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Food Safety in South Africa
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Below are a few sample pages from our TEAM MEMBERS POCKET GUIDE TO HACCP booklet





We arrive on site and have a meeting with your senior management, including your Food Safety Officer or Management Representative. This is the first thing we do – because without their complete buy-in to the HACCP system you are simply wasting your time. There is no other way to say this, and if your senior management team are not interested in the system’s implementation, if they think it is something that the lower levels of employees can simply go and ‘do’, then you will have to find yourself another consulting company – because if that is the case, we are not who your company is looking for. There is absolutely no shortage of companies that will take your money and give you want your senior management wants.
Should the meeting with senior management go well, we will proceed to stage 2 of our implementation exercise. We will sit with your Food Safety Officer and go through your systems and documentation. Whatever missing links are identified we will highlight and offer advice on… it must be remembered that HACCP is a living, breathing system, and that it requires focus and co-operation from all departments for it to work.
The mere fact that a HACCP team is multi-disciplinary invokes a desperate need for communication. If you do not have transparent two-way communication in your company, your attempt at implementing HACCP is going to fail you. It is ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE to the success of the system that you do not withhold vital information from each other. Many, many things can go wrong if one member of your team withholds vital information from the rest of the team in an effort to either just play his cards close to his chest as the all too common saying goes, or perhaps he is looking for extra kudos from the boss or whatever the reason – a self serving attitude will bring the system down.
It is natural for any company to want to protect themselves and keep themselves from looking foolish in the eyes of any consultant, but any "consultant" who looks at a company and sees a bunch of air-heads is not a consultant – he is an INsultant and is not really there to help but rather to hinder.

Food Safety in South Africa consultants do not laugh at their clients. We believe in helping their fellow man and no matter how bad your paperwork and existing systems might be – we can guarantee you we have probably seen worse elsewhere, which is why we offer so much free stuff off our website – to genuinely help you to develop better systems for yourselves – because in the end, if you call us to help implement your full HACCP system, our own work will be easier, the time taken will be shorter and your bill will be a lot less...

Jesus Christ says that "My people perish through the lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6) - OK, this scripture is taken somewhat out of context here, but the same applies really to the HACCP system - there are so many people out there who will "install" it for you like a piece of software, and you may even pass your certification audit - but is the system sustainable? HACCP is not something that can be 'installed'. It has to be 'implemented' and implementation takes time, and energy and communication and your workers have to feel that they WANT the HACCP certification because it will ultimately make their jobs easier...

Wanting to get your HACCP certification because your customers demand it is entirely the wrong reason to try for it. The only time HACCP will work properly for you is when you want it for the proper reasons, i.e. you want your hygiene and the safety of your products to be better managed, you want your staff to be more confident and more motivated, you want fewer, preferably absolutly zero but will settle now for fewer, complaints and returns, and so on...  
Stage 3 of the Food Safety in South Africa Implementation Program is to help you to form your HACCP Team. This needs to be a multidisciplinary team, as the HACCP system draws on resources from everyone involved in producing a good quality, safe product.
Once that is done, we will help you to see that all your Pre-Requisite Programs such as such as your Good Manufacturing Practices (we draw heavily on the Global Food Safety Initiative, SABS 10330:2007 [the South African HACCP Standard] and SABS 049), your Standard Operating Procedures which are drawn out of your GMP’s but are specific to your organisation, your Basic Food Hygiene and your Personal Hygiene are in place, with whatever training necessary being carried out at this point. Once this training has been done, and all relevant personnel have been given the training they need, been assessed, assuming they are all competent, you now have full due diligence at your disposal.
Once all of your documentation is working – there are always checks within checks - and when everyone concerned has been satisfactorily trained to their needs, we will begin bringing together your system with you. Please bear in mind that some of your documentation may have to be redesigned in order to compliment the rest of your new documentation.

  1. Do your SOP’s correspond with your GMP’s?

  2. Are your GMP’s site specific and not generics drawn from various available guidelines and palmed off as your own?

  3. Do your WI’s / Task Descriptions / Job Descriptions, call them as you will, match up with your SOP’s?

  4. Are your checklists designed according to your WI’s?

  5. Are they being completed by persons who are literate and can give the HACCP-coordinator the information he or she needs to develop the trend analyses which show that your system is working?

  6. Do you have a history of at least the last three months to back this up?

Your HACCP Team will be tasked with various activities and a time line in which to complete them. We make use of a Gantt chart to set, measure and record your progress – so that you can see for yourselves where you are.
We are aware that there are several consultants in South Africa who can ‘do your HACCP’ for you in around 5 minutes or so, and we regret that we are not in their bracket of capability. We take into account the fact that the HACCP system itself took over 50 years to get to where it is today – and so we take a little longer that the average few weeks! All going well, you should be able to apply for your phase one certification audit in about six months after we start with you. Remember that you will be doing most of the work, we are merely there to train you and guide you – we are not implementing your system for you – you guys are doing that yourselves…

The HACCP system is an amazingly logical and accurate system, giving the food business owner exactly what he or she needs to operate an effective business. It always amazes this consultant when people say that the HACCP system doesn't work!

All one has to consider is this...
  1. Would the United States Government insist on it if it didn't work?
  2. Would the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) insist on it if it didn't work?
  3. Would the European Union insist on it if it didn't work?
  4. Would Australia insist on it if it didn't work?
  • Would South Africa insist on it if it didn't work?
Nine tenths of the problem lies in consultants who insist that they can "do your HACCP" for you in two or three days, or weeks or whatever. The system took over 50 years to get to what it is today - who in their right minds is going to believe they can get it right in two or three YEARS never mind two or three weeks????

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