"What happens when you pay extra and are assured that product is inspected multiple times? Is that still the buyers fault? Going to the top packers paying extra and still having a problem?"
David Troster responded with further clarification on why it is so important that high standards be maintained at each processing step, and how this saves both money and reduces risk to buyer and seller alike.
Here is David's response:
Thanks for your comment.
What I am arguing for is actually a reduction in expensive post production testing: "Quality Control" as it is known. Rather, we should be using systems of "Quality Assurance".
Quality Control vs. Quality Assurance
Quality Control by its nature is expensive and not very accurate. Example, in a container we may have 1600 x 12.5kg cartons. Let's say that one of those cartons contains a defect that would cause a recall. The only way to find that carton is to test all 1600 cartons. Result: You find the problem carton but you have probably lost the entire load – Wonderful? Sampling say five or ten cartons would probably not find the defect, so do you use that lot and risk your reputation? Of course not!
In Quality Assurance we look to:
- The systems of production;
- Identify real potential hazards;
- Make sure that proper preventative measures are implemented.
The way that you as a buyer would understand that these proper preventative measures are in place is to have your supplier(s) audited and to have a targeted regime of testing as verification that the systems are working.
Quality Assurance through Third Party Auditing
Your real problem is that without a third party audit you really have no way of knowing who are the good shippers in terms of food safety. I know many factories that are owned and operated by very good and honourable people. They never default, test result are always excellent. They are top packers, but their products still cause product recalls. Why? They may be good at business , but with regards to food safety they are only beginners.
Proper third party, independent auditing and the help and advice that can go with it can give both sides confidence. For the seller, they have increased confidence that their product is the right product for the buyer, and the buyer can understand that they have purchased the right product for them.
In many cases if I can get the factory 'sorted' the risk and therefore the associated higher costs can be eliminated without detriment to anybody's bottom line. So if we get it right, profits can be maintained or improved, costs lowered and that is a great help to sales. Not to mention happier consumers!
David Troster is a Food Safety Consultant with thirty years experience in many areas of the food and hospitality industries. David's areas of work include:
- A practical approach to developing working HACCP systems integrated into your operating system.
- Training Directors and Managers in Food Safety.
- Supply chain auditing, identifying the hazards and helping you eliminate them.Factory design.
- Advice on European legal requirements.
If you need more details or have a specific question then please e-mail David at firstname.lastname@example.org