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miércoles, 26 de enero de 2011

Food Safety in Ecuador

After reading the blog of Paul Borawski about new food safety laws in USA, I would like to reflect what is happening in this field in my country Ecuador.

I would like to develop the conceptual framework on the subject.

The food safety includes measures to ensure maximum safety of food. Policies and activities aimed at this purpose shall cover the entire food chain, from production to consumption.

Within the ISO, working groups have worked in the development of ISO 22000 for this purpose, the current version is edited in 2005. ISO 22000 is the management system in food safety, applicable to the food supply chain. It is derived from the management issues related to HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) and ISO 9001:2008.

ISO 22000 establishes international requirements for safety in the food chain, from farmer to the consumer. Therefore applies to the entire food chain including transportation, restaurants, processors, manufacturers of tools and equipment, chemicals, health, food, agriculture, including food for pets.

In Ecuador there is growing commitment to this issue, and one of the findings is that companies that have more developed systems are those that already have some form of international certification, either ISO 9001, and /or are part of an international company, and/ or sold on the international market, or those companies providing any of the previous cases.

In Ecuador Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) are the most widely used in small business, then companies with better organization and infrastructure have HACCP, and you start to have companies with ISO 22000.

In the hotel sector has begun to require GMP to their suppliers, and some hotels have implemented HACCP. Large supermarket chains are beginning to require HACCP for some of its suppliers.

Now there are many actions to be taken at national level such as:

Check informal providers and retailers that sell food directly to the public.

Control of food traceability throughout the chain and see the critical points to take actions for improvement.

Seek to involve small farmers, and train them on the subject.

Emphasis should be placed on training and awareness, both food providers, as consumers to demand this type of certification, which involves campaigns, promoting culture at home and leading by example.

Post issues related to food safety for general public.

Generate statistics of the results obtained in the implementation of systems, risk, health and economic indicators.

Take into account 3 major axes: educated consumers, ethical production companies and government control.

Propose ways to share best business practices.

Be aware that one of the barriers is the corruption along the chain and poverty trough Latin America.

Involve senior management of companies in the food sector, about the importance of implementing these systems and ensure compliance through certification processes.

Achieving food security awareness is everyone's responsibility and the fact that USA laws are generated for this purpose, will have positive impact throughout Latin America.