How to Develop a Food Safety Management System

How to Develop a Food Safety Management System

A Food Safety Management System should be planned, established, documented and implemented in order to ensure compliance with company, customer, regulatory and statutory requirements. Senior management need to confirm the scope of the Food Safety Management System including product categories, processes and activities conducted on by the organization.

 

Senior management need to be committed to the food safety management system and establishing and implementing, then fully communicating and supporting company policies, procedures and objectives. Senior management plan, establish, document and implement the food safety management system by:

 

  • Establishing and implementing a Food Safety Policy.
  • Communicating and Maintaining the Food Safety Policy.
  • Establishing and implementing Food Safety Objectives.
  • Communicating and Maintaining the Food Safety Objectives
  • Leading and supporting a food safety culture within the site
  • Conducting regular pro-active management reviews and communicating outputs.
  • Communicating commitment to satisfying customer requirements including food safety, quality and service
  • Supporting and planning the development and operation of the Food Safety Management systems.
  • Ensuring the food safety management system is maintained when changes are planned and implemented.
  • Establishing documentation required for the effective development, implementation and updating of the food safety management system and communicating pertinent information throughout the organization.
  • Providing the human and financial resources, and training, to manage the Policies and Objectives effectively.
  • Providing the infrastructure and work environment to manage the Policies and Objectives effectively.
  • Promoting an ethic of continuous improvement throughout the company.
  • Ensuring the strict observation of all food safety system procedures, the use of correct materials and equipment, recording and reporting of both standard and non-standard events and compliance with the company rules.
  • Providing the resources to audit the Food Safety Management system effectively.
  • Providing the resources necessary for the food safety team to effectively implement a Food Safety HACCP plan.
  • Carrying out regular Management Reviews.
  • Implementing and maintaining Corrective Action, Preventative Action and Continuous Improvement Plans.
  • Communicating effectively throughout the food chain from primary suppliers to end consumers including any relevant food safety information.
  • Providing the resource to ensure the company is kept up to date with all industry codes of practice, legislative, scientific and technical information appropriate to the products in the countries of raw material supply, production and product sales.

 

Due diligence

 

An effective Food Safety Management System demonstrates due diligence of the company in the effective development and implementation of safe food operations. The Food Safety Management System documents are supported by the completion of specified records for the monitoring of planned activities, maintenance and verification of control measures and by taking effective actions when non-conformity is encountered.

BRCGS Food Safety F837: Position Statement: Clause 1.1.2

BRCGS Food Safety F837: Position Statement: Clause 1.1.2

BRCGS Food Safety F837: Position Statement: Clause 1.1.2 Define and maintain a clear plan for the development and continuing improvement of food safety culture

 

BRCGS has issued a position statement to ensure expectations relating to compliance with clause 1.1.2; its consistent application at certificated sites, and assessment during audits are understood.

In summary, the clause requires sites to: Define and maintain a clear plan for the development and continuing improvement of food safety culture.

This plan must include:

Clearly defined activities that will be completed

Involve all sections of the site that have an impact of product safety (whilst specific activities may be relevant to certain departments or roles, overall the plan must ensure that all relevant section/roles are covered)

An action plan indicating how the identified activities will be undertaken/completed

Measurement of the activities (i.e. where they completed, where the correct people involved, were activities successful, any other learnings)

Intended timescales for the completion of the activities

A review of the effectiveness of completed activities

 

Where sites are non-compliant, the non-conformities will be graded as follows:

 

Major Non-conformity

Where the site does not have a documented plan for food safety and quality culture. In this context a plan is more than a short statement of intent, but documentation incorporating the requirements of the clause (as summarised above).

 

Minor Non-conformity

Where a documented plan exists, but is: of poor quality (e.g. insufficiently detailed, for example missing timescales for completion or absence of clear action plans), does not cover all the relevant areas or staff and is not fully implemented (e.g. some activities not implemented or not completed to predefined schedule).

 

Site review of the effectiveness of completed activities

The third bullet point in the clause requires sites to undertake a review of the effectiveness of completed activities.  As audits to the Standard only commenced in February 2019 it is possible that this review of the success of the programme, would not always be implemented in year 1 and therefore non-compliance with this bullet point is not considered a nonconformity until the site’s second audit to Issue 8.

 

Grading

The non-conformance shall be included in the calculation of the site grade.

Effective date: 1st June 2019

 

Source BRCGS News here: https://www.brcgs.com/media/1495789/f837-position-statements-for-issue-8-v2-03092019.pdf

 

How our Implementation Packages Assist in Compliance

 

Our Implementation Packages include tools and procedures to assist in complying with all the clauses of the BRCGS standard. As an example, for planning and developing a food safety culture we provide a template for Senior Management to use, below are some extracts and examples:

 

Food Safety Culture

 

The company recognises that a successful food safety culture is the product of individual and group values, attitudes, competencies and patterns of behaviour that determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of the food safety management system. The site’s senior management plan for the development and continuing improvement of food safety culture.

