MANUFACTURERS IN the food industry are being encouraged to implement a food safety management system (FSMS) in their operations to ensure customer safety.
The FSMS is a controlled process for managing food safety to ensure that all food that is produced is up to quality standards and safe to consume.
Agro-industry cluster supervisor at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) Incubator and Resource Centre, Treanna Lindo, said that producing top-quality goods and services is of paramount importance to any business, a huge part of which is safety.
This, she said, can be achieved by controlling food-safety hazards throughout the manufacturing process.
“Safety in the food-processing industry means implementing quality assurance protocols that include good manufacturing practices in the production process to ensure the end product is safe, wholesome, and meets the highest quality standards,” she added.
Lindo pointed out that the JBDC has a technical services team that helps businesses, especially those operating micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, to implement the system in their operations.
She pointed out that a major benefit of having the system in place is that it safeguards consumer health.
“This system gives customers the assurance that their food is always safe as contaminated or mishandled food products can lead to food-borne illnesses, causing serious health issues,” Lindo said.
Another benefit of having this system is that it provides assurance to regulatory bodies that one’s business is compliant.
“The Jamaican food industry is heavily regulated by local and international standards to ensure that food products meet specific safety standards. Non-compliance with these regulations can result in hefty fines, product recalls, and even closure of the business,” Lindo acknowledged.
Additionally, she shared that an FSMS is of great value to those businesses looking to tap into international markets as it “offers the importers guarantee that the food product they are receiving was produced at a high standard and is essentially safe for consumers”.
It also helps to improve productivity and efficiency of teamwork between employees as it streamlines operations and reduces the likelihood of errors, accidents, and product recalls.