domenicucci explained. “For equipment manufacturers, it is the key to limiting liability. When a machine, built to approved standards like those written under ANSI criteria, is delivered to the customer, it becomes the responsibility of the end user to maintain the equipment in safe, clean and sanitary condition. Until the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules arrived, there wasn’t the same pressure on the sanitation side.”

Would having ANSI Z50 certificates for a bakery’s processing equipment make a difference when being inspected for compliance with FSMA?

“The short answer is yes,” Mr. Domenicucci said. “At the very least, the baker would have a record of the machine being built to recognizable sanitation standards that could be shown to the inspector.”

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