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Food Control, Vol. 9, No. 2-3, pp.

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PAPER

Food safety and total quality


management*
A.W. Barendsz
Food safety is a growing global concern not only because of its continuing
importance forpublic health but also because of its impact on international trade.
The application of total quality management (TQM) provides the best possible
care by continuously improving products and services to meet or possibly exceed
the needs and expectations of the customer Designing a TQM system requires a
profound knowledge of the agro-food industry, while implementation ideally
requires an integrated approach involving all parties in the agro-food chain. An
effective h!ACCP programme requires equally competent technologies to determine and monitor each critical point. The role of hazard characterization and
risk assessment of foods cannot easily be over-emphasized. An increasing number
of companies are striving for a certificate, to realize both external benefits as part
of their market strategy and internal benefits to open up a way to enormous
improvements and efficiency. This paper reviews recent developments in HACCP
certification, the standardization of risk assessment, the necessity of chain forrnation in the agro-food sector and the improvement of global communication.
0 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved
Keywords: HACCP;

certification;

risk assessment; agro-food chain

INTRODUCTION

HACCP, A PART OF THE TQM SYSTEM

The title Food Safety and Total Quality Management can easily lead to many potential pitfalls. The
terms Food Safety and (Total) Quality Management refer to more than 23000 entries in the Food
and Human Nutrition and Food Science and Technology Abstracts databases. Subjects which are highlighted are: HACCP certification, risk assessment,
formation of agro-food chains and communication.
These subjects will receive much attention over the
next few years. However, it must be borne in mind
that subjects such as integration of HACCP into IS0
9000, re-engineering
and product development are
equally important in having a positive leverage effect
on a companys performance.

As a consequence of some recent well-known foodborne disease outbreaks, food safety is a growing
global concern, not only for its continuing importance
to public health, but also because of its impact on
international
trade. Increasingly, export and home
markets are demanding products of consistent high
quality. With the demand for safer foods and with the
enactment of new agreements through the World
Trade Organization (GATT), new approaches such as
HACCP, IS0 and TQM have attracted widespread
support
particularly
in industrialized
countries
(Burros, 1997).

*Due to circumstances beyond the publishers control this


paper appears in print without author corrections.
Advisor Quality Management
and Certification,
TN0
Nutrition
and Food Research
Institute,
Zeist, The
Netherlands.

. . . President Clintons 1998 budget proposes $43


million to be spent on a programme to detect
outbreaks of food-borne illnesses before they
become
widespread
and to improve
food
safety......
About $12 million will be used to
increase the number of food safety surveillance
centres. More than $22 million will go to the

Food Control 1998 Volume 9 Number 2-3

163

Food safety and total quality management: A.W. Barendsz

FDA to pay for its seafood safety inspection


additional
research
and
programme
and
development. The USDA will get $9 million to
help enforce new regulations that require microbiological inspection of meat and poultry for
harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonells . . . . . . The regulations that go into effect
require companies to adopt a system known as
HACCP
(Hazard
Analysis Critical Control
Point) which allows them to determine where
hazards are likely to occur, to take corrective
actions and to verify that they do work.. .
Simultaneously, the food industry places increasing
emphasis on product innovation as a mechanism to
sustain consumer interest and develop market growth
and market share. Further, TQM techniques such as
employee training and empowerment,
data-based
team
decision-making
processes,
bench-marking
operations against the best competitor companies and
partnership
with suppliers who actively embrace
TQM, have demonstrated
an ability to significantly
increase productivity and to improve profitability.
Here, TQM is limited to agro-food businesses that
want to achieve increased profit through quality
management. The application of TQM provides the
best possible care through continuously improving
products and services to meet, or possibly exceed, the
needs and expectations of the customer. Established
techniques and processes are commonly used to assist
the manager in continuously evaluating quality trends
and to identify improvement
opportunities.
To
achieve the required standards, quality management
throughout all stages of the agro-food chain is very
important. Therefore, the policy of food companies
will increasingly be directed towards food safety,
ensured
by effective
quality management.
This
strategy will be reflected in their business plans. In
order
to enable
an effective
communication
throughout the company it is important at this point
to discuss the various perceptions of quality and why
they must be understood before business strategies
can be developed.
Quality has been defined in several ways:

