Quality and Safety

Social Issues


Obtain Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification,which includes Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) for all domestic food plants by FYE March/2021

FYE 3/2019

Ensure Product Quality and Safety

Safety System Initiatives for Trusted Quality, Brand Recognition

Food Segment
Quality Control

The Meiji Group provides high-quality, safe products and services to meet customer expectations for related health and reliability. Through these efforts, we will improve the lifestyles of our customers. Based on our Corporate Behavior Charter, the Meiji Group strives to improve the quality of our products through quality assurance systems developed in house, tailored to the specific characteristics of each business operation. Meiji Co., Ltd. has established an original quality management system, which includes Quality Policy, Quality Assurance Regulations, and Quality Assurance Standards. Each functional division (development and design, procurement, manufacturing, logistics, and sales and communications) conducts operations based on the Quality Policy. Quality Assurance Regulations stipulate important items for maintaining quality, and Quality Assurance Standards detail specific duties and assessment criteria.
The Food segment has adopted Meiji Quality Communication, conducting stringent quality control under an integrated system spanning raw material procurement through sales.
Our hygiene control system covers all domestic food plants, and is based on the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP). We intend to obtain Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification for all domestic food plants by FYE March/2021.
We test products through various means, including physical and chemical tests, before shipment. Through a range of tests, we check whether products have been manufactured in accordance with established procedures.

Our FYE March 2019 Progress

Obtain Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Certification for 50% (24 plants) of domestic food plants.
Obtain Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Certification for 67% (4 plants) of overseas food plants.

Quality Policy

We intend to widen the world of Tastiness and Enjoyment to meet all expectations of Health and Reassurance, providing our customers with Promised Quality and offering shared value.
As Food and Health professionals dedicated to food quality and safety, our responsibility is to meet customer expectations according to three central principles:

  • We promise to enforce strict quality assurance at every step in our food chain, implementing the best system possible in each division and product to ensure Promised Quality.
  • We promise to maintain a close relationship with our customers and respond immediately to customer inquiries, questions, and concerns. We will maintain the trust of our customers by striving to understand and satisfy their expectations.
  • We promise to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, providing safe, high-quality products and services.


Quality Assurance Advancement System

In the Food segment, the Meiji Quality Comm Review Meeting leads quality assurance advancement activities. Held biannually and chaired by the president and representative director of Meiji Co., Ltd., the meeting checks the progress of quality related initiatives and discusses measures to address issues. Further, the Food segment's Meiji Food Safety Committee is chaired by the Director of the R&D Division and discusses a wide range of topics approximately twice a year. The committee invites experts in such fields as food chemicals and microorganisms to identify and reduce food risks.
Also, in the Food segment, members of one of the specialized teams from our Quality Division audits compliance with Quality Assurance Regulations according to a prepared checklist. These audits identify issues and improve our quality assurance capabilities.


Working With Suppliers for Consistent Quality Management

We work with suppliers to prevent quality defects and risks arising from raw ingredients or equipment. In the event of an issue, we perform a detailed investigation and share information, striving to prevent the recurrence of any similar problems.

Quality Audits by Internal Expert Teams

Teams of experts from our Quality Management Division perform quality audits based on detailed checklists. These audits ensure strict compliance with quality assurance regulations and other rules. The goal of these audits is to identify issues and improve our ability to assure quality. During FYE March/2018, we performed audits within Meiji Co., Ltd. and group companies inside and outside Japan. Auditors shared quality assurance information from Japan at overseas plants, being considerate of local customs and culture.

Incorporating Customer Feedback Into Quality Assurance Activities

We have established special divisions to analyze customer feedback. We have a monitoring system in place to capture customer feedback, particularly comments that could indicate health hazards. These divisions respond rapidly to feedback requiring an urgent response, performing cross-division confirmation and analysis of information.

Internal Quality Training

Meiji invests considerable time and effort in human resources training to improve quality levels. We hold seminars for both manufacturing and sales staff.

Quality Improvement Activities for Improved Production Floor Competence

Each production plant engages in quality improvement activities to reduce mistakes, process errors, and other issues, as well as to improve competence on the production floor. During FYE March/2018, a total of 211 teams from throughout our group companies conducted quality improvement activities.

Quality Management Based on Reliability Assurance Systems

Pharmaceutical Segment

Reliability Assurance for Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices

The Pharmaceutical segment's Reliability Assurance Policy assures the reliability of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. This policy states, “We will contribute to society by earning the trust of patients and healthcare professionals.”
Accurate information is essential for the appropriate use of pharmaceuticals. We make available to users all information relevant to our products, which we obtain during product development, clinical studies, and post-marketing surveillance.
Based on the Reliability Assurance Policy, we have established the Reliability Assurance Guidelines. Based on these guidelines, we do our best to enhance the reliability of our products and activities.

