Food scandals heighten focus on food safety

Posted by Editorial on 21st May 2009

Today, food manufacturers are taking a long, hard look at their business to assess the best way to navigate not only the economic downturn, but also the increasing regulatory pressures for food safety as a result of a series of food scandals – the most recent being the salmonella-contaminated peanuts in the US. Food companies thus face conflicting objectives of securing credit lines at the same time as ensuring food safety and quality management, which calls for new, creative and potentially costly approaches to doing business.

NGI presentation - stainless feet

Area Sales Manager for Danish supplier of hygienic feet NGI Stainless Steel Products, Michael Holmgren, notes that demands from consumers and regulatory bodies are understandably higher than ever, requiring a continued commitment from food manufacturers to further improve food safety. His company supplies food processing companies worldwide with its revolutionary line of hygienic levelling feet solutions, which reduce water, labour and cleaning time costs by ensuring food does not get stuck in the grooves.

Increasing demand for improved hygienic standards, combined with the need to drive efficiency, have seen the product reap great success in the European and US markets, according to Mr Holmgren. “The scrutiny on food safety has never been stronger, with consumers punishing companies that fail to adhere to food safety requirements,” he said.

“And, in a turbulent economic environment, businesses are also under pressure to realise efficiency gains,” Mr Holmgren added. “The lean manufacturing movement demands higher quality equipment to improve production efficiency and reduce costs over time, something the NGI stainless feet can do. We are also able to offer specialty solutions, as we are aware that needs change from company to company.”

Food safety paramount to food business

The impact of food safety issues on a company’s bottom line was underlined by a Deloitte study in the US last year, which discovered 58 per cent of consumers alter their buying habits after hearing about product safety or quality problems. And shoppers are becoming less tolerant, according to the report, as scandals like the melamine contamination in China and the peanut butter salmonella issue in America dent confidence.