Food safety is a non-negotiable part of life as human health is one of the most important requirements. Food-related illness, sickness, and death not only have a huge cost to individuals and to society but also result in suffering. Food safety covers food production, food processing, food storage, food preparation, and food consumption. At all these stages in the farm-to-fork cycle, there are possibilities for contamination to occur which is due to physical, biological, and chemical contaminants. Adequate attention, controls, and a risk management approach prevent such contaminants that render the food unsafe. Most countries have legal and regulatory requirements to ensure food safety.
The best practices to ensure food safety include a formal systems-based approach, widely available in time-tested food safety standards such as ISO 22000, FSSC, BRC, Global GAP, and IFS. In addition, some schemes have emerged that provide specific assurance to requirements such as Halal, Kosher, Organic, Gluten Free, etc. With heightened awareness stemming from recent high-profile food incidents and recalls, consumers, are demanding an increase in food safety throughout the supply chain. Consumers expect to be assured of the food quality and hence rely on independent certification to various schemes. Those businesses that are certified to a food safety standard, or inspected to a particular food safety scheme will gain the trust of the consumers and enjoy a competitive advantage.