Why Certifications Matter in Commercial Food Equipment
Food safety is an incredibly important topic. Consumers want to know that they are getting healthy, nutritious and safe products when they shop at a grocery store or eat out. Consumers would also like to know that they are getting what they paid for.
In addition to consumer safety, employee safety is extremely important for owners and operators of grocery and food service organizations. Any store or food service establishment wants to know that they are supplying the best possible product to their clientele. Investing in high quality equipment can help grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, bars, and other food service locations do that and do so safely.
Buying high quality food service equipment can be complicated. In this day and age, people are inundated with information. It’s nearly impossible to tell what product reviews are truly impartial or are sponsored. In addition to valuable performance reviews, it’s nearly impossible to find information on equipment with safety and hygiene details.
Anyone investing in commercial food equipment and commercial beverage equipment has a huge selection to choose from. Grocery stores, restaurants, bars, hotels, and a range of other food service locations, need to consider the safety and hygiene aspects of their equipment. When purchasing commercial equipment, the buyer must consider appearance, performance, dimensions, warranty coverage, cost of ownership, and training support but they also need to look at the ease of sanitizing their equipment and what safety features are offered.
Grocery stores and food service locations can increase trust with their customers, and strengthen their own brand, by providing high quality, great tasting, healthy eating experiences that deliver on what their brand promises. Having the right food equipment can help do this safely and efficiently.
What makes us different from the other guys also makes us the best value.
WHY CERTIFACTIONS MATTER IN COMMERCIAL FOOD EQUIPMENT
We live in a global environment with equipment coming into North America and the United States from all over the world. Regardless of equipment sourcing, it’s important to ensure that employee safety standards and food safety and hygiene standards are being met.
As a grocery store or as a food service operator, you’re responsible for your employee’s safety on the job. You’re also naturally interested in making sure your customers have a safe and enjoyable food experience while in your establishment. Souring the right equipment can play an important role in achieving those goals.
According to Food Safety Magazine, “In food processing and service environments, hygienic equipment design is critical to food safety. Insanitary equipment design is one of the most common causes of food contamination, resulting in foodborne illnesses and outbreaks. Poorly designed equipment may have difficult-to-clean areas, which could lead to sanitation issues. The equipment might also be constructed of materials that leach harmful compounds into the food, resulting in food contamination.”
The consumer needs to trust that the food they buy from reputable food service establishments and from reputable grocery stores is safe and meets the highest standards. Therefore, the companies need to know they’re buying the best equipment. Certifications help develop trust in the equipment and in the brands that are getting the certifications.
WORKPLACE SAFETY: NRTL CERTIFICATION
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 to help ensure a safe and healthy working environment across many industries. As it relates to commercial food and beverage equipment, OSHA created the NRTL Program (Nationally Recognized Test Laboratory) to help document what equipment supports the appropriate safety standard.
These recognized private companies meet extensive legal and technical requirements and can perform a wide range of safety testing and certify their safe use in the workplace. At the time of this writing, there were more than 15 list NRTL companies. Click HERE for an up-to-date list of recognized companies.
Commercial citrus juicers, such as the Citrocasa equipment sold by Citrus America, fall under the standard UL-763, for Motor-Operated Commercial Food Preparing Machines. While this standard is a “UL Standard”, that only means it was created by Underwriter’s Labs, UL for short, a private company. Any of the NRTL’s that have the required testing facilities can certify a piece of equipment to the UL-763 standard.
SANITISATION: NSF/ANSI CERTIFICATION
According to NSF, “Certification confirms your food equipment has been tested and audited by an independent third party and complies with U.S. FDA requirements.” One of the NSF’s primary certification processes is on sanitization safety and that the equipment they’ve certified meets industry standards.
Again, according to Food Safety Magazine, “NSF certification is a sanitation certification for commercial food equipment that ensures that equipment design and construction meets stringent food safety and environmental health standards.”
Citrocasa commercial citrus juicers have been certified to NSF / ANSI 169. This means this piece of specialty food processing equipment meets or exceeds the NSF and ANSI standards for food protection and sanitation requirements.
