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Saturday, 26 September 2015

A Reversible Reality

Surprised? Is this really a secret? 

Things do not have to be this way with your business arrangements. The certificate only deserves as much credence and as much power as this reality exposes. Your business must rely on another approach to credibility and loyalty building in order to effectively deal with inevitable challenges that may threaten its survival.
Customers may appear to be pacified by the certificate. This does not mean that they can be actually satisfied with that pacifier.

Ditch that which can be readily ditched and truly  FORTIFY your operation.

It is possible and necessary to re-negotiate burdensome arrangements.

Do not cast your ANCHOR on a detached buoy.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

12 Steps of HACCP Implementation

A summary of the 12 HACCP implementation steps suggested by the Codex Alimentarius Commission are as follows:

Step 1
Assemble a multi-disciplinary HACCP Team to develop and manage the HACCP Plan

Step 2
Describe the Product (define the scope of each HACCP plan, including the products and processes covered)

Step 3
Identify Intended Use (including) the consumer target groups and the suitability of the product for vulnerable groups of the population (e.g. infants, elderly, persons susceptible to allergens, etc.).

Step 4
Construct a process flow diagram that covers each product, product category or process from raw material receipt through processing, storage, to distribution.

Step 5
Verify flow diagram (by conducting an on-site audit to verify the accuracy of the flow diagram).

Step 6: Principle 1
Conduct a hazard analysis.

Step 7: Principle 2
Determine the Critical Control Points (CCPs).

Step 8: Principle 3
Establish critical limit(s).

Step 9: Principle 4
Establish a system to monitor control of the CCP.

Step 10: Principle 5
Establish the corrective action to be taken when monitoring indicates that a particular CCP is not under control.

Step 11: Principle 6
Establish procedures for verification to confirm that the HACCP system is working effectively.

Step 12: Principle 7
Establish documentation concerning all procedures and records appropriate to these principles and their application.

The SSQA Implementation Manual provides the fuller description of the 12 steps with additional details.

GCSE-FHP Launches Its Cost Sharing Arrangement with SSQA Flagship Operations:

With the approaching implementation of new food regulations in the US, Canada and other countries, GCSE-Food and Health Protection is prepared to take the bold steps with you that will involve some cost sharing arrangements. 

GCSE-FHP is prepared to help you with certification stress relief, gain increased customer confidence and establish productive customer relations.

We are looking for SSQA flagship operations to work with in managing the cost of developing and implementing programs that meet the evolving regulations.  The lead technical resource contact is the Food Sector Chair for GCSE-FHP (Felix Amiri).

If your company is interested in becoming a flagship operation, you may request details from the Coalition Technical Team

If you are interested in serving as the SSQA Facilitator for a flagship operation you may also request details from the Coalition Technical Team

Start now to take your company to the future:

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Step Up to Distinction

Food safety and quality management could be this easy, really:

Step 1: Track all incidents of failure and add up the current costs. This will help you with the before and after picture.

Step 2: Pick up your commitment and drop the certificate. You can always pick it up again if necessary. The certificate is most likely not going to be needed once you have moved on with the next steps. At most it will just be a redundant piece of paper;

Step 3: Pick up your knowledge about your business, products and the real safety and quality risks/enemies that must be beaten. This is where the war is won when these real enemies are disarmed and defeated;

Step 4: Implement this reality-based, stress-relieving, efficiency-building, cost-saving and effectiveness-assuring concept called SSQA.

Call before you build! If you have already built, call anyway. Call the SSQA-D

Posted By Felix Amiri
Felix Amiri is the current Food Sector Chair of GCSE-Food & Health Protection

Sham Invasion (Fraud Expansion in the Food Industry)

Does this show what is already a common occurrence, a sign of things to come, or both?

A food business owner, pretending to be a potential customer, attempted to use the GFSI certification status of one my clients as a cover for buying materials from a non-GFSI certified supplier. The materials are intended for sale to a customer that insists on having materials supplied from GFSI qualified sources only.

Since food safety certification documentation has become the basis for doing business in  an industry that has become entrenched in superficiality, what lies ahead? - No pun intended and it's not a joke: Lies are indeed rampant in all sectors of the industry.

I can see how a company, determined to sell to customers who demand GFSI documentation, intentionally buys small quantities of materials from GFSI-qualified suppliers in order to obtain “the documentation”,  then proceeds to buy the same materials from non-GFSI qualified suppliers at a cheaper price and sells the materials with the obtained GFSI documentation to customers who demand GFSI-documentation.

In this era of unbridled superficiality these fraudulent practices should not come as a surprise. It appears confirmed from the reported situation that addictions do lead to fraudulent practices. If you wish and you have not already done so, you may read the “Assumptions and Facts about Certificates” listed in this August 2013 post -

Before becoming broken by the fraudulent practices, breaking the addiction to superficiality would be a wise move for food businesses.

Please feel free to share your observations or thoughts.
Posted By Felix Amiri
Felix Amiri is the current Food Sector Chair of GCSE-Food & Health Protection

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Small Advice for Your Planned Yearly Training

Are you ramping up your yearly training? Make it useful. If you are like me, you believe in customized, effective and useful training.

The Bane of the Generic Training
You are likely opposed to training that merely presents generic information, especially information that is unrelated to real life events in the operations where the trainees are engaged. Generic training does more harm than good in some instances. At the least, it wastes valuable time and gives the false sense of satisfaction that training has been done.  Just because some outside standard says you must provide GMP training to every employee every year, you do not have to provide the same GMP training to all of your employees every year. Unfortunately, outside standard auditors may mark this as a failure during the audits. So, like well controlled robots, many operators provide the same GMP training to every employee every year. As they sign the attendance sheet that will be presented to the outside auditors as evidence of completed training, the employees wonder what the trainers think of them.

Make Training Useful
You have to first establish what the people you are going to train need to know and practice in order to avoid the most frequent undesirable incidents in your operation. This means you must first identify those undesirable incidents. On the other hand, you may want to encourage an increased commitment to what is producing desirable results in your operation but you must first identify what is producing the desirable results. Once you have established either or both of these, you can then build your training content, method of delivery, etc.

Posted By Felix Amiri

Felix Amiri is the current Food Sector Chair of GCSE-Food & Health Protection

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Why We Obey

I listened to the CBC Ideas broadcast on “Why We Obey” and, naturally, my mind went straight to the rules that must be obeyed in my vocation. Many food businesses currently feel they have no choice but to obey the following rules:
  • You shall conduct third party audits to confirm that you are able and committed to implementing your food safety program according to one of the commercialized third party schemes.
  • You shall be certified to the selected third party auditing scheme.
  • You shall conduct re-certification audits every year.
Why do some businesses feel they must obey these rules with the usual rationalization that they cannot do business if they do not obey?

Related Post:
Posted By Felix Amiri
Felix Amiri is the current Food Sector Chair of GCSE-Food & Health Protection

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Free Quick Guide to SFCA Required CFIA Registration-Licensing Process

The Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) may seem like a distant rumble to some people at the moment. You may not even have heard or known anything about this. The regulations are currently being developed and they will be enforced at some point when the reviews and revisions have gone on for some time. For many food operations in Canada, it is no longer a matter of choice.

Every Canadian food business that imports, exports or conducts inter-provincial trade will be subject to mandatory CFIA registration/licensing. Do you know how to go about this process? If not, you should take a look at this free QUICK GUIDE courtesy of It outlines 15 steps towards CFIA registration.