SQT Training is delivering a unique Virtual Training programme to help the food industry develop a structured and strategic approach to COVID-19 mitigation covering the relevant aspects of the running of a food production facility. This practical and inclusive mitigation strategy can help to keep your factory running and business going during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Designed with all relative departments in mind, this programme can be incorporated into the existing food safety management system and provides staff with the biological background of the COVID-19 virus, how to assess the risk within a food company as well as the preventative measures to reduce the risk. It will also address the strategy in the event of a positive case on-site and the subsequent approach to recovery. This course is currently running as a Virtual In-House course, please enquire about Virtual public dates.
Please note that Enterprise Ireland in conjunction with IDA Ireland have invited relevant approved training & consultancy firms such as SQT Training to make their expertise available under the Lean Business Continuity Voucher support scheme. This scheme provides eligible companies access of up to €2,500 in training and support services related to the continued operation of their businesses during the Covid-19 Emergency and this course can be covered by the scheme. The approval process to access this grant and avail of our expertise is simple and quick and full details of how to apply are on the Enterprise Ireland site. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or require any further information.
SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) is a virus that is unlikely to be transmitted by food. Various food safety authorities from the European Union, US, Australia and New Zealand share this view. As the SARS-CoV-2 virus is the quintessential parasite it needs a host cell for almost all of its life-sustaining function.
As the information provided by the HSE has been stating from the very beginning of this crisis, the infection is typically spread from one person to another via respiratory droplets produced during coughing or sneezing. As the onset time from exposure to symptoms of COVID-19 (the disease) can be from 2-14 days it can be extremely difficult to identify the exact source or time of infection.
The Irish Taoiseach’s address to the country on St. Patrick’s evening was stark with the message that this is the calm before the storm. Events in Italy demonstrate vividly the consequences of the virus when it takes hold of society. The promise made by the Taoiseach that medical and food supply chains would still function so that there is food on the shelves to avoid social panic places an onus on us food professionals to inform ourselves about the virus, plan to prevent infection, prepare for infection and finally consider recovery if or when our business is affected.
All those years of hard work achieving BRC Grade A, FSSC or any other GFSI certification should now be a major part of your mitigation strategy for COVID-19. The Plan-Do-Check-Act concept (PDCA) for organizational and operational risk management as promoted in ISO 22000:2018 must now become a key tool in protecting your business and the national and international food supply chain.
This training programme is divided into four modules:-
Module 1 (Inform & Risk Assess) will consist of information on the SARS-CoV-2 (virus) and COVID-19 (disease), its method of transmission, proliferation and how you can kill it. It will also explore a Risk Assessment Methodology to protect your employees and work environment.
Module 2 (Plan, Do, Check) will deal with Preventive Measures with the obvious issue of hand-washing but also measures that you may not yet be implementing
Module 3 (Act) will focus on Preparedness for an employee becoming infected. Will it be possible to keep your facility opened based on the Risk Assessment you did during the Plan, Do, Check stages?
Module 4 (Aftermath Recovery) will focus on business recovery if you had an infection case. What cleaning routines will be necessary, how will they be validated etc.