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Specialized standards to improve your operations

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Are you looking for a way to standardize your production? Do you want to reduce production defects and customer complaints? Would you like to do business with some of the world’s largest companies?

Quality management systems are broad standards that cover everything an organization does to manage its processes and activities. The best known among these are the standards set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Among the most popular ISO standards are the following:

  • ISO 9001 for quality management
  • ISO 14001 for environmental management
  • ISO 22000 for food processing safety

Health and safety: OHSAS 18001

Worker health and safety is an area of concern where international standards can help improve performance. OHSAS 18001 can be used by organizations of all sizes, regardless of the nature of their activities or location, to identify safety hazards and control work-related risks.

Implementing OHSAS 18001 can lead to positive change within your organization, such as fewer accidents and medical claims, fewer employee absences, increased production and improved worker retention and satisfaction. Insurance costs also often decline.

Food and beverage industry

In the food and beverage industry, each country has its own regulations to protect consumer health and the environment.

But there are also internationally recognized standards, and by using them you can avoid having to develop and maintain multiple standards for different markets.

The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is a system that helps guarantee the safety of your products by controlling your raw materials, processes, plant environment and employees.

Because HACCP is recognized worldwide by industry and by governments, adopting this system makes good business sense. It allows you to meet customers' food safety expectations, lower your risk of a product recall, make your company export-ready, give your company a competitive edge and lower your operating expenses.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency offers various tools to develop your food safety process. These tools include Food Safety Enhancement Program implementation manuals, a hazard database reference, electronic templates and forms, and generic examples of prerequisite programs and HACCP plans.

The difference between HACCP and ISO 22000

ISO 22000 incorporates HACCP's food-risk prevention requirements with more general administrative requirements. It can easily be combined with other management system standards, such as ISO 9001 or ISO 14000, because their structures are similar.

ISO 22000 is designed to be flexible and can be tailored to any segment of the food chain.

If your business wants to convert to this standard from other systems, you will need to address various areas such as communication and management processes. The process is simpler if your business has already implemented a HACCP system or another ISO management system.

GFSI certification

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) was created by an alliance of global food retailers known as The Consumer Goods Forum. GFSI is not involved in certification activities but has developed a benchmarking model to recognize food safety schemes from around the world.

Through this system, GFSI has recognized food safety schemes such as:

  • SQF 2000 (Level 2)
  • BRC Global Standard for Food
  • Synergy 22000
  • FSSC 22000 (ISO 22000 + PAS 220)

Implementing these schemes can give you access to distribution through major international grocery chains.

If you are interested in becoming certified under one or more of these standards, your company may wish to hire a consultant to guide you through the process.

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