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Food Safety Standards in Malaysia

Malaysia has suitable temperature and condition which are optimal to the growth of bacteria such as Salmonella. These bacteria are manifested from unsanitary food preparation that causes foodborne diseases. 

Hence, there is increasing demand for safe food in Malaysia that has led to the strengthening of food safety control. The government has taken initiative to conduct food premise inspection and law enforcement was instilled. For businesses that do not comply with the standards and regulations, they may face revenue loss and potential court charges. Worst case scenario, the operation of the business will be shut down. 

Food Safety & Quality Division (FSQD) was established by MOH to ensure that the food processing activities are in compliance to the hygiene and safety requirements. The FSQD is also responsible in overseeing food safety through the supply chain. This is including any food related hazards and frauds, which may disrupt the supply chain and jeopardise food safety.

These are food safety standards practiced in Malaysia:

  • Food Act 1983
  • Food Regulation 1985
  • Food Hygiene Regulation 2009

Quality and Audit Standards

Food safety standards help businesses establish framework for safe food so they can comply with food safety legislation and meet customers’ expectation. Here are the examples of quality and audit standards practiced in Malaysia:

  • IFS – International Food Standard
  • BRC – British Retail Consortium
  • AIB – American Institute of Baking
  • GFSI – Global Food Safety Initiative
  • GMP – Good Manufacturing Practice
  • HACCP
  • ISO 9001:2008
  • ISO 22000:2005
  • Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certification
  • Malaysian Standard MS 1500:2009 - Halal Food
  • Customer Food Safety Audits
  • Yum! Food Safety Audit (FSA)

GMP (good manufacturing practice)

GMPs describe the methods, equipment, facilities, and controls for producing processed food to produce high quality and safe products and are generally specified in regulations. In the US GMPs are written into the food regulations by the FDA. The regulations address personnel, buildings and facilities, equipment and utensils, and production and process controls.

GMPs, along with standard operating procedures (SOPs), form the basis for HACPP and the ISO9000 quality management standard. They are often visualised as a pyramid of dependencies.

Figure: The foundation of HACCP and ISO9000
Source: University of Nebraska (www.foodsafety.unl.edu/haccp/prerequisites/gmp.html)

HACCP is a systematic approach to food safety that focuses on preventing contamination from biological, chemical, physical and radiological hazards. 

As for ISO 9000, it is an international standards that emphasises on management quality assurance to maintain efficient quality system.


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