With the pandemic not yet over, the necessity of effective food safety standards is more important than ever. Buyers need an assurance that the food they purchase is safe for consumption and will only serve its intended purpose. Food safety regulatory bodies are aware of increased concern over food safety standards, which is why both the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code and the Codex HACCP 2020 have undergone recent amendments, to ensure that relevant business’ integrate new food safety practices into their operations. Doing so ensures that business’ meet regulatory obligations, and provides buyers with an assurance that the food they purchase is safe. There are several recurring reasons for food product recalls in Australia, all of which could have been avoided if business’ took preventative action. Here are some of the more common reasons, with an explanation of what business’ could have done to avoid it.
Not Identifying potential risks and taking preventative action
Many business’ have struggled to develop effective strategies for ensuring their food is safe across all points of the food supply chain. Business’ should be identifying the scope of potential risks, and then working to safeguard against them. Companies that do not clearly work with a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan are at an increased risk of food contamination, compared to companies that work with one. This is because they are not clearly defining their areas of potential risk and contamination and so, the odds of a contamination breach are significantly increased.
It is crucial that food business’ work with a HACCP plan, as companies that do so will be in the best position to identify potential food risks, and take preventative action against them, significantly increasing the chances of their food always remaining safe.
Failing to keep up with their regulatory obligations
As mentioned above, there has been increased concern about food safety practices, and so several business food safety standards have been amended to reflect these concerns. This includes revised food labelling practices, and the development of a ‘food safety culture’ across an organisation. Food business’ should make an effort to keep up with regulatory changes, to ensure that their practices reflect their obligations. Doing so brings several benefits to organisations, including meeting their regulatory obligations, opening potential trading doors with other companies, and providing consumer confidence about the quality of their food products.
Not thoroughly cleaning machinery between use
Food business’ are often working with manufacturing and processing machinery throughout their workday, and as the day goes on the machinery may have been handled multiple times by different staff, processed any number of different food products, and so on. Business’ that have not developed a periodic cleaning schedule of all their operational equipment, to minimise the chances of food contamination, are at risk of producing contaminated food. It is crucial that business’ conduct regular cleaning of all operational machinery, as it ensures that individual food products are safe, while also reducing the odds of cross-contamination, where traces of one food product gets into another. It is also important that business’ have thorough, documented procedures regarding potential risk factors such as spills and breakages, appropriate record-keeping processes, and ensuring that old machinery parts are either fixed or replaced.
Compliance keeps your business safe
To ensure your food business’ practices always remain safe and within regulations, it is crucial to become compliant to a nationally, or internationally, recognised food safety standard. The International Organisation for Standardisation’s internationally recognised ISO 22000 Food Safety Standards help business’ develop the highest quality food safety practices across all points of the food supply chain, ensuring that the food they work with stays hazard and contamination-free. Further, the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code and Codex HACCP 2020 help business’ develop an effective food safety culture and practices across their entire operations, where all staff are briefed on their responsibilities and role when it comes to promoting food safety, and helps business’ develop clear incident handling processes.
A single food product recall can have disastrous consequences for an organisation. It can impact their reputation, damage consumer confidence, and may even harm their chances of continuing to operate in the future. That is why it is crucial that business’ achieve and maintain food safety compliance practices. If you would like to know more about how your business can work towards these goals, then please contact Anitech’s food safety specialists today at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 1300 802 163, for a short consultation about what food safety challenges your business is facing. They will be able to explain to you what action your organisation should be taking to ensure its food safety practices remain compliant and second to none.
Please click here to read about recent changes to food labelling standards within Australia, and what this means for business’.