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HACCP as Part of Your Food Business

HACCP is not a difficult system to implement but this does not mean that you just sit back while a consultant sets it up for you. No, HACCP is something which you, the business owner, the manager, the leader of your organization must appreciate and implement along with everyone in your staff. It’s a way of life within the business, within your organization.There is also this impression that HACCP is something you just install somewhere and you’re up and running. Again this is a misconception. Normally an establishment needs a few months to properly implement and verify a HACCP system. This is one reason why HACCP is done in stages. Usually it is easier and faster to implement a HACCP system if an establishment was built up following GMP’s and other basic food safety systems.A complete HACCP system takes time to implement which is why we always recommend that food businesses start as early as possible in establishing their basic food safety system and not wait until a potential client requests an audit. And with the increasing demand for safer food, client audits will become increasingly part of the norm.If you are a small producer will this affect you? Do you really need to set this up? Yes you do. Once feature of the HACCP system is what is called traceability. This means that a producer needs to be able to track their ingredient or raw material and this will mean that he will want his suppliers to also be compliant with current food safety standards.For example, lets take a fast food restaurant who serves fried chicken and is HACCP certified, for every single piece of chicken that is served in their store/restaurant they will need to have their chicken sourced from a HACCP certified supplier, the salt and spices must also be from a HACCP practicioner and so forth. Every ingredient must be traceable to a supplier who also implements the required food safety management systems.The implications for a small producers / suppliers is that if their clients are maintaining a HACCP system, then these clients will demand that you too must be following HACCP otherwise they will not buy from you.With the increasing consumer demand for safer food, expect stricter tighter food safety standards both locally and abroad.

HACCP Quick Facts

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point, most commonly referred to as HACCP, pronounced "hassip", is a system or a set of procedures which food businesses use to make sure that the food they make or the food they serve is safe.

How does HACCP protect consumers?

The HACCP system provides protection for both manufacturers, food service businesses and consumers from unsafe food. If unclean food or food that can make people sick accidentally gets into the market, the HACCP system provides a way for the business to accurately find out where the food came from, what caused it to be unsafe, how it was able to get through their quality control system and the location of all the foods in that same batch. This way, the manufacturer can recall the unsafe batch and update their process to prevent another incident. This ensures that foods which reach the consumer is safe and clean.

How does HACCP protect businesses?

Part of the requirements in a HACCP System is documentation. This can be very useful in case of a legal incident. The documentation provided by the HACCP system can provide evidence to defend the manufacturer and point investigation to those liable.

Where do I attend seminars to get HACCP certified?

Attending a seminar can get you a certificate of attendance but not a HACCP certification. A HACCP certification is issued to a business and not to an individual. Although it would help you get a HACCP certification if all your employees attended a HACCP seminar, that alone is not enough. HACCP certification requires a bit more than that.

What do I need to do to get certified?

Before getting HACCP certified you will need to comply with Prerequisite Programs such as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), sanitation, etc.

Who do I go to to get a HACCP certification in the Philippines?

There are several government bodies that can give HACCP certification, depending on the commodity you have:Most food processing: Food and Drug Administration Philippines (FDA) formerly Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD)Fish and seafood: Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)Meats, poultry and related products: National Meat Inspection System (NMIS)Grains - National Food Authority (NFA)

Good Manufacturing Practice

Good Manufacturing Practices forms an important part of the overall HACCP food safety system in a food business. Good manufacturing practices (GMP) can be defined as the operational requirements necessary to enable a food business to produce food safely. There is a heavy emphasis on compliance with Good manufacturing practices (GMP) in all relevant food legislation and customer certification standards.

Why is GMP important?

Good manufacturing practices (GMP) are important in order to produce safe food. The food business has a legal and moral responsibility to produce and prepare food that will not harm the consumer. There can be a high cost to the food business if it does not implement adequate Good manufacturing practices (GMP). All staff should be trained in the food businesses GMP procedures.

