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

CFA publishes water quality management guidelines (3 Jan 2006)

The Chilled Food Association has published the second edition of its “Water Quality Management Guidelines” providing unique guidance to chilled food manufacturers and their suppliers on what should be included in their site water quality management policies.

By law, UK water supplies must be ‘wholesome’ but the supplier of the water is only responsible for its quality up until the point of delivery to the factory site. This means that the food producer is responsible for maintaining the quality of the water once it enters the site water distribution system. In addition where a private water supply is used, the food manufacturer carries total responsibility for water quality.

This Guidance covers the prevention and management of potential microbiological hazards from the use of water in chilled food manufacture. Reference is also made to the prevention of potential chemical and physical hazards from water used in chilled food production. The main chapter on “Developing a Site Water Quality Management Policy” includes subsections on:

  • Responsibility and Management
  • Water Supply to site
  • Water Treatment and Distribution
  • Water Usage and Risk Assessment
  • Monitoring Water Quality and
  • Corrective action.

There are specific appendices on Cryptosporidium, Legionella, Water Authority Risk Assessment, DWI Acceptable Limits, Water Sampling Procedure, and aspects of Factory Water Risk Assessment, plus definitions and an extensive bibliography.

Said Kaarin Goodburn, CFA Secretary General, “The CFA Water Quality Management Guidelines” contain invaluable information and advice for companies on how to meet their responsibilities under the EU General Hygiene Regulation (EC/852/2004) and the EC Drinking Water Directive (EC/98/83). The document, which is written from a UK perspective but is also applicable internationally will be of interest to all chilled food companies as well as the wider food industry.”

CFA’s “Water Quality Management Guidelines” can be ordered online (price £55.00) from the CFA website.

Date issued: 3 January 2006