AmeriPride Services’ Twin Falls, Idaho commercial laundry facility is the first ever to earn Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA)’s Hygienically Clean Healthcare designation, recognizing the plant’s commitment to cleanliness measured through third-party, quantified biological testing and inspection.
The new Hygienically Clean Healthcare certification process maximizes objectivity in verifying that textiles cleaned in a laundry meet hygiene standards appropriate for medical facilities. The designation is a variation of TRSA’s standard Hygienically Clean seal, which is suitable to any type of business that uses garments, linens, towels, floor mats, mops and other professionally laundered items.
Compared with the generic certification, Hygienically Clean Healthcare inspection protocols emphasize scrutiny of techniques for compliance with OSHA’s blood borne pathogens standard. To attain either designation, 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.
“Congratulations to AmeriPride and their Twin Falls management on the attainment of this industry milestone,” says Joseph Ricci, TRSA president and CEO. “This achievement proves their dedication to building their customers’ confidence that their laundry takes every step possible to prevent human illness.”
Despite sentiment that bacteria need not be measured to verify laundry cleanliness, TRSA sees such assessment as vital. The International Standards Organization (ISO) emphatically states that certifications of processes do not reflect product quality. Only if a product itself is subjected to a certification standard can the product label or package be embellished with a certification conformity mark. While there is no U.S. standard for bacterial content in textiles, TRSA prescribes to internationally recognized thresholds established by Germany’s Hohenstein Institute.