Food Safety

GROUP FOOD SAFETY & QUALITY POLICY

As one of the leading fresh food producers in the United Kingdom, it is the policy of Cranswick plc to ensure that the food products we produce are safe, legal and of the quality specified by our customers.

The company will assure the safety of these products by the effective implementation of HACCP principles and the introduction, control and monitoring of specified controls at each critical control point which have been identified through detailed hazard analysis and risk assessment of our raw materials and the food production systems we operate.

The company will ensure the legality of its products by adhering to all relevant legislation and associated industry codes of practice.

The company will ensure that its products are of the specified quality by continual investment in plant and equipment, facilities and employee development and training at all stages of the manufacturing process from product development, supplier approval, raw material purchase, processing, storage and dispatch to customer.

All employees will be made aware of the company’s commitment to the production of safe, legal and quality products through their induction and training so that they deliver the highest possible standards of service to meet the needs of the company and its customers.

The company is committed to a policy of on-going review, continual improvement and implementation of best practice to ensure that our food safety and quality assurance policies remain current and effective.

It is only by the rigorous enforcement of this Food Safety & Quality Policy that we can be assured of our good reputation, due diligence and future trading relationships with our customers.

HACCP POLICY

Cranswick plc is committed to a policy of validating and verifying the safety of the foods we produce.

The company will meet this policy commitment by establishing its food safety system through the effective implementation of HACCP in accordance with Codex principles and the introduction, control and monitoring of specified controls at each critical control point identified through detailed hazard analysis and risk assessment.

The HACCP study will be based on an assessment of risk and shall take into account the likely occurrence and severity of microbiological, physical and chemical hazards relevant to our raw materials and food production systems.

Each of our manufacturing sites shall establish an appropriately trained HACCP Team which is representative of the sites operation i.e. Technical, QC, Production, Engineering, Hygiene & NPD. The role of HACCP Team Leader will be the responsibility of the Site Technical Manager.

All HACCP Team Leaders will be independently qualified to RIPH L3 (Intermediate) or its equivalent, and we will aspire to raise this to L4 (Advanced) during the next 2/3 years.

All staff will receive HACCP Awareness Training, whilst those personnel responsible for the control and monitoring of a CCP shall receive specific task training to ensure that these remain under control, and that specified corrective action is taken where monitoring suggests that control is in danger of being lost.

Each site HACCP will undergo an annual review and verification audit in order to ensure that it is being maintained and is still appropriate for the effective control of the raw materials being used and the food production system being operated.

All personnel involved in the development, implementation, maintenance, verification, validation and review shall receive appropriate HACCP training which shall be traceable to a recognised national standard.

It is only by the rigorous enforcement of this commitment to HACCP that we can be confident in the safety of the food we produce, and in our good reputation and future trading relationships with our customers.

ALLERGEN POLICY

The identification, control and awareness of allergens is a growing challenge facing the food industry. 

Cranswick plc is committed to a policy of providing our customers with clear, unambiguous labelling of any allergens or their derivatives, which may be present in the raw materials we purchase and the products we produce so that the end consumer can be confident in the purchases decisions they make in meeting their dietary needs.

Of particular concern are the following 14 allergens and their derivatives that have been identified as Major Serious Allergens that if consumed by susceptible persons could trigger a potentially fatal anaphylactic shock:

  • Cereals containing gluten
  • Crustaceans
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans
  • Milk
  • Nuts – Almond, Hazelnut, Walnut, Cashew, Pecan, Brazil, Pistachio, Macadamia & Queensland
  • Celery & Celeriac
  • Mustard
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sulphur Dioxide and Sulphites >10ppm
  • Molluscs
  • Lupin

We will work with our raw material suppliers to ensure that all allergens which are present by direct addition or by presence through a compound ingredient/processing aid are clearly identified on our raw material specifications and dietary intolerance questionnaires. 

Wherever such allergens and their derivatives are not necessary to deliver optimum flavour, appearance, taste, texture, authenticity or other consumer benefits we will undertake to remove these from the foods we develop.

Where this is not possible we will ensure that the presence of such allergens is clearly specified within the product specification and on the product label of the foods we produce, and that systems of segregation are in place to prevent cross contamination during the manufacturing process.

Where “Free from .....” foods are produced, these shall be subject to both internal and external analysis to demonstrate the validity of such claims.

To ensure that such systems are robust, all our manufacturing sites will carry out an allergen risk assessment audit in order to ensure that the allergen status of the foods we produce is not compromised. The verification of the allergen control procedures will be carried out as part of the sites annual HACCP review.

Finally, we will raise the awareness of our staff and employees through a programme of training events and workshops.

GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM POLICY

It is the policy of Cranswick plc to work with its suppliers in order to ensure that the products we supply to our retail, food service and food manufacturing customers are free from the presence of genetically modified ingredients, additives, flavourings or derivatives thereof.

Central to this policy is an open working relationship with our raw material suppliers so that we can establish the ingredient make-up of the food stuffs purchased to manufacture our products; where the presence of soya and maize is highlighted we will ensure that we seek assurances from our suppliers that these are traceable to a proven non-genetically modified source.

If a genetically modified ingredient is identified or that the genetic origin cannot be proven, we will request our supplier to either remove the ingredient in question, or if it has a technical or organoleptic function to replace it with an alternative ingredient from a proven non-genetically modified source.

We will seek assurances from our suppliers that they will inform us, in advance, if the genetically modified status of any of our ingredients could change so that we can discuss this with our customers and agree a plan of corrective action so that the genetic status of the product is not compromised.

