Time to beef up your Raw Material Risk assessment

BY Janice Giddy

A number of food scandals over the years such as the Sudan 1 adulteration, melamine addition to high-protein feed and milk-based products to artificially inflate protein values in products that may have been diluted and now more recently the cumin adulteration with peanuts incident, have had huge ramifications in the food industry. The need to beef up the raw material risk assessment to include not only the identification of potential allergen contamination, foreign-body risks, microbiological contamination but also the need to include the risk of food adulteration or substitution as well has come under the spotlight. This means that the food safety team should research historical and developing threats to the supply chain and then conduct a vulnerability assessment on all food raw materials. Take a look at this link for more statistics on food fraud and categories of food affected here.

The GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) definition for Food Fraud is: “Food Fraud: A collective term encompassing the deliberate and intentional substitution, addition, tampering or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients or food packaging, labelling, product information or false or misleading statements made about a product for economic gain that could impact consumer health. (Reference: Spink, J. & Moyer, DC (2011) Journal of Food Science, 76(9), 157-163.)”


The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety vs 7,Clause 5.4.2 requires that a vulnerability assessment is carried out on all food raw materials and takes the following into account:
- Historical evidence of substitution or adulteration
- Economic factors which may make adulteration or substitution more attractive
- Ease of access to raw material throughout the supply chain
- Sophistication of routine testing to identify adulterants
- Nature of the raw material


Where a risk of adulteration or substitution has been identified, the particular raw material will need to be subjected to appropriate inspections or testing to ensure that the risk is reduced.
The GFSI Food Fraud Think Tank has introduced new assessment terminology which should be addressed within the umbrella of the Food Safety Management system. These new terms are TACCP (Threat/Food Defence) and VACCP (Vulnerability/Food Fraud). 


The GFSI Guidance Document vs 7 will be published in 2016 and will include the requirements for Food Fraud Prevention.

ENTECOM will be presenting a workshop to provide practical guidance as to implement the TACCP and VACCP requirements. For more information please contact info@entecom.co.za


 July 09, 2015
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Food Safety
Janice Giddy

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