3-A SSI Offers New Draft Procedures

Mid-August deadline set for submitting comments.
3-A Sanitary Standards Inc. (3-A SSI) has announced the availability of new draft Procedures for the Development and Maintenance of 3-A Sanitary Standards and 3-A Accepted Practices.
The new procedures reflect the effort of the group’s founding-member organizations and other stakeholders over the past 18 months to enhance and upgrade the process for developing and maintaining 3-A SSI consensus documents consistent with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Essential Requirements: Due Process Requirements for American National Standards.
“Modernizing the procedures for developing 3-A SSI consensus documents was one of our mission objectives when the group was organized in late 2002,” says 3-A SSI chairman Stephen Perry, Ph.D., of the International Association of Food Industry Suppliers (IAFIS). “Specifically, the founding-member organizations wanted to assure that we met the ANSI requirements, since this is the benchmark for today’s standards developer organizations.”
Earlier this year, 3-A SSI attained a major milestone by earning accreditation by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a standards developer organization (SDO). The accreditation was granted by ANSI on the basis that new 3-A SSI procedures would reflect the attributes described in the ANSI Essential Requirements, including openness, balance of interest, due process, an appeals process and a level of consensus necessary to maintain the very high integrity 3-A Sanitary Standards and 3-A Accepted Practices now convey.
The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 mandates that all federal agencies “shall use technical standards that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus bodies,” and participate in the development of technical standards when consistent with the agency’s mission. The federal regulations under the Act define a “voluntary consensus standards body” as one that meets the attributes described in the ANSI Essential Requirements.
The new draft procedures represent the framework for 3-A SSI to create and maintain American National Standards. Designation as American National Standards will enhance the recognition of new consensus documents and will help promote the stature of 3-A SSI as a standards development organization.
Since the launch of 3-A SSI in 2003, the founding-member organizations and other stakeholders represented on the 3-A SSI board of directors and the 3-A steering committee have cooperated in developing the new procedures. These founding-member organizations include the 3-A Sanitary Standards Symbol Administrative Council (Council), American Dairy Products Institute (ADPI), International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), IAFIS and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA).
The 3-A SSI board of directors includes three non-voting directors consisting of one member of the 3-A steering committee and one representative each of the Food and Drug Administration/Public Health Service (FDA/PHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Copies of the new draft procedures are available at www.3-a.org. The closing date for all comments is August 13. All comments must be conveyed in writing to 3-A SSI by mail or via e-mail to executive director Timothy Rugh (trugh@3-a.org).
The Votes Are In 3-A SSI announces approval of new standards and practices.
3-A Sanitary Standards Inc. (3-A SSI) announced the approval of three new 3-A Sanitary Standards and three new Accepted Practices based on final voting at 3-A SSI annual meeting last month in Milwaukee.
A series of other tentative documents will remain under discussion and revision as described in a comprehensive summary of meeting actions posted on the 3-A SSI Web site.
The new 3-A Sanitary Standards and 3-A Accepted Practices approved in a plenary session at the meeting include the following:
•Multiple-Use Plastic Materials Used as Product Contact Surfaces, Number 20-23
•Silo-Type Storage Tanks, Number 22-08
•Double-Seat Mixproof Valves, Number 85-00 (Appendix information)
•3-A Accepted Practices for Supplying Air Under Pressure for Contact With Product or Product Contact Surfaces, Number 604-05
•3-A Accepted Practices for Spray Drying Systems, Number 607-05
•3-A Accepted Practices for Method of Producing Steam of Culinary Quality, Number 609-03
Details on final versions of the documents approved in the plenary session are described in the new 3-A SSI meeting report. The new documents will be available this fall, with an effective date to be assigned after final signatory approval.
The status of other documents considered at the meeting is also detailed. It is anticipated work on these documents will continue under 3-A SSI’s new Procedures for the Development and Maintenance of 3-A Sanitary Standards and 3-A Accepted Practices, after the new procedures become final.
The 3-A SSI meeting report also describes presentations made during a special educational session held prior to the standards working sessions, “Challenges of Equipment Design and Food Sanitation.” Copies of the presentations are available for downloading along with the meeting report.
3-A Sanitary Standards Inc. is a non-profit organization aimed at enhancing product safety for consumers of food, beverages and pharmaceutical products through the development and use of 3-A Sanitary Standards and 3-A Accepted Practices. More information can be found at www.3-A.org.