Supplier control, the key in the food chain

The goal of the program supplier control is to guarantee that all suppliers and supplied raw materials, ingredients and packaging meet applicable legal requirements. And ensure supply in accordance with the established requirements of food quality and safety.

In this sense, it is a priority to establish guidelines for subsequent periodic monitoring and evaluation of suppliers. This is to select those that best ensure the safety of the final product.

In it webinar Implementation of the supplier control program, Mónica Lois, Food Safety Supply Chain Director Latam de NSF International, he emphasized the importance of product and process supplier management programs. Well, he pointed out that it is important to consider various aspects that could affect safety. For example:

  • Safety
  • Allergens
  • Food fraud
  • Compliance with key specifications to meet security, regulatory or user requirements
  • Traceability

risk evaluation

“The only way to create a successful supplier management program that gives us assurances and is feasible is through solid risk assessments, that is, they must be carried out by competent people. It must be well supported by references and/or data,” says Lois.

Risk assessment is the basis not only for defining the process of approval and monitoring of suppliers. In the case of raw materials, packaging materials or semi-finished products, the specifications and the acceptance and evaluation procedure on receipt must be defined.

Risk assessment methodologies are different:

1. Security

  • Microbiological contamination
  • Chemical contamination, including allergens
  • Presence of foreign bodies

2. Authenticity

  • Food substitution or fraud

3. Quality

  • Import of MP or ME on quality, safety, product legality or client requirements

Supplier approval

The priority is to document the supplier approval process. You need to know:

  • What are you going to do?
  • How will it be done?
  • When are you going to do it?
  • Who will do it?

Finally, the expert expressed that both approval and monitoring of service providers must be defined based on risk. For them, the following elements must be taken into account:

  • Product safety risk
  • Compliance with specific legal requirements
  • Potential risks for the physical safety of the product (food defense)

You may also be interested in: Food Safety Risks and How to Prioritize Them


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