Using food integrity to secure the global food supply chain

Today’s food supply chain stretches across the globe. While consumers used to eat the food they grew in their communities and adjusted their diets based on the availability of seasonal products, today’s consumers can have food from all over the world any day of the year. Although this has increased food choice and availability for consumers, it has also created a complex global supply chain with multiple points of vulnerability to both accidental and intentional events that impact food safety and quality. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 48 million Americans get sick from foodborne illness each year, with approximately 128,000 hospitalized and 3,000 deaths. The steady annual increase of this number is at least partially attributable to the complexities of the global food supply chain. 

To meet the challenges the food supply chain presents, the food and beverage industry must move towards the concept of food integrity. Food integrity is an approach that combines food safety and quality principles, such as the use of standards and hazards analysis, with food defense methods that consider the criminal behavior and motivation of people who commit intentional food crime such as food fraud, malicious poisoning, and food terrorism. Food integrity blends traditional approaches to food safety and quality like HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points), Prerequisite Programs (PRPs), ISO 9001, and ISO 22000/FSSC 22000 with food defense strategies like TACCP (Threat Assessment and Critical Control Points), VACCP (Vulnerability Assessment and Critical Control Points), CARVER+Shock, and PAS 96:2017 to protect the food supply chain and the integrity of the products it delivers around the world. The result is a food safety management system (FSMS) that builds on the attributes of a quality management system (QMS) and the insights of behavioral psychology to anticipate and prevent food threats. 

The new Intelex Insight Report Food Integrity: A Practitioner’s Guide to Navigating Food Quality & Safety Standards is the first of three reports dedicated to helping you learn about securing the food supply chain. You’ll learn about: 

  • creating a holistic approach to food integrity that incorporates food safety, food quality, and food defense 
  • the best practices, standards, and frameworks you need to know 
  • the importance of anticipating and preventing food integrity events instead of simply responding to them, and 
  • how the psychology and motivation of criminal perpetrators are vital considerations in a food defense plan. 

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