One woman I spoke to complained bitterly about the amount of money she had been charged, stating that her junior staff knew more about food safety and hygiene than the consultant she had been conned into hiring.

Sadly, this is not a new phenomenon. Lying has been around since the dawn of time in the Garden of Eden - some have just honed it in to a fine art (so to speak). And today’s technology does not help either - with computers able to produce the most impressive looking certificates and documents. But generally, just a few phone calls to the University or other Tertiary Education Body supposedly represented on fancy looking documents will reveal the truth.

Many years ago, I became very suspicious of an ‘Executive Chef’ I worked with. Some of the things he did were just not in keeping with the way an EC would think. But he had all make and manner and stories of certificates and degrees and such - so I contacted the world famous cookery college that his certificates claimed to be from - and sadly found that he was most definitely unknown to this college.

Another facet of the “Food Safety Moneymaking Scheme” (FSMS) is the dumping of generic documents onto innocent, inexperienced business owners who do not have a clue about all the new requirements of this whole Food Safety Management System business. It wasn’t a requirement in South Africa when many food businesses were started, which is why it met the resistance that it did - and often still does.

I have personally come across a number of consultants that dump documents on their clients that are SO GENERALLY WRITTEN that they could be for a food business, or for the Car Repair Shop down the road.

Many clients are not told that they have to then take these generally written documents and go through them, editing them into what the various standards demand. And so they are simply filed away, waiting for the auditor to find them and fail the client because the client is doing things completely differently, in some cases diametrically opposed, to what is written on their documents.

Not every food business person has had the benefit of an education in matters HACCP and GFSI and hardly anyone knows who or indeed, what Codex Alimentarius is.

In my humble opinion, a consultant is someone who helps a business to get established - who advises and guides. Not someone who rips off and leaves the client with a jumbled mess and a really bad taste in their mouths…

Please do not get me wrong - I AM NOT saying that everyone is a liar or has the business morals of a feral cat or dog - all I AM saying is that you should double check the credentials of any food safety consultant who approaches you for business, that’s all.

You can download mine here - 11 pages of them. You are free to check them all. There is nothing fantastic, no degrees, no world shattering certificates, just a few simple ones, a life time of experience and an absolute passion for food safety…

My rates are very reasonable at R1000 for about 4 hours a month and R2000 for about 10 hours a month. Contracts will be entered into.

Feel free to contact me so we can discuss how I can help you.

My Skype address is simply graham.ries

These are some of the companies I currently consult for:

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