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SA’s new food safety regulation R638 gazetted to replace R962

Compliance with the food legislation is step one in any food business’s journey towards Food Safety System Certification. The R638 “Regulations Governing General Hygiene Requirements for Food Premises, the Transport of Food and Related Matters” which replaces the R962, was recently gazetted, and is more stringent on the GMPs than the previous version.

While there are several changes, the following three changes under “Duties of person in charge of food premises” stand out, reports food safety consulting company, Entecom:

  • Training requirements – if your name is on the Certificate of Acceptability (CoA) as the person in charge of the business, then according to sub-regulation 10, you will need to be suitably qualified or have received accredited training on the principles and practices of food safety and hygiene, or have been trained by an inspector.
    This sub-regulation also describes in more detail the food hygiene training required for the other staff working on the premises and that this training includes routine assessment and follow-up training where necessary.
    The training programmes and records should be kept as evidence of the training.
  • The second significant change under sub-regulation 10 (16), is the requirement to keep records applicable to processing, production and distribution for a period of at least 6 months after the shelf-life of the product.
  • Then sub-regulation 10 (18) requires that a traceability system is maintained, that a recall procedure is in place, and that any incident requiring a recall is reported to the local inspector and the National Directorate: Food Control.

You can download the R638 here (41730 22-6 Health)

“These changes will ensure that business owners or persons in charge of the food premises have a good understanding of the importance of food safety and that they have the required records in place,” says Entecom.

“Both changes should ensure the start of a basic food safety management system at all food premises. This is certainly a step in the right direction.

“Look out for our next eBook which aims to guide you on your journey to Food Safety System Certification. It is a three-part series which will serve as a navigational tool in getting to grips with the relevant food legislation and standards – and the first part focuses on the recent R638 update.”

Entecom: See more here and contact details

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