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SUSTAINABILITY LIBRARY 2023 Products Food safety

Food safety

Food safety, the core identity of Lerøy.

Challenges

Food safety refers to the measures taken to ensure that food is safe for consumption by humans. Ensuring food safety is critical for protecting the health and wellbeing of people and the sustainability of the food industry.

Impact

Lerøy survey all products for contaminants and microbiological levels throughout the value chain, in addition to obtaining a robust food safety culture. This to ensure that all our products are safe to consume for the population. Exceeding limits or breakage of food safety measures and produce contaminated food can create harmful effects to vulnerable populations, such as children and the elderly. In addition, it may cause food loss.

To be able to handle a breach with food safety, Lerøy has defined clear recall measures to be able to trace and stop a product within 4 hours. An insufficient recall can result in significant financial losses. Unsafe food may lead to foodborne illnesses, which can cause a range of symptoms from mild discomfort to severe illness.

Ensuring food safety increases consumer confidence in Lerøy’s products, which can lead to increased sales and revenue. 

Our ambitions in this area

The Group’s strategy is to meet or exceed the market’s requirement for food safety, quality, product range, cost efficiency and continuity of supply. This is achieved by coordinating the various elements in the value chain: the production units, the Group’s sales network, and established strategic alliances with sea farms, fishing vessels and fish-processing plants, primarily along the coast of Norway. 

The Group is actively involved in all parts of the value chain to ensure supply of safe products to the consumer. Based on experience gained over many years, we have developed a quality system comprising routines and procedures to ensure supply of safe products.  

As a part of the Group`s quality assurance routines, we carry out control and monitoring of our manufacturers and partners. This involves specifying requirements for their quality systems and routines, and carrying out analyses, audits and monitoring operations.

Our quality teams carries out over a 1000 quality audits every year.

All products are controlled by Lerøy Seafood Group at different stages throughout the entire production process; from roe, boat and purchasing station to the finished and boxed product and, in certain cases, up to delivery to the customer.

For many years, the Group has followed a definitive strategy for quality assurance. Our strategy is that 100% of our facilities processing products must obtain a GFSI food safety standard. 

100% of Lerøy owned factories supplying whole salmon and trout have a GFSI certification (BRC or FSSC 22000).

Food safety reporting system

In the last years the Group has invested in a live food safety microbiological reporting system. The system receives microbiological result directly form the laboratory, we receive results of microbiological test more quickly, and can implement more efficient food safety actions if nonconformances should occur.

The programme imports microbiological results from product samples, cleaning samples and environmental samples directly from the laboratory as soon as the results are ready. The processing facility receives the results immediately and the results are then visualized in the system automatically. We also have the possibility to get immediate warnings if results are out of set limits. The microbiological results on equipment, direct & indirect surfaces and products are imported and visualised in a chart, making it easy to analyse trends and see where and when detections occur and take preventive action.

The system has enabled us to act on non-conformities early ensuring food safety on end products. One example is to block a fillet machine if Listeria monocytogenes is detected on the environmental surfaces before Listeria contaminate products.

The Group have implemented a digital food safety surveillance programme, focus on the actions and trends, removing the need to manually plot the results 

Lerøy Food safety culture

In 2020 Lerøy initiated a new way to measure food safety culture across the companies in the group, a new survey was carried out in 2023.

Food safety culture is defined as the food safety attitudes, beliefs, behaviour and values shared by all the employees in the company. The food safety robustness is essential in a company that produce safe and sustainable quality seafood.

Measurement of Food safety culture is combined with the yearly employee survey GPTW that Lerøy assess every year. The result of the survey identifies improvement areas for the food safety culture in each company and give the possibility to measure it against a benchmark for the Food safety culture in the group or within a specific segment each year. Each company put down an action plan how to improve or maintain a high food safety culture.