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Understanding Global Food Safety Initiative

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Understanding Food Safety

Global Food Safety Initiative (or GFSI) is a non-profit generating organization launched in May 2000 under the Belgian Law and is managed by the Consumer Goods Forum.  It aims to continuously improve the quality of existing food safety management systems by providing a platform wherein concerned food service-related parties can collaborate.  GFSI came about following the period when food safety crises were plenty.   To re-establish the consumer trust that was at an all-time low during that time, a business driven initiative was created.  Since then world leading food safety experts from different companies, government, academia and international associations involved came together in several Technical Working Groups to discuss issues as defined by GFSI stakeholders.

Two fishermen slicing tuna for food safety management standards
Important activities within the Initiative include a specific identifying of requirements for food safety schemes.  The benchmarking process applied within GFSI helped recognize some of the food safety schemes that were already working.  It also gave way for acceptance, confidence growth and implementation of certification from a third party entity throughout the food supply chain.  Global Food Safety Initiative wants to focus on extending the requirements so that all scopes of the global food supply chain will be covered.  Another activity that GFSI supports is the capacity developing programmes that help small businesses facilitate their accessibility to local markets.  The Initiative also intends to meticulously evaluate the necessary level of knowledge, attributes and skills that key industry players and stakeholders believe a competent food safety auditor must possess.  Through the harmonization of different food safety standards and adopting a global perspective on what schemes would be effective, the chance to reduce audit duplication and achieving equivalency between existing schemes is greatly enhanced.   The benchmarking model that is used by GFSI is based on the multi-stakeholder document that food safety experts from around the world have put together.  To ensure that the Guidance Document maintains its reliability, it is regularly updated.

GFSI targets to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Reduce food safety hazards by establishing convergence and equivalence between food safety management systems.
  2. Facilitate global food system costs by improving efficiency in operations and eliminating redundancy.
  3. Foster capacity building policies to retain effective and consistent global food systems.
  4. Provide a one of a kind international platform wherein stakeholders can exchange information, collaborate and sustain a strong web network.

GFSI Recognition

The following food safety management standards or schemes have been recognized by GFSI because they have successfully fulfilled all the requirements specified in the GFSI Guidance Document.  The approval is achieved through a thorough benchmarking process and the accreditation activities are carried out by a third party auditor.

  • BRC Global Standard for Food Safety (Sixth Edition)
  • CanadaGAP (Canadian Horticultural Council On-Farm Food Safety Program)
  • FSSC 22000 Food Products
  • Global Aquaculture Alliance Seafood Processing Standard
  • Global Red Meat Standard (GRMS)
  • IFS Food Version 6
  • PrimusGFS
  • Safe Quality Food

Food Safety Management

According to a study conducted by the University of Arkansas,food manufacturers and suppliers possessing certification(as compared to their counterparts which don’t have one) have well-documented records of their food safety management system, better product safety perception and efficient employees.   If you want your organization to become one of those successful companies then visit www.enhancequality.com and hire the best ISO consultant there is.  Quality Systems Enhancement (QSE) is one of the best ISO consultants that you can depend on to help you achieve the necessary certification you need to maximize your field competence.  Reap all the benefits that you can by allowing QSE to assist you in dealing with documentation and certification. Contact QSE at 770 – 518 – 9967 for more information.

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