The principles of food safety – why we need to get them right
in AsureQuality News
Author: Richard Burrow | Certification Manager AsureQuality
New Zealand has a global reputation for a high standard of quality and safety in food, and Kiwi food processors and manufacturers work hard every day to protect this. Recent food safety incidents highlighted in the media show how hard this can sometimes be.
If correct food safety principles are not applied at all points in the food supply chain or production process, the consequences can be catastrophic, compromising the safety of customers and causing potentially irreparable damage to a brand’s reputation. The seriousness of such a situation is extremely challenging for any business, whilst simultaneously managing the enormous task and cost of product recalls to remove potential for further harm. Now is a good time for all businesses to review their food safety practices to ensure they are safeguarding not only their customers, but also their own and New Zealand’s reputation.
The new global and local regulatory focus on having a good food safety culture (external link) highlights that food safety is everyone’s business. Most businesses are aware of the risks and have good procedures in place to ensure that staff are well trained in food safety (external link) and the effective application of HACCP (external link) (external link) principles. Having staff that are trained to understand food safety hazards and who are committed to a food safety culture is key for minimising these risks. When a business embraces a food safety culture, it can be the difference between a few people following checklists because ‘they have to’ and the entire staff being onboard, responsible and contributing to food safety every day. When this happens, maintaining food safety and being ‘audit-ready’ every day, becomes easy.
Many businesses have implemented supplier approval programmes, as part of their overall food safety strategy, to ensure that suppliers are meeting specified standards of quality and safety. These can be relatively simple, or they may encompass many attributes that are important to the business and their customers. Most Approved Supplier Programmes are audited by an independent third party to provide credibility and reassurance across the supply chain. AsureQuality currently audits to several Approved Supplier Programmes (external link) for National and International customers.
Our nationwide team of auditors are food safety specialists who understand the challenges the food industry faces and have the expertise and experience to support their efforts to achieve a strong food safety outcome: robust processes, safe food, safe and happy customers.
The team at our Academy are experienced in helping businesses with their training needs and can be contacted directly if you would like further information.