Since the start of its operations, MacroAsia Catering Services, Inc. (MACS) operated under strict Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) conditions for optimal safety and reliability. Eurest In-flight Services and external experts provided the training and documents for its implementation.
The Company's HACCP System was developed using the guidelines from the Codex Alimentarius and the recently enhanced IFCA / IFSA World Food Safety Guidelines, which was officially issued during the IFCA convention in Portugal last February 2003.
The Company made it a point that the six prerequisite requirements (premises, transportation and food storage, personnel, sanitation and pest control, equipment and recall) were satisfied first prior to the development of the HACCP System. These includes, but not limited to, annual food safety refresher course/training for employees, twice a month thermal fogging, water and ice monitoring, adherence to GMPs (Good Manufacturing Practices), etc. To maintain the general hygiene in the Unit, MACS has subcontracted a janitorial/cleaning agency. This is to clearly separate the staff doing cleaning work from those performing food processing-related activities.
After that, a HACCP team was formed to put up a HACCP System for MACS. The HACCP team is composed of multi-disciplined staff coming from different departments and sections such as Purchasing, Mainstores, Production, Operations, Facilities Management and Quality and Food Safety. The system is transcribed into a HACCP Manual, which discussed the Hazard Analysis done by the team with regards to the process the food will undergo. Control points are set which are based on the strictest requirement (national, international and airline). Monitoring system, together with corrective actions are established and properly documented. The HACCP team meets at least once a year to discuss and update the established HACCP Manual.
An essential activity in the implementation of HACCP in MACS is its verification procedures. One is verification of the CCP's (Critical Control Point). This requires continuous technical literature research and update of appropriate regulating body standards. This is the responsibility of the HACCP coordinator. The other one is verification of the HACCP Plan - In plant. These require periodic validation, which include daily monitoring of the implementation of the HACCP Plan (Process Audit Checklist and by doing microbiological analysis) and complete verification of HACCP system conducted by HACCP Coordinator with the participation of the HACCP team.
MACS has an in-house microbiological laboratory, which conducts routine (raw materials, in-line meal and finished meal) and non-routine tests. A detailed sampling is established every menu cycle to cover all airline customers. Eight highly trained individuals man the laboratory and conduct routine and non-routine testing of food samples.
MACS recognizes that "FOOD SAFETY IS THE BACKBONE OF ITS BUSINESS", that is why an emphasis is always given to this part of its operations. For this reason, the food safety standards it follows often exceed:
The requirements of local food and health authorities (MACS has always been rated outstanding by the Bureau of Quarantine and International Health Surveillance)
The standards of the AEA (Association of European Airlines)
The new IFCA/IFSA World Food Safety Guidelines, etc.