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Food fleets need to think HACCP

WINNIPEG, Man. - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is looking to establish new quality control standards, through its new Canadian Food Safety Adaptation Program, for all aspects of food proc...


MILK IT: The feds have $11.4 million ready to help develop HACCP guidelines.
MILK IT: The feds have $11.4 million ready to help develop HACCP guidelines.

WINNIPEG, Man. – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is looking to establish new quality control standards, through its new Canadian Food Safety Adaptation Program, for all aspects of food processing – including transportation.

The program will be built on the globally recognized Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP); considered by many to be the ISO of food safety.

“At this point, CFIA has been willing to let us work with them on this,” says Bob Dolyniuk, general manager of the Manitoba Trucking Association. These new standards, he adds, will apply to fleets hauling anything to do with food, be it raw ingredients, processed products or even scraps destined for rendering.

“Right now, it’s really in its infancy so we’re not sure how CFIA is going to address trucking,” Dolyniuk explains.

According to Frank Massong, who manages the Canadian program, the federal government isn’t exactly sure either. More than $11 million has been earmarked to fund industry associations in their efforts to establish some form of HACCP-related benchmarks.

“The demand is coming and the time to get on board (with the associations) is now,” he insists. Consider the way the Big Three automakers spurred the need for many trucking companies to become ISO certified. Massong estimates the large food processors will apply similar pressures over HACCP.

The goal of the Canadian program is to document and eliminate potential hazards in food production, as well as to outline the necessary corrective actions required in the instances of non-compliance.

He stresses that his primary objective is to see industry develop its own workable rules, “perhaps in the form of a best practices manual, for example. Hazards can be managed in many different ways,” adds Massong.

“We need to determine not only what is scientifically possible, but also cost effective for the transport companies.”

Dolyniuk suggests that fleets may need to develop standards for documenting everything from how the equipment they use was manufactured, maintained and cleaned, right through to data on temperature and time during loading, warehousing and cross-docking operations.

Brian Collis, who has spent more than six years dealing with HACCP, says it would be foolhardy for the trucking industry to ignore the opportunity its facing.

“Canada is one of only a few countries where this is being done on a voluntary basis. In most places it’s being mandated by the respective governments,” he says. “If you want to export, you’ve got to have a HACCP system and customers will soon demand it of their carriers.”

He also adds the trucking industry has a chance to get in on the ground floor and help establish its own rules.

“Once you’re at the table, you can help drive the agenda,” says Collis.

Otherwise, all three warn, truck standards could easily end up being established by those who know very little about the world of trucking. n


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