Basic GMP and the food business

Good manufacturing practices (GMP) includes many basic operational conditions and procedures that are required to be met by the food business. These can include the following:The correct construction and layout of the food premises.The condition of the external environment of the food premises.The adequate maintenance of equipment and utensils used within the food business.The use of suitable chemicals within and around the food premises including cleaning chemicals, pest control chemicals and machine lubricants.The identification and storage of waste within and by the food business.The cleanliness of the food premises, equipment, utensils, floors, walls and ceilings.An effective pest control program implemented within the food premises and surrounds.The avoidance of foreign matter within the finished product. Sources of foreign matter can include wood, glass, metal, plastic, pests, paper, string, tape.

Documenting GMP

To assist in the effective implementation of Good manufacturing practices (GMP) within the food business it is advisable to document procedures on how the food business is going to implement relevant Good manufacturing practices (GMP). Equally important is to maintain records to support that any Good manufacturing practices (GMP) have been implemented.

The GMP Inspection

To ensure the effective implementation of Good manufacturing practices (GMP), it is beneficial for the food business to undertake its own internal GMP inspection. This generally involves reviewing the site visually to see if it is complying to customer expectations and regulatory requirements. This inspection should not merely be a “tick and flick” activity but a comprehensive assessment of the site to determine the level of GMP compliance. A record of any GMP inspection undertaken is required to be kept as evidence in a third-party certification audit. Any issues identified during the GMP inspection should be quickly rectified and a root cause analysis performed to avoid re-occurrence.

What is Halal Certification?

Halal Certification is a recognition that the products are permissible under Islamic law. These products are thus edible, drinkable or usable by Muslims.

What is Haram food?

All kinds of food are considered halal except the following, which are haram: Swine/pork and its by-products .Animals improperly slaughtered or dead before slaughtering .Animals not slaughtered in the name of Allah .Alcohol and all forms of intoxicating and hazardous drinks .Carnivorous animals, birds of prey, and land animals without external ears .Pests such as rats, centipedes, scorpions and other similar animals .Animals forbidden to be killed in Islam e.g. ants, bees, spider and woodpecker birds .Animals which are considered repulsive generally like lice, flies, maggots and other similar animals .Animals that live both on land and in water such as frogs, crocodiles and other similar animals .Blood and by-products of blood .Foods and drinks which contain any of the above haram ingredients or contaminated through contact with any of the above products .

Global Halal Trade

A halal certified product has an economic value. It provides an increase in sales because it attracts Muslim Consumers and penetrates Islamic Markets worldwide. Halal consumers are now a dominant global market because the demand for halal products has been growing in tandem with the increase in Muslim population. Muslim countries will be the major contributors of the population growth and consequently will become an increasing halal food and non-food consumers. The global halal trade is estimated to be around 150 billion dollars a year and increasing. There are around 1.5 billion Muslim consumers in 112 countries. Apart from the 70 countries where Muslims are in absolute majority, there are some countries where Muslim population is second in number and are heavily concentrated. For instance, India with an estimated population of 952 million has more Muslim population than any other country except Indonesia. China has a Muslim population of 100 million. Muslim population can also be found in other non-Muslim countries like Russia, USA, France and Germany. The European Union with a total Muslim population of 17 million will command about 225 million dollars of halal food per annum. The ASEAN market, with a Muslim population of 261 million, will command about 51 billion dollars of the global halal market by the year 2010. In the Philippines, the market of Filipino-Muslim consumers is roughly 12 million and has long been overlooked.

Kosher Certification

Kosher certification is a process by which a company ensures that their food is kosher, or in other words, fit for consumption by observant Jews. Kosher refers to a religious dietary practice that is rooted in Jewish tradition. Contrary to popular belief, kosher food does not refer to Jewish cuisine. Even Thai food can be kosher if it is prepared in accordance with kosher laws, just as Jewish food can be non-kosher if it is not prepared in accordance with those laws.Kosher laws are more complicated than they seem, especially now that modern technology has come into play. Take for instance, potato chips, which you’d think would be kosher since they are not made from foods forbidden by the Torah. Potato chips can actually be considered non-kosher if they are fried in vegetable oil that was pasteurized and deodorized with equipment that has been used for tallow production.Observant Jews may only purchase food products with a kosher certification, which ensures that a rabbi has supervised the food production process and verified that it adheres to strict standards. According to the Torah, people who consume non-kosher food are infected by an unclean spirit. Even if you’re not Jewish, however, you can benefit from eating food that has the kosher certification. An increasing number of non-Jewish customers are purchasing certified kosher products because of the certification’s assurance of quality and purity.For example, meat with the kosher certification has to be fed, slaughtered, and processed in specific ways and kosher standards of cleanliness are stringent, so kosher meat is typically of high quality. This is especially important considering problems like mad cow disease and E. coli. People who have allergies to certain ingredients, such as wheat, dairy, or shellfish, can also benefit from purchasing products with a kosher certification because they can rest assured that the products don’t contain anything that has been sourced from those ingredients. Vegetarians and the lactose intolerant can also benefit from purchasing kosher certified par-eve products, which are foods that are completely meat and dairy free. In Canada alone, kosher food sales have grown by up to 20 percent each year.

