Food and drink firms face increased microbiological supply chain risk

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
17 March 2014

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17 March 2014 | Will Green

Firms in the food and drink sector are currently facing increased risks to supply chains involving microbiological safety.

According to the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), more cases of salmonella, listeria and e-coli are being reported across the UK and Europe.

Barbara Gallani, director of regulation, science and health at the FDF, said: “The trends have been around microbiological safety. There have been more cases reported. There have been a number of cases of salmonella, listeria and e-coli identified in some foods.”

Gallani said the FDF had identified the trend through monitoring of official reporting channels, and firms were aware of the risk.

“The way to deal with it is to make sure controls are in place. It’s a question of having checks,” she said.

Gallani said the horse meat scandal had focused attention on supply chain risk.

“In terms of looking at potential risk I think horse meat has brought into the picture a number of issues that companies were probably less focused on,” she said.

“I think food businesses in general are very aware of the economic and reputational damage that crises can constitute and they have very robust measures in place, but it’s very important to review the systems.”

Gallani said mapping supply chains and identifying potential risks was key.

“The risks can be associated with ingredients or processes,” she said. “It’s very important companies know their products and processes very well and they map the risks.

“Identify the risks by monitoring specific or generic trends that could affect the supply chain. Create a plan to act on potential risks and review and communicate what you are doing.”

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