Multiple food safety management systems in food industry: A case study
Muhammed Rafeeque KT, Mini Sekharan N
When manufacturing organizations seek to enhance the safety of food products and to meet the requirements put forward by customers and markets they are compelled to adopt various Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS) that conform to global, international, national, private and proprietary standards. In this study ‘Multiple Food Safety Management Systems’ (MFSMS) describes the situation in which one organization has adopted and implemented more than one FSMS standard. The paper presents a case study of a seafood factory located in Maldives which has implemented FSMS, with the aim to analyse the motivations for the adoption of MFSMS and the consequences of that adoption in the management system and the organization. The study notes that the key motivations for implementing MFSMS were a management commitment to improve food quality and safety, compliance with regulations, market requirements, customer requirements, external funding, marketing tools, brand image, requirements of retailers and commercial pressure. The study also notes that the major consequences of MFSMS were a duplication and complexity in management document and record systems, a need for additional resources, a development of new departments to implement and maintain management systems, an inability to focus on the implemented standard, ineffective internal audits and management reviews, additional time needed for management system activities, increased man-days allocated to external audits and a higher cost of the certification process. The findings of the study highlights some important issues with implications for the policies of food processors, developers of standards, bench marking bodies and customers insisting on special stipulations.