Food Safety

Tsukiji Europe Limited ( TEL hereafter) understand that their customers require products that meet the highest standards of food safety and legality. TEL was first founded with these principles in mind and are proud of their record and reputation throughout all the markets we deal in.

 

Food Law in the EU is controlled by the EC Parliament and Council. EU Food Regulations move directly to become the law within all member states. EU directives become law after the member state enact their own Regulations.

 

TEL employ an experienced Food Technology Consultancy, BJG Associates Limited **, to ensure that the company and it’s products are able to satisfy the EC and member states food laws as laid down. Brennan Green, Director of BJG Associates Ltd is responsible for keeping TEL up to date with proposed new regulations and is a member of the Technical and legislative committee of the British Frozen Food Federation.

 

To simplify explanation we have broken the EC Food Laws into five main groups :-

 

1)      General Food Laws

 

The General Food law Regulations (EC) 178/2002, The Food Hygiene Regulations (EC) 852,2004, Hygiene Rules for Food of Animal Origin (EC) 853/2004 and the Microbiological Criteria of Foodstuffs Regulation (EC) 2073/2005

 

2)      Labelling- general.

 

     There are many laws that cover the labelling of foods the main one

     being Directive 2000/13/EC on the labeling, presentation and

     advertising of foods. Also included in this section are the Directives

     regards labeling of allergens ( Directive 2003/89/EC and

     2006/142/EC)

 

3)     Labeling –additives, sweeteners, colours, flavourings, food enzymes, irradiation, novel Foods and Genetically Modified foods, Fish Labeling.

 

       These Regulations and Directives cover specific areas in detail

       and are the source of the information we need to ensure that all

       ingredients and additives/colours/sweeteners/flavours etc are

       permitted in the specific food we wish to market in the EC.

 

4)      Food Contact Materials

 

This area covers the laws regarding the materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.

 

5)      Contaminants

 

     This area covers all laws setting down permitted levels of

     contaminants for foodstuffs within the EC.

 

    

To ensure that the products we offer meet the legal requirements laid down TEL adopt the following procedures when working with manufacturers around the world.

 

1)      Specification

 

The manufacturer is required to complete a draft specification ( using the TEL Specification format) for the new product in advance of any order being placed. This draft is examined by BJG Associates to ensure that the ingredients and method of manufacture, including the Food safety plan and HACCP, are considered adequate to ensure that the product will be Safe and Legal. The draft specification will be amended by both the Manufacturer and TEL are satisfied that it accurately defines the product. It will also set out exactly how the Ingredients list will appear on the product label, and the identification of any allergens ( as defined by EC Legislation) will be laid down. The relevant storage and instructions for preparation are also included in this document.

 

The specification is signed off by a suitably qualified senior person at the manufacturer and by BJG Associates and the Managing Director of TEL.

 

Note: further additions to the specification normally occur after the packaging design has been completed.

 

2)      Supplier Self Audit Questionnaire ( SSAQ)

 

TEL must feel satisfied that the manufacturer has both adequate factory facilities and management controls in place to be able to produce Safe and Legal foods. In order to verify this TEL require all suppliers to complete a SSAQ in TEL format which is checked by BJG Associates in conjunction with the draft Specification for the product/products that the manufacturer intends to produce.

 

To illustrate this procedure consider ready-to-eat foods- these are considered High Risk because the final consumer does not normally re-heat them before serving. TEL require that any ready-to eat foods must, in simple terms, be prepared and packed in factory areas that ensure effective segregation from raw foods and those persons that are handling these raw foods.

 

The SSAQ is, normally, a minimum requirement but there are additional sources of information that can help us confirm the suitability of the manufacturer- audit reports from Professional Food Auditing companies, British Retail Consortium ( BRC) Certificate or International Food Standard (IFS) Certificate.

 

3)      Packaging/labelling

 

The packaging designs are developed in co-operation between the manufacturer and TEL/BJG Associates and are based on the information agreed in the Specification. The packaging design, by law, must ensure that all the necessary information is provided and the ingredients list and the Allergy Advice provided are accurate to deliver a product that is safe and legal.

 

All manufacturers are informed in writing that if they wish to change, in any way, the ingredients or method of manufacture of the product they must first inform TEL before any such changes occur so that it can be decided if the product can still be made safe and legal and to agree the necessary changes to the packaging/labelling of the product.

 

 

 

4)      Microbiological/ Chemical and other test results.

 

The product specification also confirms that the manufacturer is responsible for carrying out any microbiological , chemical or other tests agreed between them and TEL and to communicate these to TEL in writing before the shipment is sent . In some instances the results will not be available before shipment but in this case they must be received by TEL before the product is taken into designated Coldstore in the EC.

 

TEL also carry out random sampling on their products after they are received in the EC to ensure their own due diligence in complying with the relevant EC Food Laws.

 

5)      Cold Storage and Distribution

 

TEL receive all frozen products into a designated Cold Store within the EC which meets the highest standards of facility and management of frozen foods storage. This company has been audited by BJG Associates and is approved under EC legislation.

 

After ordering by our customers Frozen products are transported to our customers via refrigerated vehicles operating at below -18ºC to ensure the goods are received in first class condition. The transport companies that we deal with have all been selected because of their good reputation and high standards of service.

 

 

6)      Customer Complaints

 

In the rare event that our customers have an issue with quality we adopt the procedure that all communications from customers are recorded centrally at our Twickenham Head Office and investigated with either the manufacturer , Cold storage company or distributor. Following the investigation the customer will be provided with a response- where necessary in writing.

 

In the rare event that Local Environmental Health authorities may become involved TEL have developed a close relationship with their own Local authority who will liaise with BJG Associates Ltd regarding any action that may be necessary.

 

 

 

Finally it is important to TEL to listen to our customers so that we can make improvements to our products and service so should there be any questions you would like to bring to our attention please, in the first instance, contact the head office at Twickenham who in turn may direct your question to Brennan Green at BJG Associates Ltd.

 

 

 

** BJG Associates Ltd Consultants in Food Safety, Processing and Design

    

My company offers a comprehensive service to the Food Industry and can help your team address food safety, food factory design and processing system design matters, drawing from over thirty years experience in Food technology, Food processing, Food Retail management and Senior management within the food industry in the UK , Europe and Worldwide.

 

If we can help you please contact Brennan Green at bjgreen40@btinternet.com or

mobile 00 44 7941 265 364 and we will hope to be of service.

 

 

Brennan Green , Director , BJG Associates Limited