Benefits of obtaining Kosher Certification

Did you know that the majority of consumers who buy certified kosher products do so because of perceived quality and safety rather than for religious reasons? Obtaining kosher certification will help you increase sales substantially because of the rising popularity of kosher food. An increasing number of people are adopting kosher food because the kosher certification has become recognized as a symbol of purity, safety, cleanliness, and quality. By having your products labeled with the kosher certification, you can open up the possibility of attracting new clientele.To put it simply, having the kosher certification on your products will increase their marketability because more and more people are concerned about what they put into their bodies and where their food comes from. There’s no tougher food inspector than a rabbi, who determines whether food is kosher by visiting processing plants, working with slaughterhouses, and tracing ingredients back to their beginnings. The standards of these rabbis are far higher than those adhered to by government inspection agencies.

Asian Food News

Jan - September 2013

Uzbekistan produced more than 6 million tons of vegetables

According to the Ministry of Economy and the State Statistics Committee of Uzbekistan, the agricultural technology continued to improve in Uzbekistan during this year. In particular, work on construction and reconstruction of 731.9 km of collectors, 57.6 km of subsurface horizontal drainage network, a drainage pumping station and 42 drainage wells have been completed.Since the beginning of the year new fields and vineyards have been created on 12 thousand hectares. 5,700 hectares of fields and 3,800 hectares of vineyards have been reconstructed. 22,700 greenhouses have been constructed on an area of 384 hectares on private farms.As a result of the measures taken, 7.1 million tons of cereals ( 1.5% compared to the same period of 2012), more than 6 million tons of vegetables ( 11.3%), 1.5 million tons of fruit ( 10.8%), 1.7 million tons of potatoes ( 10.6%), 1.1 million tons of melons ( 9.3%) and about one million tons of grapes (11.9%) have been produced for the 9 months of this year.1.4 million tons of fruit and vegetables (23% more than in the same period of 2012), including 890,600 tons of vegetables, 283,300 tons of fruit and 21,200 tons of grapes have been processed.Source: uzdaily.uz

Pakistan: Ban likely on export of tomato, onion for a few weeks

The government is considering to ban exports of onion and tomato to end sharp increases in their prices.Tomato prices have jumped to over Rs120 per kg from Rs80 because of the late arrival from Sindh and Punjab, together with restricted supplies from India. Tomato produced only in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is available in the market, but most of the crop is making its way out of the country. Onion prices have also risen by 15-20 per cent.A federal minister said consumers in Sindh and Punjab were particularly suffering because of late arrival of crop in the market, but it was a rare opportunity for growers in the conflict-affected Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to earn higher return on their cash crops. Since the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf is ruling the province, he added, it could become a political issue and, therefore, the federal government would have to create a balance between the interest of growers and consumers. The problem can be solved only through a time-bound ban on exports.The minister said vegetables from Sindh and Punjab would start arriving in the market later this month which would ease pressure on retail prices, adding that a stopgap arrangement was required to provide relief to the consumers.Source: dawn.com

