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Essential Components of Effective National Food Control System

Essential Components of Effective National Food Control System
Essential Components of Effective National Food Control System

The main goal of any national food control system (NFCS) is to protect public health from unsanitary, dangerous, harmful, mislabeled, or adulterated food.

As well as to contribute to economic development by providing a sound regulatory framework for domestic and international food trade.

The scope of the NFCS applies the entire supply chain covering all food produced, processed, and placed on the market within the country, including imported food.

Considering the growing concerns of food safety in developing countries, it is the basis to review the effectiveness of their food control systems.

Reference to the guidelines of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) that following are the components and priorities of the food control system.

1. Harmonized Food Law and Regulations

To create harmony among national administrations, it is necessary to establish a harmonized food legislative framework based on

  • Codex standards
  • Scientific advice based on risk assessment
  • Food consumption patterns
  • Socio-economic factors
  • Supply chain challenges
  • Best food safety practices

The development of relevant and applicable food laws and regulations are a significant component of the recent food control system which meets the requirements of the SPS and trade countries.  

2. Central Food Control Management

An effective policy structure and operational structure of legislation need to be developed at the federal level.

This structure would include the establishment of management functions and administrative structures with clearly defined responsibilities for issues such as:

  • Developing emergency response procedures
  • Setting standards and regulations
  • Development and implementation of an integrated food control strategy
  • Securing funds and allocating resources
  • Participation in international activities related to food control
  • Conducting risk analysis
Central Food Control Management

3. Efficient and Honest Inspection/ Enforcement Structure

The enforcement and administration of food laws require a well-educated, skilled, active, trained, and honest food inspection service respect to trade, everyday contact with the food industry and often the public.

The authenticity, integrity and reputation of food control systems largely depend on their integrity and the skill of food inspection officers.

Who involved in the inspection of premises and procedures to comply with hygiene and other requirements of standards and regulations.

The competencies of food inspectors are a prerequisite for an effective food control system given the

  • Complexity of food systems
  • Food laws and regulations
  • Powers and authorities
  • Inspection/sampling techniques
  • Food safety management systems
Efficient and Honest Inspection/ Enforcement Structure

4. Laboratory/ Monitoring Services

The establishment of laboratories requires a significant amount of capital investment and careful planning is required to achieve optimal results because it is very expensive to maintain and operate.

Food Control Management should set standards for food control laboratories and monitor their work.

 It is important to establish effective links between the public health system and food control agencies including microbiologists and epidemiologist.

Furthermore, food transfer news can be interconnected to food checking data and take the lead to applicable risk-based food control policies.

This information includes identification and detection of the causes of food-borne illness, identification of hazardous foods, identification of vulnerable populations, the development of early warning systems for epidemics and food contamination and annual trends.

Laboratory/ Monitoring Services

5. Information, Education, Communication and Training

Awareness and training of stakeholders on food control systems from agriculture to the consumer level is very important, which serves a key preventive function.

Based on the identification of needs, activities include

  • Providing balanced real-world information to consumers
  • Training programs and competencies for the workforce in the industry
  • Farmers
  • Officials of bodies and laboratories
  • Workers in the food
  • Agricultural and health sectors
Information, Education, Communication and Training

Conclusion

The food control system deals with all food produced, processed and marketed within the country.

The overall objective of any national food control system (NFCS) is the safeguard of public health from unsanitary, dangerous, harmful, mislabeled, or adulterated food

As well as to contribute to economic development by providing a sound regulatory framework for domestic and international food trade.

Written By  Sagar Mahmood Khan (Head of QA Compliance Center MCC Global Quality Assurance Management, METRO AG, Germany) 

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