Author: ICS

  • Published on September 15, 2018
  • Amazingly busy week. Started at the AIFST conference in Melbourne, which was an excellent meeting. Was in the taxi back to the airport when I heard about the strawberries. Onto the phone to my clients in that sector. Trace checked every delivery back to source farm- all documented. By yesterday, that client was metal detecting all strawberries.
  • Interestingly I spent yesterday morning at another clients site- not produce at all- discussing TACCP & what can they REALLY do about it. They had already done the training & a business threat assessment.
  • So I am going to borrow some simple, cost effective control measures, that every business can apply. Thanks to Andrew Brown & have added my own thoughts:
  • -Policies to manage employees, including fair treatment of, and dismissal.
  • – Security measures, for example CCTV, restricted access areas and securing the facility / product / packaging / inputs. Note if locking cold rooms, please consider health & safety, for example someone getting locked inside. A previous boss of mine had been deliberately locked in a cold room as a 15 year old apprentice.
  • – Awareness for all personnel to report rumours, suspicious activity, unaccompanied visitors and similar. Ensure open communication. Documented Tool box meetings. See (& hear) something, say something.
  • -Carry out site security assessments/challenges. I have done numerous assessments over the 12 months for clients. Every single site has failed.
  • – Training and once again awareness of the implications of such actions. Include legal responsibilities & penalties. Some things start as a joke. See comment above about cold rooms.
  • – Removal of and restricted access to things like staples, tacks, workshop equipment, workshop area, baits, poisons, cleaning chemicals and similar. I know of cases in USA & Australia where these have been used.
  • – Creating an overall culture within the company that embraces all possible ways to manage the risks. Ensure open communication. Really listen to the folks on the floor.
  • Yes metal detectors, X-rays, magnets & tamper-proof packaging can all be good (expensive) deterrents but I know of a previous client in the EU that did have all of these things on their berry line in 2007 but still had a live rodent placed into the clear heat sealed pack by a disgruntled staff member, with help from their mates. Yes we tracked down that person within 45 minutes due to the technology on the line but the rodent was still bouncing around in the berry pack at the store…….
  • The costs for doing all these things is minimal. The costs for not doing these things is potentially catastrophic.

At ICS we offer training in this area along with consultancies services in this area. Next training workshop is November 21 2018 ph 1300 367 810 or email

Filed under: Uncategorized

by Margaret Balfour

The past few years have seen some significant changes in the requirements of retailer and GFSI Standard and 2018 is shaping up to be another big year of change. The BRC Global Standard Food Safety Issue 8 is to be released in mid-2018 and as BRC Approved Training Providers, ICS are prepared for delivery of training and technical support to industry, certification bodies and auditors in October 2018.

Additionally, SQFI have released a new version of the SQF Standard requiring upgraded requirements relating to Approved Suppliers, HACCP, Allergen Controls, environmental swabbing and the introduction of both VACCP and TACCP. Furthermore, businesses with HARPs and SQF certification under Code 35 will no longer be able to use SQF as their GFSI base standard. The only GFSI standard available for this sector of the industry, will be the BRC Agents and Brokers standard.

To meet this demand ICS is running recognised BRC Agents and Brokers Standard training for both auditors and industry early in 2018. This will be the first time that this training has been offered in this region. Courses will be delivered in:

– Melbourne: 23 January 2018
– Brisbane: 24 January 2018
– Auckland: 30 January 2018

Please free-call us on 1300 367 810 to book on this course or email your registration enquiry [email protected].

2017 has been a very busy year indeed at ICS with ongoing and significant technical support provided to auditors, industry, certification bodies and Standard specifiers. Our team have been instrumental in supporting the success of the business and our customers through exceptional customer service, dedication and professionalism. I couldn’t be prouder of what the team has achieved in 2017 and look towards 2018 with excitement.

Filed under: Latest NewsTagged with: , ,