Many stringent laws regulating advertising and product claims exist today, far more than 30 years ago. That's why it's so hard to believe that companies can still get away with making claims that mislead people.
These types of claims aren't just made by cigarette and snake oil manufacturers, they're everywhere. Even in the sanitary equipment industry. That's why consumers like you need to know what to look for to be sure the equipment you need truly meets the standards you require.
3A Sanitary Standards are one such target of false and misleading statements. 3A Sanitary Standard, Inc. is an organization focused on serving public health through standardization for food sanitation and hygiene. Since the 1920s, they have worked with food processors and equipment manufacturers to develop sanitary standards for the design, fabrication, installation, and operation of equipment and machinery. They have also worked to promote sanitary practices through education.
It's easy to understand why some companies want to associate themselves with the 3A Standard. When prospective buyers see products associated with 3A, the products are automatically associated with integrity, and premium sanitary design. But you, as the discerning consumer need to be on the lookout for phrases and claims like these to avoid the pitfalls of purchasing equipment that is not truly 3A certified.
"3A" IN THE NAME OF PRODUCT OR MODEL NUMBER
It must be 3A, it says it right in the product's name and model number! Not quite. In fact, 3A does not have sanitary standards for butterfly valves at all.
"MEETS 3A" AND "CONFORMS TO 3A STANDARDS"
This example is from the 3A Sanitary Standards website. The company tries to pass off the equipment as 3A certified by stating that they meet or exceed the standards. Meeting or exceeding the standards does not equal certified.
DISPLAYING THE 3A LOGO WITHOUT CERTIFICATION
You might think the best way to identify products with 3A certification is to make sure the website or product itself is labelled with the 3A logo. But even then you could be duped. Here's a screenshot of a company's web page that displays the 3A logo, but the company is listed on the 3A website on the Buyer Beware list.
HOW TO TELL IF A PRODUCT IS CERTIFIED AS 3A
The best way to find out if the product you're looking to purchase is truly 3A certified is to search the 3A Sanitary Standards website. You can search by manufacturer and view the certificates to find the specific model number you're interested in.
Bottom line, don't get blinded by cheaper products that claim 3A. Do your homework, research, and be sure that what you purchase is the what you need to conform to your company's sanitary standards and federal regulations.
Need help finding 3A certified equipment for your facility? Ask us about it! We gladly provide technical assistance to businesses in Wisconsin and upper Michigan.