Think on the number of meals we have in a day, and the different varieties of food that we eat, are we confident that it is safe for consumption? In a recent 2016 Food Safety Survey, 5 out of 10 respondents think it is more common to get food poisoning from restaurants compared to food prepared at home, and the remaining 50% respondents think it is somewhat uncommon to get food poisoning from the way food is prepared at home. Whether it can be a home-cooked food or takeaway food from the street and restaurant, food safety is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Proper food handling involves everyone’s responsibility right from the food source all the way through till the food reaches our plate. The consequences of poor food handling in the entire food supply chain process can easily lead to various foodborne illnesses from food poisoning and worst case scenario, fatality.
Foodborne illnesses are a burden on consumers’ health and many did not aware that it contributed significantly to the cost of healthcare each year. Based on a report by World Health Organization, there were over 600 million recorded cases of foodborne illnesses worldwide, which result in close to 500,000 deaths annually.
Besides that, consumers nowadays are increasingly demanding — besides safely produced food, they want delicious food that are healthy, they want food in convenient portions and packaging that suits their busy lifestyles and they want food at low prices, particularly given today’s economic realities. As the world’s population is expected to grow to nearly 10 billion by 2050, food safety management has gotten more challenging than ever. Therefore, food manufacturers must continue to innovate and improve the processes to meet these expectations, at the same time adhering to food safety standards.
Over the years, we were not short of food contamination news, whether in the Asia region or globally. With cases of contaminated eggs in the European markets to tainted milk in Malaysia. Besides affecting business reputation and profit losses, food contamination can lead to a far-reaching consequence - affecting consumer’s health. In 2015 alone, MOH reported 14,433 of food poisoning cases.
Food contamination doesn’t only happen in the food processing sector as every sector in the food supply chain needs to have a conscious effort in adhering strictly to the food safety regulations and guidelines in food production. Eggs recall in Europe was a good example, where the incident saw not only the recall for the contaminated eggs but products affected by it in which the contaminated eggs were used such as mayonnaise and cakes.
Pest management, among others, plays a significant role in safe food production process as deficiencies of pest management throughout the food supply chain can be disastrous for the food quality. Pests are a high risk threat in the supply chain all the way from farm to table by contaminating raw materials and food products with their droppings, urine and skin shedding.
This could be prevented with a comprehensive Integrated Pest Management programme (IPM). IPM is a concept that revolves on pest management being a holistic and proactive approach compared to conventional reactive pest control treatment. Exclusion, Restriction, Destruction and Monitoring (ERDM) all play a vital part in the reduction of pest activity. These would help to decrease heavy reliance of pesticides usage in solving pest problems.
As a market leading Pest Control expert, Rentokil Initial is very committed on improving food trust across the globe. As strong advocator for farm to fork food safety, Rentokil Initial has continued to influence and educate the entire supply chain and audit bodies with the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI); a business-driven initiative for the continuous improvement of food safety management systems to ensure confidence in the delivery of safe food to consumers worldwide. And with a team of technical expert that are fluent in food safety audit and procedures, Rentokil Initial’s recommendations are benchmarked higher against the most stringent audit standards globally.
Rentokil Initial’s strategic partnership with GFSI has started since 2015 in Asia, with its global reach, GFSI and Rentokil Initial continue to work hand-in-hand in advocating positive change and efficiency across the consumer goods industry and around the world.
“At Rentokil Initial, driving safer food for all consumers is something that our team has been working on over the years. With the right approach, this will ultimately help us ensure that our customers take a much more proactive approach in managing food safety risks across the supply chains. With innovations like PestConnect and myRentokil, businesses can now predict the likely source of contamination and food-borne disease outbreaks, early detection of food safety threats and implementing control measures before threats can spread. This will improve efficiencies and reduce losses throughout the supply chain. Most importantly, raising standards in food safety and security for consumers.” says Mr Andy Ransom, the CEO of Rentokil Initial.
Rentokil Initial is participating this year’s Global Food Safety Conference (GFSC) to discuss how technology, innovation and big data are transforming food safety. Themed ‘Safe Food for Consumers Everywhere’, the conference will be held in Japan from 5 to 8 March and is set to receive 1,000 food safety experts from over 60 countries.