HACCP a ‘foundational pillar’ of safety and quality management system – Coca Cola

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

©iStock/jbk_photography
©iStock/jbk_photography
HACCP requirements and documentation are ‘foundational pillars’ of the food safety and quality management system, according to an expert at Coca-Cola HBC.

Dr Zoltan Syposs, group quality, safety and environment (QSE) director at Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC), said it will use HACCP in an evolving way as part of operations.

“Like many other players in the industry we have experienced situations where the HACCP system, despite all the best efforts, has perhaps due to lack of disciplined attention, became obsolete and lost its proactive signals,” ​he told FoodQualityNews.

“We have learned our lessons and made a conscious decision as a company to step-change our food safety and HACCP applications.

“We put this into a food quality and safety step-change documentation framework with defined PRPs and Critical Control Points, and then cascaded the knowledge and end-to-end responsibility to the shop floor, from operator to plant management level.”

Dr Syposs said it has extended the FSMS requirements to distribution and the marketplace where responsibilities are increasing and the complexity of its portfolio has grown.

“For example, we now have examples of cold chain delivered products which is new to us. Through this step-change plan, which is driven through leadership emphasis, messaging consistency, continuous control, training and feedback, we have slowly but surely delivered much better quality HACCP and overall food-safety plans.”

Staying ahead of regulations

Dr Syposs is a speaker at the Food Sure Summit​ in Amsterdam from 22-24 May.

His talk will cover how to manage microbiological sensitivity in operations and incorporate such risks into quality by design processes.

Dr Syposs told us such events are important to learn from other industries and change the food safety mind-set as its beverage portfolio has diversified and increased.

Coca‑Cola HBC is a bottling partner of The Coca‑Cola Company, which manufactures and sells concentrates, bases and syrups to bottling partners.

The company adheres to stricter standards to remain ahead of local legislative minimum requirements, said Dr Syposs.

We look very carefully at the local legislative requirements, and then after that initial assessment, we also apply our own internal requirements, which are composed of a set, standardised KORE requirements defined by The Coca-Cola Company,” ​he said.

“Besides the increased legislative and company requirements, the number of natural ingredients we use have also grown and impacted the complexity of managing microbiological sensitivity throughout our supply chain.

“With our supplier guiding principles and controls through our manufacturing, distribution and marketplace processes, Coca-Cola Hellenic applies an end-to-end approach when it comes to microbiological standardisation.”

New formulation and supply chain challenges

Dr Syposs said removing sugar may increase microbiological sensitivity but it depends on several factors.

“For example, substituting sugar with other natural, nutritive ingredients, reducing carbonation levels and/or eliminating preservatives have clearly increased the microbiological sensitivity of our products,” ​he said.

“Bottling these new formulations on the same sparkling soft-drink lines requires a very different level of GMP approach.

“But ultimately I would say that, it is not the reduction of the sugar but using more and more sensitive ingredients, which have increased the overall microbiological sensitivity of our portfolio. Thus to manage this increased sensitivity on a day to day basis it is critical to continuously move our capabilities to the next level.”

Dr Syposs said it has a validated and complex end-to-end supplier approval system that is continuously evolving.

“It consists of several elements such as approval of suppliers, product/ingredient certification, system audits and system maintenance, coupled with risk-based unannounced audit approach. We clearly require all our suppliers to meet the GFSI and the Coca-Cola Company KORE requirements,” ​he said. 

“Together with The Coca-Cola Company Technical Business Unit partners we have established a continuous, transparent supplier performance monitoring system which not only allows all involved parties to track quality and food safety performance but allows us to jointly improve quality performance and run segmented analysis at all times.”

Other speakers at the summit include Edward Haynes (Fera), Salvatore Ranchetti (Ferrero), Marco Scialpi (Nestlé), Pamela Wilger (Cargill), Barry Calpino (Mondelez) and Christine Lodder (Danone Nutricia).

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