To help enterprises cope with the ‘new normal’ and to rebuild trust from consumers, the new scheme is based on more comprehensive internationally accredited food safety and traceability standards.
GS1 Hong Kong, the local chapter of GS1, a not-for-profit global supply chain standards organisation, has launched the new ‘Quality Food Scheme+’ programme to encourage food and beverage enterprises to adopt more stringent measures in accordance with internationally accredited traceability standards.
The announcement comes after Hong Kong’s Centre for Food Safety issued more than 75 food alerts since the start of 2020, with consumers thought to be increasingly concerned about food safety as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The new scheme is based on more comprehensive internationally accredited food safety standards, including GS1 Global Traceability Standard (GTS), ISO 22000 – Food Safety Management System Standard, as well as HACCP – Food Safety Control Standard.
The scheme will provide companies with disease prevention advice, including industry best practices and how food safety management is uplifted through proper technology adoption. For example, an enterprise may be advised to use appropriate sensing and analysis technologies for real time monitoring of the food processing operation.
“The food and food services industry is facing many challenges, primarily the public trust in food safety,” said May Chung, Chairperson of Hong Kong Food and Beverage Industry Advisory Board of GS1 HK, and General Manager of Nestlé Hong Kong Ltd. “The launch of the new scheme is a perfect opportunity for the industry to be appraised by three international standards, improve food traceability as well as enhance food safety management and control throughout the supply chain. When consumers see the new scheme logo, they feel safer to buy and consume.”
Patrick Tong, General Manager of Tong Shun Hing Poultry (HK) Co. Ltd, commented: “As a major importer of chilled poultry in Hong Kong and Macau with 10 siu mei restaurants, food safety has always been our focus. The scheme not only recognised our efforts, but also inspired us to set higher goals, such as enhancing information transparency. We have decided to step up to join the new scheme, to allow more extensive review on our food safety management and pre-monitoring system, which I believe will elevate our standard in that regard.”
Anna Lin, Chief Executive of GS1 HK, concluded: “It is a pleasure to see such tenacity in the food industry to uphold food safety in Hong Kong. In a difficult time like this, joining ‘Quality Food Scheme+’ not only helps companies comply to regulations, but also rebuilds consumer trust and motivates repeat purchase once the situation gets better. We strive to collaborate with the industry to raise the bar for food safety in Hong Kong, so consumers will come back with a peace of mind.”