Consumers these days when out doing their grocery shopping are smart, well informed and very astute when it comes to deciding on their purchases.
They know what they want and they certainly have expectations when they put food items in their trolley – they expect the food to taste good, to stay fresh until the date that’s stated on the pack, they assume that it won’t cause to them or their families any harm, they also expect it to be value for money and be nutritional and good for their health.
In order for every Food Business to be successful and sustainable they need to fulfil all of these expectations of their customers. However the responsibilities of the Food Business Operator goes far beyond just the expectations of the consumers, compliance with Food Safety Legislation is an ongoing obligation for all food businesses.
When a food business embarks on the journey of being part of the food chain the initial process of approval can be daunting. Most small to medium enterprises start from a creative beginning and before they know it they are on a rollercoaster of inspections, policies, documents, specifications and customer codes of practice.
Legal compliance begins with seeking approval from the relevant Authority i.e. EHO or Department of Agriculture or Marine. The basis of this approval is on the hygiene standards of the food premises, controlling pests from entering and all other basic structural and hygienic requirements.
Then the next level of approval and control is through the HACCP Study (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) which is a mandatory Legal Food Safety Requirement which incorporates additional layers such as Traceability, Allergen control, Labelling Compliance and Microbiological and Shelf Life Testing etc. The complexity of Food Safety can be immense and in some cases companies that become successful quite quickly may not have the internal resources to keep pace with the all these Food Safety and Legal Requirements. At times resources from the outside may be required to benefit the food business’s ability to maintain compliance.
Fiona Reidy, FR Consulting, is a Food Safety Consultant who has worked in the Irish Food Industry for over 20 years and assists Food Businesses to maintain their compliance with Food Safety Legislation.
Fiona has worked directly in many sectors of the Food Industry such as Beef Processing, Dairy, Fruit and Veg. Processing and Ready to Eat Salad and Delicatessen products. She currently assists a variety of companies with their approval process, through to the development of their HACCP Systems, their implementation, maintenance and updating of their Food Safety Management Systems. Once a Food Business Operator successfully achieves their initial approval and if successful their markets and businesses expands then the level of these expectations can exponentially grow even further. Their customers may require them to raise the bar of their Food Safety Management Systems to another level. This expectation will be for the food businesses to achieve Third Party Certification to Food Safety Standards i.e. International / Global Standards such as the BRC Global Food, FSSC 22000 or ISO 22000.
Fiona has also been an approved Certification Lead Auditor since 2001, auditing other Food Companies and gaining significant levels of knowledge and experience to benefit her ability to assist others in achieving these high standards. Fiona is also an experienced and approved trainer, training Food Business personnel on topics such as Food Safety & Food Hygiene, HACCP and also training on these Certification Standards and any specific bespoke training required by her clients.
Fiona Reidy is from Tipperary and has been in business as a Food Safety Consultant since 2008. If you wish to contact Fiona for any queries she can be contacted by email- firstname.lastname@example.org Website - frconsultinglimitedlimited.com