The availability of non-genetically modified soya and maize is a complex issue and we are mindful that our policy must remain current therefore we will undertake to keep abreast of international developments and the availability of GMO free crops and share this information with our customers.

FOOD ADULTERATION, RESIDUES & CONTAMINANTS AVOIDANCE POLICY

Avoiding the adulteration, and/or presence of residues and contaminants in the raw materials we purchase and the food products we produce is of paramount importance to Cranswick Group and our customers.

We are committed to a policy of ensuring that we and our suppliers operate to industry best practice and are in full compliance with specified legal limits, and in the case of pesticide and medicinal residues, that our producers operate to recognised codes of practice by ensuring that relevant withdrawal periods are followed prior to the produce or animal entering the food chain.

The scope of this policy covers the presence of:

  • Nitrates
  • Mycotoxin (Aflatoxins, Ochratoxin A, Patulin, Deoxynivalenol, Zearalenone, Fumonisins & Trichothecenes)
  • Patulin
  • Heavy Metals (Lead, Cadmium & Mercury)
  • Other Metals (Arsenic, Tin, Copper & Zinc)
  • 3-MCPD (Monochloropropane)
  • Dioxins & PCB`s
  • Furan
  • Polycyclic Aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Acrylamide
  • Residues (Pesticides as listed in EC Reg No.396/2005)
  • Veterinary Medicinal Products
  • Food adulteration (Melamine, Sudan dyes etc)
  • Azo Food Dyes (Southampton Study)
  • Environmental Contaminants (Glass, Perspex, Metal, Wood etc)
  • Extraneous Matter (insects, animal hair etc)
     

All our suppliers/producers are approved prior to supply and, by signing the Cranswick Technical Conditions of Supply, they have warranted that they meet all the legislative requirements relevant to the raw material being supplied (meat, ingredient & food contact packaging). It is a specific requirement that should our raw material suppliers suspect that the raw materials being supplied is contaminated in any way then they must inform Cranswick without delay so that we can agree the corrective action to be taken.

We will carry out a risk assessment on all our raw materials to identify those that have a known risk of adulteration e.g. milk products (possible presence of melamine) and have in place a screening system to check supplier compliance.

All our “at risk” raw materials are subjected to a traceability challenge back to source, where this involves produce the trace shall go back to farm and will require the producer to provide certificate of analysis for pesticides.

The screening of meat for the presence of medicinal residues is controlled by the Food Standards Agency and test results issued by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate are reviewed when published. This also forms part of our supplier review which is undertaken by Group Technical Services.

We will ensure that the factories we own are well invested and that there are monitoring procedures in place to ensure that the fabric, equipment and manufacturing environment are maintained in good condition so that the potential for foreign body inclusion in product is minimised to acceptable levels.

All processing lines will be equipped with on-line metal detection which is capable of operating at best detectable limits for ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless steel contaminants.

We will have a procedure in place that is designed to restrict the movement and storage of wood to specified areas where the risks of potential food cross contamination can be controlled.

Where ever possible we will restrict the use of glass or clear perspex in food processing areas, where this is unavoidable all items shall be listed on a glass/perspex register and the condition of these items shall be monitored at a risk assessed frequency. Where damage occurs, the risk to product shall be managed via a glass/perspex breakage procedure.

We have a policy of reviewing food industry journals, research papers and other scientific publications and reports so that we can identify potential issues at an early stage and reduce our exposure to newly identified food adulteration and contaminant challenges that the food industry may face in the future.

Working together with our producers and suppliers we are committed to developing long-term supply relationships to ensure that the requirements of this policy are met.

GROUP OBESITY POLICY

In recent years obesity rates and related health problems in both adults and children have influenced medical, political and public attitudes to food, and in particular have debated, often from a negative perspective, the role of red meat and processed meat products in the diet, and in so doing have raised issues about whose responsibility it is to promote healthy eating. In response to this, the Governments Call to Action initiative and the subsequent Change4life campaign have challenged the UK population to remove excessive weight and adopt a more active life style.

As a food manufacturing company in the red meat sector we recognise that we are in the unique position of being able to influence people's eating habits. We are therefore committed to a policy of working with our retail and food service customers to support their healthy eating policies. This work takes the form of:

  • Appropriate portion size
  • Salt reduction where this can be achieved without detriment to product safety and quality
  • Removal of unnecessary processing additives
  • Clear and unambiguous nutritional declarations to allow the consumer to make an informed purchase choice in line with their chosen life style and eating habits
  • Development of lower fat and low fat products with a number of retailers including the licence to manufacture Weightwatchers brand sausages and bacon
  • Declaration of healthy cooking instructions e.g. grilling instead of frying

We also have a policy of working with industry stakeholders to promote the important role that red meat (beef, pork and lamb) can play in a healthy balanced diet, it contains a wide variety of essential nutrients like protein, key minerals such as iron & zinc, and also B vitamins like B12 which is not found in green plants or vegetables, many of these nutrients are known to be lacking in some peoples diet.

Today red meat is much lower in fat and saturated fat than many people think. Most lean red meat contains only moderate amounts of saturated fat. In addition, evidence suggests that Stearic acid, one of the saturated fats found in red meat, has no adverse effect on blood cholesterol levels.

It is our belief that consumers, by use of appropriate portion size, selection of lean cuts, careful checking of nutritional declarations, and cooking in a healthy way will reduce the intake of fat, saturated fats and salt allowing red meat and processed meat products to be enjoyed as part of a healthy balanced diet and active life style without undue concern to obesity and related medical problems.