NOTE: The NSF organization also performs NRTL Certification services to ensure that equipment complies with OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) Standards, as discussed above and is one of a few select companies that are NRTLs (Nationally Recognized Test Laboratory).
FOOD CONTACT MATERIAL: ISEGA CERTIFICATION
In addition to hygiene and operator safety, it’s become increasingly important to ensure there is no excessive migration of foreign materials into food and beverage products.
As discussed in, The Top 10 Reasons to Select A Citrocasa Juicer for Your Commercial Citrus Juicing Needs, TMP GmbH, the Austria company that originally developed Citrocasa juicers, was selling juicers in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Central Europe. They were selling other juicing equipment and there were serious concerns with both hygiene and migration of foreign substances into the juice. Citrocasa was designed to address those concerns. Mr. Pichler, one of TMP’s co-founders, decided to design a machine with much higher quality materials, 304 Stainless Steel, high-density co-polymers, and many robust design features to dramatically improve the quality of commercial citrus juicers. He also decided to have ISEGA certify the safety of all Citrocasa juicers and the purity of juice produced. Citrocasa has been designing and supplying high quality commercial citrus juicers since 2006.
Citrocasa juicers have been ISEGA certified since its beginning and way before the first units were sold by Citrus America in the USA. We’re proud to document the safety of juicing with Citrocasa juicers and what the ISEGA Certification stands for.
The certifications help establish a certain minimum baseline regarding hygiene, sanitizing, workplace safety, and the migration of foreign substances into the product. In addition to reviewing the certifications, Citrus America highly recommends looking at all equipment in-depth to understand all of the design features.
FOOD CONTACT MATERIAL: ISEGA CERTIFICATION
SOME THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN HIGH QUALITY EQUIPMENT
- The relevant certifications for Hygiene, Sanitizing, Safety, and Product Quality
- Use of 304 food grade stainless steel wherever possible and appropriate
- Elimination of exposed metals that can corrode and contaminate food products
- Use of high quality seals to separate mechanical area of equipment from food processing area (motor zone v. food zone) to the extent possible
- Reduction/elimination of areas that can trap food particles and/or cause excessive efficiency loss to access areas needing special cleaning attention
- Features that make sanitizing critical parts easier and more effective
- Features that support general cleaning efficiency for faster, more effective cleaning
- Features that support workplace safety
- Reduction/elimination of plastic parts where possible and appropriate
- Use of high quality polymers where appropriate
- Use of food grade silicone instead of cheap rubber and/or plastic that require flexible materials, such as a moving sieve function
- Training tools and strategies to support highly efficient and highly effective cleaning and sanitizing processes
- Training tools and strategies that promote a safe workplace environment
Citrus America is a proud partner and the exclusive master distributor of Citrocasa in North America. It’s been a core part of our strategy to help our customers deliver Healthy Profits. We do this by delivering sustainable solutions that help our customers develop highly successful and profitable juicing programs that are based on Taste, Hygiene, and Efficiency.
We’re also proud to offer equipment that carries all the critical certifications and then goes above and beyond with our quality equipment and training strategies.
Our solutions, which include certified high quality citrus juicing equipment, help our customers deliver consistent, reliable, high quality, fresh experiences, which helps grocery stores and food service operators build trust with their clientele.
About Citrus America – Citrus America has been driving innovation and quality in the juicing segment for more than a decade in North America and the Caribbean. We’re the exclusive master distributor for Citrocasa and have driven many innovations and quality improvements in juicing equipment. In addition to equipment solutions, we provide tailored training and support strategies to help our customers earn Healthy Profits.
About Citrocasa – Citrocasa has been the pioneer in producing the most innovative and highest quality food grade stainless steel commercial citrus juicing equipment to the grocery, hotel, and restaurant since 2005 across Europe. The Citrocasa 8000 Series was launched in 2005, with the 8000XB and the 8000SB. The 8000SB-ATS was launched in 2013. The Citrocasa Fantastic Series was launched in 2010 with the Fantastic M/AS. The Fantastic F/SB followed in 2011. Between 2015 and today, Citrocasa has launched the Advance upgrades, The Revolution, The Eco, and has added new options for on-line connectivity continuing its role as being the leader in commercial citrus juicing quality and innovation.