4th Edition of CFA Best Practice Guidelines published (25 Jan 2006)

Continuing its commitment to enhancing food hygiene standards, the Chilled Food Association has published the fourth edition of its hugely successful “Best Practice Guidelines for the Production of Chilled Food”.

The “Guidelines” are widely recognised as the benchmark for best practice in the chilled food industry and constitute the standards of operation required for membership of the Association. They are also in line with new EU food hygiene legislation as well as Codex Alimentarius Codes of Practice.

Reflecting the dynamism of the ever-increasing range of chilled food products on the market and the technical complexity of the chilled food business the “Guidelines” take an integrated approach based on HACCP providing information on the principles of food safety, pathogen characteristics and hurdles. They also provide specific detail supplementing and interacting with the British Retail Consortium Global Standard for Food, the International Food Standard, and provide new information and additional sections over the previous edition including:

  • New ‘HACCP Implementation’ section;
  • New ‘Shelf life Assessment’ section;
  • New guidance on the microbiological status of products vs. usage and the required hygiene in production areas;
  • New ‘EC Microbiological Criteria Regulation’ summary text referring to the BRC/CFA Guidance on the Practical Implementation of the EC Regulation on Microbiological Criteria for Foodstuffs (published December 2005);
  • New ‘Traceability’ section includes diagrams of information types required at different stages of production;
  • New decision tree usage examples for different types of products;
  • New pre-employment medical screening questionnaire;
  • New return to work questionnaire;
  • Cross-reference to CFA’s various other guidance documents, e.g. Water Quality Management Guidance (2nd ed, published Dec 2005);
  • Incorporation of CFA’s ‘High Risk Area Guidelines’ (2nd ed, 2001);
  • New ‘High Risk Area’ temporary operatives pre-employment training material;
  • New CFA handwash poster;
  • New ‘Contractor Hygiene’ requirements;
  • Revised ‘Air Quality’ text updated to reflect the new Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association guidance.

Kaarin Goodburn, CFA’s Secretary General said: “CFA continues to promote best hygienic practice in the industry, providing the best advice available to businesses. The new CFA Guidelines provide the fundamental principles that must be considered when designing safe manufacturing operations. They will be useful when working with local enforcement authorities to implement legal requirements at the production stage and may assist food businesses in complying with third party technical standards. It is our firm belief that these Guidelines continue to provide invaluable advice to all sectors of the chill chain at home and abroad.”

For the first time the CFA ‘Guidelines’ are published in partnership with The Stationery Office and are available (price £100.00) through TSO’s bookshops and online.

Date issued: 25 January 2006