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.
Food safety reform is sweeping the nation as the FDA enforces its most extensive regulatory shift yet. While manufacturers and suppliers across a spectrum of food categories work to align their operations with these new mandates, players in the meat industry may not be perking their ears on this particular matter. After all, meat and poultry have historically been controlled by the USDA, not the FDA. Even if you’re complying with USDA standards, however, it’s important to pay attention to what’s going on with regard to FSMA, for a number of reasons.
Use this checklist to help avoid Tens of Millions in damage costs, severe brand equity loss, and unexpected food audits.
You see the news headlines declaring recalls at restaurant chains, supermarkets, meat and produce companies, ready-to-eat product manufacturers and other types of food processors. You see consumers responding on social media and in their individual buying habits. You know that government regulations have been elevating food safety standards to a whole new level. And you worry about how these industry realities will affect your brand.
News headlines featuring popular food brands illustrate the reputational damages and profitability losses that companies can experience as a result of food safety issues in the manufacturing process. The truth is many corporate leaders don’t have the necessary visibility into what’s happening at the plant level to rectify food safety mistakes before they become public health concerns.
Managing non-conformances is a complex effort, made even more challenging and complex with new food safety requirements. Executing corrective actions well and in a timely manner though is critical to both being compliant with regulations as well as continuously improving your operations to reduce brand risk. As FSMA continues to roll out and necessitate a proactive focus on contamination prevention, one of your top concerns must be to implement preventive controls that meet government provisions. You can’t expect to accomplish this objective without arming your team with the right tools for the job; tools that give them the right data at the right time!
If your corporation has established protocols and behaviors that satisfy all the requirements for FSMA compliance, you’re certainly on the right track. After all, these new rules are mandatory for food manufacturers, so you’d be facing significant penalties and risks by failing to comply. But if you’re focused solely on checking off the compliance boxes to avoid legal ramifications, you’re definitely missing the bigger food safety picture -- and that could have a negative impact on your brand.