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Unauthorized Use of 3-A Symbol Reported in China

Oct 12, 2016

IDFA joins 3-A Sanitary Standards, Inc. (3-A SSI) in alerting dairy companies that several Chinese companies are using the trademarked 3-A Symbol without authorization. 3-A SSI licenses use of the symbol to companies around the world for equipment that meets 3-A Sanitary Standards for design and fabrication. The unauthorized use is misleading and potentially damaging to customers who select products with the understanding the equipment has been verified to meet the criteria of a 3-A Sanitary Standard.

Voluntary use of the symbol by manufacturers of dairy and food equipment helps assure processors that the equipment meets sanitary standards, provides accepted criteria to equipment manufacturers for sanitary design and establishes guidelines for uniform evaluation and compliance in the United States. 3-A SSI currently licenses use of the 3-A Symbol in 30 countries, including China, but not all companies using the symbol have proper authorization.

The list of unauthorized companies is available on the 3-A SSI website under “Buyer Beware: False or Misleading Claims.” 

Authorized Companies

3-A SSI also maintains a public database of authorized 3-A Symbol licensees to show all equipment that conforms to 3-A Sanitary Standards for dairy and food processing equipment and meets provisions of the 3-A Symbol program. The 3-A Symbol is registered as the legal property of 3-A SSI by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

“Processors around the world know and trust the 3-A Symbol, and that’s why they demand it for their food processing equipment," said Tim Rugh, 3-A SSI executive director. “All equipment displaying the 3-A Symbol or making a claim of 3-A Symbol authorization must pass a comprehensive, independent Third Party Verification (TPV) inspection to assure it meets the sanitary design criteria in a 3-A Sanitary Standard.”

IDFA is a founding member of 3-A SSI. For more information, contact John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards, at

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