Table 1 Some

stated

and

implied

needs

(expectations)

of

the

c*nsumer
Good for health
No (acute) danger
Not harmful in the long run
Delivery
At the right time
The right quantity
No uncertainty
about spoilage
Product
The right product
Type, species
Properties
Composition
No doubt about
The composition
or
Contents (fairness)
Packaging
In the right packaging
Good condition
Proper information
Clean
Easy to use
To open
To pour
To recycle
Price
A correct invoice
Good with respect to
Flavour, taste
Appearance
Consistency
The possibility to raise complaints

features and characteristics


this summary clearly
demonstrates
that quality has several dimensions.
These dimensions must be differentiated for further
discussions.
Four dimensions can be recognized, namely

Quality is the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its
ability to satisfy stated or implied needs. (IS0
8402-1994)

(1) Operational quality: Do we reach our goals as a


company? In this dimension the quality costs are
the primary criteria to be considered.
(2) Relational quality: Are we able to make friends
and remain so? The satisfaction of customers and
fellow workers are of prime importance.
(3) Functional quality: Do we supply products and
services as wanted by our customers and consumers? The functional properties of the product
and service are the interesting
performance
criteria.
(4) Professional
quality:
What
is the quality,
including the safety of our food products in the
opinion of experts ? Professional quality criteria
such as sensoric characteristics, water activity,
pH, composition, etc. are of prime importance.

Although Jurans definition is the most concise, the


official IS0 definition offers more for further study.
What are the stated and implied needs of both the
customers and the consumers with respect to food?
In Table I some stated and implied needs or expectations of the consumer are presented. Without any
doubt, food safety (good for health), spoilage,
composition and weight (or volume) are the most
important characteristics of quality (van den Berg,
1993). Bearing in mind Quality, being the totality of

Mandatory
integration
of HACCP
into
a
companys structure requires that the quality management system is designed accordingly, in order to
ensure that the regulatory perspectives are addressed
in addition to the companys quality perspectives.
Examining the quality dimensions sheds light on the
relationship between the management levels in the
organization and various quality management systems
such as HACCP, IS0 and TQM. A quality management system must be designed accordingly (Barendsz,

Quality is fitness for use (Juran).

164

Food Control 1998 Volume 9 Number 2-3

Food safety and total quality management: A.W. Barendsz

Table 2 The relation


between
TQM,
IS0 9000 and HACCP
quality dimension organization
level quality management
system

Quality
dimension

Organization
level

Operational quality
Realization of policy goals

Policy
Strategy
Direction
Management
Organization
F, L, Q-management
Operations
51S
Processes
Products
People
Premises
Procedures

Relational quality
Ability to make/keep

friends

Functional quality
Customer.
customer needs

Quality
management
system

TQM
Leadership
Satisfaction
IS0
Responsibility
Procedures
HACCP
Instructions
Specifications
Report forms

Professional quality
The opinion of the expert

1996). Good manufacturing


process (GMP) cannot
be used as the basis for a quality management system.
GMP represents a set of barely standardized guidelines for the safe production of food stuffs. However,
GMP can be very effective when control measures
are considered
by the HACCP team (Table 2).
Furthermore,
one must realize that quality management is only one part of a companys management
system. Integration
of quality with with financial
management and logistics must also be possible.
Having established the above relationship one can
concentrate on the development and implementation
of a HACCP system. In view of the TQM concept
such a HACCP system must be compatible with the
IS0 9000 series as this is the global quality standard.
For this reason it is recommended that the strong
points of HACCP (the systematic and professional
approach) are combined with appropriate IS0 9000
standards and the expertise of food technology
combined with that of the industrial organization
where it is required (Hathaway, 1995; Barendsz,
as
1996). For example, the HACCP-principles,
proposed by the Codex Alimentarius,
lack a few
organizational elements needed to make HACCP a
certifiable quality (food safety) management system.
The standards in the IS0 9000 series are predominantly directed at the standardization of the industrial organization. Their weak point is their scant
attention to the professional quality dimension.
In other words, when a company implements a
HACCP quality management
system and further
efforts with respect to TQM are made, it is advisable
that all efforts in the HACCP venture are directed
towards realizing a HACCP process control plan
which satisfies the format requirements of an IS0
quality plan. Furthermore,
ventures with respect to
product quality, occupational
hygiene or environmental control can be performed likewise.
The stages completed by a company during the
development,
implementation
and maintenance
of
their HACCP quality system are:

