By Michael Hughes
A well designed and implemented Food Safety Management System (FSMS) can not only help your business within the parameters of your current food safety needs, but can put you in the position where any future food safety needs are able to be implemented efficiently, leaving you to concentrate on what you do best: running your business.
What is a Food Safety Management System?
A Food Safety Management System is the implementation of practices and procedures put in place to control the risks throughout the life-cycle of any food processes. There are a number of FSMSs that you may be required to abide by, depending on customer requirements. Including: HACCP (Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points), SQF, ISO 22000, and retailer-specific programs for such as Woolworths, Coles, Costco and ALDI.
Benefits of a Food Safety Management System
- Your own FSMS will help you identify risks – current and potential – and allow you to prioritise how to tackle such risks
- You can show potential customers you already comply with their food safety requirements
- Demonstrate a proven track record of quality and safety throughout your business
- It will enable you to educate and empower employees on the risks involved to your business and enable you to implement workplace standards that can be measured and demonstrated
- You can develop proven training and methods for evaluation
- Provides consistency on job instructions for your staff to follow
- Feel comfortable that your business is doing everything possible to ensure your own practices and procedures not only meet the legal requirements, but also adhere to the rigorous standards set by international food safety organisations
Why Do I Need It?
Minimise risk. Each and every day food is being manufactured, transported, handled and consumed and each of these steps contains a risk of contamination. A FSMS aims to lower the risks of contamination and disease throughout from the beginning of production to the sale of the final product to the customer. Implementing a FSMS is not only required by some local, state and federal laws, but it will ensure your business is compliant with best practice standards for legal and your own customers’ requirements.
Recall Process. If you have ever had to recall a product, or dread doing so, a FSMS will help you minimise the risk of it happening again. Mistakes and errors are tracked and quantified allowing you to formulate appropriate corrective actions that will help ensure your business minimises risks.
Where To Go For More Information
It is easier to implement a FSMS before you are put on a deadline by a new customer, so if you are a part of the food industry you should act now in order to stay ahead of the curve.
Who Can I Contact to Confirm That My Business Needs a Food Safety Program?
Australian Capital Territory
- Health Department: ACT Health – Health Protection Service
- Phone number: +61 2 6205 1700
- Email: email@example.com
New South Wales
- Food Authority: NSW Food Authority
- Phone number: 1300 552 406
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Health Department: Northern Territory Government Department of Health
- Phone number: +61 8 8922 7152 or 1800 095 646 (Food Safety Hotline)
- Email: email@example.com
- Health Department: Queensland Department of Health
- Phone number: +61 7 3328 9310
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Health Department: Government of South Australia Department of Health
- Phone number: +61 8 8226 7100 (Food Section)
- Email: email@example.com
- Health Department: Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services – Food Safety
- Phone number: 1800 671 738
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Health Department: Victorian Department of Health – Food Safety and Regulation
- Phone number: 1300 364 352
- Email: email@example.com
- Health Department: Western Australia Department of Health – Food Unit
- Phone number: +61 8 9388 4999
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org