HACCP impels shelf life for perishables
Mike Chew, CEO, AISATS, enumerates the crucial role of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification as a safety compliance for the perishables warehousing industry.
What is the importance of food safety in the perishables warehousing industry?
Food safety is about limiting the presence of hazards in the food supply chain to a minimum. Perishables such as fruits and vegetables have a very short shelf life and get spoiled due to physical, chemical and microbiological changes. Therefore, in the perishables warehousing industry, food safety is important to:
Slow down the growth of microorganisms and reduce chemical (including enzymic) changes, which generally spoil the food, and, Reduce food wastage that inevitably occurs due to food deterioration. The best food safety practices in perishables warehouses also include training of warehouse personnel on food safety fundamentals such as allergens, cross contamination, blood-borne pathogens, sanitation, and food defence. This training provides them the necessary know-how of food safety standards and shows them how to comply with the safety guidelines as per industry standards.
What are the parameters to be HACCP certified?
The HACCP certification is an international accreditation that is highly regarded in the food industry. This prevention-based system identifies potential areas where hazards may occur and deploys stringent actions to prevent these possible hazards from occurring due to microbiological, chemical and physical contaminants. An HACCP certification translates as an assurance to consumers that the food products are fresh, well preserved and safe.
The AISATS COOLPORT is the first on-airport perishable cargo facility in India to be HACCP certified. The HACCP certificate was awarded to AISATS after due assessment of its operations’ process (including an inspection of the premises; cargo - receiving, storage and handling; equipment; installation and maintenance; personnel - selection and training; sanitation & pest control; and handling damaged goods); and identifying critical control points using the seven key principles of HACCP (identify hazards, determine critical control points, establish critical limits, establish monitoring procedures, establish corrective action procedures, establish verification procedures, and establish record keeping), which will help prevent, eliminate and reduce physical, chemical and biological hazards that may occur during cargo operations at the AISATS COOLPORT.
What encouraged you to achieve the HACCP certification? How will it help AISATS perform better?
AISATS has always been committed towards enhancing its service delivery standards and invests regularly in respective processes, technology and manpower. Our HACCP certification is a testament to our endeavour and commitment to deliver excellence in our perishable cargo handling operations by ensuring that the highest food safety standards are in place. The AISATS COOLPORT’s compliance with HACCP standards ensures better performance throughout our cargo operations such as: Meeting global standards through the implementation of the food handling codex guidelines of HACCP – CAC/RCP 1-2003. Adhering to the highest food safety standards when handling and storing perishables at AISATS’ facilities.
Following a protocol that ensures the application and use of time management, temperature control, and cleanliness practices to avoid cross contamination, safety precautions, wellcalibrated and wellmaintained equipment, personal hygiene, and management by trained personnel while handling food items at the AISATS COOLPORT premises.
.Since its launch, the AISATS COOLPORT has handled 12,000 tonnes of export cargo and 300 tonnes of import cargo
Increasing the shelf life of perishable products by giving the utmost priority to environmental and health factors.
Since its launch in February, how has the AISATS COOLPORT picked up?
The recently-launched AISATS COOLPORT, which is spread over an area of 11,000 square meters with an annual handling capacity of 40,000 tonnes, provides a comprehensive infrastructure for receiving, storing and transporting of perishables to and from the aircraft. This facility at Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru, houses 17 dedicated cold storage rooms with temperatures ranging from -250C to 250C to cater to a wide variety of perishable products. This is supplemented by an inhouse Custom Clearance Facility, a Drug Controller Lab Testing Facility and a Plant Quarantine Inspection and Certification Facility.
Since its launch, the AISATS COOLPORT has handled 12,000 tonnes of export cargo and 300 tonnes of import cargo. Fruits and vegetables constitute 75 per cent, pharmaceuticals constitute 18 per cent and other perishables constitute 7 per cent of the total cargo handled at the COOLPORT. In addition, AISATS COOLPORT has started providing reefer trucking services and handling Va-Qtainer shipments.