GFSI TWG Hygienic Design


GFSI is seeking food safety professionals to participate in a new Technical Working Group (TWG) on Hygienic Design of Facilities and Equipment for Food from Farm to Fork.

The primary response to high-profile foodborne illness outbreaks in the U.S. and other parts of the world has been increased implementation of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system and other food safety programmes, increased reliance on third-party auditing programmes and legislative activity such as the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Food safety programmes depend on the effectiveness on key programmes such as Good Manufacturing Practices and Hygiene programmes.

Correct design of food handling and processing equipment as well as food manufacturing facilities is more important than ever before and is addressed in a general manner in most regulatory and industry food safety programmes. However, the terms used are only broadly defined, and interpretation of acceptability is left to the individual auditor and their particular aptitude for equipment evaluation.

How Can GFSI Help?

GFSI is uniquely positioned to bring the key stakeholders together, working with industry associations and other bodies to collectively address this growing issue.

As we move forward with the implementation of food safety programmes, we also need to give more scrutiny to hygienic design of both facilities and equipment for the entire food supply chain through the development of more specific and meaningful standards to ensure food safety. 

The Group's Mandate

  • Define benchmarking requirements for scope K for design, installation, engineering and (preventative) maintenance to benchmark Certificate Program Owners (CPOs).
  • Develop criteria that is suitable to be included in the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements.
  • Include references to relevant recognised industry standards regarding Hygienic Design..
  • Provide a basis which, in conjunction with the other elements of the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements, could be used for the purpose of equipment manufacturing certification.
  • Develop a proposal on how to handle connections with existing benchmarking requirements.
  • Recommend relevant definitions to be included in the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements glossary.

Quotation mark

Bringing together the great expertise that exists globally in the area of Hygienic Design into a team to strengthen the existing GFSI Benchmarking Requirements has the potential to make a significant contribution to improving food safety right across the globe. Getting things right by design is the best way to ensure we have the highest level of protection for all consumers.” - Roy Kirby, Global Director, Microbiology, Food Safety and Toxicology, Mondelez International

Quotation mark

The creation of this new Technical Working Group will further strengthen the existing GFSI Benchmarking Requirements. Including food safety best practice for critical industry engineering will help the industry raise the bar higher, for the benefit of the consumer." - Neil Marshall, GFSI Board Member and Global Director, Quality & Food Safety, The Coca-Cola Company, USA

Apply to Participate in this Technical Working Group

Length of mandate: 18 months

Positions available: A maximum of 18 members will be chosen spread between retailers, manufacturers, Accreditation Body/Certification Body, Service Providers, Academics/Regulators

Frequency of meetings and commitment: Two face-to-face meetings each year. Some conference calls may also take place between meetings. All meetings are held in English.

Selection Criteria: Successful candidates will demonstrate experience in the following areas. Please make sure your application includes details that demonstrate your experiences relevant to the following list:

  • Food safety management
  • Hygienic equipment design and engineering
  • Hygienic process design and engineering
  • Hygienic premises design and construction engineering
  • Validation of hygienic design of new equipment and process lilnes
  • Food safety risk assessment

Eligibility: Applicants must be employed by an organization that agrees to sponsor their participation in the TWG. All costs and expenses for participants’ participation in any or all activities of GFSI must be covered by the organizations that they represent. For further information on our rules and procedures, see our governance document.

Deadline: Applications close on 12th January, 2018.  Only candidates who have been selected will be contacted. Invitations will be sent out by the week of 1st February 2018.
To apply, please fill out this application form.

The Collaboration Behind the Scenes

Have you ever wondered how GFSI mandates are defined or how its priorities are decided on each year? One of the things that makes GFSI unique is that it engages in a two-way dialogue with the industry. GFSI opens up the discussion to players from the food industry and beyond, who contribute immensely to putting top of mind issues on the table. 

The experts who dedicate their time and expertise to these work streams do so on a volunteer basis, both independently throughout the year, and collaboratively during the face-to-face GFSI Technical Working Group meetings. To ensure the entire industry spectrum is taken into account in a neutral way, the groups are composed of a wide variety of representatives including retail, manufacturing and food service representatives, as well as international organisations, governments, academia and service providers to the global food industry.

The work of GFSI would not have moved forward in the way that it has over the years without the dedication of GFSI Technical Working Group experts and the support of the companies they represent.