Taking stock of existing knowledge with respect


to HACCP and the safety of their products;
Analysis of actual and potential hazards and an
assessment of prevailing risks;
Assurance by validation of the processing steps
and monitoring at the critical control points;
Documentation,
a complete
and
consistent
coverage of the HACCP system as it is intended to
be by the companys quality policy;
Verification, a procedure to verify whether the
HACCP system functions as intended and to
develop new initiatives for quality improvement.
Each phase is characterized by specific activities
which often require external assistance. These needs
depend upon the development phase and knowledge
status of the food company. For example, one can
distinguish:
A need for education, instruction, in-company
training and sometimes even supervision;
A need for advice with respect to hazard analysis
and risk assessment, quantisation of standards and
critical limits in view of legislative and customers
requirements, interpretation of measured data and
validation of the production processes;
A need for tools to automate the cumbersome
management of documents such as specifications,
instructions, procedures and report forms and a
need for tools to integrate quality data with other
management and information systems;
The need for a systematic approach to audit and
verification of the HACCP system (when are we
ready?) and HACCP certification (how do we tell
it our clients?).
An increasing number of companies are striving
for a certificate, to realize both external benefits as
part of their market strategy and internal benefits to
open up a way to enormous improvements
and
efficiency.

HACCP

CERTIFICATION

The risk of disrupting domestic and export markets


because of food safety issues is considerable. The
emergence
of international
standards
for food
production and processing will enable commercial
and contractual
arrangements
to minimize the
frequency of disruptive food safety incidents. In the
Netherlands, a further step has been taken. In May
1996, criteria and rules were formalized which are to
be obeyed when an operational HACCP system is to
be certified. This could be one of the newly emerging
standards.
The present situation can be described as follows,
Food companies, like any other industries, want to
commercialize their investments. The same holds true
when they have invested in the development, implementation and maintenance of a HACCP system.
Such an investment can be commercialized in several

Food Control 1998 Volume 9 Number 2-3

165

Food safety and total quality management: A.W. Barendsz

ways. For instance, externally as a marketing tool


(how do we tell it to our clients and the inspection
agencies?) and internally by reducing the number of
audits. Therefore, many companies have approached
TN0 requesting the development
of an official
HACCP Certificate.
The following initiative was taken by TN0 and
seven other certifying bodies. It must be remarked
that these seven certifying bodies are all accredited by
the Netherlands Council for Accreditation (RvA) to
execute audits for system certification in the agrofood industry. Thus, they meet the requirements
described in the document IS0 45012.
The seven certifying bodies agreed to form one
Central Board of HACCP Experts (Figure I). All
socio-economically involved parties were invited and
agreed to become a member of this board. The board
currently consists of an independent chairman, secretary and HACCP expert, three experienced auditors
from the certifying bodies, five representatives
of
several associations and two representatives
of the
main inspection agencies in the Netherlands (Central
Board of HACCP Experts, 1996).
At the beginning of the discussions three main
principles were directly agreed upon, being:
(1) HACCP
certification
by third parties is a
complete voluntary action at the request of the
food company; they want to have their efforts
tested and to obtain a trustworthy certificate indicating that their quality management
system
matches the due diligence principle of the Food
and Drug Act.
(2) For the time being, the HACCP and the IS0
9000 system certificates are to be regarded as

