The subject matter was 'Food Declaration Management', an initiative which Sidel started in 2009 and which is now the fundamental basis on which the company structures its food safety and hygienic design processes.
The EHEDG world congress provided an ideal opportunity for Sidel to demonstrate and to share its expertise and experience in Food Declaration Management. This remains a fundamental part of the company's commitment to the shared duty of all stakeholders in the supply chain to the non-negotiable requirement for product safety in today's food and beverage production.
International knowledge and experience
Sidel was among an impressive panel of experts presenting at the annual congress, which included internationally recognised consultancies, companies, laboratories and universities. The Sidel presentation for the world congress focused on how Food Declaration Management enables Sidel to handle all the information relating to the suitability of its equipment and components used in the PET bottling of beverages throughout the entire life cycle, from the initial idea through to production. This involves various hygienic design specialists at a number of its manufacturing sites, including Parma and Mantova (Italy), Octeville (France) and Beijing (China).
Sidel is a member of the EHEDG, a worldwide network of experts which provides guidance and practical assistance to manufacturers of food processing and packaging equipment, food manufacturers, national and international regulatory bodies and other stakeholders. The annual world congress plays a fundamental role in the Group's aim to create a central, internationally recognised source of excellence by imparting knowledge on the hygienic engineering of equipment and by specifying best practices in respect to their hygienic operation, supply and maintenance.
Food Declaration Management
Food Declaration Management is a process through which a benchmark in food safety and hygienic design is applied across different projects to ensure a high level is always maintained. The Food Declaration certificate has to be issued by all suppliers of any components or machinery that comes into contact with the food or beverage, providing proof that the equipment is safe and suitable for such use. For Sidel, this applies to the process machines and the fillers that are in direct contact with the beverage itself.
The end product safety is embedded in the Sidel process of New Product Development (NPD), ensuring that hygiene and safety rules are systematically applied each time something new is designed. It starts right from the outset, with training for the team responsible for the design of the components and machines so that they know and understand the specific hygienic design rules and guidelines relating to food-contact areas, thereby avoiding contamination during production. It also involves the Sourcing and Procurement team to enable them to work with suppliers to ensure the right certification is obtained when buying parts. For the Quality Department, it requires collection, checking and releasing through an IT system all the information which proves the suitability of the relevant components for food-contact. The Manufacturing Team is, of course, also heavily involved in the process, applying best practice when assembling the machines.
The EHEDG congress is staged in a different country each year, with the 2014 event taking place in Parma, Italy from 30 to 31 October, in conjunction with the Cibus'Tec Food Pack exhibition. Delegates from all over the world attended the event, eager to learn and to share good practice on the hygienic engineering of equipment and facilities for the safe production and processing of food and related products.