GFSI 2016: SGS Presents ‘Shaping Food Safety Culture in Food Service’

Fairfield, NJ, February 22, 2016 — /EPR NETWORK/ — At GFSI 2016, in Berlin, SGS will present a Special Session “Shaping Food Safety Culture in Food Service – Challenges, Opportunities and Key Drivers”, on March 3 at 8:00am.

Food-borne disease outbreaks are on the increase. Globally, thousands of people are affected every year, and 1 in 5 outbreaks implicate the food service industry. Led by Peter Hvidberg, Global Business Manager, Travel & Hospitality, SGS, Switzerland, this session will look at the global threat imposed by unsafe practices in both food production and handling. Participants will discuss the key barriers and drivers to compliance behaviours within a food service establishment and explore how a food safety culture can build on the foundations of established food safety management systems and improve performance in the food service industry.

Speakers will include:
• Mr Muhammad Ihsanullah, Director of Food Safety & EHS, Rotana, Dubai
• Dr Angelika Tritscher, Risk Assessment and Management, WHO, Switzerland
• Dr Joanne Taylor, Training and Research Director, Taylor Shannon International, Dubai

Food-borne Disease Outbreaks
A recent report published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), confirmed a total of 5,196 food-borne and water-borne outbreaks, 43,183 human cases, 5,946 hospitalisations and 11 deaths in the European Union (EU) alone in 2013.

Among these, 22.2% of outbreaks were associated with restaurants, hotels, cafes, pubs and bars (EFSA Journal 2015; 13(1): 3991).

Despite the different preventative and control measures already in place in the food industry, as well as in catering and food service environments, the number of food-borne disease outbreaks continues to rise, worldwide.

Safety System Failures
Publicly available recall data and the media coverage of outbreaks often point to manufacturers and processors being the primary cause of contaminated foods. However, in many cases food safety system failures are being manifested through breaches of food safety regulations and protocols, post processing e.g. failure to ensure critical procedures (cleaning, separation of raw and cooked meat) are effectively followed, insufficient food safety related records kept, ineffective training, etc.

Human Error
Food handling errors such as inadequate cooking, inappropriate time/temperature controls and cross contamination have also commonly been implicated in food-borne outbreaks. In the USA, the most recently published CDC figures indicate that in the period between 2009-2012, restaurants accounted for almost two-thirds of norovirus outbreaks, and catering or banquet facilities accounted for 17%, implicating food handler intervention in 70% of cases.

The role of infected food handlers in the transmission of food-borne pathogens during food preparation is well established, and is often attributed to a lack of adequate food safety knowledge. The biggest knowledge gaps have been identified in relation to temperature control, sources of food contamination and high-risk foods, making those the basis for further review and improvement in food safety training. However, even when sufficient food safety knowledge has been demonstrated, practices may not be consistent with required standards. Time constraints, lack of resources (e.g. financial, time, supplies, etc.) and behavioural issues, including those related to employee motivation, are often reported as key barriers to ensuring safe food handling practices.

Sponsor and Exhibitor
SGS is proud to sponsor the 2016 GFSI Conference [link to: http://www.sgs.com/en/events/2016/02/the-gfsi-global-food-safety-conference-2016] in Berlin, February 29 to March 3, and will be exhibiting at booth E2.

About GFSI Conference
The GFSI Global Food Safety Conference is a unique annual event bringing together over 1,000 leading food safety specialists from over 50 countries to advance food safety globally. The Conference provides the opportunity to meet and network with industry peers, share knowledge, benefit from thought-provoking presentations from internationally reputed industry experts and hear innovative ideas to implement in your workplace. View the official program (PDF 863 KB) [http://www.tcgffoodsafety.com/images/PDF/GlobalFoodSafetyConference_2016-Berlin_OfficialProgramme.pdf].

For further information, please contact:

Jennifer Buckley
SGS
Global Food Marketing Manager
291 Fairfield Ave,
Fairfield, NJ 07004
USA
telephone: +1 973 461 1498
email: food@sgs.com
Website: www.sgs.com/foodsafety
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/sgs-agriculture-&-food
About SGS
SGS is a leading independent third-party service provider offering efficient solutions to help safeguard quality, safety and sustainability throughout all stages of the global food supply chain. SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company and recognised as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 85,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,800 offices and laboratories around the world.

Contact-Details: Jennifer Buckley
SGS
Global Food Marketing Manager
291 Fairfield Ave,
Fairfield, NJ 07004
USA
telephone: +1 973 461 1498
email: food@sgs.com
Website: www.sgs.com/foodsafety

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