Food Safety & Quality
The research and development, quality assurance, production management, and other departments in Calbee Group involved in production actively work to prevent accidents and improve quality in production. Here we introduce the efforts in line with our quality policy to continuously offer tasty, safe, and reasonably priced products that earn the trust and satisfaction of our customers.
Inspection of Plants by Executives
Our president and company executives visit all of our plants every year. They meet with the plant manager before entering the site and review the plant in terms of product safety from the customer's standpoint. The inspectors check for hazards such as equipment that may accidentally drop objects onto the production line.
We will continue our committed efforts to conduct a safe and environmentally friendly working environment.
Temporary Suspension of Line Operation for Thorough Inspection
Beginning in fiscal 2013, our plants have been required to temporarily suspend operation of lines once a month. On this day the production line is stopped so it can be inspected and cleaned. Our plants are also required to formulate an annual plan that specifies the plant's operation schedule and days operation will be suspended, so the lines can be inspected. This helps to prevent occurrences of equipment malfunction.
These days are also used to facilitate training and the sharing of information. For example, our plant workers receive safety and hygiene training on days lines are not in operation.
Installing monitoring cameras to guard against contamination
As customers and distributors become increasingly focused on food defense (contamination prevention) measures at food manufacturers, we have installed monitoring cameras at 16 domestic facilities, in addition to preventive measures using x-ray and metal detector technology. We regard the external walls of our plants as the last line of defense, in terms of preventing unauthorized persons from entering. Having access to recorded video data should provide an effective means of traceability, to determine if employees have done their job properly. We believe that analyzing footage will also help to improve operations.
Quality control at overseas production facilities
As overseas production volumes continue to increase, we are working with the Overseas Business Division to reinforce quality control systems at plants operated by overseas group companies and partners. We conduct food sanitation audits at existing plants once a year, and meticulously check equipment in accordance with our Calbee Group Food Sanitation Standards. Rather than simply telling overseas plants what to do, we get senior local personnel to carry out self assessments, to encourage them to identify discrepancies between Calbee standards and current performance, and take the initiative in resolving any issues.
Enhancing Supplier Assessment
In December 2013, we had to perform a voluntary recall after an incident in which one of our products packed by a subcontractor was found to contain an allergen (peanuts) that was not written on the package. We reviewed the system for assessing the quality control in all the processes on the production lines of subcontractors, and also improved our procedures. We required all subcontractors, both new and current subcontractors, to conduct this review.
Food Allergy Measures
There has been a rise in the number of food allergy incidents in recent years, and it is becoming a major concern. The departments of Calbee Group cooperate to address the issue of food allergies, and are developing measures to tackle many different problems.
In fiscal 2013, our research and development and product planning divisions formulated a policy for specific raw materials (allergens). This policy is designed to ensure thorough compliance with rules for using allergens to prevent customers from accidentally ingesting these materials and suffering harmful allergic reactions. It requires the use of allergens to be standardized for each product category and sets forth other related measures.