IDFA is a founding member of 3-A Sanitary Standards Inc., which develops standards for food processing equipment and administers the inspection programs required for equipment to receive 3-A Symbol Authorization. The organization’s goal is to promote food safety through hygienic equipment design.
The first standards for the dairy industry were introduced in the 1920s. The name 3-A stands for the three interest groups – regulatory sanitarians, equipment fabricators and processors – that initially came together to work on the standards.
Although the equipment and processes have changed greatly since the group’s inception, the need for collaboration and commitment from individuals in the industry remains strong. IDFA encourages dairy professionals to become involved in one of 3-A’s 14 working groups, which develop and gain consensus for standards and other materials that support the standards.
“The technical discussion and debate that takes place during a working group meeting is critical to the 3-A Sanitary Standards and 3-A Accepted Practice development process,” said John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards, who engages with 3-A SSI on behalf of members. “By volunteering to help, you’ll gain a better understanding of the issues, have an immediate role in the standards that are developed and strengthen relationships with others in the dairy industry.”
Most of the meetings take place via conference calls. The discussions usually focus on the need for new standards, revisions to existing standards, comments from members and help with drafting documents.
A current roster for each working group is available here. You may also download a comprehensive Work-in-Progress Status Report Chart. For more details, contact the working group chair listed in the chart or Allan at firstname.lastname@example.org.