A Kellogg’s cereal manufacturer was recently issued an official FDA Warning Letter, which cites a number of food safety infractions linked to consumer illnesses reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Kerry, Inc., the company that manufactures Honey Smacks, underwent an inspection at its Gridley, IL, facility after an outbreak of connected Salmonella infections spurred a voluntary product recall from Kellogg Co. As a result of the inspection, FDA investigators identified “serious violations of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food regulation.”
Grocery stores have transformed the food consumption experience. Whereas shoppers were once singularly focused on traversing the aisles to find the best deal on breakfast cereal, dinner ingredients and other food staples, there is now ample opportunity to meet with friends, purchase and enjoy a full meal AND check out with essential grocery items, all in one stop. But has this emerging trend increased your risk of food safety failures?
Use this checklist to help avoid Tens of Millions in damage costs, severe brand equity loss, and unexpected food audits.
We’ve said it before: No food production process is perfect. There are immeasurable opportunities for the safety and quality of your product to be endangered at just one processing facility, let alone multiple. And as much as we’d like to think that good intentions prevail, there’s simply no way to thwart every single one of these risks. Even so, there’s good news for you and your company: Recalls can STILL be prevented!
Now that the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is fully embedded in the food processing and manufacturing industry, every food brand is called to elevate its approach to food safety and transform reactive efforts into proactive plans. But if FSMA compliance has you struggling to understand and implement the proper regulations within your operation, you probably have some important questions about what’s required of you.
As a producer of food products, you understand that food quality and safety data is both critical and sensitive. But what some manufacturers often lose sight of is the fact that it’s also owned by YOU. This may sound patently obvious, but it is virtually certain that you as an organization are not EMPOWERED to access, aggregate, analyze and act on YOUR data! Try this thought experiment: how long would it take to get an answer to the question “what is my incidence rate of positives trended against 1st-clear sanitation performance for the past 9 business days?” I guarantee you you’ll find your data is walled off from easy access while surrounded by a digital moat. There are historical reasons that organizations such as 3rd party service labs provide your data in very specific formats (Certificates of Analysis etc…): it is both necessary for some aspects of your business to have these forms of output, and they are legally required if for example a lab is ISO certified. All that is well and good, but does NOT solve for the problem of enabling you to mine ALL of your own data in order to take action to improve the safety and quality of your product! Whether you rely on an internal lab team or outsource to various other testing partners, it’s necessary to maintain control over all of your food safety and quality data. Ask yourself: Do you have comprehensive access to your historical data? And if your company changed lab service partners, would you still be able to access and leverage it? It’s time to educate yourself on the importance of breaking down silos, digital and analog. Here’s what you need to know.
Compliance is a hot topic in today’s food industry, as consumers push brands to demonstrate social responsibility and government agencies dig deeper into food safety realities. Companies all along the supply chain feel the pressure to ensure high-quality, compliant processes. In the C-Suite, executives are working to oversee these efforts and fulfill your organization’s compliance obligations. But have you taken the time to determine whether you truly understand your risk position in relation to compliance?