Food: Food Safety Systems Being Tested

In the new commercial reality in which customers value food free of any virus or bacteria, producers and international distribution chains are forced to reinforce their safety systems to reduce the risk of selling contaminated products.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Months ago, it was reported that in China, processed and frozen meat products arriving from abroad were detected with the presence of the coronavirus. Although there is no conclusive evidence that the virus affects humans when consuming infected food, there is mistrust among people.

Central America, which is a region whose foreign sales of food products are of great importance, it is urgent to focus on safety systems, which should focus on reducing the risk of sending products contaminated with any type of virus.

You may be interested in "Food and beverages: Trends in Central America"

Some companies in the region are already addressing the issue, as is the case of the Hortifruti plant, a division that in Nicaragua processes vegetables that are marketed by the Walmart supermarket chain.

According to Hortifruti executives, in 2020 they invested in the purchase of machinery for washing tubers and vegetables, which has the capacity to clean 90 quintals of food products per hour and to dry up to five quintals every 25 seconds.

Also see "Vegan foods: Consumers and potential markets"

Juan Zuniga, general manager of the Hortifruti plant, explained to Laprensa.com.ni that "... we have a lot of control points that can guarantee the exit of the product, the distribution of the product, the arrival to the store and in store we basically have the same type of control that we can have in a plant".

The article states that "... Walmart assured that the level of costs that they had to assume is nothing that the company can't afford to fix", because in the new reality consumers are demanding more and better sanitary measures.

Recent studies indicate that in the current business scenario that combines the pandemic with changing purchasing habits, consumers are beginning to prefer fresh foods more than packaged or processed foods, driven by the search for health and immune system benefits.

Faced with this mix of factors, companies are beginning to bet on strengthening their quality controls and captivating consumers, who are more cautious at the time of purchase.

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More on this topic

Fruits, Global Market and the New Reality

September 2020

Berries, cherries and citrus fruits, fruits that due to their vitamin C content are generally associated with positive effects on the immune system, reported increases in sales in the US and European markets during March, April and May 2020.

In this context of new consumption habits, which emerged worldwide due to the outbreak of covid-19, banana sales (due to its high potassium content and its contributions to health) have been extremely positive.

Restaurants Leave Comfort Zone

June 2020

Sales via websites, social networks and instant messaging systems, as well as offering home delivery and including frozen food on menus, are some of the innovations that restaurants have had to apply in the new commercial reality.

Until the abrupt change in consumption habits brought about by the covid-19 outbreak in Costa Rica, restaurants did not imagine that the situation would force them to abandon their classic table service.

Panama Wants to Export Meat to US and Costa Rica

December 2016

Purchase of equipment for quality testing and adjustments in health checks are part of the plan that Panama will implement in order to start exporting meat.

The Ministry of Agricultural Development's plan involves changes to the health system, incorporating new technology for quality controls. The aim is to deliver, in mid-2017, the equivalency questionnaire to the Food Safety Inspection Services at the US Department of Agriculture.

Wal-Mart Certifies Suppliers

June 2009

Hortifruti, an affiliate to Wal-Mart Central America, certified the quality of Honduran fruit and vegetable producers.

The certification project—implemented by Wal-Mart Central America’s “Tierra Fértil” program and the “Eda de la Cuenta del Milenio Honduras” program—endeavors to offer technical training to farmers and to implement best practices throughout business activities.

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