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EFTCO redesigns its Food Assessment programme

EFTCO has launched the second phase of its food development system to meet the demands of the food industry and tank cleaning stations.

EFTCO, the European Federation of Tank Cleaning Organisations, is a non-profit association, which represents 510 tank cleaning depots in 22 European countries.

Tank cleaning is an essential part of the food supply chain. It is important that this service is carried out by professional and reliable partners. This is one of the main objectives of EFTCO and the purpose of the European Cleaning Document (ECD). The ECD is owned by EFTCO  and used by the cleaning companies to record in a multi-lingual format the services completed. The ECD has unique numbering to provide traceable provenance by EFTCO’s Members of any legitimate ECD. The EFTCO cleaning codes have been translated to all the languages of the national associations.

The ECD has become a document that is commonly accepted as proof that the tank cleaning was carried out as the customer requested, at a high-quality level and in compliance with all legal, safety and environmental requirements.

Initially used by the chemical industry, EFTCO and members saw that there was an increasing demand from the food industry also to use the ECD and to implement a quality assessment system.

Food related codes used with the ECD provide the documentation of food cleaning and the preparation of tank transport equipment for loading food.

EFTCO Codes  for Food 

F Foodstuffs
F01 Cleaning with potable water only
F50 Food approved detergent
F51 Food approved sanitising agent
F60 Turbidity measurement
F61 Conductivity measurement
F62 ATP measurement
F63 pH-value measurement
F64 Membrane filter test
F65 Allergen test
F85 Sanitising with hydrogen peroxide
F86 Sanitising with peracetic acid

The quality demands of the loading industry and its related associations have steadily grown concerning food safety and food hygiene. In response to this demand, EFTCO launched its audit process – EFTCO Food Assessment – in 2013, which was the result of an international workgroup within EFTCO. The aim was to integrate all the relevant European legal, technical regulations and guidelines into the questionnaire as much as possible, so as to achieve a practical solution, in which the interests of all parties – the loading industry, the transport companies and the tank cleaning stations – are taken into consideration.

The EFTCO Food Assessment should be seen as a food specific supplementary part of the SQAS tank cleaning assessment.

In 2015 EFTCO improved its food assessment system to meet the recent demands of the food industry and tank cleaning stations. The 2015 questionnaire is improved and valuable feedback received from the industry since launching the first questionnaire in 2013 has been taken into consideration.

EFTCO food assessment

EFTCO’s food assessment process

EFTCO has decided to allow the food industry to evaluate the results of the EFTCO Food Assessment Report. In the past EFTCO set out Knock Out-criteria in the assessment, but as different food sectors have their own criteria, which may or may not mirror the KO criteria previously set by EFTCO, the decision as to the suitability of a tank cleaning station will now be left to the food industry.

The aim of EFTCO was to integrate the European legislation into the EFTCO Food questionnaire as much as possible. During the compilation of the questionnaire, the fact had to be taken into consideration that there are no special legal requirements for foodstuff cleaning. That is why the general legal requirements are incorporated into the comments of the questionnaire. The aim was to achieve a practical solution, in which the interests of all parties – the loading industry, the transport companies and the tank cleaning stations – are taken into consideration.

A complete EFTCO Food Assessment consists of 3 parts:

  • SQAS core with general management, quality and safety questions;
  • SQAS tank cleaning with general tank cleaning questions; and
  • EFTCO Food Assessment questionnaire with food specific questions.

The EFTCO Food assessment documentation does not include a rating, but contains all necessary information for the food industry and their transport logistics partner to arrange their rating based on their individual demand of food cleaning.

Tank cleaning companies can request an Assessment and select EFTCO trained and approved assessors to schedule an assessment date.EFTCO food assessed logo

The audit results will become available for all registered and authorised partners on EFTCO’s internet platform for individual quality rating. The quality rating of the audit results are subject to the individual/specific standards of the food industry and can only be executed by the industry and/or their logistic partners.

All food cleaning stations carrying out this assessment across Europe are authorised to use the EFTCO Food logo.

Lutz Harder

Lutz Harder is general manager of DVTI (Deutscher Verband für Tankinnenreinigung) and work group leader, EFTCO Food




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