Countries with the best food safety Policies
have realized the importance of nutrition and health for its citizens. Estimates suggest that there is currently enough food being produced in the world to feed every one of the 7 billion people currently in the world. However, most countries over consume food while also wasting large amounts of food, which is why there are approximately 850 million hungry people in the world. Some countries have realized the importance of food and have ensured that their citizens have proper access to healthy food. Here are the top 3 countries and their food safety policies.
Canada is a nation with a population of approximately 32 million. It is considered a world leader in ensuring that food safety policies and quality in agricultural food products are maintained throughout the food continuum. Responsibility is shared by primary producers, processors, transporters, distributors, retailers, restaurants, and even manufacturers of packaging materials and ice. Refrigerated and frozen foods are also subject to detailed regulatory controls. In Canada these regulatory measures are in place at the national level, and fit hand-in-glove with international community requirements where HACCP-based approaches to hygiene have been established. Canadian legislation affecting the cold chain includes the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act, Food and Drugs Act, Meat Inspection Act, Canada Agricultural Products Act and the Fish Inspection Act and their respective regulations.
HACCP is now mandatory in federally inspected meat and poultry processing plants. Prior to the development of HACCP plans under FSEP, establishments are required to have developed, documented and implemented programs to control factors that may not be directly related to manufacturing controls but that support the HACCP plans. The CFIA and the food sector have developed generic models for many commodities including one specific to cold storage facilities and a mandatory Quality Management Program (QMP) for fish and seafood.
The Canadian approach to food safety is complemented by the Canadian Food Safety and Quality Program (CFSQP) headed up by AAFC under the Agricultural Policy Framework (APF). It is a partnership between the federal government, provinces and territories, the Federation of Agriculture, a multitude of food industry trade organizations and the CFIA. This approach requires the programs to be industry-led, national and accessible; commodity-specific; HACCP-based and auditable; consistent, affordable and recognized in Canada; and internationally acceptable.
The population of this modern, food-producing nation is estimated at 298 million in 2006. U.S. federal and state governmental bodies regulate the manufacture, distribution and retailing of chilled (refrigerated) foods. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) monitors the manufacture, import, storage and sale of foods that are required to be in compliance with the relevant U.S. Food Code. The 2005 Code provides guidelines on sanitation and the safe handling of refrigerated and frozen foods. The Code requires that the stored frozen foods be maintained frozen and that potentially hazardous foods shall be maintained at 5°C (41°F) or less; or 7°C (45°F) in existing refrigeration equipment that is not capable of maintaining the food at 5°C (51°F) or less.
Industry has developed voluntary recommended practices for the handling and merchandising of frozen foods. This was necessary in order to ensure frozen food quality for the benefit of the consumer. Some important factors considered are maintaining a temperature of 0°F (-18°C) and rotation of inventory throughout the cold chain to offer best food safety policies.
The Australia-New Zealand food safety policies/standards development system is a cooperative arrangement between Australia, New Zealand and the Australian States and mainland territories. Its mandate is to develop and implement uniform food standards for a combined population of some 24 million. In Australia, Food Standards Australia-New Zealand (formerly Australia New Zealand Food Authority) is charged with the development of food standards that cover the entire food supply chain, from paddock to plate. This includes primary producers through to the manufacturing industry. This organization works in partnership with Australia’s Commonwealth, state and territory governments and the New Zealand government. Responsibility for enforcing and policing domestic food standards rests with the states and territories in Australia and the New Zealand governments.
Industry stakeholders include the Australian Food and Grocery Council, the Australian Supermarket Institute and the Refrigerated Warehouse and Transport Association. In order to exhibit their involvement and interest in delivering safe, top quality chilled and frozen foods to the consumer, they have combined efforts to contribute to this common industry/government goal.