How to Compile a Legal and Technical Information Register to Keep You Updated.

The food industry’s rapid growth and globalisation have brought about an influx of regulations, standards, and guidelines regarding food safety. As a food company, it’s crucial to stay updated with food laws, standards, codes of practice, and technological advancements affecting your supply chain, operations, and customer interactions. Managing and updating these aspects is challenging, so having an alert system for changes is vital to keep up with industry trends and standards and ensure continued compliance. Join us as we delve into the importance of having a legal and technical information register and offer 10 practical steps to compile and implement your register effectively.

The Importance of Having a Legal and Technical Information Register

A legal and technical information register is a document that contains all the applicable laws, regulations, standards, and guidelines that a company must adhere to. It serves as a reference guide for companies to ensure their compliance with all the requirements.

In South Africa, a legal register is crucial for several reasons:

● Compliance: Keeping up with all the relevant laws and standards can be challenging. A legal register ensures awareness and enables companies to take necessary actions for compliance.
● Risk: Violating food safety laws can lead to severe consequences like fines or even closure. A legal register helps companies identify and mitigate risks.
● Management Efficiency: A comprehensive legal register saves time and resources by centralising necessary information. It also makes compliance monitoring easier.
● Reputation: Demonstrating commitment to food safety laws through a legal register can enhance a company’s reputation among consumers and stakeholders.

● Continuous Improvement: Regularly updating the legal register reflects changes in laws, standards, or guidelines, providing opportunities for ongoing improvement and staying ahead of compliance issues.

10 Practical Steps for Compiling a Legal Register

Creating and maintaining a legal register involves meticulous research and document organisation. Here are 10 practical steps to help guide you through the process.

  1. Organise the register: Divide it into sections like standards, guidelines, legislation, compulsory specifications, and industry best practices.
  2. List all applicable documents, publication dates and source links: Identify and list all food safety laws, standards, codes of practice, guidelines, and technical information affecting your company, as well as all technical specifications relevant to your food product. Provide a column that mentions where each document can be accessed, with URLs where available, and keep a column for the last publication date of each document.
  3. Subscribe to legal compliance platforms and industry newsletters. Ensure you subscribe to updates on changes in South African legislation, food authenticity alerts impacting your supply chain, legislation updates affecting customers, and technical knowledge updates. List all subscriptions in your legal register and provide website URLs for easy access.
  4. Join industry associations: Join industry associations to access valuable information tailored to your sector. These associations often provide monthly newsletters, codes of practice, webinars, conferences, and exhibitions. Click here for a list of helpful industry associations and bodies.
  5. Record updates: Keep a column for the publication and revision dates of each document.
  6. Monitor changes. Regularly check your subscriptions and newsletters for updates to standards and legislation.
  7. Maintain the register. Update the register promptly as notifications of changes are received.
  8. Communicate updates. Keep the food safety team informed through regular meetings and management reviews.
  9. Implement changes. Update your food safety management system based on new or updated legislation, industry alerts, revised codes of practices, and other technical information.
  10. Conduct internal audits: Ensure effective implementation by including the register on your internal audit schedule.

Download our eBook to compile a legal and technical register here.

How can Entecom help you?

Entecom online (EO) is a digital compliance solution that makes compliance easier, faster and
more affordable. We also provide customised in-house workshops, aligning content with your
company goals and operational requirements to help drive improvement. Contact us at today to discuss your compliance needs.

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