Preparing a due diligence analysis plan for a brewery
A food safety analysis (due diligence) plan provides a risk-based approach to food safety analyses. It ensures that all analyses needed to prove legal compliance / safe products are included and minimises costs by targeting essential analyses. It also ensures regular checks and evidence of compliance to Regulations, industry guidelines and in-house specifications. This gives assurance to stakeholders and provides part of the defence for the company in case things go wrong. We can help you to design a suitable Due Diligence plan.
It is not possible to measure every potential food safety issue in every material or product. It is therefore essential to identify the main risks and where they occur. It is also important to consider the risk of non-compliance with legal limits as well as health risks related to contaminants or other substances which are not subject to legal limits.
Reliable numerical data is essential. However, the correct interpretation of the data is also required in order to correctly target actions. As a general rule, the closer a contaminant is to the final end-product, the greater the risk, since some undesirable materials are eliminated or reduced by processing.
How can you ensure that your plan includes the essential elements and is cost effective?
This paper describes some key steps in preparing a food safety due diligence plan; this is based on our experience of working with breweries of all sizes to create due diligence plans.
Advantages of a Due Diligence Plan
The key advantages of a Due Diligence plan are:
- It provides a risk-based approach to food safety analyses; this ensures that all analyses needed to prove legal compliance and ensure safe products are included in the plan
- It ensures that all relevant materials, processes and products are considered
- It minimises costs by targeting analyses where they are needed and avoiding unnecessary analyses
- It ensures that analyses are done on a regular, scheduled basis
- Analysis of the data can be used to continuously improve the food safety analysis plan
- The data obtained will provide assurance of compliance to Regulations, industry guidelines and in-house specifications
- Gives assurance to stakeholders
- The plan, together with the analytical data, provides part of the defence for the company in case things go wrong
Preparing a Due Diligence Plan
The key steps in preparing the plan are:
- Identify the Risks and Limits
This must be done for all the different product types. Particular attention is needed for novel ingredients and products. Different risks may be associated with these.
It is important to understand the mechanism of formation. Table 1 shows the occurrence of the mycotoxin fumonisin which results from infection of cereals with Fusarium in the field. The risk is high for maize and wheat, but is low for barley, rice and hops; hence, it is only necessary to check maize and wheat for fumonisin mycotoxins.