Building your food business – Part 2
In my previous article “Building your food business Part I”, we considered some of the basics of what it takes to turn a food idea into a food business. So, congratulations, we assume you are now a food business owner!
Many food business owners are very passionate about their business but are not everyone always has the sufficient food science background needed to ensure the foods that they produce or source are safe. As a food technologist I want to share some food science knowledge to help my readers.
Sourcing of food ingredients
Whether your business is about food production or being a distributer, you will probably need to be sourcing either ingredients or finished food products.
- Where is the product manufactured? How will the reputation for the company or product be affected from sourcing food from the geographic location? How credible is your supplier?Tips: Establish a supplier program and consider criteria’s such as assessing and validating their certified food safety management program, HACCP program, reputation and availability of certificates of analysis. You also need to evaluate the accuracy of the specification versus each product you receive.
- Consider your product specifications for product storage temperature, shelf-life and how to use the product instruction. Follow the original manufacturer guidance. Tips:When in doubt, seek help.
- Record lot code information such as lot number, manufacturing date or expiry date for the products you receive and ensure strong future traceability. Lack of adequate traceability systems for each can create problems and sometimes, can be disastrous in a food recall. You need to understand the process of your scenario. Food manufacturing and production systems can be very sophisticated but it is advisable to understand some of the food safety aspects of the production chain.
Food Safety Management
- Food Safety Management is about having management dedication towards food safety and quality. What is better than showing an example from the top to the bottom? Tips:Learn about your own food safety management system and show visible support to the food safety management system.
- Take a basic food safety course such as Good Manufacturing Practices or Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) to learn about bacteria or microorganism and its relation towards food safety.Tips: Microorganism grow exponentially and are highly related to the time and temperature. Excessive bacteria growth can lead to food safety issues.
- Be aware of “allergen” as allergen is the common recall item. Allergen can cause severe problems to individual whose immune system is sensitive and reactive to a specific ingredient such as peanuts, milk or sulphites.Tips: Learn about the allergen declaration required for the country that the product is to be marketed, and declare accordingly. Validate cleaning procedure to ensure all traces of allergenic residues are removed and non-allergen production thoroughly before.
- Don’t assume all production operators have basic GMP in-mind. Provide training to all production operators and monitor for GMP. Make sure Production Supervisor is trained for food safety and GMP as well as they will be the one who provide instruction to the operators. Tips:Training is required to provide basic GMP and as a refresher for all employees.
About the Author:
Felicia Loo is a food science graduate from UBC. With an interest in food marketing, she explores how food products are created, marketed, and distributed to an end users.
Copyright ©Felicia Loo 2015
Disclaimer: This article is solely reflective of my personal thoughts. While every caution has been taken to provide my readers with most accurate information and honest analysis, please use your discretion before taking any decisions based on the information in this article. Author cannot compensate you in any way whatsoever if you ever happen to suffer a loss/inconvenience/damage because of/while making use of information in this article.