Running a business within the food industry is a lot like working off a recipe to prepare a meal. It requires a lot of preparation, putting the right amount of each ingredients or items into the mix, ensuring that your plan is followed at all stages, paying strict attention to detail to ensure nothing goes wrong, and finally, seeing the result of your hard work come to fruition when it is done to perfection.
Further, as with baking a cake, a single incident or mishap can threaten to undermine your entire operations, bringing into question the standards applied within your business, which in turn can threaten your relationship with customers, and overall reputation. That is why it is worthwhile to implement a Food Safety Management System (FSMS) within your organisation, to ensure that the food standards you work with are of the highest quality throughout every stage of the food industry supply chain, including ensuring that the manufacturing and generation of the food is conducted in accordance with internationally certified food safety standards, that it is transported in a safe, hygienic, contamination-free environment, and that throughout the wholesale and retail sale of the food, the food safety standards are continuing to be applied to ensure that people who buy it are guaranteed safe, hazard-free, contamination-free food for consumption.
Implementing a set of food safety guidelines is a recipe for success
The most effective way to ensure that your food safety standards are up to scratch, which in turn works at maintaining stakeholder confidence and upholding your reputation, is to work with a demonstrably successful, internationally certified, framework for food safety. The International Organization for Standardization’s provides a number of internationally certified food safety standards, such as ISO 22000. They provide business’ with a clear, easy to understand, overview of the recipe for a successful, effective Food Safety Management System. These standards address the issue of an effective Food Safety Management System through four interrelated elements, which are:
- HACCP Principles: These internationally certified standards utilise the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles to work at preventing potential food hazards before they even occur, through the implementation of critical control points, which work at assessing the potential threats to food safety, and implementing both automatic and manual safeguarding procedures, which are applied once a stipulated control point is passed, thus immediately applying fail safe procedures to keep the food free from contamination, hazards, or any other form of threat.
- System Management: This driving principle of food safety management works at developing an effective food safety policy for your organisation, which addresses food safety concerns from all different levels and aspects of the organisation. It addresses food safety management at all stages, from preparation safety issues, to ensuring that there is a team of qualified individuals working with the company to make up an advisory board on food safety matters, thus ensuring that everything is done in accordance with the highest safety standards.
- Prerequisite Programs: These are processes and practices an organisation puts in place, in accordance with the ISO 22000 Standards, to ensure that the physical workspace and manufacturing environment is conducive to the production of food safety. It addresses how to minimise the threat of contamination in the workplace, including implementing standards for staff hygiene, whether the layout of the work environment poses potential food safety hazards and how these can be mitigated, and so on.
- Interactive Communication: A safety management plan is only as strong as its strongest link, and one of the most effective methods for ensuring that a Food Safety Management Plan is implemented in a smooth, safe and secure manner is by having regular consultations, in both a formal and informal setting, with staff, clients, customers, food industry experts, management, consultants, and so on, to work at producing a singular, cohesive food safety management plan. This ensures that everyone is on the same page in terms of understanding their responsibilities when it comes to food safety, ensuring that there is a clear, methodical system in place for what to do in event of a food safety issue, and so on.
The implementation of the ISO 22000 Food safety standards acts as a safeguard for your business’ operations, by demonstrating your commitment to internationally certified food safety principles. This works at boosting productivity within your workplace, by increasing staff morale, as they are assured of your commitment to working with food in a safe, hazard-free environment, strengthening stakeholder confidence, as they are assured of your commitment to international food safety standards, which demonstrates that your business is safe to conduct dealings with, which in turn improves and upholds your business’ reputation as a safe, ethical organisation within the food industry.
When you are baking a cake you do not take shortcuts, because while they may save time in the short term, in the long run they can lead to a number of problems and issues arising, due to not following set protocols. So too is it with the business’ in the food industry, and by taking some steps now to ensure that your organisation is meeting certified food safety standards, you are helping your business remain competitive and become and stay a market leader. Please give Anitech Group’s consultants a call on 1300 802 163 today, to discuss the specific requirements of your business, how the ISO 22000 Standards could be applied to it to help preserve its reputation as an organisation committed to food safety, and how these standards could help improve productivity and streamline operations. Doesn’t this sound like a recipe for success?