Food Safety Policy

As one of the principal processors / suppliers specialising in flat fish species in the United Kingdom, it is the policy of Flatfish Ltd to ensure that the materials that we process are safe, legal and of the quality specified by our customers and stakeholders.

The company will safeguard the safety of material through the effective implementation of HACCP principles and the introduction, control and monitoring of specified parameters at each critical control point, which have been identified through detailed hazard analysis and risk assessment of our raw materials and the food production systems we operate.

Flatfish Ltd will ensure the legality of its products by adhering to all relevant legislation and associated industry codes of practice, and furthermore continually review food safety policies, standards and procedures to effectively manage food safety risks associated with changes in products, processes and technologies.

The business will:

Ensure that its products are of the specified quality by continual investment in plant and equipment, facilities and employee development and training at all stages of the manufacturing process from product development, supplier approval, raw material purchase, processing, storage and dispatch to customer.

All employees will be made aware of the company’s commitment to the production of safe, legal and quality products through their induction and training so that they deliver the highest possible standards of service to meet the needs of the company and its customers.

Validate the effectiveness of the food safety and quality management systems through internal and external audit processes.

Build a food safety and quality capability through structured programmes that develop technical skills, increase awareness, manage risk and drive increasing levels of excellence.

Include food safety and quality strategies in the annual business planning process to ensure that food safety and quality remains an integral part of operations.

Communicate food safety and quality aspects, strategies and performance to associates, consumers, customers and principle stakeholders that have an impact on, or are affected by the Company’s food safety and quality management system.

Set annual measurable food safety and quality objectives for all operations, and at senior management level, to ensure continuous improvement and compliance with all standards.

Ensure that suppliers and contractors embrace the same food safety and quality commitments, and monitor the materials and services the supply through audits and incoming goods inspections.

Communicate food safety aspects and requirements to suppliers, contractors and consumers by establishing specifications for raw and packaging materials, product storage and consumer guidelines.

Flatfish Ltd is committed to a policy of on-going review, continual; improvement and implementation of best practice to ensure that our food safety and quality assurance policies remain current and effective.

Steve Stansfield“I am unequivocally committed to the Food Safety and Quality Policy. Responsibility for the successful implementation of this programme belongs with every Flatfish Ltd employee at each level and function within the organisation.”

Steven Stansfield – Managing Director

It is only by the rigorous enforcement of our Food Safety & Quality Policy that we can be assured of our good reputation, due diligence and future trading relationships with our customers.

HACCP Policy

Flatfish Ltd is committed to a policy of validating and verifying the safety of the foods we produce.

The company will meet this policy commitment by establishing its food safety system through the effective implementation of HACCP in accordance with Codex principles and the introduction, control and monitoring of specified controls at each critical control point identified through detailed hazard analysis and risk assessment.

The HACCP study will be based on an assessment of risk and shall take into account the likely occurrence and severity of microbiological, physical and chemical hazards relevant to our raw materials and production systems.

Our processing site shall establish an appropriately trained HACCP Team which is representative of the sites operation i.e. Technical, Quality Control, Production, Engineering, Hygiene & NPD. The role of HACCP Team Leader will be the responsibility of the Site Head of Technical.

The HACCP Team Leader will be independently qualified to RSPH L3 (Intermediate) or its equivalent, and we will aspire to raise this to L4 (Advanced) within 2017.

All staff will receive HACCP Awareness Training, whilst those personnel responsible for the control and monitoring of a CCP shall receive specific task training to ensure that these remain under control, and that specified corrective action is taken where monitoring suggests that control is in danger of being lost.

The HACCP system will undergo an annual review and verification audit in order to ensure that it is being maintained and remains appropriate for the effective control of the raw materials being used and the food production system being operated.

All personnel involved in the development, implementation, maintenance, verification, validation and review shall receive appropriate HACCP training which shall be traceable to a recognised national standard.

It is only by the rigorous enforcement of this commitment to HACCP that we can be confident in the safety of the food we produce, and in our good reputation and future trading relationships with our customers.

Allergen Policy

The identification, control and awareness of allergens is a growing challenge facing the food industry.

Flatfish Ltd is committed to a policy of providing our customers with clear unambiguous labelling of any allergens or their derivatives, which may be present in the raw materials we purchase and the products we produce so that the end consumer can be confident in the purchases decisions they make in meeting their dietary needs.

