There’s a well-known cliche that says, “Information is power.” It’s a wise saying – one that’s certainly proven to be true in the areas of food safety and quality. But the interesting thing about information is that it’s both infinite and ever-changing. What the age-old adage doesn’t clearly communicate is that information is only as powerful as the processes and tools used to harness it.
According to the CDC, an estimated 2 million bacterial illnesses occur each year in the United States from contaminated meat and poultry products. With this in mind, many food suppliers have turned their attention to a dual strategy of being both proactive and how to best quarantine and prevent. Enhancing their biosecurity helps prevent the spread of foreign animal illnesses such as avian influenza, African swine fever, and foot-and-mouth disease, which helps protect their distributors and consumers from handling contaminated product..
Use this checklist to help avoid Tens of Millions in damage costs, severe brand equity loss, and unexpected food audits.
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is no little-known piece of legislation in the industry today. As the defining rules have been finalized – and compliance dates have come and gone – manufacturers everywhere have felt the pressure of regulatory change. But is everyone on the same page when it comes to understanding these “new” compliance requirements? How is your company approaching its FSMA compliance obligations, and do you believe that technology can help?
“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.
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!