Monthly Archive for September, 2008

AGB Solutions client Travel Essentials achieves HACCP certification

AGB Solutions are pleased to announce that Travel Essentials Pty Ltd have achieved HACCP certification. Travel Essentials Pty Ltd is a Melbourne-based company that supplies portable catering packs and corporate gifts under the Travelfare brand. The company’s focus is meeting the needs of travellers with innovative, quality solutions.

Examples of these solutions are contained below:

Red wine pack

Breakfast to go pack

Horse racing carnival pack

Travelfare
Red wine pack

Travelfare
Breakfast to go pack

Travelfare
Horse racing carnival pack

Pamper pack

Travel Essentials commenced business in late 2004, primarily supplying breakfast packs for guests in hotels and serviced apartments. Later, the company began providing packs for conferences, events and as corporate gifts.

Angus McLeay, Managing Director of Travel Essentials tells me that “Our packs are ideal for off-site venues, travellers and major events. They are light, easily transported, typically shelf stable, and can suit a wide variety of purposes…Travelfare packs have been used on trains, for convenient breakfasts, for day trip snacks, bus groups and for arrival / welcome gifts for delegates.” A perfect example of the style of Travelfare packs is the new Pamper pack (photo above) – a collection of pampering tools for travellers, safe to take on board in hand luggage, and a presentable corporate gift – all for $10.00 (inc. GST).

As well as traveller packs Travel Essentials can custom make packs to suit client needs for Corporate retreats, events and Promotional Kits.

Travelfare packs have featured in the New Products Showcase at the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Exhibition (AIME 2008), the packs have also been shown on travel segments on Channel 10’s “9am with David and Kim”, and on Channel 7’s “Coxy’s Big Break”.

Travel Essentials was a finalist in the Quest Serviced Apartment Supplier Awards, 2007 and has Preferred Supplier status with a number of national accommodation chains and ANZ Bank.

If you are interested in any of these products, you can contact Angus McLeay:

P: (03) 9804 0099

E: angusmc@travelessentials.com.au

W: www.travelessentials.com.au

Travel Essentials Pty Ltd contacted AGB Solutions late last year, as one of their main customers (the Accor Hotel Group) had decided that all suppliers of food and beverages needed to be HACCP Certified. Now Travel Essentials Pty Ltd, is not what we would call a “typical” client. When we commenced the development of HACCP for Travel Essentials Pty Ltd, they only had one employee. That’s right ONE employee. Many companies I speak to think that HACCP is only for big companies. We have implemented HACCP for fourth generation family businesses to start up businesses with only one employee. HACCP is an internationally recognised preventative management system, and the same principles apply to multi national companies. Travel Essentials Pty Ltd have been able to implement these principles to their business, ensuring that their products are safer than their competitors.

In fact, one of Travel Essentials Pty Ltd main competitors advertises that their packs “(company name) offers it’s clients leading brand name products produced in HACCP accredited premises”.

Now this is a warning for everyone. This company WASN’T HACCP certified. When quizzed on their HACCP status, they repeated the above statement, which I found confusing. When I quizzed them further, they clarified the statement by saying that they were NOT HACCP certified; they were only stating that their suppliers were.

How many of your suppliers may be telling you the same thing? We suggest that you get a copy of their HACCP certificate to verify certification, and update your copy when it expires. Some companies loose their HACCP certification. It is also important to check the scope that is on the certificate, to ensure that it covers the products they are supplying you. Some companies get parts of their business or particular products HACCP certified, rather than their entire production range.

If you are thinking that you need HACCP, please contact Gavin now: gavin@agbsolutions.com.au or download our HACCP Whitepaper from www.agbsolutions.com.au.

Food Poisoning – Is Your Food Safe?

Outbreaks of food poisoning have been in the news a lot as of late. As you know, many of these outbreaks were traced to restaurants. No matter where in the world you are, there are safety regulations which must be followed and Australia is no exception.

In many cases of food poisoning, Salmonella is the culprit. Raw poultry and eggs are generally the source of this bacterium in foods, but this bacterium can also be carried by contamination from faeces as well as pet reptiles.

Salmonella is a bacterium which can affect many types of food items. Usually, raw poultry and eggs are the prime suspects in salmonella related food poisoning cases, but contamination from faeces and pet reptiles can also carry these bacteria. There are two ways to prevent salmonella form causing food poisoning which are guaranteed to be effective: thoroughly cooking food before serving and regular, thorough hand washing before, during and after cooking or eating.

Escherichia coli (or E-coli for short) is a form of bacteria which can cause serious illness or even death. Found naturally inside of the human body and in some foods, some strains can be lethal. E-coli produces harmful, toxic substances and includes unpleasant (to say the least) symptoms including watery and/or bloody diarrhea. A healthy adult can generally weather a case of E-coli food poisoning, but the elderly, the sick and young children are at risk of getting very ill if infected. As with salmonella, the way to prevent E-coli infection is thorough cooking and regular hand washing, along with careful cleaning of all cooking areas. Hand washing should become a thoroughly ingrained habit. You use your hands to pick up everything – even harmful microbes.

With all of the stories about food poisoning in the news, it’s understandable that some people are a little nervous about dining out. To make sure that your establishment keeps your customers safe from the risk of infection, be sure to follow the HACCP principles. HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points and is a set of principles designed to make sure that foods prepared for people to eat are safe. Many of these regulations are simply common sense, such as putting milk back into the refrigerator after use or dating items before freezing.

Being in charge of a restaurant means that you have to keep a handle on a lot of things at once – make sure that HACCP principles are at the top of your list. All of the hard work you’ve put into your business could be lost if someone gets ill from your food due to a preventable mistake by an employee unaware of the food safety regulations.

Having a HACCP certified kitchen is very marketable. If you have received stickers or certifications from health officials, be sure to place them where your customers can see them. This way they know that the food which you are serving to them was prepared in a clean kitchen which complies with health and safety regulations and they can dine in without getting anxious.