Reliability Assurance Guidelines and Reliability Assurance System

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in Japan enforces stringent standards for all aspects of pharmaceuticals, from R&D, manufacturing, and shipment to the gathering of information on adverse reactions and the provision of information on proper use.
At each operational stage, we have established original standards and manuals with adherence to laws and regulations. We ensure the reliability of data and information through rigorous efforts to conduct appropriate tests and gather accurate data. The Reliability Assurance Policy also applies to group companies.
The Reliable & Quality Assurance Division ensures reliability by conducting internal audits, as required, in compliance with standards and policies based on the Reliability Assurance Policy. The Reliable & Quality Assurance Division is independent from R&D, production, and sales divisions. In this way, we have established a system that ensures reliability through objective assessment.
We have established Operational Rules of Quality Management Review. This is a system that achieves continuous improvement through plan-do-check-act cycles aimed at ensuring, and enhancing, product reliability.
Based on the Quality Assurance Policy, the Pharmaceutical segment ensures quality globally. In these activities, we assure quality across the entire supply chain, from raw material procurement and manufacturing to distribution and the post-marketing gathering of information on side effects. For example, we visit our own plants, and those of manufacturing subcontractors and raw material suppliers in Japan and overseas to ensure the quality of our pharmaceuticals. Pursuant to relevant laws, an authorized person approves shipment to market after checking all manufacturing-related records. In this way, we provide pharmaceuticals that healthcare professionals and patients can use with complete confidence.

  • QMS: Quality Management System
  • GQP: Good Quality Practice
  • GCP: Good Clinical Practice
  • GVP: Good Vigilance Practice
  • GMP: Good Manufacturing Practice
  • GPSP: Good Post-marketing Study Practice


Quality Improvement and Personnel Development

We foster the ability of our employees to improve operations proactively. We hold meetings to share and discuss the achievements of quality improvement activities and engage in other activities to develop our personnel.

Response to Quality-Related Incidents

If a quality-related incident occurs, our head office collects quality information from plants, affiliated companies, and the respective divisions involved. This information is summarized and shared with senior management. We take any necessary measures and implement preventive measures as promptly as possible.

Extensive Disclosures on Quality and Safety

We make timely and appropriate disclosures of information related to high-quality, safe products and services, striving to ensure the trust and satisfaction of our customers and patients.


Disclosures on Our Corporate Websites

We disclose frequently asked questions on our Food segment website. We make timely updates to this content based on popular topics.

Disclosures on Product Quality Assurance

Ethical Considerations in R&D

As a leader in food and health, the Meiji Group conducts research activities in pursuit of new health value for our customers. The Meiji Group research and development is conducted in compliance with relevant laws, policies of the relevant ministries and agencies, and internal rules for product quality, efficacy and safety.

Ethical Considerations in Research Using Human Biological Materials

We conduct objective and thorough investigations in terms of scientific and ethical issues prior to engaging in research using biological materials from humans, such as tissues, cells, blood, or genes, as well as information from human subjects. Recently, basic research and regenerative medical research utilizing ES cells, iPS cells, and other biological materials from human subjects has been expanding at a rapid pace. The Meiji Group conducts thorough investigations in bioethics and safety beforehand and complies with national guidelines and guidance* in the use of such human samples and information for research.

  • * Japanese guidelines, including the Ethical Guidelines for Medical and Health Research Involving Human Subjects and the Ethical Guidelines for Human Genome / Gene Analysis Research
Ethical Considerations in Animal Testing

We creates plans that focus on animal protection and welfare, when implementing animal testing. Experiments are based on the 3Rs principle of reduction: using fewer animals; replacement: seeking experiments that do not use animals; and refinement: mitigating animal suffering. We conduct animal testing after receiving approval from a laboratory animal ethics committee. Meiji Group animal experimentation facilities undergo evaluations and certifications from external organizations.
Besides, the Food segment will not fund, conduct, or commission any tests on animals for health claims that are not required by law.

Handling of Biohazards and Living Modified Organisms

To handle biohazard materials including pathogenic microorganisms safely, the Meiji Group has established internal rules based on the WHO Laboratory Biosafety Mannual. An internal committee overseeing biorisks establishes operating rules for the proper handling of biohazard materials and manages the status of such. In particular, the proper handling of pathogens and other materials regulated under the Infectious Disease Act*, the Act on Domestic Animal Infectious Diseases Control, and other laws is overseen by an internal expert committee to ensure we handle pathogens etc. in accordance with relevant laws. This committee also ensures we engage in the procedures required (approvals, filings) under such laws.

We have established internal rules and an internal committee to oversee handling of living modified organisms and gene recombination in conformance with the Cartagena Act*. The internal committee examines to ensure experiments using living modified organisms are conducted in line with the standards provided in the Cartagena Act.

  • * Infectious Disease Act: Act on the Prevention of Infectious Diseases and Medical Care for Patients with Infectious Diseases
  • * The Cartagena Act: Act on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity through Regulations on the Use of Living Modified Organisms
Ethical Considerations Related to Medical Research Involving Human Subjects

The Meiji Group conducts product research and development to provide new health value to our customers. Society demands that we confirm the safety and effectiveness of our products through medical research that involves human subjects (clinical trials and clinical research). In conducting clinical trials and clinical research, we exercise respect for the sanctity of life and respect for human rights in conformity with the Declaration of Helsinki*, complying with related laws and regulations* of each country and region and conducting ethical medical research.

When conducting medical research involving human subjects, the Meiji Group give the utmost consideration to protecting the human rights and ensuring the safety of the participants. At the same time, we strive for transparency in our research and to ensure scientific propriety, independence, and reliability. Research ethics committee and institutional review board examine these ethical and safety issues.

  • * The Declaration of Helsinki: Standards for ethical medical research involving human subjects
  • * Japanese guidelines, including the Ethical Guidelines for Medical and Health Research Involving Human Subjects
The Pharmaceutical segment receives accreditation from the Japan Health Sciences Foundation (JHSF).