3-A Sanitary Standards Inc. (3-A SSI) said yesterday that “a number of Chinese companies” are displaying its trademarked 3-A Symbol without authorization or that the companies are making unsubstantiated claims such as their equipment is “3A Certified.”
The McLean, Va.-based association has updated its list of companies using the trademarked symbol without authorization. The list has more than doubled in size from seven in June to 15 companies today. See the announcement, “Buyer Beware: False or Misleading Claims.”
In a statement, 3-A SSI said it “strongly urges” dairy processors and others to monitor the “Buyer Beware” list on a periodic basis.
Voluntary use of the 3-A Symbol by dairy and food equipment fabricators helps assure processors that equipment meets sanitary standards, provides accepted criteria to equipment manufacturers for sanitary design, and establishes guidelines for uniform evaluation and compliance by sanitarians in the U.S. 3-A SSI currently licenses use of the 3-A Symbol to fabricators in the U.S. and 29 other countries, including many fabricators based in China..
For a list of all 3-A Symbol licensees and to verify current authorization, go to the 3-A.org website.
The association said that “literally hundreds of marketers promote food processing equipment on-line or through B2B web sites free of the independent verification of any product claims.” Some of these unauthorized claims are that the equipment “meets 3A” or “conforms to 3A standards.” The equipment may even include “3A” in a model name or designation. Such references suggest the equipment meets the criteria for 3-A Symbol authorization. Unless the supplier is an authorized 3-A Symbol licensee, the buyer is solely responsible for verifying whether the equipment meets the desired (and expected) sanitary design and fabrication criteria.