Food Packaging Safety: Getting it Done!

The messages are quite clear: consumers and regulators want compliance and safety protection at the highest level. Customers want mutual compliance from their vendors, suppliers and contract manufacturers.

Vendors and suppliers have provided their customers with the lowest costs imaginable and want some relief from what they consider unnecessary, overkill and, most importantly, costly, resource-stealing programs which on face value appear to fly in the face of reason.

Despite what you may think, compromises are easy and agreeable to all involved. We are all consumers, customers and suppliers on some level and none of us would understand if someone got sick (or worse!) as a result of product (we had involvement in) contamination.

Based on reasonability, it would be unacceptable and non-compromising to apply an "if it's not broken, we don't need to fix it" approach. Vendors and suppliers alike need to understand the basics of food safety and why and how it applies to them.

EHA Group professionals are experienced in the application of "applied principles of food and food packaging safety".

The following are a series of non-complicated steps that EHA applies with clients which increase vendor awareness and address practical first steps toward continuous improvement to food materials safety:

  1. EHA attends an introductory meeting between industry partners, the purpose of which is to ground all parties and make it clear that the mutual objective is to assess risk, address mitigation and improve or optimize best practices.
  2. We provide the attendees with a short introduction to food materials safety targeted against their specific goods, materials and process.
  3. EHA describes food safety risk analysis and mitigation, including explanations of prerequisite programs and controls, the backbone of the process known in the food industry as "HACCP" (hazard analysis, critical control points). The relationship of HACCP to non-edible food-related materials need not be confounding or intimidating. We'll put the application of HACCP in simple terms, related to your specific operation. Quickly, you will understand the simplicity of the process and, as you will see, it will all make quite good sense.
  4. Following that, we review your facility and document infrastructure or operations which appear to need control or to which risk appears inherent. During post walk-thru discussions, we'll ask questions and discuss details with you in a constructive manner. We'll relate the results of those discussions back to the principles of HACCP and continuous improvement. EHA professionals will link physical examples to program principles, leading to your understanding of details and specifics, not generalities and vague references.
  5. Using specific examples and detail extracted from the last 2 steps, we explain how a non-complex process identifies these issues and corrects them using in-house tools applied by the experts – none other than those employees who live with the process every day and are in the best position to call out risks and non-conformances.
  6. EHA uses the examples that we've identified and prioritizes them based on the level of risk to food safety and the continuous quality of the product(s). We develop a plan to find, correct and monitor compliance and success while we go about our everyday business. If we see deviation from the plan, we stop, correct and notify key personnel in writing of what a good job we did and how we accomplished it.
  7. Finally, the attendees congratulate themselves and all of the involved participants for a job well done. EHA assists them to put in writing all of the good programs and steps that have been developed and implemented. We make sure to include employees by name linked to their training and accomplishments; as a result, we've created documentation and evidence that our customers and third party observers will see and accept.

Look at all of the great things that have just been accomplished! The process was perfectly understandable, the objectives defined and not overly complicated. With EHAs guidance and encouragement, your own staff performed key deliverables with a minimum of explanation and instruction. Costs and resources were controlled and you now have the basis for your own customized food safety program.

We discuss future opportunities for improvement wherein you, with our assistance, expand your program to include additional levels of compliance. Committed to continuous evaluation and improvement, you, your supply chain partners and your customers will see YOUR program for what it is... a commitment by the entire organization from the top down to food materials safety.

EHA collaborates with clients, be they customers or vendors, to assist in explaining the principles and precepts discusses herein. We address each unique situation with understanding and open-mindedness as we analyze relationships and situations. The details from that analysis culminates in our offering a plans and options to all parties which meet unique needs while always vigilant of the target; food materials safety, consistent quality and continuous improvement. We look forward to helping you!