Quality Assurance

Fresh produce growers and packers need to implement Quality Assurance (QA) systems as Businesses handling food are required to ensure they only accept uncontaminated produce. Retailers such as Woolworths, Coles and Metcash/IGA have largely met the requirements with more than 90 percent of direct supplying packers and wholesalers certified to an acceptable system.

Apart from meeting legal and/or customer requirements, QA systems also reduce waste, downtime, rejects and repacking. The cost of implementing and maintaining the system can be easily justified if just one problem is avoided each year.

Food Safety and Quality Assurance
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There are a range of QA systems including:

Approved Supplier Programs developed by wholesale, food service or processor customers to address specific food safety and quality hazards.

Freshcare is an externally audited Code of Practice based on a generic HACCP Plan rather than requiring a HACCP Plan for each business. A prescriptive approach designed for growers who supply packers, wholesalers and processors. Freshcare is being sought by many wholesalers and is owned, managed and endorsed by most of the major peak industry associations.

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) An internationally recognised preventative approach to managing food safety hazards, it is auditable in its own right and forms the basis of a number of other codes. HACCP requires an analysis of all production processes (planting, pest management, harvest, storage, packing, etc) to identify food safety hazards (chemical, microbiological and physical contaminants). This is followed by identification of critical points in the processes to determine where and how hazards will be controlled.

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