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Organizations spend a fortune on employee training.
Organizations spent an additional fortune on quality failure: customer complaints, loss of business, destruction of goods, retesting, repacking, reworking, returns, recall, etc. In most cases the loss is attributed to “the human factor”.
If both of the above paragraphs are true, then something very strange is going on in our workplaces. This article introduces an alternative to traditional training methods to which we have become accustomed to over the years: an effective and enjoyable alternative with measurable results.
To follow the necessary regulations and ensure the safety of an end product, companies should always employ a compressed air monitoring plan. Though the goal of any monitoring plan is ultimately safety, there are varying ways to ensure product safety and each manufacturer must set their goals according to their specific circumstances and needs. To determine the appropriate goal of an individual’s monitoring plan, companies should assess their risks and understand the regulations in place.
Manufacturers may have varying compressed air testing goals that are quite unique to their industry, end product, or even, location. This article will help to determine those goals by outlining the risks that compressed air systems face, the options that users have when it comes to monitoring, and the best ways to ensure the quality of the compressed air system.
The long awaited second edition of International ISO Standard 22000 Food safety management systems — Requirements for any organization in the food chain has just been published (June 2018). Not surprisingly, there are a number of changes, there is much closer alignment with other ISO management standards, additional strategic requirements to address organizational risks and opportunities and more detailed food safety requirements.
International standards and internal facility health and safety regulations exist to improve and protect the health and welfare of consumers and facility employees respectively. Some regulations directly impact the product being manufactured, while others have roles in the daily function of the overall facility. In either case, when compressed or environmental air meets food, regulations must be in place to deem that food or beverage safe for consumption.
In 2014, Parker Hannifin Corporation released a case study about a bakery in Illinois that recognized its need to test the compressed air in direct and indirect contact with their food products. During testing, the bakery mixed ambient air with their compressed air resulting in false positive microbial contamination. After several months of retesting, they evaluated their sampling procedure and discovered it to be the issue.1 In this instance, understanding the standard for testing compressed air for microbial contamination (ISO 8573-7) would have aided in the resolution of the issue in a more timely manner.
This article will focus on testing within ISO 8573-7 guidelines for quantitative methods regardless of air type and how qualitative methods, while useful for some reports, may not be applicable to others.
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) represents a significant shift in the approach to managing food-borne illness. According to the CDC, approximately 48 million people are affected by foodborne illness every year, leading to 128,000 hospitalizations and 3000 deaths. This represents a largely preventable public health burden. The FSMA addresses this by shifting the focus from one of reaction and response to one of prevention. The new rules created under this mandate apply to manufacturers and packagers of food and beverage for human consumption, as well as manufacturers of animal feeds.
To assist all BRC Food certificated sites BRC Global Standards commissioned The Acheson Group (TAG) to assess the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 7 against the final rule for Preventative Controls for Human Food. The results of the analysis show that certification to the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 7 is almost in complete alignment with the expectations in FSMA. Source: BRC website.
Many in the food manufacturing business are wondering exactly how to go about complying with the requirements for routine monitoring of compressed air. SQF, BRC, FSSC 22000 and PrimusGFS schemes require monitoring but do not establish purity limits, nor do they provide guidance on how to accomplish this requirement.
One of the new rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP). For most importers of foods into the USA, the FDA has specified that the date they will begin inspecting importers to ensure they are in compliance with the FSVP will be 30th May, 2017. That effectively makes the FSVP the next big milestone of the total FSMA suite of rules.
A recent comparison of the FSSC 22000 Certification scheme against the FSMA Final Preventive Controls (PC) Rule for Human Food concluded that there is alignment between FSSC 22000 and the PC rule and that where the FSSC 22000 scheme requirements are not exceeding those of the PC rule they are in very large measure comparable.
Internal auditing is included in Food Safety Management Requirements of the GFSI Guidance Document Sixth Edition Version 6.4 and as such is a compulsory element of GFSI benchmarked standards including BRC, SQF, IFS and FSSC 22000. Whilst at first the aim of your internal auditing system may be to confirm that your food safety management system is effective in meeting customer statutory and regulatory requirements, an effectively implemented and managed internal audit system can add significantly more value to your business.
Internal auditing is not just about identifying compliance and non-compliance, by taking a proactive approach your internal auditors can contribute to the performance of your business by identifying areas for improvement.
We’ll come back to this later but first let’s go through some relevant information regarding internal audit systems in the food industry.
On first glance HACCP and HARPC may look similar. But be warned, no matter what you may have been told, they are not!
There are key differences between the two systems and so, if you’re trying to comply to both, it’s really important that you understand what those differences are.
More than that, there is one fundamental contradiction in the two systems, that if not addressed prior to setting off down the food safety path, may just trip you up!
