AUSTRIA – The Global Harmonization Initiative (GHI), a network of individual scientists and scientific organizations working together to promote harmonization of global food safety regulations and legislation through sound science, has announced the launch of the Whistleblower Food Safety Incident Report Site.

Across the world, most food industry employees dare not report information about safety concerns externally because of the consequences of their employer finding out who they are. Huub Lelieveld, GHI president expressed that some employees follow their conscience and the consequence is, that while saving people from harm, they often lose their job and may possibly suffer worse consequences.

“That is still the fate of many whistleblowers. For that reason, the GHI has developed an anonymous food safety incident reporting site. The emphasis is on anonymous and we have taken web-based privacy safeguards to ensure this. While filling in the online report, the reporter is also frequently reminded not to reveal anything that would make it possible to identify themselves,” he said.

GHI informed that the site is currently available in English but will soon be made available in local languages.

All of the serious incident reports that GHI receives will be evaluated by a team of food safety experts. For those concerns that the network confirms as what it termed “serious”, i.e., that could cause serious harm to consumers, it will inform the local authorities within the country of interest and ask them to investigate.

The site is being launched together with a social media awareness campaign for people working in the food and beverage industry, to report any serious safety concerns that they have.

APAL welcomes Food Safety Culture fact sheet

AUSTRALIA – Apple &Pear Australia Limited (APAL), an organization that supports Australia’s commercial apple and pear growers, has hailed the Fresh Produce Safety Centre’s release of the Food Safety Culture fact sheet.

The fact sheet was authored by food safety consultant Elizabeth Frankish and is provided for the Australian and New Zealand fresh produce industries.

According to APAL Head of Group Quality, Innovation and Commercialization, Andrew Mandemaker, this fact sheet will help the Australian apple and pear industry maintain the high standards consumers have come to expect.

“Our industry has worked hard to earn a reputation for clean, safe and healthy produce. This fact sheet will assist staff in quality compliance and management roles in packhouses to support a culture of risk awareness and mitigation,” he said.

As reported on the organization’s website, the fact sheet articulates the vital role of food safety culture in maintaining an effective food safety management system, with practical guidance for measuring, evaluating and monitoring food safety culture and providing additional food safety culture resources.