HACCP CDO - Foodspehere's Key to Consumer Safety August 13, 2007 - Monday
Consumer products are of better quality and more affordable, thanks to world-class technologies being adopted by local food manufacturers.
A wide variety of processed foods like meat products are now available as processing companies have begun to employ new technologies for massive food production.
Scientific safety procedures and proper handling of meat products to ensure that Filipino consumers have access to high-quality and affordable meat products. Over the years, routine food safety practices have been discovered and developed to minimize, if not eradicate, contaminants (hazards) on meat items.
Madelyn Rejano, a food quality assurance expert, said among these practices is HACCP, or Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points, which is the scientific approach to address concerns on food safety.
HACCP is a system developed ion 1960 during NASA's first manned space mission where the guidelines were defined by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.
Developed countries, including the United States, have adopted the HACCP-based food safety system to protect their consumers from all kinds of contaminants, including bacteria.
In the Philippines, CDO Foodsphere is among the few companies that have started applying the HACCP system.
"through this system, the hazards (physical, chemical, biological and including allergens) are identified in all the steps in producing specific product." said Rejano.
Aside from bacteria, there is also a growing concern about physical and chemical contamination of food. Among these contaminants are metals, soap used in cleaning equipment and allergens from soya products, eggs, milk, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, peanut and wheat.
Rejano said HACCP is a scientific process control system to reduce contaminants at critical areas in the food production and distribution process. Compared to the traditional quality control inspection which is oftentimes corrective in nature, HACCP is preventive in its approach.
"Necessary control points, critical limits, corrective actions and accountabilities are established to ensure that the hazards are addressed." She Said.
These control points are being practiced in the transportation, refrigeration, cooking, packaging, storage, metal detection and distribution of food items.
"Since HACCP is a systematic approach, all the processes and ingredients, even packaging materials, are taken into consideration to ensure that no hazard or possible contamination of the product is overlooked." Rejano said.
She said improper handling of meat products when exposed at critical temperatures between 5 to 63 degree Celsius will result in contamination and eventual spoilage.
"Perishable products like meat and meat products should not be left for so long at critical temperatures" she said, adding: "either you keep it cold or keep it hot."
Rejano, who heads the quality assurance team of CDO-Foodsphere, warned that food hazards, if not properly addressed, may lead to illness and worse, death.
The National Meat Inspection Service and the Bureau of Food and Drugs are the agencies that determine whether the food or the ingredients used are safe for human consumption. For the meat processing industry, it is the NMIS that sets regulatory standards and serves as the certifying body for HACCP.
Rejano said among the HACCP-certified products of CDO-Foodsphere are Bibbo! Hotdog, Karne Norte, Corned Beef, Meat Loaf, Beef Loaf, Chunkisado, Samba Brazilian Corned Beef, and all viand lines.