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Gulfood Manufacturing Food Tech Summit discusses role of Food Safety Standards

Industry expert reflects on the need for individual responsibility in the food manufacturing, transport and supply industry

| | Nov 14, 2018 | 1:35 pm
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Dubai, UAE, 14 November 2018: The Gulfood Manufacturing Food Tech Summit held from November 7 to 8, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center, featured an eclectic mix of local and international manufacturers, while also serving as a platform for discussions on the need for food safety. The key issue addressed was how Food Safety Standards can help mitigate food fraud, followed by the best practice in maintaining the quality of food. “The culture of conducting external audits and validating food in the cold chain began only in the 2000s,” said Shabeek Thayyil, Director, Quality Assurance and Food Safety, Agthia. By the year 2020, he added, there will be a need to integrate the system and make everyone responsible. Referring to the Food Safety Certification, (FSSC) 22000, he said, the certification is a complete package for any food business and it discusses the farm-to-fork concept. While referring to manufacturers and suppliers, he said, “If you’re running a food business, it is your responsibility to ensure that the quality of food is not compromised, while being transported in the cold chain.”

Pointing to an existing challenge plaguing the food transport, manufacturing and supply industry, with reference to quality, Thayyil asserted, “There exists a money-oriented mindset,” where each stakeholder looks at “how best he can make maximum profit, eventually, losing focus on the end-user.” Elaborating, he highlighted that today there are standards for everything, for instance: Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP), Threat Assessment Critical Control Point (TACCP), Vulnerability Assessment and Critical Control Point (VACCP). “The standards help ensure food safety and food defence,” Thayyil said.  Elaborating, he said, only a strong food safety and quality culture in the Middle East will ensure that standards do not remain mere documents and are, in fact, implemented.

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