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Langham Hotel salmonella outbreak highlights traceability issue
Suppliers of fresh and processed ingredients to Melbourne’s Langham Hotel will be scrambling to determine where any contaminated product came from. They will all be on high alert following a salmonella outbreak that sent six people to hospital, and saw 28 suffer symptoms of food poisoning.
“Suppliers would need to ask how many customers received at-risk product? Were there any other customers who need to be warned?” says John Haley, Business Development Manager for Enabling. “Some of the 34 people who attended the July 11 and 12 High Tea service have been sick for a week. The immediate concern is knowing where to start, where any contaminated produce came from and controlling the source of the outbreak.”
With the right systems in place, the supplier who is at fault should know with the click of a button which farm, factory or outlet the ingredient came from, Mr Haley adds.
The food poisoning incident is just the latest to demonstrate how important traceability is to a business growing, processing or selling fresh produce. “With anyone supplying an establishment like The Langham, but also preparing to export frozen fruit or vegetables, the supplier should immediately pinpoint which other customers or orders are at risk. They should say ‘I know the batch number. I know who all the other customers affected are,” says Mr Haley. “With food labellinglaws up for debate, and other contamination scares in recent months this is definitely a hot topic.”
Growers and suppliers of all sizes need to uphold strict standards for traceability, according to Mr Haley. “Cost and revenue is a factor, whether you’re bringing in $10 million or more in revenue for example, but it’s also about the complexity of your business too,” he says. “Any organization preparing to export, or who does fresh and frozen or processed food too, absolutely needs to have the right systems in place to immediately track and control the source of any quality or contamination issues.”
The Victorian Department of Health is investigating the source of the outbreak, and confirmed that The Langham has cooperated fully with investigators. Testing is ongoing to determine which ingredients served during high tea on July 11 and 12 may have been contaminated, according to reports in Fairfax and NewsCorp media.
Enabling is a recognised leader in the provision and support of Enterprise Resource Management Software (ERP), Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM) and Business Intelligence Solutions throughout Australia and New Zealand. To Learn more about an integrated solution for the Food and Beverage Industry, click here to contact Enabling http://enabling.net