> New Report: Transportation is a Crucial Aspect of Food Hygiene - The Food Safety Company New Report: Transportation is a Crucial Aspect of Food Hygiene - The Food Safety Company
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    Monday, 14 November 2016

    New Report: Transportation is a Crucial Aspect of Food Hygiene

    A new report claims that food transportation is just as important to the quality, hygiene and safety of food as are in-house operations. That’s according to Lockton, the world’s ninth largest insurance broker, which has expertise in risk management and operates globally in 17 countries. The report comes at the same time as manufacturers in the US are hoping to get their practices up-to-scratch and in-line with the Food Safety Modernization Act. It’s worth considering, then, what can be done by manufacturers to ensure their distributors are acting in accordance with their own high standards of food quality.

    1) Choosing the Right Distributor

    It may sound obvious, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that as a manufacturer, you have power to affect the quality of your distributor from the very beginning, by choosing the right one. It can’t be stressed enough that research always pays dividends; so if your aim is to uphold the highest standards of food hygiene and quality, choosing a distributor renowned for such traits is your best bet. It will help you avoid the headache of having a contract tying you in to working with a distributor which is ultimately scuppering your efforts at food safety and making your company look bad.

    2) Hammer Out New Plans with Existing Distributors

    If you feel your distributor should be doing a better job in a certain area, there’s nothing to stop you trying to improve their performance. Lockton’s senior loss consultant, Mark Oldham, claims an effective approach would be for manufacturers and distributors to standardise their policies, procedures and training; which, he claims, ‘expands on risk-based controls to decrease the likelihood of food becoming unsafe while in transit.’

    3) Find a New Distributor

    It’s worth remembering that, if your distributor is under-performing and you feel they may be acting illegally or in a manner which is in breach of your contract, you have rights as their customer! If this means you need to find a new distributor in order to prevent your existing service provider bringing your company down, then it may be worth considering and exploring your legal options. The cost of making a complaint may well be less than those you might incur from keeping on going with unsatisfactory standards.

    The new regulations from which the Lockton report has emerged apply mainly to big manufacturers and are only enforced in the US; although, ‘whereas  most companies must be in compliance by April 2017’, some smaller businesses have until April 2018 to comply. Still, whether or not the context of the report is directly relevant to your business or indeed your area of operations, it is worth remembering: the Lockton report asserts that food safety depends just as much on the quality of distribution as it does upon your own in-house operations. It is therefore worth considering whether you as a manufacturer afford the same level of concern to both sides of your supply chain. If distribution standards are a feature which tend to slip by the wayside in your business, reforms might well be a necessary step. 

    James Stannard

    James has a Bachelor’s degree in History and wrote his dissertation on beef and protest. His heroes list ranges from Adele to Noam Chomsky: inspirations he’ll be invoking next year when he begins a Master’s degree in London.
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