About CFSC

For more than four decades, CARIRI has been working with players throughout the food chain, assisting them in improving their practices so that they provide safer foods to consumers.

Identifying a need for an independent Caribbean institution committed to the economic development of the region and focused on food safety, CARIRI created the Caribbean Food Safety Centre (CFSC) with a mandate to create greater awareness of food safety principles and improve food safety management practices in the Caribbean.

Established in April 2006 as an arm of the Food Technology Unit at CARIRI, CFSC works with other agencies locally, regionally and internationally in a collaborative effort to improve the food industry and align the Caribbean region to the competitive international arena. In pursuing its mandate, CFSC enlists the support of private and public sector organizations and other stakeholder groups.

Our Mission

To develop a region sensitized to food safety through the creation of a regional food safety centre that will make CARIRI the region’s premier food safety authority. To improve the implementation of good food safety practices and enhance the region’s knowledge of food safety, thereby improving our quality of life.

Objectives

  • Educate farmers, food manufacturers, food service providers, food distributors, food regulatory bodies, consumers and school children on good food safety practices.
  • Foster, and assist in, the implementation of good food safety management practices among food manufacturers, food distributors and food service providers.
  • Influence changes in legislation and offer support for food safety management locally and regionally.
  • Address critical issues in food safety management and develop the most relevant, applicable and workable solutions.
  • Promote co-ordination among stakeholders in the Food and Beverage Industry locally, regionally and internationally.
  • Disseminate information on key food safety issues locally and throughout the region.
  • Provide the technical assistance necessary to ensure good food safety management practices among food handlers in the region.
  • Assist local and regional exporters in the Food and Beverage sector to meet the requirements of international markets.

Activities

CFSC engages in a range of activities focused on improving food safety in the region.  These activities include:

  • Assisting stakeholders in becoming compliant with internationally recognized systems and standards, inclusive of GMP, HACCP, ISO 22000:2005 and other food safety standards
  • In particular, a large part of CFSC’s current work with food handlers – from cottage industries to large food processors – centres on implementation of  the HACCP system, as a result of the Food Safety Modernization Act – signed into law by President Barrack Obama on January 4th, 2011 – and which is now a requirement for exporters to the US
  • Offering food safety training programmes, inclusive of GMP, HACCP and ISO 22000:2005
  • Conducting food safety audits and assistance to organizations in developing good food safety management systems
  • Creating and disseminating information via radio and television programmes, newspaper and newsletter articles, workshops and other fora, to encourage improved food safety management practices throughout the food chain
  • Conducting research aimed at improving food safety management
  • Hosting food safety conferences
  • Offering export consultancies
  • Staging outreach programmes (e.g. exhibitions and displays)
  • Producing and distributing over 2,500 copies of our quarterly Living Food Safety newsletter to schools, organizations, industry specialists and other relevant persons and entities

Mandate

In the Caribbean, it is critical that:

  • tourism-dependent economies keep tourists well and happy;
  • small, vulnerable, populations are protected from the ravages that food-borne illnesses can cause;
  • public health systems do not collapse under excessive demand; and
  • vulnerable food businesses protect their reputation and their workforce.

The strain that food-borne illnesses can cause national economies include:

  • Loss of productive work time;
  • Increasing cost of health care;
  • Costly surveillance programmes;
  • Loss of life;
  • Impact on vulnerable segments of the population, including children, the aged and low income groups;
  • Impact on trade; and
  • Reduced food security.

Worldwide, countries are becoming more stringent in their surveillance and regulation of the food industry in an effort to protect consumers. HACCP and ISO22000:2005 are two international Food Safety Quality Management Systems that can improve the operations of stakeholders along the food chain.

CFSC can assist organizations to implement effective food safety programmes that will also improve their efficiency and reduce their risk exposure.