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The third annual CIES international Food Safety Conference currently is underway in Barcelona, with developments that include…

  • The CIES Traceability Task Force presented a draft version of its "Implementing Traceability in the Food Supply Chain." Hugo
    Byrnes, CIES's director of food safety, told attendees that EU legislation will require food companies to have traceability systems in place by January 2005, and that a similar provision is to be introduced soon in the US.

    According to Byrnes, the CIES guide is designed as a concise overview of the issues for senior management, based on the use of systems already in place. "A key objective for retailers in implementing traceability is to achieve rapid exchange of information, Byrnes said, "since this is crucial for an effective withdrawal in the event of a product alert."

  • Jill Hollingsworth, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) vice president of food safety programs, told the assembly that FMI's membership has identified food safety as its top priority, putting US retailers in synch with their global brethren; a recent CIES survey established the same priority on an international scale.

    Hollingsworth said that FMI is focusing on a quartet of issues: the food source (suppliers); in-store operations; employee training; and consumer education. On the supply side, she said, FMI has supported the creation of the SQF standard, which has now been benchmarked by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). FMI has also produced guides for in-store preparation and on employee training.

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