Magazines Archives - 2008 May
Building a culture around hygiene and integrity: Singapore a model to watch in the region
Although Singapore is among the first in the region to adopt various food-safety standards,
The governments commitment that we need is very strong, and the infrastructure that supports that commitment is also in place. And there is urgency to adopt standards in light of the recent food
But more than simply commitment and awareness of the importance of food safety in the supply chain, retailers need to develop a culture around it within their organisations, Kurkjian urges. The culture, he says, should be based on standards and guidelines already in place.
Promoting such a culture among retailers demands their understanding of the reason behind the standards. This goes beyond simply following guidelines drawn up.
One key area that is particularly vulnerable is the distribution of chilled produce throughout the country. Most of the chilled food [products] sold in Singapore are either locally manufactured, processed or imported, and this involves coordination among the different players in cold-chain logistics, from the farm to the supermarket, states Teo Nam Kuan, group director of quality & standards at SPRING Singapore, the local standards authority.
He explains that the various stages of logistics that chilled produce goes through can raise the risk of its spoilage as a result of temperature changes and mishandling anywhere along the supply chain.
Safety in the chain, he stresses, will not only improve the freshness and quality of chilled food
These [references] provide guidelines for the management of temperature profiles in the various links in the cold chains for these foods. Proper management of each link ensures that meat,milk & milk products, as well as vegetables are kept fresh and, most importantly, safe for consumption.
A breach along the chain would not only pose a serious threat to the safety of the consumer, but will also undermine the customers trust in the retailer, warns Seah Kian Peng, managing director
Winning the customers trust in our food safety and quality is priceless food safety is an integral part of our brand promise to provide safe and quality products at great value to our customers.
The safety considerations for fresh produce, including its being transported hygienically, will also positively impact shelf life, reducing the likelihood of waste and assuring the customer of freshness
An advocate of rigorous safety and hygiene practices for every segment of the cold chain, Teo argues for innovative systems, and modern technologies and equipment to be considered when
Meeting customers expectations: At NTUC FairPrice, the cold-chain system ensures that food items are kept at the right temperature for safety and hygiene reasons, with all meats, vegetables and other dairy products handled under refrigerated conditions.
And there is good reason for this, as Seah explains: Most food items require storage at appropriate temperatures to ensure freshness and food safety. Meat, for example, is particularly susceptible
At FairPrice, we keep such food items under the cold-chain system to ensure that they are kept at the right temperature for food safety and hygiene reasons all meats, vegetables and other dairy products are handled under refrigerated conditions.
At our fresh-food distribution centre, we use an intelligent temperature monitoring system, Televis SMS. The Televis SMS monitors temperatures throughout the facility round-the-clock and alerts the staff to any abnormalities in temperature, allowing for the efficient ratification of any problems
Apart from tracking the movement of goods, visibility in the supply chain serves the added purpose of allowing for easier identification of products in case of a breach in the chain.
As the Indian food industry comes of age with significant strengths in innovation and R&D, marketing and distribution capabilities, communication skills, the intensification of agriculture
But some of these innovations pose problems to food safety and nutritional quality, calling for special attention to ensure consumer protection. Food safety in a supply chain is extremely complex, as the food passes through several points and stages before it reaches the consumers, says Sanjay Chaudhary, general manager (quality) of Reliance Retail, which has launched a chain of food stores countrywide in the past two years.
Only food that is free of contaminants or hazards, and will not cause harm, injury or illness to the consumer can be classed as safe food. In the supply chain, food from the farm is transported in bulk raw form to warehouses or cold-storage units, before being processed, packed and stored
Clearly, during the entire chain, there are several physical, chemical and biological hazards, some visible and others invisible, that can affect the food, Chaudhary notes.
Among the visible hazards he lists are hair, grit and gravel, stems and seeds, bone fragments, feathers, strings, jute fibres, nails, nuts and bolts, and even buttons, cigarettes and matchsticks.
"Even more dangerous are the invisible hazards like bacteria, yeasts, protozoa, moulds and viruses. Bacteria grow rapidly in conditions that suit them; and it is up to us to make it difficult for them to grow by controlling the temperature, humidity and moisture required for their
He points to the major challenge at the primary production stage where Reliance Retail ensures that the supplier to the cold-chain practises proper environmental hygiene, processes raw
Proper storage of farm produce is extremely important, as moisture can destroy grain that is improperly stored, Chaudhary highlights. We advise our suppliers on the establishment and
For high-risk items, however, additional safety measures are undertaken, such as insistence on health and veterinary certificates (in the case of meats), test reports, temperature logs and certificates of conformance to Codex and ISO standards. GMP (Goods Manufacturing Practice) and GHP (Good Hygiene Practice), which form a basic necessity at the processing stage, are HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) prerequisites.
The safety of raw-food materials during transportation by road, sea, rail and/or air is a major challenge, with transit storage a key problem area, needing the involvement of all stakeholders,