 

Senior management are responsible for delivering a “It is how we do things here” food safety culture by:

Leadership – starting from the top

Demonstrating visible commitment

Effective communication of company philosophy and policy

Ensuring there is accountability from the top of the organisation to the bottom

Developing employee confidence and mutual trust

Developing reward schemes including ‘Employee of the Month’ award

Ensuring all employees are accountable, engaged and understand the value of integrity and proactivity

Developing an action plan for the development and continuing improvement of food safety culture

 

Monitoring Food Safety Culture

 

Senior management monitor and measure through individual reposts and trend analysis the degree of development of the food safety culture by analysing information including KPIs from:

 

Hygiene & Housekeeping Audits

Internal Audits

External Audits

Non-conforming products

Environmental monitoring

Review of implementation plan and numbers trained

Employee reviews

Staff surveys on values and culture

Customer Complaints

Staff Turnover

Staff Exit Interviews

 

Results of monitoring are shared throughout the organisation.

 

Responsibilities

 

Senior management are responsible for reviewing the effectiveness of completed activities at the monthly Management Review meeting

 

Individual Food Safety Culture Development Table

 

All employees will undergo the following briefings and stages:

 

Food Safety Policy

Food Safety Objectives

Food Safety Management System Overview

Job Descriptions

Job Training

Employee Briefing

Individual Objectives

CCP Controls – Training Procedures & Record Completion

PRP Controls – Training Procedures & Record Completion

Employee Review

 

Reference

 

QM 1.1.2 Food Safety Culture Planning:

 

 

What is a Food Safety Consultant and Why Does Your Restaurant Need One?

What is a Food Safety Consultant and Why Does Your Restaurant Need One?

What is a Food Safety Consultant and Why Does Your Restaurant Need One

As a restaurant owner, you need to abide by many food safety standards. This is where a food safety consultant comes in. Here’s why you need one.

Do you run a restaurant or a business with a kitchen? Does it feel overwhelming when you think about all the balls you juggle every day?

Most of the time, a kitchen manager handles everything from kitchen food safety to personnel changes and sometimes the dining room, too. If you feel stretched thin, read this article to find the help you need.

Below, we’ll tell you all about what a food safety consultant is and why you need one. When you’re ready to make the leap, use our quick tips for choosing a consultant that’s right for your kitchen.

What Is a Food Safety Consultant?

Food safety consultants give you confidence that your kitchen complies with all regulations. They are an outside pair of eyes to keep you and your kitchen staff on track.

Protecting your customers from getting sick is of the utmost importance. With guidelines that change all the time, having someone else around to work alongside you on this project is a must.

Why Does Your Restaurant Need One?

You may think that everyone knows how to follow basic safety rules like wearing gloves or avoiding cross contamination. But sanitizing daily and checking storage temperatures isn’t everyone’s first priority.

In fact, some employees choose not to read the instructions or cut corners to speed things up. This can lead to failed inspections, or worse, sick clientele.

While you want to have speedy service, you also need to avoid these problems. When you hire a consultant, it’s a lot easier to meet both goals.

Here are three big reasons your restaurant needs a food safety consultant.

Compliance

There are regulations to follow in any kitchen. No matter which food safety management system you follow, you want to maintain your certifications. Here are some standard food safety certifications:

  • BRC certification (most popular) – British Retail Consortium
  • SQF from Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)
  • FSSC 22000 also from GFSI

You have to follow many guidelines for legal compliance and certification. Staying on top of everything requires a lot of meticulous list-keeping.

If that’s not you, a food safety consultant can help you stay in compliance. Let someone else make the lists and double check them. Having another person on your team to keep track of the nit-picky items is an asset you can’t afford to work without.

Extra Support

When you hire a food safety consultant, did you know you hire extra support? They are they to help organize and manage the system, but they also give advice.

The support an independent consultant gives is invaluable. Your consultant should be able to help with anything from kitchen emergencies to encouragement and recommendations.

While it’s hard to quantify this type of help, the results you see from its implementation won’t be nebulous.

Current Information

The regulations for these and other organizations or laws change often. It’s hard to keep up with all the requirements.

A food safety consultant keeps up with all the guidelines and assesses your specific needs. They’ll help you change processes or procedures when the rule changes, so that you don’t miss a beat.

You can achieve compliance with the help of a consultant, even with ceaseless updates to the regulations.

How to Choose a Food Safety Consultant

That’s great, you’re convinced that a consultant is important for your restaurant. But if you want to hire one, where do you start?

How do you know that the one you’ve picked out is the right fit for your business? Here are a few questions to ask to make sure you’ve made the best decision.

