Food processors rely on modern quality management systems to ensure the quality and safety of the products they produce.
The three key systems in use are:
- Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).These entail the processing conditions and procedures that have been proven to deliver consistent quality and safety based on long experience.
- Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP). While traditional safety assurance programmes focused on identifying problems in the finished product, HACCP, a recent proactive technique, focuses on identifying potential problems and controlling them during the design and the production process itself.
- Quality Assurance Standards. Adherence to standards established by the International Standards Organisation (ISO 9000) ensures that food processing, catering and other food-related industries conform to prescribed and well-documented procedures. The effectiveness of these programmes is regularly assessed by independent experts.
These quality management systems used by food processors also involve working with the suppliers (individual farmers and raw material wholesalers), transporters, product wholesalers and retailers to ensure quality assurance procedures at each level.
Source: The European Food Information Council (www.eufic.org)