Food and beverage companies would be well-served by moving away from paper-based compliance systems and replacing them with modern, automated solutions.
Regulations contained in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food and Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) have made the food industry safer, improved product quality, and reduced food recalls. They have helped businesses focus on quality and manage suppliers in a more efficient and proactive way. This has minimized their costs of incidents associated with noncompliance, such as reinspections, food recalls, and even brand and reputation damages.
For most companies, FSMA has meant:
- An increase in the frequency of inspections. Implementation of a prevention-based food management solution and a food safety plan is now a requirement for compliance.
- Supplier verification. Companies that import foods internationally must ensure their suppliers are verified and their food products are safe.
- More intensive sampling and testing of food. This requirement has placed an enormous load on laboratories, which has meant that some sampling and testing has been outsourced to accredited labs.
- An increased need for record-keeping, in areas such as inspections, preventive controls, and certification.
Behind every process improvement, every certification, and every corrective action, there’s a document. They all must be properly managed, stored and submitted quickly should the FDA request them.
How have companies reacted? Most have implemented a paper-based compliance system. However, with the new availability of automated software solutions, managing compliance in food safety by paper has become an archaic method that significantly increases risks across the business.
With the far more rigorous requirements laid out in FSMA, companies attempting to comply by using a paper-based system must go through a complex process. The risk of failure and its consequences – fines, brand damage, lost business – is very real with this approach.
That’s why businesses across the food and beverage industry are increasingly turning to modern, automated solutions – a single source of truth.
With such solutions, companies with multiple sites and a nation-wide or global reach can effortlessly access the most up-to-date records, requirements and other critical food safety metrics within one centralized repository.
Compare this scenario with a traditional word-processor- or spreadsheet-based system with siloed applications for each safety process. Fundamentally, such systems are not suited to the immediate demands imposed by FSMA. Companies will sometimes not have any compliance software in place. Implications of such negligence can be catastrophic. A well-established brand can lose its business overnight if there is a food safety problem.
FSMA regulations have changed food safety management from a reactive process to a proactive one. More importantly, they have made food safer for consumers. They are a requirement of doing business in the modern world, and the best tool to satisfy them is by using a modern, automated solution.
Learn more, download The Essential Guide to the Food Modernization Act.