Author: Aubree Duncan – Corporate Food Safety Manager at Tosca
As consumer trends show, customers want to know more about what’s in their food, where it comes from, and how it’s made; visibility to the entire supply chain is more important than ever. One part of that supply chain is food packaging. The FDA regulates what materials the packaging is made out of and what type of information is put on the packaging. But unlike food production and the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, which is heavily regulated by the FDA, only some guidance has been given on how to manufacture food safe packaging.
Tosca is one of the nation’s leading providers of reusable containers that transport eggs, produce and case-ready meat from supplier to grocery retailer. As part of a reusable supply chain, containers move from supplier to retailer to Tosca’s wash sites to be inspected, cleaned, sanitized, and ready for another turn through the supply chain.
As a vital part of the food supply chain, we believe it is critically important to provide food safe packaging. To provide peace of mind and assurance to our customers, Tosca has taken the initiative and has successfully certified all 14 of our service centers to the components of the GFSI recognized standards FSSC 22000 for sanitation and hygiene services. To achieve this high standard, each service center went through a yearlong journey and audit resulting in certification to ISO/TS 22002-4: Food Packaging Manufacturing and ISO 22000:2005 Food Safety Management Systems.
Components of a robust Food Safety Management System focus on important aspects including:
- HACCP plans which assess potential hazards and identify critical process controls that are continually monitored
- Laboratory analysis to assess biological hazards via Aerobic Plate Count, Listeria and air and water sampling
- Individual RPC traceability of wash date via digital tracking
- Biosecurity measures to prevent cross contamination
Certification is only the first step in the process to deliver food safe containers. Service centers routinely conduct internal audits to ensure all standards of FSMS continue to be met. An independent 3rd party certifying body also conducts annual surveillance audits as well as re-certification every three years. Tosca has selected an industry leader, SGS, as our 3rd party provider.
Tosca ships many high value, high margin products found around the perimeter of the store to many of the country’s leading grocery retailers in our reusable containers. We pride ourselves on doing our part to maintain food safety throughout the supply chain. By ensuring that our service centers operate in a food safe manner and meet the requirements of the ISO standard, Tosca is positioned to quickly address potential food safety concerns and customer demands. Tosca’s approach to food safety has positioned us as a knowledgeable resource to help you deliver food safety in your perishable supply chain.