Over the last four decades, food safety has been covered by 30 federal laws and 15 federal agencies. Now these agencies are asking for better funding to protect food safety programs within the U.S. using the latest technology. In a step forward, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has requested more funding in the 2020 budget to employ technologies such as DNA sequencing for food products and increase personnel by the thousands.
In the world of food manufacturing, food safety isn’t just another category of responsibility; it’s a fundamental mindset. Driven by the critical nature of compliance and the high stakes associated with experiencing a single food safety incident, manufacturers are becoming increasingly motivated to embrace this mindset and adopt smart technology solutions that support it fully. As you look to identify and integrate software that addresses complex food safety needs, do you have a clear understanding of what types of features offer the greatest potential for success?
Use this checklist to help avoid Tens of Millions in damage costs, severe brand equity loss, and unexpected food audits.
As both consumers and the food industry are well-aware, 2018 was a year of national food recalls, which was further compounded by the strain on the FDA during the partial government shutdown. Not only did this lead to consumers becoming more aware of where their produce is being sourced, but it also caused many grocers and food producers to reassess their own supply chain and food safety standards.
We recently posted about the FDA warning letter sent to a Kellogg’s cereal manufacturer earlier this year, which occurred after positive Salmonella samples from the production facility were repeatedly ignored. This corrective action failure caused an outbreak of foodborne illness in 36 states, plus reputational damage to the brand and noncompliance action from the FDA. The manufacturer is now subject to a wide-scale food safety overhaul, which will incur mounting costs for completing a full review of the facility, the implementation of changes to hygienic zoning and traffic control programs, an updated environmental monitoring program, the re-engineering of certain equipment to improve sanitary design, and enhanced training and auditing to ensure that programs are implemented as written. This is a prime example of what can happen when there’s not a robust and fully compliant corrective action plan in place – as well as an urgent reminder to reassess your own efforts. Are you implementing a corrective action plan that meets current compliance obligations, focuses on the safety of consumers and safeguards your brand?
Decades ago, the only food safety risk players in the protein industry were highly concerned about was that of animal diseases pervading their stock. Today, however, companies in the business of producing, processing, distributing and/or preparing meat, poultry and other protein products must be highly vigilant over the threat of foodborne illness caused by pathogens and other contamination issues. Facing this significantly more complex challenge – particularly in light of current industry regulations – has made the development of strong corrective action plans supported by smart software solutions an absolute necessity.
As a food safety manager, you probably worry about what does and doesn’t go on when you’re not around. That’s because there’s more on the line than just business output and operations. If the entire plant structure – from your people to your processes – is not focused on meeting food safety regulations and consumer standards, you’re vulnerable to experiencing serious noncompliance penalties, costly recalls, and reputational risk. But if you assume that ERP software is the answer, keep reading.