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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

After We Have Come this Far in Food Safety and Quality Management:

Some GCSE- Food & Health Protection blog posts are generating interests, questions and, in some instances, a reported “uneasiness”. Instead of “uneasiness”, I choose to describe what should be felt as challenges and encouragement. Uneasiness is felt only where a threat is perceived. There is no need for that. GCSE-FHP does not pose a threat. It seeks collaboration within the industry. You are invited to join the conversation.

You Have an Important Part in the Matter:

It will take companies and individuals who are determined to see real and measurable progress to dismantle barricades that purport to help but, in effect, hinder progress. Positive progress is invariably disrupted, if not altogether stopped, where ineffective complex systems are favored over simple effective alternatives. Entire industries, in fact entire civilizations, can be drawn into unnecessary enslavement and the punishing consequences of regression where unnecessary enterprises are not only permitted but also promoted as in the Aral Sea disaster

A Possible Consequence of Over-complicating Food Safety and Quality Assurance:

Regression inevitably occurs where companies are intimidated because of over-complicated food safety and quality management systems. As pointed out in the blog post “Demystifying Food Safety Assurance”, true mysteries pertain to realities more profound than the task of assuring the safety of food.

Complicated and Exasperating Food Safety and Quality Assurance Schemes:

Some companies and system managers who are forced into subscribing to certain complex but ineffective schemes know the facts about the ineffectiveness. These managers or companies may be backed into a corner and they play along but they are not fooled. They regularly do Reality Checks and will escape at the first opportunity.

A “Helpful Scheme Grading Scale” is provided in the "Common Assumptions" post. Check the grading scale and see how your current scheme measures up. You may also wish to review the evaluation chart for assessing the most suitable, helpful and neutral third party in food safety assessment.

Dangerous Misconceptions:

Debilitating Misconceptions should not be allowed to overtake the food industry. Some very small to very large operations have been conditioned to believe that it is almost criminal to ever skip one or more years in their certification programs even if they are maintaining strict and expanded control measures like the Cherry Processor is opting to do.

Measuring the Success of Food Safety and Quality Assurance Programs:

Have you measured or do you measure how much your company spends on redundant external impositions and reactive firefighting versus proactive continuous improvement activities? You need to measure against real goals. You should not simply imagine your product safety and quality management success based on fanciful documentation, accessibility of documents and a readiness to provide answers that auditors want to hear during audits. You need to quantify the success against the real goal in real terms with genuine and relevant data: A Simple Cost of Quality Calculation Chart.
Superficiality may carry a company only so far in its quest for business growth because business growth also means an inevitable increase in the opportunities for failure. Where there is real growth, the pressure also mounts for products to be actually safe and maintain good quality - "Breaking the Addiction to Superficiality

Adding Your Voice & Support:

Please feel free to share comments, questions and suggestions with this group. Someone learns something from every contribution: Join the Conversation. 
Posted by Felix Amiri
Felix Amiri is currently the chair of GCSE-Food & Health Protection, and a sworn SSQA advocate. 

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