For the Starzen Group, which believes in putting the customer first, we consider it our important mission to provide safe foods that customers can rely on. Consequently, we established the Group Quality Assurance Department to ensure that food hygiene inspection is thoroughly implemented. A quality assurance officer is appointed at each business site, to check the hygiene management of the facility, product labeling, and related matters.
For Japanese domestic beef and pork, we have created a production history information trace back system to enable disclosure of the background of beef and pork to provide safe, reliable and trustworthy products with assured quality.
The Starzen Group prioritizes the manufacture of safe and reliable products in order to deliver products that are trusted by customers. To that end, we established the Quality Assurance Department as described above. To further enforce our policies, each plant follows the HACCP food sanitation management system, and employs strict safety control over all processes from the stage of selecting good quality raw ingredients to delivery to customers.
The Starzen Group’s Iwaki Sales Office was the first distribution business to acquire SQF certification in Japan. and our Koriyama Plant was the first within our company to acquire it. To date, 56 sites across the group, including 18 plants, have acquired the certification.
In brief, SQF is a system that secures the safety and quality of food. More specifically, it establishes important quality points based on HACCP system to prevent safety and quality hazards, ensuring thorough process control in food handling, thereby contributing to stability in quality.
In order to acquire and retain SQF certification, it is imperative that safety and quality be ensured in all processes related to receipt, storage, processing/manufacture, packaging, transportation and shipment of products purchased and sold.
For this reason, we are engaged in the following efforts to maintain quality at each of our business sites.
We purchase only from suppliers approved based on the SQF requirements and conduct inspections of appearance, labeling, temperature and other aspects of delivered products.
This involves checking that there is no damage to the box, difference in product contained, and that the labeling is appropriate.
We check whether the temperature of the product (surface or internal temperature) is acceptable.
Checks ensure that products are kept in order, and in a freezer or refrigerator under strict temperature control.
The chilled storage and freezer are managed at the temperature suitable for products and raw ingredients through regularly monitoring.
Organized by dates and items
Items are identified and stored separately when inappropriate goods, for example missing label, are found at storage in order to prevent this kind of goods delivered to customers.
Processing and manufacturing
Based on the SQF system, we strive to ensure thorough hygiene control in work environments, and to produce safe products.
Inspections are carried out at crucial points, such as raw ingredient input and the packaging stage, to prevent contamination by foreign materials or quality defects.
We manage the temperature of raw ingredients and semi-finished products at each stage of the manufacturing process, as well as with finished products, in order to maintain product quality.
We properly manage weight using weight checkers to ensure products are of the prescribed weight.
Measuring instruments are regularly calibrated as part of SQF management, and we strive to prevent malfunctions.
We have introduced metal detectors and X-ray machines to ensure metallic and hard foreign matter (bones etc.) are excluded from shipments.
We check and review to display labels, and strive to communicate accurate information.
We strictly check whether the indication of product name, weight, use-by date, allergy information, etc. is accurate as is required by laws and regulations.
Checks are conducted to ensure that there is no breakage to the packaging material or sealing failure, in order to exclude defective products from shipments.
We strictly manage temperature also during the distribution process. Furthermore, all products can be traced.
We deliver goods to customers under appropriate temperature control to each product.
Barcodes allow for product tracking from raw material procurement to processing/manufacturing and product delivery.
We pay close attention to hygiene control at manufacturing plants in order to make safe and secure products.
Cleaning is conducted using detergents, disinfectants and cleaning tools suited to each manufacturing plant, according to established procedures.
We engage specialist companies to prevent the occurrence of rodents and insects at our sites and to prevent their entry.
We regularly engage in employee education for 5S management (sort, set, shine, standardize, sustain) and ensure thorough adherence rules.
Hand washing is fundamental to hygiene management. Procedures are displayed in the workplace, and employees are educated and thoroughly informed how to effectively wash their hands
We conduct bacterial inspections and residual allergen tests to confirm that we can ensure safety.
We strictly manage bacterial inspection of raw ingredients and final products according to our established standards.
We properly check for and manage allergic substances in day-to-day cleaning, by checking with a simple kit or by engaging external specialized agencies.
The Starzen Group established its Compliance Committee, which includes external experts, to ensure a corporate culture in compliance with laws and regulations. The Compliance Committee is a forum for management executives themselves to learn while acting as an advisory body for compliance management. It plays a role in company-wide transmission of compliance information.
Our internal systems include designation of compliance officers in each department and appointment of administrative staff at consultation offices and delegates who are familiar to employees at each site, in an effort to ensure early detection of issues and prompt resolution.
In addition, we publish a booklet "Code of Conduct and Action Guidelines,” distributed to all Starzen Group employees, stipulating the code of conduct which they must adhere to. We recite the Code at morning meetings and provide frequent opportunities to reflect upon what constitutes appropriate behavior.
Starzen Group established a system of production trace back information on domestic cattle, and in February 2003, we started sharing this information, as one aspect of providing safe and reliable products. This information includes personal information from producers obtained with their consent, together with information provided by the National Livestock Breeding Center.
We also implemented this for Japanese pork from June 2004. Information regarding Japanese domestic cattle was made accessible from certain cell phones from September 2003.