The Danish approach to food safety

In a food business, microbiological testing is one of several methods of verifying the performance and acceptability of the entire food safety system, according to Claus Heggum, chief consultant of the Agriculture and Food Council in Denmark.

Claus, who is speaking at today’s Teagasc Milk Quality Conference, said compliance with microbiological rules in an open way is key for food safety.

At the conference, the Danish expert discussed the ‘moving-windows approach’ in the food safety control system.

“The sampling approach consists of sampling a defined number of analytical units, at a specified frequency over a defined time period,” he explained in his presentation.

“Follow-up action on individual results is triggered by exceeding these limits, which depending on the type of organism may include actions on affected lots such as withdrawal/recall and/or reviewing the monitoring records and action on the Hazard Analysis & Critical Control (HACCP) system.”

He outlined the advantages of the ‘moving-window approach’ to the food control system.

“It’s a cost-beneficial way to demonstrate compliance with set microbiological criteria, it can demonstrate acceptable performance of HACCP systems and when used together with trend analysis, optimises verification over time.”

Pictured at the Teagasc Moorepark Milk Quality Conference in the Horse & Jockey, Co Tipperary today were Pamela Ruegg, Wisconsin, US, Noel Reilly; Rory Lonergan, Lakeland Dairies, Siobhan Troy, Glanbia; Claus Heggum, Danish Agriculture Food Council. Photo O’Gorman Photography