Pilot project successful India: Capsicum cultivated in Saidabad greenhouse

Authorities of a district horticulture department have been able to successfully cultivate a highly improved variety of capsicum at the greenhouse set up at Dudwa village of Saidabad block. The objective of cultivating capsicum at the greenhouse was to offer controlled conditions for the growth of different varieties of vegetables.Officials said that the first greenhouse of the district was set up at Saidabad block for protective cultivation of highly improved vegetables and after this, work for setting up two more greenhouse was in the final phase at Holagarh block of the district.District horticulture officer PK Shukla told TOI, "Initially, we cultivated capsicum in around 1000 square metres at Saidabad greenhouse and after the vegetables, cultivation of flowers would be undertaken." He said two greenhouses at Holagarh would be set up around 1,000 square meters each shortly and each green house costs around Rs 9.35 lakh."Saidabad greenhouse is made up of materials like, a glass and plastic roof. It heats up because of incoming visible solar radiation from the sun which is further absorbed by plants, soil, and other articles present inside the structure. Air warmed by the heat from hot interior surfaces is retained in the structure by the roof and wall," he explained. The glass used for the greenhouse works as a barrier to air flow, and its effect is to trap energy within the structure. The air that is warmed near the ground is prevented from rising indefinitely and flowing away, he added.Shukla said, "After setting up the greenhouses, other vegetables like carrots, peppers, cucumbers, beans, eggplants, melons, squash and tomatoes will be cultivated. Apart from these, the department has also decided to cultivate varieties of flowers like marigold and lavender inside the greenhouse.""Officials have apprised farmers and vegetable growers about tips that are useful in vegetable and flower cultivation so that they could get a better yield in less investment," He addedAgricultural experts here said cultivating fruits, flowers and vegetables in the greenhouse year-round requires maintaining a favourable temperature inside the greenhouse for the plants. A "warm" greenhouse must maintain a minimum temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit and one can also grow many food crops in a cool greenhouse by keeping the temperature lower. This allows most fruits and vegetables to grow year-round. In summer months, the warm greenhouse must be cooled to maintain a temperature under 100 degrees Fahrenheit to continue growth. Any fruits and vegetables, like tomatoes, stop growing once the air temperature reaches 100 degrees or higher.In the current scenario, greenhouses have been a popular mode among vegetable growers even in small towns as vegetable and flower growers are well-acquainted with the growing techniques. An official claimed, "People are well aware about the advantages of greenhouses and the vegetable growers have been approaching the department to set up greenhouses at their farms and fields too." Source: .timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Taiwan develops chip to test viruses in bananas, potatoes

A biochip that could detect several viruses in bananas and potatoes has been developed in Taiwan, it was reported Wednesday.The chip, co-developed by Chang Chin-an, a professor at Chaoyang University of Technology and Dr. Chip Biotech Inc., is expected to be released commercially in mid-2014, with annual sales projected at NT$200 million to NT$300 million."Our edge lies in being able to test for several viruses simultaneously," Chang said.Bananas and potatoes are major crops that are prone to filterable viruses that can threaten quality and production volume, he said, adding that the chip can help improve testing efficiency and reduce costs.A conventional test checks for one virus at a time and takes at least five hours, which is time-consuming and not very economical, Chang said.In contrast, the newly developed chip can simultaneously check for three viruses found in bananas and five in potatoes, he said.He noted that around US$200 million is spent worldwide annually to test bananas and potatoes for viruses by conventional means. A test for three viruses costs around NT$360, but the biochip could reduce that by half, Chang added.Dr. Chip Biotech President Wang Shin-hwan said the feasibility assessment of the chip has been completed ahead of it commercialization and it meets test standards of the European Union.Source: focustaiwan.tw

India: 'Apple Initiative Project' provides easy loans to apple growers

Gone are the days when apple growers in Kashmir had to approach moneylenders and middlemen for loans. With the leading bank of Jammu and Kashmir providing easy loans under the 'Apple Initiative Project', the apple growers are getting better returns on their produce."Earlier, we used to sell the produce of an area spreading over 24 kanal, to a middleman for loans. The middleman would provide the money in advance to purchase fertilizers and hire labourers. In the harvest season, these middlemen would take 40 per cent of our produce in lieu of money," Junaid Ahmad Andrabi, an apple grower from south Kashmir's Shopian district, said.Things have improved since he started availing of loans from the J

