Quality and Safety Management Systems - Update (WP7)

The objective of WP7 is to develop a generic Quality Management System / Food Safety Management System (QMS/FSMS) based upon the technological and managerial elements, in order to assure the safety and quality of food. This approach (including technological and managerial elements and conditions of the production processing chain) involves the contemporary use of technological and managerial models to predict food quality and safety systems behaviour and to generate adequate improvement of these systems. The technological input for the Quality Management System/Food Safety Management System will be based on the tools and methods developed in QUAFETY to control and limit pathogen growth and, as well as, to reduce the quality decay in the Ready To Eat fresh produce sector. The new methods and tools are primarily developed and validated in WP1, WP2, WP3, WP4 and WP5 of the project. They could be implemented and applied in WP7.
The QMS/FSMS are key elements in the dissemination of knowledge between enterprises and research institutes. As an input of the QMS/FSMS a conceptual research model will be developed to identify critical factors that affect quality and safety behaviour in the Ready To Eat fresh produce sector.
The conceptual research model will be translated to concrete guidelines to enable assessment of Quality Management System / Food Safety Management System (QMS/FSMS) in the Ready To Eat fresh produce sector as well in the food chain.
The development of the diagnostic instrument for the assessment of the Quality Management System / Food Safety Management System can be used by SMEs to help them for the evaluation of the food quality and safety management systems that they have implemented in their organization.
The development of the Safety Assessment Plan (SAP) based upon the new tools and methods developed in the WP1, WP2, WP3, WP4 and WP5 of the project, will assess the level of quality and safety along the production processing chain and also the quality and safety of the products. The SAP that will be developed within WP7 will be distributed to all participating SMEs. The SAP can be used by SMEs to help them in the selection of the critical sampling points, the assessment of sampling numbers, the selection of the most appropriate method of microbial analysis to be used for a specific application, and the interpretation of the outcome results.
The integrated managerial and technological insights will be incorporated in the Quality Management System / Food Safety Management System that will be implemented in SMEs from the Ready To Eat fresh produce sector. The system will consider the complete food chain i.e. Good Agricultural Practices, primary production, processing, packaging storage and distribution, and the consumer.
The QMS/FSMS is not only seen as a necessity for implementing the obtained results but it is also seen as a direct way of demonstration and dissemination of results as mentioned above. The results of this WP will be the primary basis for training activities as well.