separate entities. In due time one standard may


emerge. For the time being, companies must
have the choice either to go for a HACCP certificate, a IS0 certificate or both.
(3) Reference documents for the criteria for HACCP
certification are:
Codex Alimentarius,
Alinorm 93/13, Guidelines for the Application
of the HACCP System,
Alinorm 97/13, Objectives of the General
Principles of Food Hygiene,
EU Council directive 93/43/EEC, On the
hygiene of foodstuffs,
The Dutch Food and Drug Act, as renewed on
14 December 1995.
Further
discussions in the Central Board of
HACCP Experts led to a scheme of regulations for
HACCP Certification, which was underwritten by the
seven certifying bodies.
The criteria for the certification procedure cover
aspects such as:
l

The contracts between the certifying bodies, the


National
Council for Accreditation
and the
Central Board of HACCP Experts;
l Contract conditions between the certifying bodies
and their clients, including agreements
with
respect to length of the contract, confidentiality,
reports, etc.;
l A practical subdivision of the food industry into
branches in order to ensure that the specific
expertise and abilities of the HACCP auditor
match the specific problems to be encountered in
the various branches. This is the quintessence of

CENTRAL BOARD OF HACCP EXPERTS


REGULATIONS AND AGREEMENTS
CRITERIA FOR HACCP AUDITORS
(INCLUDING DISTINCTION OF SPECIFIC BRANCHES)
CRITERIA FOR TESTING AN OPERATIONAL HACCP SYSTEM

LOGOS OF THE SEVEN CERTIFYING BODIES

Figure 1 Central Board of HACCP


Experts Regulations
and Agreements
Criteria for HACCP
branches) criteria for testing an operational HACCP system logos of the seven certifying bodies.

166

Food Control 1996 Volume 9 Number 2-3

Auditors

(including

distinction

of specific

Food safety and total quality management: A.W. Barendsz

the proposed approach for a trustworthy


tion of operational HACCP systems.

certifica-

Strict requirements are formulated with respect to


the expertise and abilities to be matched by the
HACCP auditor. It is essential that the HACCP
auditor has a good view of both the operational
aspects of a quality management system (consistency,
effectiveness, etc.) and the food safety aspects. The
HACCP auditor shall have proven expertise in the
areas of system certification and the food products
involved, processes and relevant legislation. This
latter ability requires at least a BSc-level qualification
in food technology, 4 years experience in the food
industry and 2 years experience in a quality assurance function. If the certifying body so decides, the
HACCP auditor can in fact be an audit team, namely
a combination of a lead assessor and a food professional to examine whether all food safety aspects are
properly dealt with.
To the above-stated general knowledge of the food
branch, specific knowledge with respect to HACCP is
added. The criteria for testing an operational
HACCP system are well known.
The Codex principles for HACCP form the basis
for these certification criteria. However, in order for
HACCP to be more than a food safety procedure,
namely a quality (food safety) management system, a
few additional
elements
from the IS0 quality
standard are used:
General information with respect to the company,
specifically describing which products are processed and at what location;
A management responsibility paragraph;
Corrective actions formulated in such a way that, if
required, a recall procedure will be triggered;
A verification procedure
that verifies both the
intended functioning of the quality management
system and the actuality of all food safety aspects.
The heart of HACCP certification remains the
audit of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point
year the
paragraphs.
During this experimental
.

tlealth nsk assessment


. Hazard identification
. Hazard assessment
. Exposure assessement
. Risk assessment

fi

scheme for HACCP certification


given above is
continuously
up-dated.
Discussions
between
the
HACCP auditors of the various participating certifying bodies are aimed at harmonizing the width and
depth of the HACCP audits. Special attention is
requested with respect to the determination whether
an (un)identified risk must be treated as a CCP, can
be treated as an AP (Point of Attention) or can be
totally ignored. Risk assessment procedures
are
required to harmonize discussions of this kind.

