Meat Attraction, along with Cárnica magazine, has organised the first of a series of training seminars for auxiliary companies in the meat industry entitled ‘New Challenges for the Food Industry in Light of the BRC and IFS Standards on Lubrication’. The seminars took place as part of the Debate Forums for the Meat Industry in Girona. The conference was offered by an expert from the Bureau Veritas certification body, and the event was sponsored by , whose collaboration enabled prominent operators in the sector to learn about two standards that distribution chains are demanding their plastics and packaging suppliers comply with. Demand for compliance with these standards could soon reach meat production plants.Meat Attraction Therefore, knowledge of and preparation for compliance with these standards will be essential in the medium term.
The companies attending included Roser, Metalquimia, FAC Industries, Astech, Jarvis, Gaser, KFT, Marel and Tecnotrip.
The lecturer chosen by Cárnica magazine was Raúl Colombo, an expert from FUCHS and collaborator with Bureau Veritas who has extensive experience in lubrication with meat companies such as Campofrío. Colombo traced the development of both standards from their origin as a simple requirement for supermarket chains to ensure food safety beyond the scope of ISO standards for the products on their shelves, their gradual extension (like domino pieces) towards the upper part of the chain (packaging, plastic pellets, inks, etc.), to the high probability of their being extended in the medium term to the equipment used by the meat industry.
In particular, the BRC (British Retail Consortium Food Certification) standard, which is mainly required in the English-speaking world, has developed a specific dossier to introduce good practices for lubrication procedures to the food industry. For its part, IFS Food is very similar and practically equivalent for the rest of Europe. Both have come about because the food sector is placing ever greater emphasis on controlling the products used, so advances must be made to give greater control over anything that may involve contact with the product, risks of cross-contamination, contamination, allergens, compatibilities and proper use, in this case, of the lubricants in the machinery used in the agri-food sector.
As the main take-away, Colombo stressed that it will not only be necessary to use the food-grade lubricants certified in the NSF standards, but that the production plants that use them must be certified to ISO 21.469 to comply with the BRC and IFS standards. Two conditions that, right now in Spain, nobody fulfils.
José Carlos Vicente Díaz