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Why Food Safety Certification Matters For Your Coffee.

Food safety certification under the FSSC 22000 standardThe global move towards food safety certification in the coffee production process has been driven by increasing awareness that not all food is produced safely. Contamination can take place in multiple areas as coffee moves from coffee plant to the packet you buy on the shelf, and that needs to be managed if your health is to be protected.

Food safety management systems such as FSSC 22000, which Famous Brands Coffee Company has in operation, protect you during this passage of coffee from farm to cup. This international standard, operated by very few South African roasteries looks at aspects as diverse as the presence of pests  through to metal contamination.

One of the most important aspects that it covers is traceability. Imagine that it is found that a coffee grower in say Costa Rica, has used a banned, carcinogenic pesticide and that this was found in green coffee beans during routine testing of coffee by an importer in Italy. Since the very same coffee may have been exported to 30 other countries, it now makes it critical to identify where that coffee is and who bought it.

Without traceability, this would be impossible, but the FSSC 2200 approach ensures that we know where the coffee came from, how it was transported, what we did with it, which blends it is part of,  and on whose shelves that coffee sits. If the call comes from Costa Rica that a particular batch of exported coffee has a problem, we can identify if we used that batch, what we did with it and where it went. We can then pull all that coffee from stores at a moment’s notice.

Coffee beans in bagThe food safety system also covers how we transport and store the green beans to avoid pest, mould, fungal, chemical or physical contamination, how our staff are screened for health issues, and even the quality of the packaging we use. We need to make sure you are not ingesting small shards of glass that may have been picked up from the concrete drying slabs in some far off country, or even microscopic amounts of hazardous plastics that may occur when sub-standard packaging is used. We keep records of how the coffee was roasted, when it was packed and how long it was in our warehouse too.

That leads to the really important issue that affects your taste experience… the freshness of the coffee. Here, the production date becomes critical. We want you to have fresh coffee because even in the air-tight environment of a well-sealed coffee bag, coffee will slowly decay and become stale. So we take reference samples of every batch we produce and over time we open these to assess the state of the coffee. It helps us to work out how long you can keep that coffee before it goes stale. It is important to note that stale coffee may not have any adverse health effects, but it is still stale and that’s not what any coffee lover wants to taste right?

Our FSSC 2200 internationally accredited facility and production processes are there for your safety and peace of mind. We want you to have both great tasting coffee and safe to drink coffee. So, when you next drink a cup of coffee, think about what food safety systems are behind that wonderful warm drink that brings you joy, and ensure your coffee is as safe as it is enjoyable!


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