The organisation said as implementation of food safety programmes moves forward more scrutiny needs to be given to hygienic design of facilities and equipment in the supply chain through development of more specific and meaningful standards to ensure food safety.
The TWG will define benchmarking requirements for scope K for design, installation, engineering and (preventative) maintenance to benchmark Certificate Program Owners (CPOs); include references to industry standards regarding hygienic design and provide a basis for equipment manufacturing certification.
“Bringing together the great expertise that exists globally in the area of hygienic design into a team to strengthen the existing GFSI Benchmarking Requirements has the potential to make a significant contribution to improving food safety right across the globe,” said Roy Kirby, global director, microbiology, food safety and toxicology at Mondelez International.
Responses to foodborne outbreaks include increased implementation of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system and other food safety programmes, increased reliance on third party auditing and legislation such as the US Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Correct design of handling and processing equipment and manufacturing facilities is addressed in most regulatory and industry food safety programmes. However, terms are only broadly defined and interpretation of acceptability is left to the individual auditor and their view of equipment evaluation.
GFSI said the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG) will be part of the working group.
EHEDG told FoodQualityNews that it wanted to establish a co-operation with GFSI earlier this year and Mike Robach, chair of the GFSI board of directors, said it was ‘extremely important’ to work with other organisations and not ‘reinvent the wheel’.
A maximum of 18 members will form the group from retailers, manufacturers, accreditation/certification bodies, service providers and academics/regulators for the 18 month-long TWG.
Applicants must be employed by an organization that agrees to sponsor participation.
Applications close 12 January and successful candidates will be contacted by 1 February 2018.