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Standards Help Americans Celebrate a Safe Easter and Passover


New York, Mar 25, 2013

More than 200 million U.S. residents will observe holy days this spring, with the Christian holiday of Easter taking place on March 31 and the Jewish holiday of Passover lasting from March 25 to April 2. During these holidays, celebrants will gather with family and friends to enjoy food and drink, as well as to carry out religious observances. Whether you’re Christian, Jewish, a member of another religion, or nonreligious, voluntary consensus standards can help to make your holiday celebrations safer and more enjoyable.

Passover
Passover is an annual religious holiday commemorating the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in ancient Egypt. The holiday traditionally begins at dusk with the Passover Seder, a meal and ceremony that often includes traditional foods, such as bitter herbs and lamb shanks, the recounting of the Jewish escape from Egypt, and the consumption of four cups of wine. A standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ISO 16420:2013, Cork - Cork stoppers for still wines - Mechanical and physical specifications, provides a set of specifications corresponding to different tested parameters for each type of ready-to-use cylindrical cork stopper for still wines, including the establishment of an acceptable quality level. The standard serves an important role in preserving the freshness and drinkability of each corked bottle’s contents. This standard was developed by ISO Technical Committee (TC) 87, Cork.

Another ISO standard, ISO 21415-2:2006, Wheat and wheat flour - Gluten content - Part 2: Determination of wet gluten by mechanical means, specifies a method for determining by mechanical means the wet gluten content of wheat flour. The types of wheat flour covered by the standard include durum wheat flour, which is commonly used to make matzo, unleavened bread traditionally consumed during Passover. The standard was developed by ISO TC 34, Food Products, subcommittee (SC) 4, Cereals and pulses. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) member the American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS) serves as the ANSI-accredited administrator of the U.S. TAG to ISO TC 34.

According to the religious rules followed by some devout Jews, turning on and off electric lights during this portion of Passover is forbidden, leading many people to make use of candles to illuminate their Seder meal. Thankfully, ANSI member and audited designator ASTM International has developed a standard, ASTM F2417-11, Standard Specification for Fire Safety for Candles, that prescribes minimum safety requirements for candles, helping to reduce fire risks and provide a reasonable degree of safety for normal candle use.

Easter
Easter is the annual celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Christianity’s central figure. Traditionally celebrated on a Sunday, many worshippers mark the holiday by attending church and reading from the Bible, among other traditions. However, while Easter continues to hold major religious importance for many Christians, millions of other Americans celebrate the day in a more secular fashion. One of the most common secular tradition is the painting and hiding of Easter eggs. More than 200 million eggs are bought each year for use in U.S. Easter activities. ASAE EP344.3 JAN2005 (R2010), Lighting Systems for Agricultural Facilities, a standard developed by ANSI member and accredited standards developer the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), provides guidance regarding lighting installations used to change the physical or biological properties of chickens to bolster their egg production capabilities. The standard also applies to other farmed birds, fish, livestock, and plants.

Another common Easter tradition is the serving of a baked ham at Easter dinner. The ham is usually covered in a sweet or savory glaze and then baked until its skin grows crisp. A standard developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) provides safety guidelines for the effective operation of household electric ovens perfect for this sort of cooking, along with other electric cooking devices. IEC 60335-2-36 Amd.2 Ed. 5.0 b:2008, Amendment 2 - Household and similar electrical appliances - Safety - Part 2-36: Particular requirements for commercial electric cooking ranges, ovens, hobs and hob elements, modifies IEC 60335-2-36 Ed. 5.1 b:2005, Amendment 2 - Household and similar electrical appliances - Safety - Part 2-36: Particular requirements for commercial electric cooking ranges, ovens, hobs and hob elements. IEC TC 61, Safety of household and similar electrical appliances, SC 61E, Safety of electrical commercial catering equipment, was responsible for developing the standard. Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL), an ANSI member and audited designator, serves as the U.S. National Committee (USNC)–approved U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator to IEC TC 61.

Whether you’re Jewish, Christian, or neither, deeply religious or unobservant, standards help keep your holiday celebrations enjoyable and safe for the whole family.

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