The UK Chilled Food Association this week launched two new publications for food manufacturers to help meet legislative commitments.
'Due Diligence Guidance on the Agricultural Use of Pesticides for Suppliers to Chilled Food Manufacturers' aims to assist UK chilled food manufacturers to meet their legislative needs and commercial requirements regarding pesticide controls.
'Microbiological Guidance for Produce Suppliers to Chilled Food Manufacturers' targets suppliers and growers of fresh, frozen and dehydrated produce, and aims to minimise food safety risks.
The first publication advises manufacturers on the best use of other industry guidelines and sets out practical measures and systems regarding the use and management of pesticides, and according the CFA, the guidance is well-timed because the authorisation of EU-registered pesticides is currently under review.
Potentially hundreds of active pesticide ingredients are at risk and it is expected that many will no longer be authorised after July 2003. The CFA maintains that the use of pesticides containing such active ingredients will remain legal in third countries, and warns that effective due diligence systems need to be in place for produce entering the EU and UK to ensure legality and compliance with commercial requirements.
The second publication focuses on the development of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) in the field, and provides guidance to growers of produce on the main microbial food safety hazards and their controls, particularly in relation to produce that is to be minimally processed and eaten without being cooked.
The publication of CFA's Guidance coincides with the European Commission's Scientific Committee for Food (SCF) report on produce safety. This report concludes that Good Agricultural Practice and Good Hygienic Practice are the basis for the safe production of fresh produce, and the most efficient way to improve the safety of produce is to rely on a proactive system reducing risk factors during production and handling.
The Chilled Food Association was established in 1989 and represents 150 plants, employing 45,000 staff and producing around 8,500 different chilled food products.