Why do I need a Food Safety Program?
Food businesses in Australia today are under pressure to demonstrate that they are handling their food responsibly. Food poisoning is on the increase and recent outbreaks have undermined public confidence in the food industry. Consumers are now more discerning and will take legal action if something goes wrong. What can food businesses do to demonstrate their professionalism and commitment to food safety?
Businesses can only achieve this by having a food safety program in place. Food Safety is not new and basically requires a business to:
Identify each stage of its food processing, handling and delivery.
- Identify what can go wrong at each stage.
- Put in place actions that prevent problems from happening.
What are the Benefits of a Food Safety Program?
- Introduces systems and procedures to minimise the risk of food contamination
- Enables compliance with the necessary food safety legislative requirements
- Increases access to domestic and international food service markets
What level of food safety management do I need?
- The food safety management practices being requested by customers can be separated into three broad levels:
- Basic approved supplier program
2. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan
3. HACCP-based quality management standard or code
- The level of food safety management you need to implement will depend on your marketing arrangements and the potential risk of your product causing a food safety problem.
- If your product is supplied to a supermarket for example, either directly or indirectly, you will at least need to have a basic approved supplier program.
- If you are exporting your food product overseas, your customer is most likely to require a HACCP-based quality management system and maybe additional environmental or health and safety requirements. (eg Eurepgap Protocol or British Retail Consortium )
What does HACCP mean?
- Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is an internationally recognised system for managing the risks associated with food and beverage safety.
- HACCP applies to every stage of the food chain. If you grow, store, pack, serve or transport food, HACCP is the smart tool for process management and can assist in reducing the risk of product recalls and other industry disasters.