From the food colorant accident reported in mid-1980 in the UK to the egg scare reported in 2008 and then the most recent food crisis in Yemen. Securing food has been the most curial and sensitive subject for decades. Reported food scares were not just caused by microorganisms, many of them have strong ties to new technology, environmental pollution, or simply changes in co-procedures.
In the past “Unilever” recalled four batches of its Lipton milk tea sold in Hong Kong and Macau after finding traces of melamine in the products, and this was one of the biggest scandals in history, this incident has affected countries worldwide so WHO had to intervene to handle the situation.
THE AGRI-FOOD WORLD
The food industry is solely becoming a consumer driven industry with rising demands for safe food. As a result of globalization in trade, food travels far and wide from the producer to reach the consumer, accordingly the number of food crisis reported has also increased, a strong traceability system will serve the consumer, professional within the food chain, and authorities in charge.
TRACEABILITY SYSTEM IS THE KEY
Traceability is a tool that establishes a relationship of trust with consumers, it satisfies their safety needs in terms of health and well-being and then full fill their expectations in terms of information. A good put together traceability system must provide the consumer with all the information needed about the rate, quality, and value along with expiry date, product composition, geographical origin, medical ground, ideological reasons, nutritional contribution, religion, allergic risks and hazards, and environmental reasons along with ethical concerns.
The ISO defines traceability as” the ability to follow the movement of food through specified stages of production, processing and distribution”.
Traceability system will serve companies in many ways, as it ensures their continuity in the supplier’s traceability chain to the final consumer and vice versa. traceability system must allow professionals within the food chain better risk management, crisis management tool, and a way to set their limits of liabilities. The authorities in charge will then have a solid mean to risk prevention and localization and expertise in case of a food crisis.
ONE STEP BACK ONE STEP FORWARD
Trading the agri-food and commodities are foreseen to see continued to increase, changes in the trading environment have led to growth in the global production network, therefore Implementing an effective traceability systems will improve the ability to implement veritable safety and quality compliance programs.
It’s a priority to protect people from food borne diseases, the main adopted principles upon which food safety will be achieved are tracking and tracing.
Tracking describes the need to be able to withdraw or recall products identified as unsafe while tracing is a risk management tool which enables food business operators or authorities to respond to that need, It’s a cornerstone of any country’s food policy.