Food safety is important for all companies in the food industry. And they are required to have a food safety management system. There are several documents that are required to set up a proper management system to maintain the quality and freshness of food. Some of the food safety documents include specifications, certificate of analysis, flow chart, and MSDS sheet, just to name a few.
One type of food safety documents are specifications. The purpose of the product specification document is to serve as a guide on all phases of the production process. The document serves as quality standard by the suppliers, manufacturers, and buyers. In the food industry, there are various food safety documents and protocols needed during the production process to ensure high food quality and safety. These include raw material and food product specifications sheets to inform about the ingredients of the product, as well as the conditions during the production process.
A product specification document often includes general information about the product, location, sensory properties, nutritional values, microbiological limits, chemical and physical properties, dispatch and storage methods, labelling, certificates, and manuals.
Certificate of Analysis
Suppliers provide certificate of analysis on specific lots delivered to their customers. The certificate takes into consideration past concerns, compliance to specific specifications, and characteristics that can change over time.
There are raw materials that don’t require a certificate of analysis. These include refined oils and packaging materials, to know whether you need a COA or not, check the requirements of the audit or customer standards.
Keep in mind that a supplier might charge extra for a certificate of analysis. Ask the suppliers about the tests they conduct when you are asking for a COA. It is also important to consider that you might be holding the raw material while waiting for the results of the test. There should already be an action plan in place if the material doesn’t meet your specifications.
A flow chart is a type of food safety plan that is used in food manufacturing. While a flow chart does provide excellent detail on the process, one is required for each item. This can be a challenge for food companies that change their items on a regular basis.
Material Safety Data Sheets or MSDS shows the best way to store and manage chemical substances in a safe manner. It also states what one needs to do if the chemical makes contact with the person’s skin or ingested. MSDS sheet is a vital element of the occupational health and safety requirement of companies within the food industry.
These are just some of the food safety procedures and forms that companies in the food industry need to familiarise themselves with. These documents are important to ensure that the product is of high quality during storage, handling, and processing.