KENYA – Upfield, the global leader in plant-based nutrition has marked the World Food Safety Day in style, as its Kenyan operations obtained the coveted Food Management System Standard certification, FSSC 22000.

The maker of the blue band brand has received the certification indicating that it has implemented the most robust food safety management system while manufacturing and handling the food products.

“Our Nairobi based Blue Band manufacturing plant meets the requirements of an internationally recognized best practice approach and has been able to implement a robust food defense and food fraud system to prevent criminals from intentionally contaminating our products and intentionally deceiving our consumers using our product or packaging materials for their economic gain,” said Upfield East and Southern Africa Managing Director, Peter Muchiri.

FSSC 22000 focuses on certifying the Food Safety Management System of an organization thereby assuring an end-to-end robust management of the systems by defining, evaluating, and controlling food safety hazards, minimizing risks and guaranteeing the production of safe food in the whole supply chain.

This includes processing, manufacturing, packaging, storage, transportation, and distribution, with checks on the suppliers too.

The certification is based on the widely recognized ISO 22000 for food safety management, industry-relevant pre-requisite programs and FSSC defined requirements which include food defense, food fraud prevention and allergen management, among others.

The scheme is owned by an independent non-profit organization and through meeting the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Benchmarking Requirements, the FSSC 22000 Scheme has full GFSI recognition since 2010.

GFSI recognition demonstrates that the scheme meets the highest standards globally, leading to international food industry acceptance.

“To promote a sustainable food safety culture in the entire organization, we ensure that all associates continually receive training on principles of food safety relevant to their roles, so they know the implication of their individual commissions and/or omissions to food safety.

“They understand and own the food safety agenda, the policy, its objectives and the outcome we seek for our consumers – good quality and a safe product” said Alice Majani, Head of Supply Chain, East and Southern Africa, Upfield.

Other than Upfield, Kenyan food manufacturers: DPL Festive Bread and Malbros Group, recently obtained FSSC 22000 certification.

This year’s World Safety Day, celebrated on 7 June 2021 under the theme: ‘Safe food today for a healthy tomorrow’, aims to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development. 

To this end, the World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a new handbook to help countries address food safety challenges in their respective jurisdictions.

The new handbook follows a 2020 resolution adopted by the World Health Assembly mandating WHO to monitor the global burden of foodborne and zoonotic diseases at national, regional and international levels.

The resolution also gave the WHO the mandate to report on the global burden of foodborne diseases with up-to-date estimates of global foodborne disease incidence, mortality and disease burden by 2025.