Retailer Aeon donates 10 million yen to typhoon-hit Philippines

Aeon Co. donated 10 million yen on Monday for victims of the powerful Typhoon Haiyan that struck the central Philippines this past weekend, the Japanese supermarket chain operator said.Aeon offered the money through the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo so that it will be used for restoring devastated infrastructure and disaster victim relief.In the Philippines, the Aeon group operates Aeon Financial Service Co. and Robinsons convenience stores through its affiliated Ministop Co.Source: globalpost.com

Waitrose chain pulls out of Bahrain

High-end supermarket chain Waitrose is pulling out of Bahrain just two years after opening its first store in the country, the company's regional partner said. Poor sales were cited as the reason for the decision, which has left two outlets at The Lagoon in Amwaj Islands and The Walk in Riffa already closed, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication."Despite strong customer loyalty to the brand, the sales required for sustainable business were not achieved," said communications manager Colette Shannon from Supa Save Bahrain, which runs Bahrain's Waitrose shops under franchise. "As such, Supa Save Bahrain has made their decision to exit the market and is in discussion with several interested parties to take over the stores."We want to know what the next move is. Before Waitrose came here, it was Jawad and a few weeks ago, there was talk of Geant taking over. But we don't have any idea. It's only rumours - that's all the staff have heard."Geant officials were unavailable to comment on the hypermarket's possible takeover. Managers of The Walk, Riffa and The Lagoon, Amwaj Islands could also not be reached for comment. – TradeArabia News ServiceSource: tradearabia.com

Phyto-Sanitary inspector: infected potato shipment was not from Armenia

The potato shipment, samples of which were sent for laboratory testing in Georgia, were not exported from Armenia, the head of Phyto-Sanitary Inspection of Armenia’s State Food Safety Service (SFSS) Arthur Nikoyan told reporters on the 8th of November.Nikoyan said that he together with the SFSS head A. Bakhchagulian went to Georgia to discuss and solve the problem on the spot. An agreement was reached that in case of a new problem, samples will be tested jointly with the Armenian side.He assured those present that Georgian laboratories have modern equipment and qualified experts so any mistakes are ruled out: the point is that samples of contaminated potatoes were not taken from a shipment from Armenia.In response to a question whether Georgia may ban the import of Armenian potatoes after an infected potato incident, he said that there is no such problem. “Potatoes are being exported from Armenia to Georgia every day,” Nikoyan added. The Armenian side denied the infection saying that samples were not taken from the Armenian batch and that there is no Ralstonia Solanacearum in Armenia. Source: aysor.am/arka.am

New potato processing plant announced in Kyrgyzstan

A potato processing plant will be built in the Issyk-Kul region of Kyrgyzstan. The factory will have a capacity of 10-12 tonnes per shift and will produce potato flour and starch initially, according to an announcement made by the Economy Ministry, reported by the local news agency, AKIpress.The plant is reportedly going to be built in As-Suu village, according to Market Watch. The industrial complex of Issyk-Kul region includes 57 big and medium-sized enterprises, 37 of them function on a sustainable basis.This announcement follows previous interest in the area, from the South Korean group Bistek, as well as entrepreneurs from India, with plans to produce several types of products in Kyrgyzstan, such as starch, potato juice, proteins and ethyl alcohol, according to local press reports.Source: potatobusiness.com

India: Vegetable rates down but retailers refuse to cut prices

Vegetable prices were extremely high till recently, throwing domestic budgets out of gear across social sections. This, however, is old news. The truth is that the prices of many vegetables have come down compared to what they were two weeks back. Yet consumers are not noticing this decrease with their neighbourhood grocer.Comparative data of wholesale prices for vegetables sold at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) reveals that apart from tomatoes and potatoes, almost all vegetables have become cheaper compared to their prices two weeks ago. Strangely, the retail prices of these vegetables refuse to show a corresponding correction. The reason: retailers are resorting to profiteering at the expense of the common man. The state government has failed to take punitive measures to ensure that the benefit of drop in vegetable prices gets passed on to the end-users.Authorities say that, currently, there is no mechanism to regulate the prices of vegetables. "We can do little with this matter as vegetables are not covered under the Essential Commodities Act," said RP Gupta, principal secretary, food and civil supplies.Retailers, however, say that once the prices go up, they take time to come down! "Our customers are finicky and pick only the best vegetables. There is a lot of loss in ensuring that consumers get vegetables only of good quality," said a retail vendor. "We sell only A-grade vegetables. That is why prices remain high," said another retailer in Satellite.Source: indiatimes.com

