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SGS is pleased and proud to have been a sponsor, exhibitor and host at the 2018 Global Food Safety Conference in Tokyo.

During the event, SGS hosted two presentations led by its industry experts:

  • Large Scale Events: Defending the Food Supply Chain - Challenges and Strategies – a ‘Special Session’ led by Mr. Rei Minamitani, Assistant Manager - Food Certification at SGS
  • Aquaculture & Seafood – a ‘Breakout Session’ led by Cormac O’Sullivan, Segment Manager for Seafood and Aquaculture at SGS

Large Scale Events: Defending the Food Supply Chain

Mr. Rei Minamitani, Assistant Manager, Food Certification, SGS, was joined by three experts from Tokyo’s Food Defense Committee:

  • Ms. Kazuho Nagata, Director, Ministry of Agriculture, Fishery & Forestry (MAFF)
  • Mr. Manabu Akahane, Associate Professor, Nara Medical University, Department of Public Health, Health Management and Policy
  • Mr Kentaro Yamaguchi, Senior Researcher, Science and Safety Division, Mitsubishi Research Institute

The panel explored the background to Japan’s Food Defense Committee, and the requirements of the national food defense guidelines with a specific focus on food defense and emergency coordination.

Mr. Rei Minamitani said: “The contamination of food where criminal activity, including from extremist and terrorist attacks, has sought to harm the consumer is a real and increasing risk. So, this was an ideal opportunity to bring together food safety specialists from over 50 countries to highlight the key challenges posed to the industry from these large scale events.

“The platform enabled partners to share learning from previous incidents of intentional food adulteration and highlight where risks occur and how they can be avoided. Most importantly, we were able to guide food suppliers and caterers on the practical steps they can take straight away to minimize risk via their assessment and preventive controls.”

Using case studies of previous incidents of intentional adulteration in Japan, delegates were given examples of ‘places and process’ where prevention measures are effective. Mitigating factors include single places or processes; no additional processes existing before foods being served to people; places and processes where customers make requests and places and processes where only one person is working.

Recommended actions for large scale events include countermeasures against many and unspecified people through access limitation and observation; countermeasures to self-service through observation, lock-up, individual packaging; and education for employees with encouragement for employees to be on alert and ‘say something when they see something’ unusual.

Other aspects of shared learning included:SGS special session

  • Ensuring security is as strict as possible
  • Audits and inspection can be a useful tool
  • Crisis management can play a key role

An overview of Japan’s ‘Food Defense Committee’ whose members include Universities, Research Companies, Retailers, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and SGS was given. The Committee has sought to learn lessons and good practice from previous events – locally, as well as in the UK, US, Brazil and Japan – identifying key security measures and strategies in the process including:

  • Vendor certification programs
  • Cross docking facilities
  • Education for employees
  • Storage
  • Controls for chemical and toxin materials
  • 5S methodology

Building on the work already completed, 2018 sees the rollout of training for manufacturers, transporters and caterers, both online eLearning tools and face-to-face seminars.

Aquaculture & Seafood

Antibiotic residues within farmed seafood accounted for around 28% of EU rejections and 20% of US rejections of aquaculture imports, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) in 2016.

These statistics were highlighted by Cormac O’Sullivan, Segment Manager for Seafood and Aquaculture during his presentation Aquaculture & Seafood at the Conference’s ‘Breakout Session’.

Exploring the question of how farmed seafood certification programs deal with antibiotic residues, Cormac reviewed the origins of antibiotics in farmed seafood – common treatments and the infections that require them – and the impact their use is having on import refusals.

Cormac explained: “In an industry worth nearly $160 billion, ensuring best practices and consumer trust is vital for continued growth.

“We want to show how aquaculture producers, whether hatcheries, farms, processing facilities or feed mills, can demonstrate their commitment to providing safe and sustainably sourced seafood through certification programs.”

Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), alongside Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), and GLOBALG.A.P. are the three main farmed seafood standards – all address the issue of antibiotic use and residues, with some common ground.

All three require:

  • Veterinary prescriptions for antibiotic use
  • Full record-keeping of all treatments
  • Observation of withdrawal periods
  • No prophylactic use of medicines (with the exception of vaccines)

All three schemes take the issue seriously but have slightly different tailored approaches. BAP, which has a defined list of antibiotics that must be tested, requires regular testing of finished products as part of the audit process. GLOBALG.A.P. requires risk assessments on likely contaminants and antibiotic use with corresponding testing with testing also required for unapproved medicines. ASC has species specific requirements, some of which are a ban on the use of antibiotics in shrimp production and a ban on the use of any antibiotics critical for human use.

Find out more

For more information from SGS on Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), and GLOBALG.A.P. visit: http://www.sgs.com/food

For more information from SGS on developing a food defense plan visit: www.foodsafety.sgs.com or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To download the SGS white paper: ‘Food Defense: Securing the Supply Chain’ visit: www.sgs.com/fooddefensepaper

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This post was written and contributed by:

Dr Evangelia Komitopoulou
Global Customised Solutions Manager,
Food Safety & Quality,

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