I believe the publication of the FDAs Food Safety Modernization Act and the requirement for a risk-based preventive control plan (HARPC), is going to turn the world of HACCP on its head.
Although HACCP is well-established and the recognized way of carrying out food safety risk assessment, the NACMCF and Codex Alimentarius principles will need to make way for the new preventive control rule.
Even with the introduction of HARPC, food facilities will continue to be required to adhere to HACCP principles by their local law, by their customers and in order to meet standards such as those recognized by the GFSI.
The quality of compressed air used in the food industry has come under the microscope recently. As the awareness grows of the critical nature that compressed air plays in the quality of products, several organizations have addressed the growing realization.
Issue 5 of the BRC Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials was published July 2015 with the new set of requirements coming into force on January 1, 2016. To prepare for the changes the IFSQN have conducted an initial gap analysis of Issue 5 against issue 4 requirements HIGH HYGIENE CATEGORY highlighting the new requirements and key changes.
One of my main lines of work at the moment is helping my manufacturing clients complete their TACCP/VACCP study. The understanding within the industry of what TACCP and VACCP is, is very confused right now. There have been many mixed messages on this subject and many conflicting explanations as to what TACCP and VACCP are and which should be applied to what situation. Within this short article I intend to clarify the subject.
The main goal of food safety agencies worldwide is to protect consumers from food products that are potentially harmful to their health. For that reason the agencies constantly introduce new and review old regulations for proper food production and labeling. These laws differ from country to country, and even from region to region within one country.
"We must plant the sea and herd its animals using the sea as farmers instead of hunters. That is what civilization is all about - farming replacing hunting".
- Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997)
Indeed we have, as reported in the last FAO Fisheries & Aquaculture publication, wild captured seafood is maintaining an even level and seemed to have reached its limitations, however, aquaculture production has recently eclipsed wild captured seafood harvest levels.
Compressed air is used widely in the food industry in devices such as pneumatic valves, and in product handling and packaging systems. Often it is an integral component of Clean-in-Place (CIP) systems as a carrier of steam. It is important that compressed air systems function effectively. The purity of compressed air is vital for ensuring product and work surfaces in direct and indirect contact with the product, do not become contaminated.
The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety publication has now become a leading global standard supported by major retailers throughout the world and adopted by over 8,000 food businesses in more than 80 countries. As management systems standards go it is a well organised document, written in clear language and reasonably user friendly. However, at 82 pages long it can overwhelm the newcomer and it easy for one to get lost in the plethora of requirements. The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety certification standard requirements are described in great detail in 7 sections throughout the standard. Some of the requirements may not be appropriate to all organisations; however the standard does stipulate 10 fundamental requirements without which certification cannot be achieved.
All food businesses should implement a documented food safety management system based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles. This means food businesses should be aware of all the food safety hazards in their food operations and have systems in place to control them.
An important step in safeguarding food safety is the implementation of a structured Food Safety Management System that is incorporated into the overall management activities of the organization. The Food Safety Management System should address legal requirements in addition to physical, chemical, biological hazards identified by the HACCP.
The U.S. food industry has experienced myriad breaches in food safety resulting in food alerts and recalls over the past several years, which have injured or killed consumers and cost retailers, manufacturers and growers millions of dollars.
While the out-of-pocket losses are considerable, food safety breaches and recalls cost everyone in the food chain dearly. And there are other irreparable damages –– the decline or loss of brand image and the loss of consumer trust. The focus on U.S. food safety regulation and systems improvement, as well as the lightning speed of communication in the digital and social-media age brings food poisoning news to consumers in real time, allowing manufacturers and retailers little time to prepare public relations responses.
The Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a systematic approach to the identification, evaluation, and control of food safety hazards. HACCP is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of chemical, biological, and physical hazards from unprocessed or raw material, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished food product.
A single, internationally accredited and recognized superior food safety standard has been the Holy Grail for many years; we are not there just yet but the introduction of FSSC 22000 takes us a major step closer. The FSSC 22000 standard is designed for food manufacturers who supply or plan to supply their products to major food retailers or major branded food companies and combines the ISO 22000 Food Safety Management standard with the Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 220 and other additional requirements.
With the publication of ISO 22000 for food safety management, a new tool has been added to the food safety portfolio. Oliver Cann investigates its role and the prospects for success. Concerns over food safety have been front-page news in recent years, from mad cow disease to E.coli outbreaks, from the debate over Genetically Modified foods to Sudan red dyes. In response to these concerns, the food industry is active in trying to find solutions which improve food safety. Existing food safety verification tools include the Dutch HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) Code, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Food Standard, the International Food Standard (IFS), the Safe Quality Food (SQF) protocol and the Euro-Retailer Produce Working Group Good Agricultural Practices (EurepGAP) standard. All are actively used to help food retailers manage their supply chains and each standard supplies solutions in their respective markets.