Spread of noxious moth destroys tomato crops across Yemen

The price of tomatoes in Yemen has jumped to YR400 ($1.86) per kilogram due to the spread of the noxious moth, tuta absoluta, which is wreaking havoc on farms and destroying crop yields. A strategy to use pesticides to protect the crop against the moth has largely failed and caused locals to complain about the deteriorating quality of the tomato plants that are making it to consumers’ tables. Officials expect the situation to get worse. They predict costs will continue to rise as usable crops diminish. According to the Agriculture and Irrigation Ministry, the moth’s destruction of tomato plants has cost Yemen over YR71 billion (approximately $330 million) since its appearance last autumn through the end of August.The government has promised various financial allowances for farmers to help them offset their losses, although it is unclear if any have been delivered yet. Mohammed Al-Ghashm, the deputy minister of the Agriculture and Irrigation Ministry, said Yemen has obtained several relief packages from foreign countries. He cited a $550,000 grant from the United States Assistance and International Development (USAID) program, $120,000 donation from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization and a $238,000 grant from the Community Livelihood Program.Additionally, a combination of efforts from the Yemeni government, Credit Agriculture Cooperative Bank, and Agriculture and Fishing Fund, are supporting the Agriculture Ministry with a YR250 million grant (approximately $1.16 million).In the meantime, officials are scrambling for a strategy to rid the country’s farms of the moth. The head of the research and guidance department at the Agriculture and Irrigation Ministry, Engineer Wajeeh Al-Matwakil, said the biggest problem with combating the pest is the immunity it has developed to various pesticides that have been used against it in the past. As a result, the Ministry has abandoned the ineffective strategy, which also provoked a consumer backlash.Although it has drawn criticism from organic farming advocates, the Ministry now have a plan to distribute hormones to farmers in order to disrupt the moth’s breeding cycle. The hormones are expected to make female eggs unattractive to male moths, leaving them unfertilized. For now farmers say they are scraping by until they receive the promised hormones and see if it works. “I used to sell tomatoes making over YR5 million (about $23,000) in one season, but now I cannot even make YR500 thousand ($2,300),” said Yahia Al-Salami, a farmer in the Qa’a Jahran valley of Dhamar governorate.Source: www.yementimes.com

Pakistan: Fruit exporters fear cancellation of orders due to strike

Fruit exporters on Friday feared cancellation of orders from foreign buyers in the wake of continuing strike of goods transporters, which has brought exports and imports to a stop for the second day in a row. The goods transporters, despite disagreements within their different associations, are continuing to strike. They slated the administration for not responding to their complaints to solve their long-running problems.Talking to Business Recorder, transporters'leader, Khalid Khan said the government has failed to implement its decision which they had agreed some six months back assuring them to resolve their problems. "The strike will continue till the government solves our problems. The strike is suspending supply of goods to all seaports and inland destinations," he said.Karachi Port Trust (KPT) officials, however, denied reports that the strike has reduced the cargo and ship handling at the harbour. They said the port operations continued without any disturbances by the transporters strike. Transporters said they are forced to pay extortion to police and customs officials on a monthly basis. Fruit exporters said "If buyers did not receive their consignments in time then they may cancel their orders placed with Pakistani exporters, which is feared to cause a huge financial loss to fruit exporters," they said.Khalid Khan said the government should reverse its decision of increasing advance income tax on transporters from 100 percent to 500 percent "KPT has also backed out of its pledge to provide a parking lot to transporters," he said, adding that the transporters are compelled to stay on roadsides around the port area. He showed regrets over the "negative" attitude of police towards transporters, saying "the police forcefully takes containers from the transporters to block roads during any event in the city." www.brcorder.com

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* Established in 1986, Philfoodex Inc. keeps to the objective of achieving world-class stature for Philippine food products. Philfoodex is a non-stock, non-profit organization of micro, small, medium and large-sized food manufactuers and exporters. The organization numbers about 300 members to date. Its roster of members include those from allied industries.