use for US food safety
Feb 22, 2012 10:44 AM
The produce industry is one step closer to the goal of “one audit by any credible third party acceptable to all buyers” when GlobalGAP approved the use of Harmonized Standards as the basis of its checklist for US food safety, GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) level certification audits.
“The US NTWG (National Technical Working Group) drafted a comparison of the GlobalGAP food safety standards with the Harmonized Standards, found great compatibility, and submitted that comparison to GlobalGAP as a proposed national interpretation guideline,” said Dr David Gombas, United Fresh senior vice-president of food safety and technology, who serves as coordinator of the GlobalGAP NTWG for the United States. “GlobalGAP’s process allows countries to translate or amend parts or all of the wording of the GlobalGAP standards to best suit the region by means of a national interpretation guideline, as long as the guideline in no way reduces the requirements of the official standards.”
A major breakthrough came last year when GlobalGAP submitted food safety standards in a stand-alone GFSI-level standard format to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) for benchmarking. The submission represented only a portion of their Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) standards, with a focus on US buyers’ food safety concerns and in an effort to minimize costs to growers. The full IFA standards, which are used in more than100 nations, include audit items beyond food safety, like worker welfare and environmental stewardship.
With this approval, GlobalGAP will be the sole GFSI-benchmarked standard to use the Harmonized Standards, but other audit organizations, such as USDA and NSF Agriculture, are already offering Harmonized Standards audits.
Visit www.unitedfresh.org for further information.
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