Michel Bayoud, founder and CEO of Boecker World Holding explains how small and medium sized F&B businesses can achieve food safety accreditation without HACCP and ISO certificates.
Food Safety management systems (FSMS) provide a pre-emptive approach for identifying, preventing and reducing foodborne hazards, thereby minimising the risk of food poisoning and making food safe for consumption.
However, small and medium sized food establishments (SMFEs) face diverse and very complex challenges in adopting food safety management systems, often due to a lack of reliable resources and technical expertise, as well as cultural and language discrepancies among food handlers.
Many small and medium sized food businesses are unable to implement food safety standards such as HACCP or the ISO 22000 because of their more complex specifications for buildings and premises, which are often not applicable to them.
Moreover, in certain cases, part of the food establishment or organisation may be FSMS compliant while other branches have not implemented the correct systems (i.e. central kitchen and outlet).
Nevertheless, SMFEs do need to prepare safe-to-consume food and cater to clients who are not only quality oriented, but also aware of food safety risks. A well-designed FSMS with appropriate control measures assists food establishments in complying with food hygiene regulations and ensuring that food prepared for sale is germ-free and safe for consumers.
One solution for small and medium sized businesses is Boecker’s Q-Platinum Award (QPA) for international food safety standards, which complies with local regulations and has been approved by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) in the UK.
The QPA has been tailored to SMFEs as a simple yet efficient food safety management system that monitors practices, from receiving raw materials to delivering end products. It provides valuable information that confirms to owners that hygiene policies, SOPs and best practices are being properly implemented.
Covering year-round, regular audits to ensure and maintain the proper implementation of food safety, the QPA™ includes training for food handlers at all levels, regular management review meetings, mystery shopper audits, continuous supervision and intensive follow-up on improvements.
Today, the Boecker QPA has more than 500 awarded establishments in the Middle East and is a widespread certification system designed for SMFEs that do not fall into the HACCP and ISO 22000 scope of work.
It enables smaller businesses to cater with confidence and safeguards their growth and prosperity while allowing scalability.
About the author:
Michel Bayoud is the founder and CEO of Boecker World Holding, the mother company of Boecker group of companies across the Middle East. He is also an associate to the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, UK and an advisory board member of the newly formed Institute of Food Safety Integrity and Protection (TiFSiP), UK. Bayoud has expanded Boecker from Lebanon, where it was launched in 1994, to Jordan, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, providing services in pest management, food safety and professional disinfecting.