Do They Have Outside Resources?

Food safety consultants should have access to outside resources because of the field they’re in. Even if they don’t know the answer to a question you have, they should be able to find it within their network of experts and colleagues.

Are They Too Cheap?

Don’t rule out an expensive consultant. Most often, you get what you pay for, and having to pay a little more for quality service is worth it.

Ask all the questions before you go with someone who charges less than their competitors. There’s doubtless a reason they can’t charge the same prices as other consultants you looked at.

Trust your instincts, and triple check before you hire the cheapest option.

Do They Understand the Regulations?

Choosing someone who has memorized the rules won’t help you if they don’t understand them. You need a consultant who has experience applying the rules to the real world.

Being able to recite the rulebook doesn’t mean they can interpret it. Food safety consultants are like the judges in the courtrooms of the kitchen. Instead of quoting it, they have to be able to interpret the law.

Ask your prospective consultant if they have experience in the kitchen. If not, give them some real-life scenarios you have encountered in your own kitchen to respond to. This way you can make sure they know how to handle a difficult situation.

Abiding By Safety Standards

Keeping up with regulations doesn’t have to be a headache you’re used to. A food safety consultant can help you be compliant, keep up with changes, and find the extra support you need.

To choose a consultant, ask some basic questions about their experience, resources, and pricing. Soon your restaurant will be a slick machine, and you will be able to focus on other aspects of the kitchen.

With over 20 years of expertise, TCI can help you achieve these goals. For more about food safety management systems developed around your needs, select a consultant package on our website.

Top 10 Food Safety Tips for Restaurants and Commercial Kitchens

Top 10 Food Safety Tips for Restaurants and Commercial Kitchens

Top 10 Food Safety Tips for Restaurants and Commercial Kitchens

Food safety is one of the most important aspects of running a restaurant. Read on to learn about the top ten food safety tips.

You’re surely aware of salmonella, E. coli, listeria, and norovirus — but did you know that there are over 250 food borne illnesses? Each year, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 48 million people get sick from a food borne illness. Of those, some 128,000 must be hospitalized, and 3,000 die as a result of getting sick from poor food handling practices.

If you supervise a restaurant or commercial kitchen, it is absolutely imperative to understand food safety. We’ve compiled a list of food safety tips to get you started.

Hand It to Safety

One of the most important tips to help keep your commercial kitchen safe is good, old fashioned hand washing. “Employees Must Wash Hands” is more than just a mandatory poster on the kitchen, bathroom, or break room wall.

Make hand washing an iron-clad rule. Train your employees in proper hand washing procedures.. And administer strict and swift consequences for those who don’t follow this rule.

Make Gloves Mandatory

In addition, your workers should be trained in the proper use of gloves. Whenever someone is preparing food in a commercial kitchen, they should be wearing gloves. Not only that, but they should change gloves frequently. New gloves should be worn each time the cooks switch from raw to cooked food, for example, and vice versa.

Far too many food service workers see gloves as magical shields that somehow render germs powerless, no matter what that person does with their hands. If you see staff members wearing gloves while scratching or touching their skin, and then handling food without changing the gloves, stop them. Retrain your staff as necessary.

Clean and Sanitize Equipment Daily

Of course, the equipment in the kitchen must also be cleaned and sanitized not just on the regular, but properly. Your https://www.foodsafetynews.com/restaurant-inspections-in-your-area/ may have specific requirements surrounding food sanitation, so make sure to ask.

In general, you won’t go wrong with hot, soapy water and/or commercial bleach. Wash down all dishes, prep containers, pots and pans, utensils, cooking surfaces, cutting boards, and countertops. Sweep and mop not just the kitchen proper, but also the coolers, freezers, and storage areas.

Set a Regular Deep Cleaning Schedule

It’s also a smart idea to set a firm schedule of how often the entire kitchen should be scrubbed down and cleaned out. Asking your employees to take care of heavy-duty cleaning “as needed” or “when they have down time” is asking for a dirty kitchen that will fail a health inspection.

During a deep clean, tackle the ovens, grills, fryers, and appliances. Don’t forget grease traps, range hoods, fans and vents, lighting fixtures, and the like.

Avoid Cross Contamination When Storing Food…

Raw meat and poultry should be kept entirely separate from their cooked counterparts. In addition, keep them away from vegetables, prepared sauces, rolls or bread, and any other foodstuff.

This practice ought to be a no-brainer. Anyone who’s ever watched even one episode of “Kitchen Nightmares” knows that raw chicken can’t be kept in a bucket with cooked steak. But you’d be surprised how many shortcuts busy kitchen staff will resort to!

The same policy of strict separation goes for knives, cutting boards, utensils, mixing and prep bowls, trays, storage containers, and thermometers. You must have separate prep and cooking tools and supplies for raw poultry, raw meat, raw seafood, cooked proteins, vegetables, and other foods.

