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The challenge of transparent risk analyses

On a worldwide basis, the food industry is being challenged more and more. It is therefore important to build up trust in food. The risk analyses that food manufacturers must carry out are very complex and must be carried out with extreme caution. Risks develop more severely and faster in the current market. It is therefore a challenge to keep risk analyses transparent and up-to-date.

Three types

Nowadays, risk analyses can be subdivided into three types:
1. HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points)
2. TACCP (Threat Assessment and Critical Control Points)
3. VACCP (Vulnerability Assessment and Critical Control Points)

HACCP is engaged with the prevention of unintentional risks in food safety. TACCP and VACCP concern economic gain and deliberate harming. The increasing attention for correct and complete risk analyses has arisen from, among other things, new legislation, product recalls and the increasing awareness of the consumer with regard to food safety.

Specifically for labeling, since the EC 1169/2011 has been in force, allergens are monitored much more strictly. The number of product recalls in recent years has increased considerably partly as a result of this. The risk analysis must therefore offer sufficient deepening in the area of label control.

In the news

In recent years, there has been a lot of news about authenticity fraud. Examples are the melamine and horse meat scandal. In 2016, the SSAFE tool was launched, by means of which the risk of food fraud can be determined. Food Defense, securing the production facility against intentional contamination, is also receiving more and more attention. In addition, all the recalls and deviations in Europe are published in the RASFF portal. Various food safety standards have included these sections in their programme. In other words: food companies are obliged to chart the risks and to take suitable measures in the areas of food safety, food fraud and Food Defense.

Knowledge

More and more is known about raw material risks. The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) has composed Info sheet 64. This describes how raw material risks must be safeguarded. Control measures could be:
– Analysis upon delivery by means of sampling;
– Carrying out an audit at the supplier’s;
– Participation in a chain guarantee system, e.g. COKZ and Riskplaza. Riskplaza is a databank with information about the food safety of raw materials. The databank includes raw material risks, legislation, scientific information and possible control measures.

On the basis of all the information available, risk analyses can be made more and more specific. Food manufacturers are also expected to continually update their risk analyses.

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