ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Spring Holidays Get a Boost from Standards

New York, Apr 18, 2014

Each spring, millions of U.S. residents observe either the Christian holiday of Easter or the Jewish holiday of Passover, taking the opportunity to combine religious observance with time spent with family and friends. During these holidays, food, drink, and decorations play an important part in maintaining traditions and ensuring that celebrants have a holiday to remember. And whether you’re Jewish, Christian, a member of another religion, or not religious at all, voluntary consensus standards will be there to support holiday celebrations of all kinds.

Celebrations of Passover traditionally begin at dusk with the Seder, which uses wine and traditional foods to help evoke elements of the Jewish escape from Egypt. One of these foods, charoset, is a dark, sweet concoction made of fruits, nuts, and spices, including cinnamon. ISO 6539:2014, Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum Blume) - Specification, sets down requirements for powdered or whole cinnamon and also provides transportation and storage recommendations. The International Standard was developed by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 34, Food products, Subcommittee (SC) 7, Spices, culinary herbs and condiments. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) member the American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS) serves as administrator of the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to ISO TC 34.

Easter celebrations often include a display of white lilies to signify rebirth and new beginnings. A standard from ANSI member and audited designator ASTM International provides guidance for the radiation processing of cut flowers, including lilies, as well as fruits, vegetables, and other agricultural goods. ASTM F1355-06, Standard Guide for Irradiation of Fresh Agricultural Produce as a Phytosanitary Treatment, is focused on the use of irradiation for the control of agriculture-related pests, helping keep those Easter lilies fresh for the big day.

While Passover and Easter differ in many significant ways, both holidays prominently feature eggs. In secular celebrations, the egg looms especially large, inspiring massive Easter egg hunts and the sale of chocolates shaped like eggs to mark the occasion. In Passover celebrations, a hard-boiled egg, known as the beitzah, symbolizes the festival sacrifice at Jerusalem’s Holy Temple. ANSI GELPP 0001-2002, Good Environmental Livestock Production Practices (GELPP): Concentrated Livestock Operations - General Site Conditions, provides guidance for all sorts of livestock operations, including egg-laying facilities, with a focus on helping to reduce associated negative environmental impacts. This American National Standard (ANS) was developed by ANSI member and accredited standards developer the National Pork Producers Council. Another standard, ASAE EP270.5 DEC1986 (R2012), Design of Ventilation Systems for Poultry and Livestock Shelters, provides important support for farmers, agricultural engineers, and other professionals. This standard was developed by ANSI-accredited standards developer and organizational member the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).

Celebrate the season however you choose – standards will help keep the spring in your step this holiday weekend and beyond.

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