Awareness of Food Safety Hazards in ASEAN Foods
Established on 8 August 1967, in Bangkok, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, has ten Member States – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Viet Nam, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Cambodia. One of the aims and purposes of ASEAN is to accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region.
The food industry is one ASEAN business sector with the potential to support economic growth. Within this industry, food safety is key to its success. Controlling food safety hazards is an important role of food manufacturers. They are responsible for ensuring the safety of their products in food supply chain. This can be achieved by implementation of relevant food safety regulations, industrial guidelines, codes of practice and food safety standards. Food manufacturers normally apply the Codex Alimentarius HACCP principles as part of their food safety management system. It also forms part of the legal requirements for some countries as well as by many food safety standards, such as BRC, IFS, FSSC, amongst others.
As referred to in Codex Alimentarius HACCP Principle 1, the HACCP team should list all of the hazards that may be reasonably expected to occur at each step according to the scope, from primary production, processing, manufacture, and distribution, until the point of consumption. The HACCP team should next conduct a hazard analysis to identify, for the HACCP plan, which hazards are of such a nature that their elimination or reduction to acceptable levels is essential to the production of a safe food. Relevant information needed to conduct the hazard analysis should be comprehensive and cover the latest scientific literature, historical and known hazards associated with specific food products, relevant codes of practice, recognised guidelines, relevant food safety legislation and customer requirements, etc.
In the past year, food safety issues have been alerted or notified in the EU Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed portal for some countries in ASEAN. Examples of the issues are presented in Table 1. Food manufacturers should consider these when conducting hazard analyses.
|Fish and fish product||Canned fish products||Histamine, Mercury|
|Frozen fish products||Histamine, Mercury, Cadmium|
Poor temperature control
|Crab stick||Undeclared egg|
Crustacean and products
|Frozen cooked prawns||Salmonella. Vibrio cholerae |
|Cephalopod and products thereof||Frozen cuttlefish||Cadmium|
|Bivalve molluscs and products thereof||Frozen cooked clama||Noro virus, Salmonella|
|Fruits and vegetable||Fresh papaya, aubergines, chilli,
dragon fruit, coriander leaves, parsley, celery, long bean, eggplant, luffa, okra
|Dried banana, mango, pineapple||Too high content of sulphite|
Too high content of colourant
Unauthorised use of colourant
|Slice galangal in brine,
pickled lime, water chestnut in brine
|Too high content of sulphite|
Unauthorised use of colourant
|Paan leaves, morning glory, water spinach||Salmonella|
|Ready to eat jackfruit, green mint, sweet basil||Too high count of E.coli|
|Herb and spices||Nutmeg
High count of E.coli
|Nuts, nut products and seed||Desiccated coconut||Rodent excrement|
|Canned coconut milk||Undeclared sulphite|
|Cereals and bakery products||Noodles||Unauthorised use of colourant|
|Rice noodle stick, flour mix||Aluminium|
|Died egg noodle||Undeclared gluten|
|Soups, broths, sauces and condiments||Soy sauce||3-MCPD|
|Sauce||Too high content of sulphite|
|Prepared dish and snack||Crisps
|Undeclared milk, soy, peanut|
|Poultry meat and poultry meat products||Frozen chicken||Salmonella|
For food manufacturers in ASEAN, with the same goal of achieving economic growth in the region, implementation and maintenance of effective food safety management system is the key.
Ms. Boontarika Bampenpol
Systems & Services Certification
Assistant Food Product Manager
Recommended international code of practice general principles of food hygiene (CAC/RCP 1-1969, Rev. 4-2003)