Food Safety and Protection

How do you market food safety?


Your customers purchase from you with the expectation that they will not get sick, injured or killed. So because of this basic expectation, you can’t market food safety. Find out more along with retention samples, potable water verification and testing your contingency plan in Episode 43 of HACCP Mentor Review.

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Welcome to Episode 34

Welcome to Episode 34 of HACCP Mentor Review. I am Amanda Evans and in this episode we have a look at how to market food safety, testing your water system, retention samples and activating your contingency plan. Don’t forget if you have any questions, just leave a comment below this episode.

Contingency Plan Activated for a food company

I watched with interest this week on the news in Australia of a food transport truck that overturned losing its full load of eggs. When I audit, I often see food businesses using this type of incident or scenario as the basis for testing their contingency plan. Some of the areas that are very rarely documented in the reporting of these mock tests are contacting the family members of the driver, the driver rehabilitation and interacting with the media. When you go to undertake your test, make sure you have full reporting to support a thorough test of your food business systems. Reporting includes the scenario, timelines, forms completed, decisions made, improvements recommended, system changes made and interaction with both internal and external stakeholders.

SQF Internal Audit Tool

One of the most effective things that you can do to ensure a successful audit outcome is to undertake and effective internal audit against the standard that you are getting audited against. SQF has made this process a little bit easier with the recent release of internal audit checklists for Edition 7.1. You can either purchase for the entire code or just for Module 2 and Module 11. There is a cost involved but at $50US it would take you longer to develop yourself. Check it out here.

The purpose of retention samples

Retention samples are samples taken from food production and retained for a particular time frame. The time frame may differ depending on the type of food product but as a general rule of thumb, samples should be retained for the shelf life of the product plus say and extra 10%. Retention samples can be then assessed for food safety and quality parameters to support the stated shelf-life. Retention samples should be stored as per the food products storage requirements.

How do you market food safety?

Your customers purchase from you with the expectation that they will not get sick, injured or killed. So because of this basic expectation, you can’t market food safety. You may be thinking, “we use a certification trade mark as part of our food business marketing”. What this type of promotion is saying to your customers is that you are using a benchmarked set of strategies to achieve food safety that are independently reviewed. When you look at the different clauses of your certification standard (e.g. SQF, BRC, ISO22000) see if you can tie that requirement or strategy back to the basic food law and customer expectation. Look for the food safety links rather than quality in doing this activity. For example, BRC 7.1.1 and SQF talks about the requirements for all staff to be appropriately trained prior to commencing work and when maintaining food safety requirements. If staff do not have adequate training and knowledge, their action can have a direct effect on food safety.

Action of the Week

The action of the week this episode is to check that your water supply has been tested in the previous 12 months. This is a requirement of the majority of GFSI standards. Testing your water supply to see if it is safe or potable verifies it’s safety. The water from the supply authority may be reported as being “safe and potable” but the reason you need to also check is because contamination can occur within your own water delivery system or your pipes. Only safe and potable water should be used as an input to your system including for cleaning, washing or as an ingredient.

I need your feedback

Each week when I put together these episodes I try and deliver information that I think will be helpful in making your food safety and HACCP compliance easier. I would love to know if there are particular topics you would like to hear about or even if the current format is ok. I have moved away from reporting recent food recalls and food poisoning updates in each episode to focus on information that is not readily available. If you still want me to include a recap of food recalls and food poisonings let me know and post a comment below this episode. Anyway…that wraps up Episode 34 of HACCP Mentor Review. Hit share using any of the social media buttons below and I look forward to getting your feedback. Until next time I am Amanda Evans from HACCP Mentor.

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