Who monitors the quality and safety of foods?
During the current pandemic, safety measures have never before been this widely adopted. Of course, in the food industry, food safety has been a concern for a very long time, one shared by all participants in the food supply chain, from production to processing, warehousing and distribution all the way through to preparation.
It’s also important to note that the Canada Food Inspection Agency is taking action to preserve the integrity of Canada's food safety system, while safeguarding its animal and plant resource base.
All stakeholders in the food supply chain have a role to play to ensure that food is safe and to limit the risk of contamination. In addition to complying with strict regulations, they need to identify those sectors where potential risks are highest and monitor these critical control points. Business generally adhere to the HACCP system (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) to prevent problems related to food safety.
Points for monitoring
- Proper hygiene practices
- Cleaning and sanitizing
- Definition of food processing zones
- Supplier controls
- Warehousing, distribution and transport
- Personal hygiene and employee work skills
- Mastery of procedures
Food safety is at the centre of Olymel’s priorities. We want to guarantee our customers at home and abroad that all our products can be consumed with complete confidence. Relying on a process of continuous improvement and the dedication of our staff, we employ industry best practices at every step of the manufacturing process. Our goal is to comply with internationally recognized food safety and quality standards and foster a thriving corporate culture in this area.
High management commitment
The commitment to food safety and product quality made by our president, Mr. Réjean Nadeau, is the first step towards the establishment of a culture of food safety.
«Every product that comes out of Olymel’s facilities, whether our own brands or those of our customers, meets the highest standards of food safety and quality in the world.»
GFSI Certification and HACCP
Since 2012, all of our processing plants in Canada have been certified to the highest food quality and safety standards (Safe Quality Food or BRC). These programs, recognized under the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), assure our customers that our food products are produced, processed, prepared and handled in accordance with the HACCP system and all regulatory requirements, including rigorous and documented control of food safety at every stage of production.
In addition, Olymel has implemented a food safety and certification program (SAPHYR) for staff at our plants and corporate teams. The 11 training modules cover subjects like risk evaluation, equipment and facility hygiene design, cleaning and sanitizing, cooking, cooling and freezing, regulation and labeling.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Olymel has implemented a series of additional measures to support the efforts of its staff, including:
- The hiring of two medical experts to advise the company on the COVID-19 situation and the application of public health authority directives
- As of March 6, the distribution of COVID-19 bulletins as well as an information guide
- The development and implementation of action plans to optimize safety in common areas in our establishments and modify break and lunch schedules in order to facilitate social distancing
- The adoption of additional disinfection measures for common areas such as locker rooms, bathrooms, cafeterias and transportation shuttles
- A reorganization of work areas including installation of physical barriers and the addition of personal protective equipment for our employees
- Implementation of control measures at facility entrances to monitor the health of our workers.
Olymel continues on its mission to feed the world… while protecting it.
In summary, it’s important to keep in mind that there is absolutely no evidence that food is a medium for transmission of the virus.
The CFIA also states on its site the following concerning COVID-19:
COVID-19 transmission through food
- Scientists and food safety authorities around the world are closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19.
- There is no evidence to suggest that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus.
- At this time, there have been no reported cases of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19.
Now more than ever in this time of crisis, the Olymel Food Service team is here for you. If you have questions or need product information, do not hesitate to contact us by phone or email.