At Highland Equipment, we are a premier provider of sanitary process equipment and systems. Equipped with extensive experience and a wide range of capabilities, our customers know they can rely on us to provide individual units and complete turnkey process solutions that meet and/or exceed industry standards.

One of the main sanitary standards our equipment complies with is 3-A. Below, we provide an overview of these standards. We discuss the organization that creates and enforces 3-A standards, what 3-A certification means, and what benefits attaining 3-A certification offers.

What Is 3-A Sanitary Standards, Inc.?

3-A Sanitary Standards, Inc. (SSI) is a not-for-profit organization that creates hygienic design and fabrication standards for manufacturing equipment used in the food and beverage and pharmaceutical industries. It consists of three groups of volunteers: government organizations; food, beverage, and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies; and food, beverage, and pharmaceutical equipment manufacturers. Representatives from each of these three groups come together—typically on a monthly basis—to discuss maintaining and updating specific standards.

The ultimate goal of the standards they set is promoting food safety and public health. Rather than describing how to make a piece of equipment, the standards typically provide guidelines on unsanitary elements to avoid when designing and fabricating it. Following these requirements and restrictions helps ensure two things:

  • Food meant for human consumption remains uncontaminated
  • Equipment can be properly cleaned and dismantled for inspection

What Is 3-A Certification?

3-A certification is an indication that a piece of equipment has been third-party verified to meet 3-A standards by a CCE. Any equipment used in food, beverage, and pharmaceutical manufacturing operations can be 3-A certified, such as pumps, tanks, and valves. However, meeting the requirements can be expensive, and attaining certification can be difficult. The latter is further compounded by the fact that there are only 16 3-A SSI CCEs worldwide who can certify sanitary process equipment.


What Are the Benefits of 3-A Certification?

Clean in Place TankDespite the high cost, there are many benefits to attaining 3-A certification. These benefits apply to consumers, processors, and equipment manufacturers.

  • Consumers benefit because they can rest assured that the products they are eating and drinking will be safe.
  • Processors benefit because they can rest assured that their equipment will comply with sanitary code and receive positive inspection results. Additionally, since 3-A design guidelines focus on quick and easy cleaning and dismantling, they often benefit from lower labor costs for cleaning operations.
  • Equipment manufacturers benefit because they can rest assured that their equipment will be accepted by all processors and sanitarians. Additionally, since their equipment will follow a standardized rather than a customized design, they may save on the manufacturing costs.

Highland Equipment Is Committed to Maintaining 3-A Standards

While 3-A certification is not mandatory for sanitary equipment manufacturers, at Highland Equipment, we make it a point to always design and build sanitary units and systems that meet and/or exceed 3-A standards. By committing ourselves to maintaining 3-A standards, we ensure our customers have a worry-free experience when using our equipment.

If you need sanitary equipment for your facility, we’ve got you covered! By partnering with us, you benefit from our:

  • Broad range of stainless steel equipment
  • Stringent quality standards
  • Vast services (from design to installation)
  • International presence

Learn more about what we do and what we offer on our capabilities and products pages.