Of particular concern are the following 14 allergens and their derivatives that have been identified as Major Serious Allergens that if consumed by susceptible persons could trigger a potentially fatal anaphylactic shock:

  • Cereals containing gluten
  • Crustaceans
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans
  • Milk
  • Nuts – Almond, Hazelnut, Walnut, Cashew, Pecan, Brazil, Pistachio, Macadamia & Queensland
  • Celery & Celeriac
  • Mustard
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sulphur Dioxide and Sulphites >10ppm
  • Molluscs
  • Lupin

We will work with our raw material suppliers to ensure that all allergens which are present by direct addition or by presence through a compound ingredient /processing aid are clearly identified on our raw material specifications.

Wherever such allergens and their derivatives are not necessary to deliver optimum flavour, appearance, taste, texture, authenticity or other consumer benefits we will undertake to remove these from the foods we develop.

Where this is not possible we will ensure that the presence of such allergens is clearly specified within the product specification and on the product label of the foods we produce, and that systems of segregation are in place to prevent cross contamination during the manufacturing process.

Where “Free from …..” foods are produced these shall be subject to both internal and external analysis to demonstrate the validity of such claims.

To ensure that such systems are robust we will carry out an allergen risk assessment audit in order to ensure that the allergen status of the foods we or our added-value partners produce are not compromised. The verification of the allergen control procedures will be carried out as part of the sites annual HACCP review.

Finally we will raise the awareness of our staff and employees through a programme of training events and workshops.

Food Adulteration, Residues & Contaminants Avoidance Policy

Avoiding the adulteration, and/or presence of residues and contaminants in the raw materials we purchase and the food products we produce is of paramount importance to Flatfish Ltd and our customers.

We are committed to a policy of ensuring that we and our suppliers operate to industry best practice and are in full compliance with specified legal limits, and in the case of pesticide and medicinal residues, that our producers operate to recognised codes of practice by ensuring that relevant withdrawal periods are followed prior to the produce entering the food chain.

The scope of this policy covers the presence of:

  • Nitrates
  • Mycotoxin (Aflatoxins, Ochratoxin A, Patulin, Deoxynivalenol, Zearalenone, Fumonisins &
  • Trichothecenes)
  • Patulin
  • Heavy Metals (Lead, Cadmium & Mercury)
  • Other Metals (Arsenic, Tin, Copper & Zinc)
  • 3-MCPD (Monochloropropane)
  • Dioxins & PCB`s
  • Furan
  • Polycyclic Aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Acrylamide
  • Residues (Pesticides as listed in EC Reg No.396/2005)
  • Veterinary Medicinal Products
  • Food adulteration (Melamine, Sudan dyes etc)
  • Azo Food Dyes (Southampton Study)
  • Environmental Contaminants (Glass, Perspex, Metal, Wood etc)
  • Extraneous Matter (insects etc)

All our suppliers/producers are approved prior to supply and, by agreeing to Conditions of Supply they have warranted that they meet all the legislative requirements relevant to the raw material being supplied (fish, ingredient & food contact packaging).  It is a specific requirement that should our raw material suppliers suspect that the raw materials being supplied is contaminated in any way then they must inform Flatfish without delay so that we can agree the corrective action to be taken.

We will carry out a risk assessment on all our raw materials to identify those that have a known risk of adulteration and have in place a screening system to check supplier compliance.

We will ensure that the facility we own remains well invested and that there are monitoring procedures in place to ensure that the fabric, equipment and manufacturing environment are maintained in good condition so that the potential for foreign body inclusion in product is minimised to acceptable levels.

All packing lines will be equipped with on-line metal detection which is capable of operating at best detectable limits for ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless steel contaminants.

We will have a procedure in place that is designed to restrict the movement and storage of wood to specified areas where the risks of potential food cross contamination can be controlled.

Where ever possible we will restrict the use of glass or clear perspex in food processing areas, where this is unavoidable all items shall be listed on a glass/perspex register and the condition of these items shall be monitored at a risk assessed frequency. Where damage occurs the risk to product shall be managed via a glass/perspex breakage procedure.

We have a policy of reviewing food industry journals, research papers and other scientific publications and reports so that we can identify potential issues at an early stage and reduce our exposure to newly identified food adulteration and contaminant challenges that the food industry may face in the future.

Working together with our producers and suppliers we are committed to developing long term supply relationships to ensure that the requirements of this policy are met.

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