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Food Safety - is it important?

Food Safety - is it important?

20th Feb 2018

Food product recalls are a major threat to food companies. They result in disruption in operations while managing the recall, direct cost of recalling stock and the associated activities and the indirect costs caused by the knock-on effects, mainly brand and company reputation damage. This effect on consumers can result in significant long term financial losses for a company due to loss of sales.

The most common cause of food product recalls is biological contamination (microorganisms and toxins), which mainly affects food supplied fresh or raw.

Every food production business has a responsibility to ensure their food products are safe for consumption. In addition to this, food law places a legal requirement on food business operators to put in place, implement and maintain a permanent procedure based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles.

Since 1996, the food and beverage industries have been operating under HACCP, which is a systematic, science based and preventative approach to food safety that addresses potential biological, chemical and physical contamination of food products. A food safety management system based on HACCP principles should identify, evaluate and control hazards which are significant to the safety of the food being produced by the business.

There are seven principles, or stages, that underpin a HACCP system which are:

  • Principle 1 - Conduct a hazard analysis
  • Principle 2 - Determine the Critical Control Points (CCPs)
  • Principle 3 - Establish critical limit(s)
  • Principle 4 - Establish a system to monitor control of the CCP
  • Principle 5 - Establish the corrective action to be taken when monitoring indicates that a particular CCP is not under control
  • Principle 6 - Establish procedure for verification to confirm that the HACCP system is working effectively
  • Principle 7 - Establish documentation concerning all procedures and records appropriate to these principles and their application

A Critical Control Point is a step at which control can be applied and is essential to prevent or eliminate a food safety hazard or, reduce it to an acceptable level.

HACCP is used in the food industry to identify potential food safety hazards, so that key actions can be taken to reduce or eliminate these risks.

The presence of flaws in critical components may result in the integrity of such systems being compromised and increase the likelihood of failure.

One key action is the use of preventative maintenance inspection and regular testing utilising non destructive testing methods to identify and eliminate any potential problems before they become a risk to the consumer.

What can we do for you?

We know how valuable production time is for you, our unique innovative testing solutions coupled with our commitment means that producers can feel confident that their food supply is among the safest in the world.

Contact us today for more information.