Global Food Safety Summit - Rome 2011

Here we are attending the Global Food Safety Summit in the historic city of Roma. This year, there are about 120 attendees from all over Europe and the US - a 40% increase in delegates from 2010. Sparta Systems presented in one of the tracks, speaking to the delegates on why having a computer based solution to manage food safety makes compliance easy and business run more efficiently. It was received positively as this year's theme is centered on food safety incident avoidance and the management of supply chain. This was obviously due to the number of global food safety incidents during the past year. Several multinational companies presented on approaches to risk based assessments, standardized global supplier audits and short-medium-long term strategies in place to manage the supply chain and supplier relationships. All spoke of the global nature of the supply chain, risk based assessment of manufacturing processes and the need for training and quality management at various levels. Without a doubt, all of these companies will be subject to FSMA and EFSA regulations as they all have business interests in the US and EU markets.

One of the main areas of debate has been how best to define procedures, SOPs and management criteria to be compliant under various requirements/specifications in Europe such as BRC, ISO 22000, GFSI, FSMA, etc. They are hoping that there will be harmonized requirements in the future.

Other topics of discussion during these two days have been:

- Developing a culture of food safety in the workforce

- Sustainable performance of the supply chain

- Integrity and traceability throughout the supply chain

- Acceptable levels of allergens

- Best practices in risk assessment, product recall and crisis management

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