Tell us about the Moody International Pakistan division?
Moody International is one of the few certification bodies accredited by UKAS of United Kingdom to provide certification to ISO 22000 and HACCP. Moody International’s professional auditors work with clients to ensure that the Hazards and Critical Control Points are efficiently identified, monitored and continuously improved to meet the requirements of HACCP and ISO 22000:2005 Compliance. Certification issued carry international credibility and traceability as there are number of monitors like IAF, Accreditation Bodies involved.
In the year of 2000, my company and Moody International established a partnership. We are authorized to use their international experience and exposure. Primarily, we are a quality ensured and control company, working under the area of certification. These certifications include quality management standards, food safety certification and environmental system standards and certifications. These standards and certification are authorized by ISO itself. We provide our technical and safety services to the Oil & Gas, Power, Mining, Construction, Engineering, Chemical and other heavy industries and our management system certification to all industry sectors. Our main focus is on the food quality certification as we believe that health of a prosperous country lies in food hygiene.
What kind of businesses can be your clientele, in maintaining quality food standards?
We have not retained our business to a particular class or system. We have devised a strategy for dealing of street vendors to five star hotels. We give certifications only after ensuring the quality of food served at the restaurants and cafes.
What are different steps involved in maintaining and keeping a check on the food quality?
The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point system (HACCP) is a preventative system used by the food industry to help ensure food safety. Properly applied, the system controls hazardous elements in the food system such as contaminants, pathogenic microorganisms, physical objects (glass, metal, and bone), chemicals (toxins, heavy metals, and pesticide residues), raw materials, processing conditions, use directions for the consumer, or storage conditions. HACCP is a systematic approach to assure food safety.
HACCP started in 1959 when the National Aeronautic and Space Agency (NASA) approached Pillsbury to produce a food which was safe for astronauts in zero gravity conditions in the space capsules. This led to the development of a system which assured nearly 100 percent freedom from the contamination by microbial, chemical, or physical hazards. Later on, this spilled over to industry as food born illness were having a huge cost impact on world economies and it was realized by organizations like WHO, FAO and Codex Alimentarius Commission that HACCP can be used as an industry benchmark to ensure food safety.
In an era of Free Trade Regime which requires standardization complied with WTO regulations, ISO (International Organization for Standardization) published an international standard for Food Safety in 2005. ISO 22000:2005 standard defines food safety management systems requirements for all organizations which produce, manufacture, handle, or supply food or feed related products and services. ISO 22000 can be applied to all types of organizations within the food chain, ranging from feed producers, primary producers, food manufacturers, transport and storage operators and subcontractors to retail and food service outlets – together with inter-related organizations such as producers of equipment, packaging material, cleaning agents, additives and ingredients.
What services does Moody International provide to its clients for maintaining quality standards in the food division?
The main obstacle which we are facing inPakistanis ‘lack of awareness and resources’. We arrange seminars and other events where we create awareness about the pros and cons of food hygiene. Other than that our company consists of very talented, hard working, and experienced workers who not only visit certain restaurants, cafes, and food product companies but also inquire the steps they take for quality of food. The restaurants which believe that they cook hygienic food, we make sure that they do not use poor quality oil and their cooking areas should be free of insects and rats. In order to make our work up to the mark there are certain steps which we follow including technical inspection services, technical staffing services, consulting and training, and management system certification.
In your opinion, what is the present situation of food business like cafes, restaurants, packaged food products and drinks?
As our people are still not properly aware of the importance of food hygiene, therefore you can assume the situation all by yourself. For instance, there is a five star hotel in Lahore which is serving such low quality food that the customers can easily get cholera, food poisoning etc. One can surely imagine about the quality of food cooked at the ‘Dhabbas’ or any other cafes. We are trying to make people aware about the importance of food safety. The food and drink packaging companies like ‘Qarshi’ has taken our assistance and are well aware about their responsibility and accountability towards their buyers.
How much does it cost for a small businessman to maintain these quality standards and how can it affect their business in the long term? What should be the business size to take these certifications?
Our main concern is about the hygiene of food and seriously it does not cost much. If you are running any Dhabba or a low budget cafe then all you need to ensure is the quality of oil which you are using and secondly the cooking area should be free of germs and dirt. It will cost a little at the beginning but can help them in long term as they can win the confidence of their clients or buyers. As I have said earlier that any business size from low budget cafe to high quality food product companies can take these certifications.
Do you think small restaurant owners or small manufacturers will also try to get these certifications?
Yes, they can also take these certifications and should put all their efforts in maintaining good food hygiene. We usually arrange different seminars and sessions to convince them about the importance of safe food products which can help their business on long term basis.
How can we make these certifications compulsory?
Government plays a very important role in making these certifications compulsory for every other small or large business companies. In West, we can see that the Government acts as a backbone to these certificated organizations for the health safety of their people but inPakistanthe situation is quite different. There are certain sectors which do not handle food issues with seriousness. They should try to understand that prosperity of a country lies in their natives’ health. Therefore, it is the responsibility of Government to enforce rules and regulations regarding food hygiene and co-operate with private sectors in making these certifications compulsory inPakistan.
What expertise does the quality assurance team have? Does Moody International follow the same standards and procedures all over the world?
We have an experienced and talented team; merit is the only criteria by which they are hired. They are competitive and have a devoted aptitude towards their organization. In context with food hygiene, rules are not changeable. All over the world the health issues and the methods to deal with these issues are the same.
How are your procedures and standards different from other companies?
We work under ISO certification and our main focus is not only towards the quality management of food but also hygiene issues regarding eatables. We not only inspect the places where the food product is manufactured but also make sure that the cleanliness should become a pertinent verb in their lives. We issue them certificates only if they meet our requirement and secondly we keep a regular check on our clients.
How is Moody International promoting these certifications in Pakistan?
Our target is not only five stars hotels but also low budget cafeterias. We have our offices in different regions, although the awareness process is slow but we have not given up. We are trying to create awareness about food hygiene inPakistanby arranging seminars at different cities.
Would you like to give any message to our readers?
One should try to make cleanliness possible not only at your home but also at your work place especially matters related to food hygiene as it is the reason behind the success of our health and our country.