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Kickoff: Hygienically Clean Food Safety!

Cintas Corp. is the first company to certify one of its plants as meeting the requirements of TRSA’s new Hygienically Clean Food Safety Certification program. A Cintas a plant in Nashville, TN, recently completed the process.

This certification program is specifically designed to meet the needs of food-processing customers of textile services companies. The program emphasizes process, inspection and outcomes.

Cintas’ Nashville plant was awarded TRSA’s first Hygienically Clean Food Safety certification because it demonstrated exemplary laundry processes and quality control in providing textile services for food manufacturing/processing businesses. This new specialty designation extends TRSA’s existing Hygienically Clean certifications, which are recognized for validating effectiveness in laundering for healthcare and other industries. Like the others, this certification also ensures that reusable textile products from certified plants are free of pathogens in sufficient numbers to cause human illness.

Hygienically Clean inspections verify the use of industry best-management practices in laundry structures and processes. Microbial testing verifies processes and the hygiene standards of laundry products.

Verified practices include cross-contamination prevention, housekeeping, handling of soiled laundry, washing procedures (including detergent formulas, temperature, disinfectant and pH), drying, transportation and delivery. A certified laundry plant must follow an operational flowchart that maps these procedures as well as pickup, unloading and sorting of clean laundry. Managers also must document employees’ use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

In addition, the new Food Safety designation features an examination of practices of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). That means that the Cintas/Nashville facility is the first laundry operation to document these procedures in accordance with the TRSA standard:

  • Conducting hazard analysis
  • Determining CCPs, monitoring their control, correcting them if not under control
  • Validating and verifying HACCP system effectiveness
  • Documenting and record-keeping to show ongoing conformance


Laundries seeking the Food Safety certification are inspected to evaluate their HACCP procedures, compliance with their flowcharts and other practices relevant to handling and processing textile products that are used in food manufacturing/processing establishments. These include adherence to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) directives.

Hygienically Clean certification is awarded when a laundry facility passes an inspection along with three consecutive months of microbial testing that results in no failures, based on TRSA microbiological performance specifications. Thereafter, testing is repeated quarterly.

Inspection and testing protocols have prompted launderers to improve their processes as plants adjust their practices to meet the TRSA standard and produce the cleanest textiles for increased public safety. “Hygienically Clean provides a quantitative measure that ensures ongoing adherence to best practices and outcomes based on internationally recognized, proven and accepted testing for biocontamination,” said TRSA President and CEO Joseph Ricci.

Click here to learn more about TRSA’s Hygienically Clean Food Safety Certification program, or contact Manager of Certification Programs Angela Freeman at afreeman@trsa.org or 703.519.0029, ext. 111, for details.