Official food safety audits in large scale retail trades in the time of COVID: system control experiences supported by an innovative approach


Submitted: 10 August 2021
Accepted: 24 October 2022
Published: 5 December 2022
Abstract Views: 553
PDF: 184
HTML: 19
Publisher's note
All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.

Authors

  • Amaranta Traversa Department of Prevention, Section Veterinary B, Turin Local Health Unit, Turin, Italy.
  • Francesca Rubinetti Department of Prevention, Section Veterinary B, Turin Local Health Unit, Turin, Italy.
  • Sarah Lanzilli Department of Prevention, Section Veterinary B, Turin Local Health Unit, Turin, Italy.
  • Roberta Bervini Department of Prevention, Section Veterinary B, Turin Local Health Unit, Turin, Italy.
  • Guido Bruatto Department of Prevention, Section Veterinary B, Turin Local Health Unit, Turin, Italy.
  • Emanuele Coruzzi Department of Prevention, Section Veterinary B, Turin Local Health Unit, Turin, Italy.
  • Maurizio Gilli Department of Prevention, Section Veterinary B, Turin Local Health Unit, Turin, Italy.
  • Arianna Mendolicchio Department of Prevention, Section Veterinary B, Turin Local Health Unit, Turin, Italy.
  • Emanuele Osella Department of Prevention, Section Veterinary B, Turin Local Health Unit, Turin, Italy.
  • Enzo Stassi Department of Prevention, Section Veterinary B, Turin Local Health Unit, Turin, Italy.
  • Claudio Biglia Department of Prevention, Section Veterinary B, Turin Local Health Unit, Turin, Italy.

This work describes a new methodology used in large scale retail trades in official food safety auditing processes developed during COVID19 emergency. The aim is to evaluate Food Business Operators’ (FBOs) Food Safety Management System and its dynamic implementation and to understand the FBO’s level of cultural maturity about food safety according to EU Regulation 2021/382. The innovation mainly consists of: a) a pre-audit phase when auditors analyse food business operator’s (FBO) selfchecked plan and further documents to identify “markers” and useful evidences (that would be collected in on-site inspections) to evaluate the application of plan by FBO’s workers; b) an audit phase consisted of both a check of the company procedures and documents performed by the auditors via web conference and of contextually onsite inspections in a sample of company’s supermarkets performed by inspectors teams. The audit methodology here described may be useful, even though it is expensive in terms of time and energy used, for both Competent Authority (CA) and FBOs, regardless of the period of the COVID emergency. The so-structured official control allows the auditors to collect both documentary and on-site evidence at the same time, reaching a broader vision of auditees (not limited to single supermarkets) and a compliant with reality FBOs risk classification. The new approach may give advantages to both audit actors, CA as well as FBO, who may collect “markers” and evidence of the self-checked plan useful to improve FBO’s food safety system on the basis of the critical aspects detected during auditing process.


Conferenza Stato-Regioni 117/CSR del 25/07/2012. Intesa tra il Governo, le Regioni e le Province autonome di Trento e Bolzano sul documento recante “Linee guida sui criteri per l’individuazione delle non conformità negli stabilimenti del settore carne e latte e verifica della completezza ed efficacia delle azioni correttive adottate dall’operatore del settore alimentare”. [Regulation in Italian].

Decreto del Presidente della Repubblica 26 marzo 1980, n. 327. Regolamento di esecuzione della legge 30 aprile 1962, n. 283, e successive modificazioni, in materia di disciplina igienica della produzione e della vendita delle sostanze alimentari e delle bevande. In: Gazzetta Ufficiale Italiana n. 193 del 16-07-1980. [Regulation in Italian].

European Commission, 2004. Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs, 852/2004/CE. In: Official Journal of European Union, L 139/1, 30/04/2004.

European Commission, 2004. Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 laying down specific hygiene rules for on the hygiene of foodstuffs, 853/2004/CE. In: Official Journal of European Union, L 139/55, 30/04/2004.

European Commission, 2016. European Commission, Commission Notice on the implementation of food safety management systems covering prerequisite programs (PRPs) and procedures based on the HACCP principles, including the facilitation/flexibility of the implementation in certain food businesses, 2016/C 278/01. In: Official Journal of European Union, C 278/1, 30/07/2016.

European Commission, 2017. Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2017 on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products, (EU) 2017/625. In: Official Journal of European Union, L 95/1, 07/04/2017.

European Commission, 2021. Commission Regulation (EU) 2021/382 of 3 March 2021 amending the Annexes to Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the hygiene of foodstuffs as regards food allergen management, redistribution of food and food safety culture, (EU) 2021/382. In: Official Journal of European Union, L 74/3, 04/03/2021.

Konstantinos V. Kotsanopoulos and Ioannis S. Arvanitoyannis, 2017. The Role of Auditing, Food Safety and Food Quality Standars in the Food Industry: a Review. Compr Rev Food Sci F, vol 16. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1541-4337.12293

Djekic I, Nikolić A, Uzunović M, Marijke A, Liu A, Han J, Brnčić M, Knežević N, Papademas P, Lemoniati K, Witte F, Terjung N, Papageorgiou M, Zinoviadou KG, Dalle Zotte A, Pellattiero E, Sołowiej BG, Guiné RPF, Correia P, Sirbu A, Vasilescu L, Semenova AA, Kuznetsova OA, Vrabič Brodnjak U, Pateiro M, Lorenzo JM, Getya A, Kodak T, Tomasevic I. 2021. Covid-19 pandemic effects on food safety - Multi-country survey study. Food Control 122:107800. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2020.107800

Lundén, J, Vanhanen, V, Myllymäki, T, Laamanen E, Kotilainen, K, & Hemminki, K. 2014. Temperature control efficacy of retail refrigeration equipment. Food Control 45:109-14. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2014.04.041

Pisanello D, Biglia C, Pellicano CM, 2010. Guida alla legislazione alimentare. EPC Editore, p 213.

Wang E, An N, Gao Z, Kiprop E, Geng X, 2020. Consumer food stockpiling behavior and willingness to pay for food reserves in COVID-19. Food Security 12:739-47. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12571-020-01092-1

Zubeldia BB, Jiménez MN, Claros MTV, Andrés JLM, Martin-Olmedo P, 2016. Effectiveness of the cold chain control procedure in the retail sector in Southern Spain. Food Control 59:614-18. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2015.06.046

Supporting Agencies

None

1.
Traversa A, Rubinetti F, Lanzilli S, Bervini R, Bruatto G, Coruzzi E, Gilli M, Mendolicchio A, Osella E, Stassi E, Biglia C. Official food safety audits in large scale retail trades in the time of COVID: system control experiences supported by an innovative approach. Ital J Food Safety [Internet]. 2022 Dec. 5 [cited 2024 Jun. 13];11(4). Available from: https://www.pagepressjournals.org/ijfs/article/view/10022

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Citations