What is the classification management system in food hygiene supervision?
(02.21.2008)

The classification management system in food hygiene supervision which is being introduced in China is a renewal of the idea of food hygiene supervision and management, and is a significant complete reform.

I. The background of proposing the classification management model in food hygiene:

In recent years, the World Health Organization (WHO) proposed the food safety and hygiene idea of "sharing responsibility", which emphasized that the safeguarding of food safety and hygiene needed the simultaneous participation of governments, enterprises and consumers, and considered enterprise self-discipline as the fundamental measure of safeguarding food safety and hygiene. Further, it made clear that the organization of food production and business is the first person held responsible.

According to the idea of "sharing responsibility", the Department of Hygiene publicized the classification management system in food hygiene supervision, for the purpose of establishing a system beneficiary for ensuring food safety and hygiene, in the principle of fairness, transparency, efficiency. Classification management accentuates the responsibility of the enterprise, which applies the risk evaluation principle (identify the potential risks of certain foods, and take effective measures to prevent or minimize the risks) to classify enterprises in terms of company and reliability, then implement classified administration in four classes, and make related hygiene levels known to the public.

II. Main content of the classification management system in food hygiene:

1. Identify the focus of administration according to the risk level and reliability of the organizations and businesses of food production. The level of food hygiene depends on the risk level and reliability of the enterprise, and classification management takes into full consideration the internal factors of the enterprise. The enterprise reaching the goods-class can mainly adopt self-management; the Department of Hygiene will concentrate on hygiene supervision resources to make the organizations and businesses of food production exhibiting frequent problems as their supervision focus.

2. Quantify the supervision items, and strengthen the control of key links. Supervision quantification means (on the basis of the original supervision item) the enterprise that received punishment in the quantitative supervision of an item should make deadline improvements, and the person in charge of production and quality should retake training of hygiene knowledge specific to their job position.

The Department of Hygiene requires that the classification management system of food hygiene must be implemented in the dining halls of all schools and kindergartens, and an activation of the classification management system for hygiene in the food and beverage industry and key food industries such as rice, flour, drinking water, etc. By the end of the year, the classification management system in food hygiene shall be implemented in all organizations and businesses of food production.