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    Instant noodle deaths and how they might have been prevented

    May 24, 2022 | Articles, Other articles

    In two separate incidents, five children died after eating instant noodles. Two of the children, aged 13 and 9 and residing in Mpumalanga, died an hour apart after eating the quick meal. The other three, including a four-month-old baby, died on their way to the hospital in the Eastern Cape.

    The Mpumalanga children’s uncle Mpho Chosen Makofane has spoken out, saying: “We are broken as a family because we never thought that something like this would happen to us. We haven’t heard anything from the police, and we went to inquire at the forensic about the postmortem results. We were informed that they would get back to us once they had received the results from the lab in Pretoria.”

    Police spokesperson Busisiwe Mthethwa said the investigation is ongoing and the autopsy results are pending.

    Many questions are left unanswered and some of these questions include ‘what could have been done to mitigate the risks of these incidents occurring?’ and ‘what can be done to mitigate these kinds of risks going forward?’. The simple answer is by implementing a robust Food Safety Management System.

    What is a Food Safety Management System?

    A Food Safety Management System, like ISO 22000:2018, is a systematic approach to food safety. It ensures food is safe to eat by controlling food safety hazards throughout the supply chain of food processing. It utilises Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). This means that all the activities in the food handling process are managed and controlled using Prerequisite Programs and Critical Control Points to conform to national food safety standards.

    Who needs a Food Safety Management System?

    Organisations of any type and size can be certified to ISO 22000:2018. Often a Food Safety Management System is required to meet statutory and regulatory requirements and being certified to it demonstrates to interested parties that the organisation is committed to being in line with best practice.

    The standard is applicable to anyone involved in:

    • Food manufacturing
    • Food production
    • The transportation of food
    • The selling of food (e.g.: grocery stores)
    • The serving of prepared food (e.g.: restaurants)
    • Food ingredients
    • Packaging food
    • Food equipment production
    • Food additives

    What are some of the benefits of using a Food Safety Management Standard?

    Some of the benefits include:

    • Compliance with HACCP principles: ISO 22000:2018 combines the HACCP principles with Prerequisite programs to assist organisations in their process of compliance with food safety rules and regulations.
    • Management of risks: ISO 22000:2018 gets involved in the food safety process in such a way that improves it while bringing down the occurrence of food safety incidents and thus costs.
    • Streamlining internal processes: The Standard lays the groundwork for process management and continuous improvement.
    • Fewer errors and customer complaints: The Standard requires that all hazards in the food development process be identified, assessed and attempts are made to eliminate them. This means fewer problems down the line, in other words with the customer.
    • Best Practice: Using a Food Safety Management System enables an organisation to consistently produce quality products that meet best practice standards.
    • Competitive Advantage: Implementing ISO 22000:2018 demonstrates that businesses meet international standards. Not only is this a competitive advantage it also promotes international trade.

    A good consultant takes the time to truly understand the processes of your company.

    Therefore, they can approach the implementation of ISO requirements accordingly. The cost of hiring a consultant and the time spent to implement your ISO management system will pay off in the long run.

    WWISE has a 4-Phase Approach:

    • Phase 1: Gap Analysis Audit and Information Gathering
    • Phase 2: ISO Documentation, Risk Assessment, and Process Mapping
    • Phase 3: Implementation and Coaching
    • Phase 4: Certification

    We give you options:

    Option 1: A Gap Assessment. WWISE’s Gap Assessment involves Consultants/ Auditors performing an Audit on your organisation’s processes. This is intended to determine the status and conformance to the required Standard(s) and legal requirements. This provides an understanding of how closely you conform to the Standard, and which areas require additional workshopping, to achieve certification.

    Option 2: Consulting. WWISE provides Consultants to guide your organisation on what activities are required, as well as what to document, and how to implement the system. Upon completion, our Consultants will conduct training and additional reviews.

    Option 3: Implementation. We recommend this as it is the “WWISE Way”. The “WWISE Way” is a hands-on approach involving the organisation, staff, suppliers, and all interested parties. Our unique way is to assist an organisation to implement an effective and bespoke ISO Management System that includes alleviating the administrative burden of documenting Policies, Processes, Procedures, Work Instructions, Risks, as well as standardising Forms and generating Records for the Standards’ requirements/ controls.

    Option 4: Do it yourself. This method of documenting a management system is the most cost-effective and organisations can opt to purchase the ISO Management System Templates (R 12 000-00 ex. VAT) and follow the instructions to implement the system in-house. We recommend attending our ISO Lead Implementation course – providing advice and guidance to best implement the system independently.

    We are here to help. For any assistance regarding the implementation and/ or maintenance of your ISO Management System don’t hesitate to contact WWISE on 0861 099 473 (Centurion) or (021) 525 9159 (Cape Town). You can also email us at admin@wwise.co.za, to assist you and your organisation with more information on ISO 22000:2018.

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