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Are you ready for the new SALSA Standard?

salsa-standard

As new threats arise to food production and safety, food safety certifications such as SALSA and BRC will continue to update their standards to accommodate the changing requirements for effective food safety. Considering feedback from SALSA members, auditors and mentors, as well as buyers the SALSA Standard has been revised and Issue 5, which was published in June, contains a number of important changes which will be part of their audit from 3rd September 2018.


We'll take a look at some of the key changes and what they may mean for your business.




The risk of allergen cross contamination shall be assessed, and appropriate controls implemented.

Allergens are the biggest cause of food recalls in England & Wales. This is from both incorrect packaging and cross contamination. Do you know what allergens are in your raw materials and the raw material supply chain? What controls do you suppliers have to minimise cross contamination prior to delivery into you?

Once on your site, what controls do you have in place to prevent accidental (or even deliberate) cross contamination? You will need to have an allergen risk assessment of all raw materials, finished products and a risk assessment to determine the potential for cross contamination. If you identify any potential areas for cross contamination, what have you implemented to minimise the risk, and how will this be monitored?

Documented metal controls. Procedures required with records or inspection testing.

Whilst it is not a requirement to have a metal detector/X-ray specifically for SALSA, many retailers require this for their own labelled products. Have you performed a risk assessment to see if you need any detection equipment? If you have identified a requirement, what checks do you carry out? Are they appropriate for the products you pack – including packaging materials and products sizes, along with the nature of the product.

Do you have a documented procedure to check the detection equipment, and to control any positive findings?

Environment monitoring for L. monocytogenes in high care/high risk areas.

High risk products are likely to be able to support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes. If you produce high-risk/high-care products, what sampling of the environment do you perform. Testing of the end product is a good check, but if you find a positive result, then it will require a recall. By testing the environment on a zone basis working from outer areas to the product, then you can reduce the risk of a recall, by highlighting areas of concern before contamination of the product occurs.

A risk assessment for all raw materials in relation to adulteration or substitution shall be carried out and controls implemented.

A new requirement to conduct a risk assessment on all food raw materials, including food contract packaging, in relation to adulteration or substitution. The results of the risk assessment need to be documented and appropriate control measures and procedures implemented. This change has been implemented to encourage enhanced control of suppliers.

Distribution via couriers or postal service adequate and appropriate packing required to maintain products safety and integrity.

Many smaller companies deliver goods via the post or couriers. Does your HACCP study cover the potential risks to food safety and integrity? What controls do you have that would allow the end consumer to be able to identify if the product had been tampered with? Do you send out chilled products, and have you checked whether the packaging you use, controls the temperature sufficiently?

Control measures and/or prerequisite controls relating to the hazards from 2.3 shall be identified.

Where a potential risk is identified, you will need to have pre-requisites or control measure in place. Pre-requisites are the day to day activities that control many generic food safety risks. Have you got these identified, and monitored?

Review of HACCP system to be completed at least annually or when new practices, processes, or products are introduced.

Do you check your HACCP plan at least annually? How do you know it is up to date? Things change over time. Many companies will launch new products, change processes without fully checking that they are covered under the current HACCP plan.

Documented controls required for any/all claims made on finished product or packaging.

What claims such as provenance, variety, organic or religious claims do you make on your packaging? Have you checked that you have all due diligence in place to prove that these claims can be made? There have been many media reports of claims being made that can't be substantiated.

https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/stores/supply-chain/watch-out-for-organic-fraud/564741.article

http://www.foodauthenticity.uk/blog/jrc-s-april-2018-summary-on-food-fraud-and-adulteration-published

Bonnie Joplin, SALSA Scheme development manager said, "In launching Issue 5, the SALSA Standard is updated to reflect the dynamic and changing requirements of the food industry in relation to food safety, whilst always remaining appropriate - and affordable - for the smaller producers and processors the Scheme supports. Clarified HACCP requirements now occupy a dedicated section of the standard, reflecting its importance in food safety management systems. The sections relating to management systems and documentation have been amalgamated and strengthened, and a new requirement for raw material risk assessment has been introduced and the focus on traceability has been increased. We are confident the changes in Issue 5 will serve to add weight to the value of SALSA for both the buyers and suppliers that use the scheme."

SALSA is widely becoming the certification of choice and has growing reach amongst UK buyers, SALSA approval allows smaller producers to demonstrate strong credentials in food safety and is a key requirement from UK supermarkets, food service organisations, and independent businesses.

Should you require further information on SALSA certification you can read our blog post or contact us for advice on 01228 907906 or 07792 050882

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Sunday, 21 July 2019
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