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ACO puts ‘hygiene first’ with a market-leading approach


F


rom fast food outlets to upmarket restaurants, one critical factor in any catering operation – hygienic drainage – is often overlooked with some key


issues not even considered by specifiers and end users. Drainage design is fundamental to food


hygiene, public health and ultimately the survival of a business. ACO Group, one of the world’s leading drainage specialists, is determined to raise standards across every part of the hygienic drainage process from design through to installation, cleaning and ongoing maintenance. In a move reflecting this, the company recently launched its HygieneFirst philosophy. HygieneFirst underlines ACO Group’s


commitment to delivering the ultimate in hygienic drainage performance, and its approach to food safety and cost efficiency. It is based on five core principles: Hygiene through design based on leading academic research and global best practice; collaboration with suppliers, industry bodies, end users and leading academics to develop products with market- leading in-situ performance; product improvements for optimal health and safety; the delivery of cost management via product ‘cleanability’, and significant investment in ongoing and continued innovation. Daniel Vlcek, segment manager for


Commercial Kitchens at ACO Group, said: “ACO is the first company to incorporate the hygienic design principles of organisations such as EHEDG into commercial drainage. Food safety through hygiene control, employee health and safety, and operational cost control are critical factors for a commercial food business and drainage has a vital role to play.” Duncan Hepburn, founder of specialist


catering facility consultants ‘Hepburn Associates’, supports this view: “All too often drainage is considered only as an afterthought even though it significantly affects hygiene levels and can be incredibly costly to rectify. If you get the drainage wrong, floors have to be ripped up, equipment moved and a business temporarily closed. Tere’s a very real need to improve the industry’s understanding of hygienic drainage, embrace best-practice and specify products that optimise hygienic performance.” ACO Group’s approach to product


development is underpinned by its HygieneFirst philosophy which includes a commitment to making significant investments in R&D, working in partnership with the industry to improve its own knowledge and developing products which deliver class-leading hygienic performance. Te company also adheres to the very


highest manufacturing and design standards. All of its products are fully pickle passivated and all


are made in PAS99 factories that are designed specifically for the manufacture of hygienic drainage products. Te ACO team also works closely with


industry experts to better understand the risks of sub-optimal drainage and is currently conducting research into the ‘cleanability’ of channels and gullies in conjunction with leading flooring manufacturers and UK-based research body Campden BRI. Tis knowledge feeds the product


development process, enabling ACO to provide market-leading products which incorporate the hygienic design principles normally reserved for food contact equipment. Its new hygienic drainage system comprising end-cap design tray channel, slip resistant grates and patent-pending foul air trap (FAT), provides an example of HygieneFirst in action. Daniel Vlcek concludes: “Our goal is to raise


awareness for the importance of hygienic drainage, to work with the industry to share best practice and ultimately to improve standards.” For more information, visit www.aco-kitchendrainage.com


HYGIENE FIRST | THE CORE PRINCIPLES


1 Focus on food safety and cost reduction ACO designs intelligent drainage solutions that minimize operational costs without compromising food safety.


2 Hygiene by design Products incorporate the hygienic design principles normally reserved for food contact equipment and meet the highest standards specified


3 Cost management Low maintenance requirements and true ‘cleanability’ via the use of robust, durable materials and efficient product design.


4 Expert partnerships Collaboration and partnership with suppliers, industry bodies, end users and leading academics to develop products with market-leading in-situ performance.


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