RISK ASSESSMENT
Because analytical methods have improved dramatically over time, the zero risk approach has become
unrealistic. Risk assessment procedures are required.
In risk assessment the following simplified formula is
often used.
RISK = PROBABILITY

* EFFECT

The effect, the damage caused, is often expressed


in terms of personal injury, number of victims, etc.
This has led to the accepted use of health risk as a
measure for expressing the risk of unsafe food. Many
publications are devoted to health risk assessment
(Figure 2).

The health risk procedures applied to assess the


risks associated with chemicals and other substances
in foods are mostly composed of four steps (BairdParker, 1995; Notermans and Jouve, 1995):
Hazard identification: A qualitative indication that
a substance may adversely affect human health;
Hazard assessment: A qualitative and quantitative
evaluation of the adverse affects;
Exposure assessment: A qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the exposure to a substance
likely to occur;
Health risk assessment: integration of above steps
into a quantitative
estimate
(probability)
of
adverse
affects likely to occur in a given
population.
Producers nstc assessment
* Hazard idendification
(Probability of occurence)
* Validation of prev. measures
Probability of failure

actueal risk
(no measures)

Acceptable risk

Figure 2 Health risk vs. producers risk.

Food Control 1998 Volume 9 Number 2-3

167

Food safety and total quality management: A.W. Barendsz

In the literature various difficulties have been


described that will be encountered
when precise
quantitative relationships (dose-response
curves) are
to be determined between a particular concentration
of a micro-organism or other contaminant, the probability of infection in individuals or a specific risk
group of the population, and the severity of the
disease.
It can hardly be expected that a HACCP team can
generate such information. Acceptable risk standards
(critical limits) are formulated as part of (worldwide)
health risk programmes by governmental and industrial agencies based on toxicological data and socioeconomic acceptance data. The acceptable standards
(critical limits) are expressed as concentrations or as
numbers per gram.
The HACCP team must therefore
be able to
demonstrate the safety of its products based on its
ability to meet these standards (critical limits) using
an effective quality management system. This system
is based on information regarding the frequency of
occurrence of hazards and the probability of failure
of their validated control measures (raw material
specifications, process control, hygienic provisions,
educational programmes, QA measures, etc).
A TQM-driven company will want to know:
the residual risk, being the actual risk under
standard production circumstances, in relation to
the acceptable risk and;
0 the calculated risk, including the financial consequences, being the risk in a situation when the
standards and critical limits are not met due to the
failure of control and assurance measures.
0

Based on the FMEA (Failure Mode Effect


Analysis) technique, a method from which HACCP
was derived, the producers risk can be assessed by
calculating
the so-called Risk Priority
Number
(RPN). This type of risk assessment, which is directed
towards the estimation of the producers risk, offers a
similar approach to that commonly used for the
assessment of risks in occupational health, nuclear
reactor safety, etc.
As an example, Table 3 presents part of an
HACCP analysis, namely a risk-ranking procedure for
lhble 3

each hazard identified during the production of a


vegetable salad. In this case the nitrate content and
the presence of micro-organisms
are identified as
hazards for the lettuce.The HACCP team values the
following risk parameters on a scale of l-10: the
severity of the hazard (E), the probality of occurrence
(F) and the probability that the existing control and
QA measures will fail (FPM). The RPN can be
calculated
by simply
multiplying
these
risk
parameters.
In the Netherlands the nitrate content of lettuce is
determined before the lettuce is offered for sale at
auction. That is why the frequency is valued at a
lower level. The salad-producing company has not
taken any control measure with respect to the nitrate
content. The hazard of micro-organisms (RPN = 720)
is reduced considerably by various control measures:
cleaning, washing, hygiene throughout the company
and chilling wherever possible.
Let us consider
the washing step. Intensive
washing reduces the microbial risk considerably. The
intensity of washing and the replenishment of water
comply with expectations.
However, the HACCP
team discovers that the temperature of the washing
water may rise to 20C in summer. This raises the
RPN to 280.
On the basis of the producers risk presented in
this way the companys management decided to take
two steps:
Equipment was installed to lower the temperature
of the washing water to below 7C;
0 The management
sought a supplier of letuce who
. . . has identified any step in their activities which
is critical to ensure food safety and to ensure that
adequate safety procedures are identified, implemented, maintained and reviewed on the basis of
the HACCP principles. .

