ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA) has launched the Hygienically Clean certification program to recognize textile services companies’ commitment to cleanliness through third-party, quantified biological testing and inspection.
The certification process eliminates subjectivity by verifying that textiles cleaned in these facilities meet hygiene standards appropriate for any type of business that uses garments, linens, towels, floor mats, mops and other professionally laundered items, the association says.
A specific designation for laundries with medical work—Hygienically Clean – Healthcare—is available and another will soon be offered for those who serve restaurants and other businesses where food safety is paramount—Hygienically Clean – Food Service.
To attain a Hygienically Clean certification, a laundry must deploy best management practices (BMPs) and pass bacteriological testing and facility inspections. Tests use the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) 61 protocol:
Allows a minimal amount of bacteria to remain after textiles are laundered
Pass/fail criteria of less than or equal to 20 colony forming units (cfu)
A laundry is not required to use particular processes, chemicals or BMPs to achieve certification—whatever tactics management feels are necessary can be used to achieve TRSA’s Minimum Performance Specifications as measured by bacteriological testing. But BMPs must be documented in a written quality-control manual.
“Managers in many types of workplaces are becoming more conscientious about the sanitation of their processes,” explains TRSA President/CEO Joseph Ricci. “They want to be more confident that they are taking every step possible to prevent human illness in their facilities and their customers’.”
To approve laundries for Hygienically Clean certification, TRSA inspects them to review their documentation and observe their BMP deployment. After this initial on-site inspection, facilities are examined on a three-year basis. Bacteriological testing begins with one evaluation in each of the first three months the laundry is certified, then one every six months.
To learn more about the program, click here.