Consumers rarely see the rigorous processes to ensure that food is safe for their families. But, before it reaches their tables, procedures and precautions are implemented at all stages of the food supply chain — growing, processing, distribution, and preparation — to ensure a safe and delicious meal. These stringent steps help prevent foodborne illness and keep people healthy.
The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) and its member companies are committed to advancing food safety practices across the supply chain and helping to raise the bar on food safety. Continue reading to learn more details on how AFFI and frozen food processors and ingredient suppliers work to elevate the industry’s food safety programs and promote food safety in recognition of World Food Safety Day and throughout the year.
What Is World Food Safety Day?
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) developed World Food Safety Day to highlight the importance of global food safety. The 2022 celebration will take place on June 7, 2022, to draw attention to and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks.
While food safety is a year-round commitment for AFFI, World Food Safety Day provides an opportunity to recognize the many ways America’s frozen food processors and ingredient suppliers can advance their food safety programs.
FROZEN’S COMMITMENT TO FOOD SAFETY
Food safety is a top priority for America’s frozen food industry, and AFFI works to support and facilitate this commitment. Over the past several years, AFFI has collaborated with multiple partners to advance food safety in the frozen food and beverage industry using evidence-based tools.
AFFI’s strategy focuses on three areas to assist:
- Scientific Research: Invest in scientific research to further advance the understanding and control of Listeria monocytogenes (Lm)
- Elevate the Industry: Develop and disseminate improved food safety and manufacturing best practices across the supply chain
- Safe Cooking and Handling: Educate consumers on the importance of following validated cooking and handling instructions to help ensure food safety
To support this strategy, AFFI launched a comprehensive site where the frozen food industry, including processors and ingredient suppliers, can find resources and information to assist in their company’s food safety programs and initiatives. The Food Safety Zone, launched in 2019, equips frozen food companies with tools such as:
- The Listeria Control Program, a free, online tool for Lm prevention with a multifaceted library of resources, guidelines, and procedures. The program also includes:
Listeria-specific food safety training kit: Listeria Stops Here
This resource, released in partnership with Intertek Catalyst, provides year-round tools and training to help food safety managers drive effective food safety practices with frontline operators who play a significant role in food safety management within facilities. Materials are available in English and Spanish.
Listeria Control Specialist certificate program
This program is offered in partnership with the International Food Protection Training Institute. It is designed for food safety management professionals in food manufacturing facilities who want to acquire expert-level knowledge to control Lm within their facilities.
In addition, the course is also highly beneficial for regulatory officials, sanitation and quality professionals, and construction and maintenance contractors who must consider food safety.
- Multiple Food Safety Partnerships, where AFFI has joined with trusted external organizations to create programs and offer technology to assist in testing, training, and equipment certification.
- The Enteric Viruses Control Program, a free, online tool to help companies prevent and control norovirus and hepatitis A throughout the global frozen fruit supply chain.
JOINING TOGETHER IN SCIENTIFIC COLLABORATION
In addition to promoting manufacturing and training programs within the industry, AFFI also facilitates collaboration and exchange on the latest science in food safety, and experts within the frozen food industry and scientific leaders come together to share and learn.
For example, AFFI launched the inaugural Food Safety Forum in 2021. Created in partnership with the Food Industry Association, International Dairy Foods Association, National Fisheries Institute, and Produce Marketing Association, the Food Safety Forum brought together more than 700 global research experts, industry professionals, and food safety policy leaders to discuss the latest science in Lm.
By coming together as subject matter experts on Lm, the frozen food industry is able to improve its ability to stop foodborne illness and identify practical, science-based policy solutions to support public health. AFFI will continue to bring together the industry to enhance scientific knowledge around food safety in future events in 2022, and beyond.
SAFETY REMAINS A TOP PRIORITY FOR FROZEN FOOD
Whether on World Food Safety or around the year, AFFI remains committed to delivering resources that elevate food safety across the frozen food supply chain. Through the tools and materials AFFI provides, the institute helps the industry identify potential food safety issues and implement best practices. With a focus on continued collaboration and scientific research, AFFI members come together to advance food safety for the industry and support policies grounded in science. Visit the Food Safety Zone today to learn more about the year-round commitment to food safety.