One may conclude that HACCP is the natural link


for the formation of agro-food chains.
AGRO-FOOD

CHAINS

Food safety issues are triggered


including:

by various hazards,

Risk priority numbers for a vegetable salad


Risk ranking

sten

Hazards

Control measures

Lettuce

Presence of:
Nitrate
Micro-organisms
Residual contamination
Insufficient removal
Contamination water
Growth micro-organisms
Carborundum
Recontamination
Growth micro-organisms

> none
> clean, wash, hygiene, chill
> wash, hygiene, chill
intensity (mechanical property)
renew (instruction)
> temperature water
> prescrape (instruction)
hygiene
> temperature control

Clean
Wash
Scrape
Chill

FPM

RPN

4
9
5
3
3
5
2
4
2

10
10

280
720
320
12
48
280
18
128
32

8
8
:
i(l)
8
8

!
2
3
4
2

E = Effect (severity); FCM = failure of control measures; F = frequency (probability to occur); RPN = risk priority number.

166

Food Control 1998 Volume 9 Number 2-3

Food safety and total quality management:

Microbiological

hazards

(E. coli, Carnpylohacter,

Salmonella, Listeria, etc.);

Nutritional
hazards (fat consumption,
obesity
levels);
0 Environmental
hazards (pesticides, heavy metals,
nitrates, etc.);
0 Natural hazards (chemicals naturally occurring in
foods (ingredients); and
0 Food additives.
0

Microbiological

contamination
is often perceived
to human health from food,
expressed in terms of injuries, infections, sickness,
deaths and economic
loss. However, sometimes
chemical residues are perceived to be the main health
risk, especially when long-term effects are considered.
When compared in terms of producers risk it must
be realized that microbiological contamination (and
physical contaminants) can be effectively controlled
by many food processing operations. However, it is
hardly possible to formulate
an effective control
system for chemical contamination.
During the development
of HACCP systems
various chemical hazards will be identified by the
examples
are
HACCP
team. Several common
presented in Table 4. Grains may contain highly toxic,
heat stable mycotoxins as a result of earlier microbiological contamination
either in the field or during
storage. Owing to improper handling (gilling) aboard
ship, fish may be needlessly contaminated with microorganisms and enzymes causing the formation of
biogenic amines.
The question is, at which process step should these
hazards be controlled? Monitoring of raw materials
for a variety of probable chemicals is a cumbersome
and costly activity. Obviously, these chemical CCPs
can only be controlled effectively at source, i.e. at the
origin of the hazard. This requires the formation of
agro-food chains aimed at tackling day-to-day problems in building reliable supplier operations, crosschain
transportation,
border
production,
responsibilities and liabilities, invoicing, etc.
Since the beginning of the 1990s the interest in
agro-food chains as a phenomenon to be studied and
managed has increased. One of the central observations in the field of chain organization is the importto be the main threat

Table 4

Chemical hazards (an example)


Chemical hazard

Salads
Vegetable mix
Fruit salad
Meat
Poultry

Pesticides
Heavy metals
Nitrates
Antibiotics
Hormones
BSE
Mycotoxins
Histamine
Enzymes
Marine toxins
Antibiotics
Disinfectants

