New compliance service makes it easier for chains to source food-safe kitchen equipment

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Food safety certification specialist NSF International has launched a HACCP compliance verification service for the commercial food equipment market.

Prior to the launch of HCV EU (HAACP Compliance Verification), the European market had no compliance program to cover the hygienic quality of commercial food equipment. It says the program, which is available in all EU markets, is based on relevant European guidelines and legislation.

Compliance to HCV EU enables manufacturers to demonstrate their commitment to food safety and the highest standards of quality.

HCV EU also offers specifiers, including US-based restaurant chains and retailers, the ability to define basic food safety principles and translate them into equipment requirements.

Specifiers can then check for these requirements that cover hygienic quality when buying and selecting commercial food equipment. This helps to minimise risks such as food contamination, food poisoning and an unhygienic environment, thus protecting their brands.

“We receive an increasing amount of questions from many groups of stakeholders including the European food equipment manufacturers, as well as from specifiers, retailers and restaurant groups specifying and buying commercial food equipment,” explained Ann Willems, unit manager for food equipment Europe at NSF International.

“All groups are looking for ways to demonstrate and verify compliance with HACCP principles as well as European legislation and guidelines. NSF International’s HCV EU verification now provides these companies the ability to demonstrate their commitment to food safety.”Ann Willems, unit manager, Food Equipment Europe, NSF International

NSF International based the HCV EU program on the existing European legislation and regulations such as EC 1935/2004 for food contact materials and EN 1672-2, the European standard that establishes a general code of practice for cleanable design.

These programs, along with HACCP principles and NSF International’s knowledge of food safety, enabled the development of a risk-based approach to verify the design and cleanability aspects of commercial food equipment.

The result is a very practical service, offering an independent third-party compliance verification of equipment to manufacturers.

Specifiers can work with NSF International to develop specifications for hygienically safe equipment and, when selecting and buying equipment, rely on a verification and registration service to make sure these requirements are met.

HCV EU will offer a public online listing of registered equipment, showing which aspects are covered by the compliance verification.

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