The COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge to the public health and society impacting all communities and individuals.
People are now adopting a New Normal way of life, in which everyone needs to wear a mask in a public space, maintain social distancing, check temperature frequently for self-monitoring and meticulously select food for consumption than ever before.
In fact, how can we be sure that the food comes from the safe source, and follows adequate measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission?
Thailand is among the first countries that have realised the importance to deliver safety to consumers around the world.
Therefore, Thailand has launched measures to build confidence among consumers with the New Normal manufacturing process through the compliance of COVID-19 Prevention Best Practice in food production for export, the joint collaboration of Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and Ministry of Interior.
The goal is to enable manufacturers, exporters, business operators, raw material suppliers such as fish market, piers, wholesale markets, animal farms, fishing boats, as well as logistics and modern trade operators to comply with the same guidelines as follows:
- Reduce the risk of contamination from raw materials, ingredients and containers
Business operators and suppliers involved in the production of goods must control access to the premises, such as signing names to check-in, using an online system to screen and manage employee data as well as data on the freight vehicles, surface cleaning the freight vehicles at risk of contamination after each use, while employees need to wear a mask at all times to prevent contamination.
- Strict production control
Every factory must implement quality and safety controls throughout the production line, from receiving raw materials, processing, packing in compliance with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). Besides, employees must keep personal hygiene at all times by wearing aprons, gloves and mask, and hand wash frequently during work, while maintaining preventive measures for transporting goods by cleaning and disinfecting the interior of the vehicle container.
- Control personal hygiene, work environment as well as location and manufacturing building
The entrance and exit must be controlled while the manufacturing building, meeting room, cafeteria, changing room, toilets should be properly managed to reduce congestion. Business operators should install high-efficiency ventilation systems and air filters in the building.
- Sanitation: the personal hygiene equipment must be readily available at the work station including a handwashing sink, liquid soap, disinfectant, disposable paper towels and auto lid pedal waste bins, with the clear instructions provided.
- Cleaning: Strictly clean and disinfect the machinery manufacturing buildings, toilets, floors, walls, as well as common areas which are prone to contact such as door knobs, handrails, elevator buttons, chairs, dining tables, etc., in appropriate frequency and time of day.
- Personal hygiene of workers: The workers must be screened daily before entering the building, collecting information to trace back and must wear a mask at all times. They are also required to wear gloves, wash hands, maintain social distancing and prevent any contaminations during operation.
- Training: Employees are trained to prevent themselves from COVID-19 including temperature checking, wearing a mask, social distancing, cleaning and disinfecting, as well as reducing congestion, in order to ensure that their workplace is COVID-19 secure.
Thailand is the food exporter country that can elevate consumers’ confidence by delivering safe food products. Thailand offers a vast variety of main export products from fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, rice, frozen seafood, chicken, shrimp, fish, food and beverage products, snacks, halal food, healthy food, to the ready-to-eat food.
Consumers can purchase these products from Thailand at department stores, superstores and various stores with the full confidence and conveniently to the New Normal way of life for people around the world.