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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

To those for whom Food Safety Certification remains enticing:

Company X has been assessed and "certified as meeting" the food safety and quality management requirements set out in Standard Y by the Standard Owner Z.
Now, who says that Standard Y, when followed, actually achieves safe food any more than simply following the common knowledge of what should be done to prevent food safety risks?
What does “certified as meeting Y Standard” actually mean with respect to any consistency in the production of safe and desirable quality food?
Is it possible that the desired food safety management consistency is actually only achieved through the commitment of Company X in hiring knowledgeable individuals with a focus on working according to the common knowledge of risk prevention, and not through certification?
Could it be that the certification parties are taking unwarranted credit for the success that Company X is able to achieve on its own? Could it be that certification schemes are actually lulling food safety managers into sleeping certified like those who are managing or who have managed these certified failures?
Have the demanding customers become so effectively blindfolded?
Yours truly,

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Food Safety, Defense and Quality Assurance Workshop

Members of GCSE-FHP who register and attend this workshop will receive a PDF copy of the Safety Security and Quality Assurance (SSQA) Implementation Manual free of charge. If you qualify for this offer, please contact to confirm your workshop registration and be added to the list of approved recipients.

If you are not a member of GCSE-FHP, you may join hereMembership is free. 

Thursday, 30 March 2017

FSMA - Accredited Third-Party Certification Rule

According to FDA, "The final rule establishes a voluntary program for the accreditation of third-party certification bodies (CBs) to conduct food safety audits and issue certifications for foreign facilities, and the foods – for both people and animals -- that they produce."

You may have already seen the caveats if you have read the rule. The introducing web page states that:

“FSMA also provides FDA with a new tool to require certification as a condition of entry when certain statutory criteria are met. For example, those criteria include:
  • safety risks associated with the food product,
  • food safety risks associated with the country, region, or origin of the food, and
  • the capability of the regulatory system of the exporting nation to ensure compliance with FDA safety standards. FDA intends to use this tool in limited circumstances.”
Can the stated criteria be assessed or measured under current certification schemes? If so, how? The caveats are easy to see: “. . . you may certify but . . .”. The caveats and several hidden expectations within the rule will certainly stretch the industry to break-point if pursued as proposed. Otherwise, the whole affair will end up as another superficial enterprise. With the predictable failure of the proposed third-party certification arrangements to assure safer food, the proponents may be saying: “let’s play this along so we can say we tried”. Meanwhile, the industry will be left to bear the burden of wasted time & resources. This burden will no doubt be shifted to consumers - you and me.

You may also wish to read: Guarding Against Assumptive & Misleading Conclusions 
Posted by Felix Amiri
Felix Amiri is currently the chair of GCSE-Food & Health Protection, and a sworn SSQA advocate.