Does your marketing team talk to your food safety QA team?

  • October 29, 2013
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Find out what happens when the marketing / sales team do not communicate with food safety QA along with what are measurable food safety objectives, updating pest contractor credentials, the art of being organised and understanding food-grade statements.

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Transcript to Episode 37 of HACCP Mentor Review

Welcome to Episode 37 of HACCP Mentor Review. In this episode we find out what are measurable food safety objectives, updating pest contractor credentials, the art of being organised and understanding food-grade statements. I also share a personal story of what happens when sales and marketing don’t communicate with a QA team.

What are measurable food safety objectives?

Food safety objectives are the same as business objectives but just with a food safety focus. You are required to identify your food safety objectives in a way that can be later assessed to see if you actually met that objective. This is what we call “measurable food safety objectives”.

For example, if you set one of your food safety objectives as “we will to respond to all customer complaints within 24 hours”, you would need to set up a mechanism to capture or record the time taken to respond to customer complaints.

Your business can then assess these results on a regular basis to see if the food safety objectives are being met. If this is not the case, your management team can then review what is not working correctly in your food business and then implement suitable adjustments or corrective action.

Does your marketing and sales team talk to your food safety QA team?

This week I received an email from the marketing sales manager of a client of mine. I have never met this person and to be honest I did not even know the role existed in the business. Anyway, he emailed me with a copy of a HACCP logo with the intention of using it on their product packaging. His emailed read like this:

“We have used a new HACCP logo (which we were under the impression was generic). We used this logo for the simple fact of in the event of changing auditing companies we do not have to change the carton print each time”.

When I opened the email attachment I was horrified to see that the logo was not only that of another certification body, but that particular audit company is not even a recognised certification body in the world of food safety. This will be a very expensive lesson for this marketing sales manager as his email also stated that food packaging has already been printed and due for delivery next week.

This particular food business has been with their current certification company for over 8 years and have no intention of changing any time in the future.

So there are a few lessons to be learnt from this scenario:

  • There is no such thing as a generic HACCP logo. You cannot make a claim that you cannot validate.
  • Only use the logo from the certification body that audits you as per their food safety HACCP certification marketing guidelines.
  • Make sure that the Food Safety QA department is involved in all packaging artwork decisions at your food business.
  • Never order food packaging without first checking and validating each and every section of the artwork (including ingredient lists, marketing claims, nutritional panels and warning statements).
  • Educate the marketing and sales team within your food business about the certification audit process and what it actually means.

Pest Contractor Licences

The action item for this episode is to check that licences issued for pest contractors are current. It is a requirements of the majority of GFSI standards that only trained personal are used in the chemical pest control application.

The art of being organised

I had two of my clients audited this week with both having a successful outcome. I can put this down to their hard work and commitment to their food safety HACCP system but also to the electronic organisation of their HACCP documents, policies procedures and records. The audit process was a breeze and the auditor was very happy to have information provided at lightning speed. If you are interested in using the system that I use to organise HACCP documents electronically check out www.haccpmanual.com

What is the difference between food safe and food grade?

This week I received an email asking what is the difference between food safe and food grade when it comes to chemicals and equipment. In a nutshell – I don’t see any difference. Both terms imply that the item will not become a hazard to the food. For example, equipment stated as being “Food grade” would imply that when food comes into direct contact with the piece of equipment, the food will not become contaminated.

Chemicals labelled or advertised as ‘food safe’ implies that should any of the chemical have direct contact with the food product, when ingested, the consumer should not have an adverse reaction. One thing to keep in mind that anything labelled or stated to be “food safe” or “food grade” should be referenced to some acceptable form of validation that backs these claims.

Love getting your feedback

Thank you to you all who regularly send me questions and feedback on HACCP Mentor, I really appreciate this. If you have any feedback or comments on this episode please feel free to leave a comment below. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead. Until next time, I am Amanda Evans from www.haccpmentor.com

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