Grains, Hour
Fish
Milk

ante of the consumer as a trigger for all activities in


the chain, thus introducing
a demand-controlled
supply chain. One of the consequences
of the
demand orientation of the food supply chain is the
urgence of timeliness (just-in-time, time-to-market,
ready-to-eat-meals)
and product
quality. With
respect to food safety several critical situations (BSE;
E. coli OH157.H7; decontaminants;
Salmonella) have
stressed the need for proper chain modelling and
administration.
In the agro-food sector problems have traditionally
been solved along by co-operation, resulting in the
formation of co-operatives. In other fields, opinions
on chains lead to other solutions for chain design,
(re)formation and management. This variety of opinions and definitions are reflected in different chain
models, varying from an ordered set of related
organizations
to a set of laws and rules within
corporate bodies. One of the important tasks of
chain science is to constitute a coherent set of rules
leading the process of modelling real-world chain
situations. Further, performance criteria are needed
to reflect the quality of the chain and the way in
which it is managed.
Motives for chain engagement can be manyfold
(Table 5), for example, the need for growth, the
necessity of cost reduction, a need for increased
market orientation or adequate participation in technological changes. The quality criteria depend largely
on the original motives for chain engagement. Many
so-called performance indicators can be mentioned,
such as:
flexibility and resource acquisition as indicators for
a growth model,
goal setting and productivity for a cost reduction
model,
innovation,
quality management
and human
resource management when TQM concepts are
implemented.
In recent years several agro-food chains have been
formed in the Netherlands, either initiated by private
companies or by umbrella (branch) organizations.
Amongst others, in 1992 a food chain was developed
that accurately regulates the production of pigs and
pig-meat, often referred to as from breeding to
Table 5 Motives for chain engagement
for quality

Raw materials

A.W. Barendsz

Motives for chain


engagement
Growth
Cost reduction
Technological change
Market organization

Performance

and performance

criteria

criteria for quality

Flexibility, adaptation, readiness,


resource acquisition
Planning, goal setting, productivity
efficiency, profitability
Stability, innovation. quality assurance
information management,
communication
Human resource development,
cohesion interaction with
environment

Food Control 1998 Volume 9 Number 2-3

169

Food safety and total quality management: A.W. Barendsz

eating. The Trade Association for meat and meat


products took this initiative. In close co-operation
with the industry, requirements were formulated for
an integrated
chain management
system. These
requirements concern quality aspects such as traceability, quality of feed, the use of medicines and
controlled hygiene in all production stages. Information data are presented to all participants in both
directions along the chain. In 1996 about 75% of all
pigs and pig-meat were supplied in compliance with
these IKB (integrated chain controlled) regulations.
The multiplicity of motives for chain engagement,
chain descriptions, definitions and opinions may lead
to strong debates and misunderstandings. Therefore,
as part of any TQM activity, priority must be given to
the structure and improvement of communication,
especially in the agro-food businesses, where internationalization
and globalization
are increasingly
important
topics. Open lines of communication
between the individual links in an agro-food chain
form the basis for a successful operation for the
future.

lhble 6

A confusing situation: Hazard, risk, probability and effect

English

Dutch

English

Hazard
Danger
Risk
Probability
Effect
Severe
Harm
Concern

Risico, gevaar
Gevaar
Risico, gevaar
Waarschijnlijkheid
Gevolg, resultaat
Streng, hevig
Kwaad, schade, letsel
Zorg, belang

Risk
Danger, risk, peril
Risk
Probability
Consequence, result
Severe, strict
Evil, angry, harm
Care, concern

situations may arise. Examples of this are listed in


Table 6. One will be surprised to discover that Dutch
words, obtained through translating English words
into Dutch yield different words upon retranslation.
This indicates that one needs to be aware of the
notion of the word rather then the word itself. In this
publication hazard is used as danger, risk as risk
and effect still needs to be properly defined!

REFERENCES
GLOBAL COMMUNICATION
Information and communication have been called the
lifelines of our society. Nowadays the abundant
supply of information has been reproached by Dutch
physicians as one of the causes of stress among
managers. Also, the availability of communication
media is so overwhelming that special management
techniques are required to channel and funnel information. The notions bench-marking and bench-marks
came into use for such reasons. The KBN (Knowledge Brokers Network) will soon be launched as a
dedicated information and communication system to
assist the quality manager and members of the
HACCP team with the design, implementation
and
maintenance of TQM systems to ensure food safety.
In this respect a final remark has to be made.
When ones mother tongue is not English confusing

170

Food Control 1998 Volume 9 Number 2-3

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