First FSMA rules in effect July 3. Are you ready?

Earlier this week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the first set of rules under the landmark Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), legislation signed earlier this year which gives the FDA sweeping powers to prevent food safety disasters.

The two new rules, which take effect July 3, are pretty logical preventive measures that, in all fairness, probably should have been implemented a long time ago. The new rules are as follows:

  • Order on Administration Detention of Food: The first new rule gives the FDA the authority to hold food products that may be contaminated or mislabeled. Before now, the administration only had the right to detain food when it had sufficient evidence it was mislabeled or contaminated, thereby presenting a threat to humans or animals. Now if the FDA even suspects contamination or mislabeling, it can detain the product.
  • Rule on Imported Food:  Organizations importing food now have
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Sustainability as a business opportunity

Thinking of bringing your business to a more sustainable place?

The best starting place for any business leader to embrace sustainability is to shift away from looking at sustainability in terms of how much it will cost, and towards assessing the returns it will generate.

Consider the phenomenon known as the Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ) which emerged in the field of quality management in the late 1980s. COPQ can be thought of as follows: by neglecting the importance of quality, an organization literally pays to generate waste and other problems, often in the form of scraps, reworks, recalls, rejects, reworks, service calls, warranty claims and more. Similarly, in the realm of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability of environmental, social and economic responsibility, organizations essentially commit capital to generate waste. Not a great investment, especially when sustainability actually presents a ton of revenue-generating opportunities.

Since the purview of sustainable … Read more...

Five Ws: Avoiding the nightmare of a product recall

Eggs. Toy trucks. Spinach. Meds. And now walnuts.

Recalls — and not the good kind — are a daily reality within an interconnected, modern global economy. But for the unprepared business, a product recall can be a logistical and PR nightmare, costing significant capital, and precious hours of downtime as well as — perhaps most significantly — irreparable damage to delicately nurtured brand image.

Since consumer activist agencies and public awareness at large tend to be a few steps ahead of legislators and regulatory bodies on public safety concerns, it is imperative businesses stay a few steps ahead of the game. For companies that rely on contract manufacturers, this can be easily achieved with a comprehensive quality management system (QMS).

Some essential questions — often rendered complex by the size and scope of large corporations — can be resolved with straightforward answers if an electronic QMS has been put … Read more...

The advantage of web-based supplier management

While a supplier management system can be implemented without software, the benefits of establishing a software-based system are numerous and significant. Depending on how comprehensive the solution is, a software-based system can be capable of providing real-time metrics that can be accessed instantly with the click of a button, thus rendering an entire supply chain and vendor base transparent. Some critical features of a comprehensive software-based supplier management system include:

Supplier management and evaluation

The system should be able to register and categorize suppliers by company name, supplier number and performance rating as well as other details in a centralized portal. The system should use this information to schedule, notify, and archive all supplier evaluation activities and results and develop a consistent supplier rating program with customizable surveys.

Risk management and continuous improvement

To avoid quality issues and ensure all elements of the supply chain run at peak performance, the supplier management … Read more...