“We recognize that it’s time to look to the future of food safety once again, with a view that builds on the progress we’re making with our regulatory framework, but also leverages the use of new and emerging technologies to create a more digital, traceable and safer system,” reads a newly released statement from Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D., and Deputy Commissioner Frank Yiannas on steps to usher the U.S. into a new era of smarter food safety. The announcement introduces the FDA’s plans to develop a “blueprint” intended to further modernize and evolve the country’s approach to food safety.
According to USDA records, more than 20 million pounds of meat were recalled last year, and the U.S. government is expected to issue new food safety guidelines after a recent spike in meat and poultry recalls due to product contamination. These headlines reveal the alarming rate at which food companies are still experiencing costly recalls, even amid modernized food safety regulation and heightened oversight. These statistics are a strong reminder of the importance of following preventive food safety guidelines and taking a proactive rather than reactive approach to contamination challenges.
Use this checklist to help avoid Tens of Millions in damage costs, severe brand equity loss, and unexpected food audits.
These days, headlines warning consumers of food recalls from prominent brands are not few or far between. From Tyson Foods pulling 36,000 pounds of chicken nugget products due to complaints of rubber contamination, to Boston Market recalling 86 tons of boneless pork rib patties for potential glass or plastic contamination, to Butterball calling back more than 78,000 pounds of raw ground turkey over Salmonella fears, there’s no shortage of reminders that food safety is an ongoing challenge. In fact, the CDC’s official list of foodborne outbreaks for 2018 was larger than any previous year shown on their website, which goes back to 2006.
In food manufacturing plants across the country, food safety and quality managers can be seen documenting, storing and accessing their vital data using cumbersome spreadsheets and outdated paper methods. They’re clambering to meet heightened regulatory needs and monitor daily operations with limited resources, overworked employees and closing windows of time. As they cling to antiquated data management practices, the risk of food safety recalls and compliance infractions only surges. If you’re one of the many organizations in this familiar predicament, the message is clear: It’s time to go digital with your food safety data!
It is not surprising that operational efficiency in the food safety industry is maximizing product output at the lowest possible price while never compromising -- and dare suggest increasing-- food safety. Experts in the food industry understand there is a continual need to increase speed and efficiency during the manufacturing and production process without compromising food safety. One of the ways the industry is beginning to be more proactive about food safety is through utilizing the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). IIoT refers to physical devices connected to the internet that collect and share data from the manufacturing and industrial processes.
As you work to stay informed on the latest updates in food safety, you may have encountered the term “food intelligence platform” and made some assumptions about its meaning. There are a number of misconceptions surrounding software platforms in the food safety arena, which can lead to misinformed decisions about what type of solution is best for your operation. To support you in addressing this challenge, we’re taking time to debunk myths about food intelligence platforms and explain the fundamental differences between a laboratory information management system (LIMS) and food safety software.