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Trailblazers in quality and safety

QS database: Nagel is one of the first companies listed

The new Quality and Safety Guidelines “Meat for Refrigerated Warehouses”, called the “QS Guidelines” for short, apply from 1 January 2017. The Nagel-Group is one of the first food logistics companies to be registered in the database as a warehousing company. This means that all European sites for the storage of meat and meat products in refrigerated warehouses are certified.

“We are very pleased about this - particularly in view of the expansion of our competency in the frozen goods area,” says Hendrik Reinelt, Head of Corporate Quality Management at the Nagel-Group. As early as 2012 he played a crucial role in the development of the “Transport and Logistics for Fruit and Vegetables” QS Guidelines, and helped with a practical approach to formulating requirements for smaller companies.

“What is different about meat certification by Q&S GmbH is vertical quality management. This covers all stages in the production and retail of meat and meat products - from farmer to shop counter, in one market, which had previously been characterised by direct delivery to the point of sale,” explains Reinelt.

QS Qualität und Sicherheit GmbH has now decided that service-providers for temperature-controlled foods - therefore including refrigerated warehouses and refrigerated transport, which store meat and meat products - should be part of the inspection system. For certification, one of the guidelines which QS has prepared using the knowledge of the Nagel-Group, amongst others, covers “Storage meat and meat products.”

The Association of German Refrigerated Warehouses and Refrigerated Logistics companies (VDKL) has approved the requirements. Refrigerated warehouses will initially join the QS-system on a voluntary basis for a transition period of two years - up to 31 December 2018.

The new standard also specifies: From slaughter and preparation through to production, QS-certified meat companies may only work with refrigerated warehouses which are also certified to the QS-system. These guidelines will take effect from 1 January 2019.

Three inspection levels in Quality Assurance

The QS-system consists of three levels of inspection:

1. The first is the company’s own inspection process: Companies themselves must provide reliable inspection and documentation of the requirements. Quality assurance makes clear requirements, practical guidelines and checklists available for the purpose.

2. In the second stage of the QS-system, independent inspection of the companies is undertaken by neutral certification companies. They check both the production and marketing processes, and documentation of these. Companies and businesses involved in the QS-system also participate in monitoring programmes - through systematic collection and analysis of data they will detect risks to food safety at an early stage and can assess these accordingly.

3. And finally, the “inspection of inspection” takes place. Reinelt: “Food must retain its quality perfectly from farmer to shop counter. “QS ensures this within the framework of the continuous internal inspection system, which also checks the work of the certification centres, auditors and laboratories.”

Implementing practical requirements with QS Guidelines

Meat products from approved QS system partners are labelled with the blue QS quality mark. To ensure that the quality of the food is guaranteed, certain rules must be obeyed during storage of meat. Some of the most important factors in storage of meat are:

  • Identification and registration of products, and no mixing with non-QS products
  • Documenting information on customers and suppliers
  • Guaranteeing hygiene standards for food, personnel and the storage area
  • Meeting temperature requirements and the best-before date

Incident and crisis management, warehousing, staff training, disposal logistics, inspection of goods and pest monitoring must also be guaranteed.

A simple kind of registration is guaranteed by the approval of an IFS Logistics Audit. The Nagel-Group is already certified to the highest food standards over a wide geographical area.

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