Make Proper Food Storage a Priority

Do you understand how different types of food — dry vs. wet, hot vs. cold, vegetables vs. meats — must be stored? Do your employees? You can be certain that the health inspector does, so you should too.

Several factors must be taken into consideration when storing food. Ventilation is important, as is temperature. Container sizes, how those containers are sealed, and how food is rotated in and out of containers and storage areas are all crucial to safety in commercial kitchens.

Never store food directly on the floor, even if it’s in a box or bin. Never store meat on upper refrigerator or walk-in shelves, where it could potentially drip onto other ingredients underneath.

Make sure your employees understand and follow all protocols related to storage.

Follow the Rule of First In, First Out

Want to make certain that your ingredients are as safe as possible, while minimizing the amount of food you need to discard? Be strict about following a “FIFO” policy. FIFO stands for “First In, First Out.” It means that the oldest supplies should be used up first.

There are two super simple ways to accomplish this.

One is to label every box, bag, package or container with the date it arrived in your kitchen. Then, place it behind any existing stock of that same product or supply in the walk-in or on the shelves. That makes it easier for busy chefs to grab the oldest product first.

While FIFO might not be quite as exciting as YOLO or even BOGO, it will help your restaurant or commercial kitchen run more safely and efficiently.

Make Sure Storage Temperatures Are Right

According to the Food and Drug Administration, food should be keep at 41°F or below, while hot food needs to reach 135°F or above.

This is to ensure that harmful bacteria never gets a chance to grow. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator as well as in the freezer. The refrigerator should operate at 40°F or below, while the freezer temperature must be 0°F or below.

Cook All Food to Temp, Too

Similarly, cooking food to the proper temperature will also prevent food borne illness (as well as dishes returned to the kitchen for being undercooked!). Chicken must be cooked to 165°F. Ground beef, veal, lamb, and pork should reach 160°F. Train your cooks to use thermometers often, rather than relying on the look or feel of a dish to know if it’s thoroughly cooked.

Food Safety Tips Are Not Enough

We’ll be honest: these food safety tips are fairly elementary. Most home cooks understand them, and most of your workers probably know the basics of keeping things clean and sanitary, too.

In order to truly feel confident that your commercial kitchen or restaurant is in compliance with all necessary regulations and guidelines, contact us. We’ll be able to better assess your needs, and help you achieve compliance, by knowing more about your kitchen!

Information About ISO 22000 Certification

Information About ISO 22000 Certification

ISO or the International Organization for Standardization, develops and publishes world renowned international standards. It is comprised of one hundred and sixty four countries, which includes the United States. It’s a non-government related group that acts as a bridge between private companies and the public. ISO 22000 Certification is a certification that deals with food safety, and was derived from ISO 9000.

 

Technical committees are the ones who develop and create the standards. The committees are comprised of experts from different fields, such as the industrial, business, and technical sectors. They are also the ones who request for standards to be put in place.

 

All proposals for new technical committees must be submitted to any ISO national member body. The member body can choose to observe or participate in the process. The ISO secretariat is the one responsible for the nomination of an individual who will act as the technical committee’s chair person.

 

The standard provides the specific requirements for food safety management. It includes system management, prerequisite programs, HACCP principles, and interactive communication. Reviews on the aforementioned factors were studied by a lot of experts to come up with the standard. Each element was carefully researched to prove its importance in the standardized system.

 

ISO provides standardization certificates to almost every type of industry. Getting certified by the organization simply means that the business or establishment meets strict standardization requirements, and the products manufactured by the company are safe for public use or consumption. It also means that there are work processes in place, which make procedures and instructions clear for every process.

 

Most food chains and restaurants are eager to receive this kind of credential. Safety in food preparation and handling means that there is little to no risk of acquiring an illness through food intake. The standardization integrates HACCP or Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point system, and uses application steps which are created by the CAC or Codex Alimentarius Commission.

 

The food systems utilized are the most effective ones. These are launched, operated, and updated within the structured management system’s framework, they are also involved in the organization’s overall management programs. It can be used independently, or it can be used along with the company’s existing management systems. It is often the case that companies already have their own established systems prior to getting certified by ISO.

 

Getting an ISO accreditation ensures the public and the company’s partners, as well as their clients, that the standardized process is used to ensure proper business flow. This means that business hours are used appropriately and effectively, since there is an effective system in place. Employees can also expect speedy completion of tasks, since there are set instructions that can be easily understood and followed under any circumstances.

 

ISO 22000 Certification plays a big part in keeping the techniques and systems used in order. This allows for faster and more efficient production of goods. Not only that, it deals with keeping the establishment free from accidents caused by hazardous materials and improper work flows. Hazard analysis is key to maintaining successful food management.