You heard it here first; the foods we source and consume are safer than they have ever been.

October 16th, 2008

That?s my attempt and tongue in cheek humor. They Are Not

That?s my attempt and tongue in cheek humor. They Are Not, and we collectively need to work together to do something about it.

This author reads a lot every day including trade publications, newspapers, retail industry website content and blogs. One unmistakable truth is that we do not have a good handle on safe quality foods yet. Nor do we have a good handle on safe sourcing. Significant industry organizations such as the U.S.A based Food Marketing Institute or FMI with their Safe Quality Foods or SQF initiative and European based CIES The Food Business Forum with their GFSI initiative are doing much to support food safety, while standards organizations such as ISO are driving quality standards such as ISO 9000?s family of standards for quality management systems and ISO 22000 which builds on HACCP?s role in food safety management systems.

With all of the above effort this author would like to call your attention to four articles in the LIFE section of the Wednesday October 15th issue of USA TODAY. They are.

1. Owners of pet food victims to get $24M.
2. Bottled water not necessarily pure.
3. Possible conflict in bisphenol A review.
4. New warning over microwaving raw frozen chicken entrees.,By Elizabeth Weise

I am personally proud that the news media keeps us informed of these issues, but in too many cases the information takes place after the consumption of the tainted products. Why can?t we prevent these problems during the growing, processing and production stages?

It is incumbent upon solution providers to retail companies to focus on product safety. In this case we are talking about food products. It is important during the supplier discovery stage to insure that proper certifications are in place throughout the food chain. If a distributor does not have a certification, it is incumbent upon them to make sure the company they distribute for does. If they do not know where to look it is incumbent upon the solution provider to point them in the right direction and to library the conversation in product specifications for future retrieval. It is important for solution providers to educate or have plans to educate their associates on the important certifications required by the industry and others in order to serve the industry better. Ask your solution provider to provide you with this information about their company.

It is important that as an industry we eliminate the discovery cost associated with source identification post food born illness and the resulting litigation expense that can follow sometimes years later.

I look forward to your comments.

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