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Bloemfontein Medi-Clinic received (3rd quarter 2008) the first HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control points) certification within the Medi-Clinic Group. Fedics, who does the catering at the hospital, proudly announced this is their 11th unit to receive this certification.

Paul Elliot, Fedics Marketing Director, explains implementing a HACCP system ensures compliance to good manufacturing practices such as food safety and hygiene standards at all times.

“The system focuses on specific areas which include personal hygiene of staff, pest control, cleaning and sanitation procedures, building and equipment maintenance, food production, hygiene and supplier quality controls. This ensures that both the patient and the hospital receive the best possible care.”

HACCP is an internationally recognised, science-based, food safety system that is used to help ensure the manufacture of safe food products and is designed to prevent, reduce or eliminate potential biological, chemical and physical food safety hazards, including those caused by cross-contamination.

Elliot says during the development of a HACCP system, potential hazards are identified and control measures are implemented at specific points in the manufacturing process.

“With HACCP being recognised as the primary means for enhancing food safety throughout the food chain and increasingly being used around the world, Fedics can benchmark their standards at international levels.”

Teamwork plays an important part in achieving these standards, with Elliot emphasising how vital commitment is from management to lead the HACCP team within the units.

Catering to seven Medi-Clinics, prevention has become the focus says Elliot, as new food production and processing practices, emerging food-borne pathogens and changing eating habits and demographics have contributed to a higher awareness of food-borne illness in recent years.

Hospital Manager Carl Bührmann comments: “We are very proud to be associated with Fedics for achieving this first in the Medi-Clinic Group and believe that this will benchmark and set an example for other Medi-Clinic hospitals and catering companies. We look forward to continuing the excellent working relationship.”

To implement a HACCP system into a unit, the 12 stage requirements of the South African National Standard 10330 are followed.

Elliot explains how Fedics complies to stringent hygiene and food safety standards, comprising quarterly external food safety audits and adherence to company food safety policies and procedures.

“HACCP certification shows that is it possible to achieve world recognised food safety standards in South Africa and Fedics will continue to strive to achieve and maintain these standards,” says Elliot.

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