Crop inspections taking place in poly tunnel

Risk assessment of raw materials

18 July 2011 | Sue Emond

As the range and prevalence of hazards in the food chain continues to grow and food manufacturers increasingly look to global markets to source raw materials, confusion over risk assessment procedures could potentially compromise food safety. Many manufacturers adopt an 'ad hoc' approach to risk assessment, driven by the underlying requirements from third parties such as the British Retail Consortium Global Standard for Food Safety and the International Food Standard (IFS) as well as advice from individual retailers themselves.

Download our FREE Supply Chain Resilience eBook today! Thrive in a changing environment by being prepared, agile and resilient.

Promotional material

Some of the hazards of concern today were not even recognised as possible causes of food borne illness just 10 years ago. Acrylamide, for example, and its association with high carbohydrate foods cooked at high temperatures, has just been added to the European Chemical Agencies list of substances of very high concern.

In addition, allergens continue to be a subject of growing awareness and increasingly strict control. There is also the continued threat of deliberately added contaminants for financial gain – such as Sudan dyes in 2003 and the melamine in dairy foods incident three years ago. So it is clear that there needs to be a comprehensive, logical and structured approach to the risk assessment of food ingredients.

Our new guidance on raw material risk assessment (Risk assessment and management of raw materials – Guideline 65) provides specific advice and procedures for the application of risk assessment techniques to identify, evaluate and control potential hazards associated with raw materials in a food, drink or feed manufacturing environment. It involves identifying potential issues and hazards in incoming goods and assessing their probable severity and likelihood, and provides manufacturers with a much stronger platform on which to build their HACCP system.

It can be far too easy to over–complicate or over–simplify systems or to have the wrong focus. A step–by–step, standardised risk assessment procedure can help food manufacturers prioritise their risks and demonstrate the amount of control that should be applied to protect against those risks in a sensible and logical manner. While this can seem onerous to food manufacturers in the first instance, in the longer term, a template for proper risk assessment will save time and money and the benefits will far outweigh any short term costs.

How can we help you?

If you’d like to find out more about risk assessments, contact our support team to find out how we can help.

Contact an expert

Download our FREE ‘Supply Chain Resilience’ eBook today!

Be resilient and thrive – ensure continuity of supply of safe, quality food.

Download eBook

More on Supply chain resilience

Whole eggs, 1 cracked showing yolk

Lessons learnt from previous food fraud incidents

Even if control measures appear robust, food business operators must not be complacent against the threat of food fraud.


Beating food fraud eBook mockup

Beating food crime: download our FREE eBook

Food crime is a significant threat to any food or drink business operator, with many associated food safety risks.


Factory workers inspecting equipment with clipboard

How to defend your business against food fraud

Food fraud is a significant threat to any food or drink business operator and there are many food associated safety risks. Plus food fraud can have huge repu...


Selection of wheat, flour, and grain

Campden BRI Millers' Day

In collaboration with UK Flour Millers, we are delighted to invite members of the milling industry and interested stakeholders to a free one-day event at Chi...


People sharing food cuisine

5 drivers impacting global food safety

As the transformation in the way we produce, distribute and consume food continues, there is a need for effective and proactive food safety management that k...


Factory worker operating plant kit

The importance of TACCP

Richard Leathers, Global Quality Lead covers the importance and key features of TACCP – needed to protect your food business from food fraud and deliberate a...


Contact an expert