The recent cases of Listeria have rocked the food safety world. The headline grabbing news is that those who fell ill and died had eaten food from NHS hospitals, causing the Health Secretary to call for an urgent review.
However, dig a bit deeper and we see that the items eaten were ready packed sandwiches and salads, provided by a supplier, the Good Food Chain, who sadly have now collapsed, unable to cope with the impact on trading when ordered to cease operations during the investigation.
In turn, some of the ingredients used in the making of the meals were provided by another supplier who has now tested positive for Listeria.
Traceability is a key part of any food safety management system. Each customer along the supply chain and the end retailer /catering outlet (in this case, the NHS) has a responsibility to know where the ingredients are from and have a process for knowing they are safe.
So, even though the Listeria outbreak originated further up the supply chain, both the Good Food Chain and the NHS still need to prove they had done everything reasonably practicable to ensure they are providing safe food to their customers.
You can avoid being in this situation and protecting the reputation of your business by ensuring that you are using approved food suppliers, which is a key building block of good food safety and one of the pre-requisites of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) food management system.
To help you correctly assess your food suppliers or potential suppliers, I’ve put together a supplier assessment checklist, with questions to ask suppliers, so you and your team can be confident you are carrying out the correct checks.
Download your FREE Food Supplier Approval Template here.
For more useful resources including templates, fact-sheets, quizzes and guides, please visit the Resources section.
Rod Carver - Level 3 Food Safety Attendee
Academy Training Manager