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The Five Fears Which Overshadow Food Safety

Fearful of a food safety fright within your business? Not sure of what potential food safety issues are right around the corner?

Food Safety Fears Weak Link

The food and drink industry is full of risks and challenges that must be consistently monitored and acted upon as quickly as possible to ensure that the risk for your business is always as low as possible. These risks can range from food safety to food fraud to completely new, emerging risks.

But with all of the different fears that need to be considered during the day to day operations of a business, what are the top issues that factory managers are fearful about within the industry and do they match the fears you have yourself?

Below are the top five food safety fears putting strain on factory managers:

(Source: http://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Food-Safety/Food-safety-survey-five-fears-voiced)

1. Safety standards being compromised to meet production targets

With the increasing demands in both food safety standards and production targets, something has to give at some point and it is possible that some companies may be compromising their safety standards in order of meeting their production targets.

In a recent survey, it was found that over 50% of respondents shared the fear of safety standards being overlooked to meet production needs. This could be cutting crucial corners to save the time required to keep up with the level of production required, at the risk of food safety being put at risk.

However, on the flip side, it was also found that 40% of respondents said that they did not have this fear and that safety standards remain at the core of their business regardless of targets. Which side of the fence are you on with this fear?

2. Food fraud

Another top food safety fear is food fraud, with food fraud appearing to be a never ending threat within the industry and several high profile cases such as the 2013 horsemeat scandal it is leaving factory managers worrying that this problem is not going to go away anytime soon and may only get worse over time, and how it could potentially affect their business.

It’s not all doom or gloom though, as through the work the Food Crime Unit does on a regular basis to help protect consumers from serious criminal activity in the food and drink industry there is reassurance that the risk of food fraud is being managed and tackled where possible. However, you should still exercise great caution and be wary of things that sound too good to be true and suppliers that are reluctant to provide adequate information about where they get their ingredients from.

3. Third-party hygiene audits

The pressure of audits is also a major fear for people within the food and drink industry, with people feeling over-stretched with not enough resources in preparation for audits. This often leaves them scrambling around to manage compliance, which could result in key procedures being overlooked or for corners to be cut which could jeopardise food safety.

4. Allergy management

Allergen Management Food Safety Risk

“May contain nuts/trace of nuts.” I am sure we have all seen something similar to this on food and drink products. Despite many allergy-related product calls being preventable, they are still one of the largest sources of recalls in the food industry (Source: Food Standards Agency – For example, in a three-month period, half of the food notices were allergy alerts, mainly for undeclared milk, nuts and gluten).

So it is no surprise that this issue still looms over factory managers working within the food industry as a major food safety fear for their business. The results of allergen management are simple; get allergen management right and nobody notices, get it wrong then you may be looking at a brand reputation disaster, there is little in-between the two outcomes.

5. Emerging

The final fear is all around emerging risks. Emerging risks are new and unforeseen risks where the potential for harm or loss is not fully known. In this case, the food safety fears for emerging risks are around antibiotics and climate change, things that we know are a risk but how much of a problem these will be are not well known.

There is a fear, that I am sure many of you might have heard about in the news, that antibiotics are being overused. This overuse is occurring in both humans when visiting their doctor and within the food supply chain, causing some food and safety fears as bacteria becomes more and more resistant to them.

It is also a fear that changes in our climate could affect food safety due to new and emerging bacteria where the spread of them may become hard to control due to unusual temperatures being seen around the world.

But don’t worry, QADEX can help with a lot of these fears.

At QADEX, we bring together every aspect of; Food Safety, Quality Management, Compliance, Supplier Approval, Specifications, Complaints and Product Development into one easy to use system.

Our robust system helps to reduce workloads and free up crucial resources, allowing you to focus on keeping your business running as smoothly as possible without affecting food safety.

The QADEX system allows you to:

Be audit ready 24/7, with ease.

Perform allergen management, without fuss.

Develop new products, in an advanced and robust way.

Handle customer complaints quickly and efficiently, making the best of a negative situation.

Identify troublesome suppliers before it’s too late, increasing food safety and brand protection.

With a number of fears and risks within the food industry, our solution offers all of the brand protection and food safety functionality you require, and it helps you cut costs too (typically between 40-70%).

Sound interesting? Please click here to get in touch with QADEX to learn more about how our system can benefit your business.

What do you think of these top five fears, do you have any more to add? If so, we would love to hear them! Simple click here and leave a comment on our LinkedIn post around this.

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