GFSI is seeking food safety professionals to participate in a new Technical Working Group (TWG).
In the food industry, at all stages in the value chain from the farm to retail, chemicals are routinely used to sanitize and disinfect product contact surfaces and processing water. These chemicals provide a necessary and required step to ensure that the foods produced and consumed are as free as possible from microorganisms that can cause foodborne illness.
While these chemicals are well designed and managed from a microbiological safety point of view, a deeper understanding of related risks due to potential carry-over of residues of the chemicals as such or from their by-products, is not fully available today.
This topic touches and impacts the whole value chain, and potentially all of GFSI stakeholders from the farm to the consumer. GFSI is uniquely positioned to bring the key stakeholders together working with industry associations and other bodies to address this growing issue.
The group will develop guidance document(s) to standardise the usage and composition of cleaning agents with regard to the carry over risks of undesirable chemical substances, including the following specific aspects:
Develop good manufacturing practices specifying the intended usage of biocides and cleaning agents considering carry over risks of residues into foods and beverages (e.g. elaborate on topics such as “use of rinse-free cleaning agents”). A review of existing national and international guidelines regarding the composition of cleaning agents and best practices on their usage would be the starting point.
Review current global regulatory landscape on biocides.
Establish criteria and rationale for excluding certain chemical substances from biocides and cleaning agents. Drivers include: food safety, occupational safety, regulations and associated databases (e.g. REACH list), risk for antimicrobial resistance, public concerns.
Based on (2) establish list of undesirable chemical substances and proposed acceptable limits.
Based on (3) define and recommend fit for purpose analytical methods for verification.
Develop guideline on biocides and cleaning agents encompassing the points under (1) to (3) considering global application across the whole value chain.
Develop industry position on cleaning agents and antimicrobial resistance for sharing with national and supranational associations.
Develop roadmap for advocacy regarding the proposed guideline at national, regional (EC) and international (Codex) level.
The Collaboration Behind the Scenes
Have you ever wondered how GFSI mandates are defined or how its priorities are decided on each year? One of the things that makes GFSI unique is that it engages in a two-way dialogue with the industry. GFSI opens up the discussion to players from the food industry and beyond, who contribute immensely to putting top of mind issues on the table.
The experts who dedicate their time and expertise to these work streams do so on a volunteer basis, both independently throughout the year, and collaboratively during the face-to-face GFSI Technical Working Group meetings. To ensure the entire industry spectrum is taken into account in a neutral way, the groups are composed of a wide variety of representatives including retail, manufacturing and food service representatives, as well as international organisations, governments, academia and service providers to the global food industry.
The work of GFSI would not have moved forward in the way that it has over the years without the dedication of GFSI Technical Working Group experts and the support of the companies they represent.
At GFSI, we believe that food safety is a shared responsibility. With the food supply chain growing more and more complex, no one can do it alone. We are thrilled to bring together the entire industry spectrum - manufacturers, retailers and service providers but also international organisations, academia and government representatives – to collaborate on key food safety issues. Above all, the Technical Working Groups are a fantastic example of collaboration.” – Véronique Discours-Buhot, Director, Global Food Safety Initiative, The Consumer Goods Forum
Length of mandate: 18 months
Positions available: 15 (4 retailers/food service, 5 manufacturers/suppliers, 3 service providers, 3 regulators)
Frequency of meetings and commitment: 2-3 face-to-face meetings over the period of 18 months during TWG meetings. Regular conference calls to take place every 6 weeks between meetings.
First face-to-face meetings scheduled: Roissy, France, October 19-20, 2017
Successful candidates will be selected based on their experience in the following areas. Please include relevant information in your application.
Applicants must be employed by an organisation that agrees to sponsor their participation in the TWG. All costs and expenses for participants’ participation in any or all activities of GFSI must be covered by the organisation that they represent. For further information on our rules and procedures see the GFSI Governance Document.
Applications will be accepted until September 1st, 2017. Only candidates who have been selected will be contacted. Thank you for your understanding.