In Episode 6 of HACCP Mentor Review we discuss the difference between high risk and high care areas, the value of networking with your food safety colleagues, the correct way to wear hairnets in the food production area and why pet hedgehogs are under in the spotlight.
The value of networking
This past week, I had the pleasure of catching up with my food safety auditor peers at our 6 monthly auditor training and calibration conference. The certification body that I audit for (NCS International) places a great amount of effort in ensuring that its food auditors are trained, up-to-date and calibrated to the latest customer standard requirements. Being in this type of environment allows us to bounce ideas off each other, have debates and discussions on GFSI standards and expectations along with personal development in the latest trends and food safety information. I think that these sessions are invaluable to my professional development and thanks NCSI for letting me be a part of them. How do you expose yourself to the latest information and how do you interact with like minded people? Let us know by leaving a comment under this video or post.
Food Safety Fail – Horse meat substitution
There have been reports out this week from Europe after horsemeat was identified as being added to meat products. Frozen spaghetti and beef lasagna meals and Burger King meat patties have been linked to the scandal. Although eating products containing horse meat is not considered to be a health risk, the revulsion factor has been high amongst UK and Irish food consumers.
What is the difference between high care and high risk?
The BRC standard documents requirements for both “high care” and “high Risk” areas within a food production facility. So what is the difference between the two? The easiest way to remember this is:
High care aims to minimise product contamination from microbiological hazards where high risk aims to prevent micro contamination of products. Products produced in high care areas will have been through a micro reduction process prior to entering this area. High risk areas contain only components/foods which have undergone a cook or similar process to achieve a 6 log reduction for listeria.
To see other requirements for high risk and high care areas, the BRC have put together a guidance document which is available on their website. Check the show notes to this episode for the link.
The role of the consultant
During a 3rd party certification audit, it is not the role of the food business consultant or food safety consultant to answer questions and direct the audit. The food business owners or management and the food handlers are the ones who are required to participate. This ensures that the food business has a full understanding of the requirements of food safety, food quality and HACCP. I have previously written an article on what to look for in a food safety consultant, so I will put a link to that article in the show notes.
Food product recalls
Highlights from this week’s food product recalls include:
- Plastic contamination in fried steaks
- Glass in Lean Cuisine meals
- Tree nut allergy alert in Cookies
- Sulphite allergy alert in dried apples
- Plastic foreign matter in sliced turkey meat
- Undeclared milk and soy in high protein supplement
- Listeria contamination in blue cheese and also unpasteurised cheese
To get more information on any of these recalls please visit www.foodproductrecalls.com
Food poisoning Outbreak
The Centers for Disease Control in the USA has reported a continuing multi state salmonella Typhimurium outbreak. A total of 20 infections and 1 death has been reported to date (31 January 2013) with data supporting a conclusive link to contact with pet hedgehogs. Food handlers who have contact with pet hedgehogs are reminded to thoroughly wash hands prior to any food preparation and to ensure that clothing worn in a food production facility has not been in contact with these animals.
Action item of the week
This weeks action item is to ensure that staff are wearing hair nets correctly. This applies to all staff who enter into any production areas within your food business (including management). Hair should be totally enclosed within the hair net to avoid any product from being contaminated. Pay extra attention to the fringe and neck areas.
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Until next time, thanks for visiting – I am Amanda Evans from HACCP Mentor.com