Ensuring Food Safety with Quality Management Software

Food safety characteristics have a very close connection to food quality characteristics, and while all food safety characteristics relate to quality, not all food quality characteristics relate to safety. Food quality, according to Alli (2016), relates to ensuring that products meet the established requirements for food characteristics. Garvin (1987) describes eight dimensions for measuring the characteristics of food quality: performance, features, reliability, conformance, durability, serviceability, aesthetics, and perceptions. Food safety, which relates to the characteristics that have the potential to be harmful to human health by causing illness, falls under the performance and reliability dimensions of food quality. Food safety characteristics are therefore specific kinds of food quality characteristics.

By recognizing that food safety and food quality have an integrated relationship, organizations can bring quality methods and tools to bear on the difficulties of navigating food safety regulations in their FSMS (Food Safety Management System). With food supply chains now … Read more...

Using QMS Software to Tame the Complexity of Food Regulations

Not many safety failures hit the headlines quite the way those in the food industry do. With high-profile incidents like the 2013 horse meat scandal in the EU, the listeria contamination at Maple Leaf Foods in 2008, and the seemingly constant cadence of recalls involving leafy greens, food safety failures have the potential to create foodborne illnesses that cause serious harm to human health and significant financial damage to the organizations at the heart of them.

Global supply chains for food products have only increased the complexity of the compliance requirements for food safety. Organizations in the international marketplace must consider standards and frameworks such as ISO 22000:2018, FSSC 22000, ISO 9001:2015, HAACP (Hazard Analysis and Control Points), and the many voluntary standards of Codex Alimentarius, as well as overseers such as GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative), the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), and SQFI (Safe Quality Food Institute). In … Read more...

BRC V.8 Puts the Spotlight on Global Food Safety and Quality

In today’s global marketplace, the food on your plate can come from anywhere in the world. Increasingly complex global supply chains mean that the assurance of food safety and quality to prevent foodborne illness is more important than ever.

Among those looking to bring uniformity to processes that ensure safe food for all is the British Retail Consortium (BRC), whose food safety and quality standard has provided important guidance to global food growers and suppliers, as well as a common framework for safety and quality for the worldwide food industry, for the past 20 years. The BRC Standard offers important direction and common metrics for consistency and safety in food quality and production.

Version 8, the latest iteration, provides an umbrella framework for other individual international regulations regarding food safety and quality monitoring. It helps suppliers raise the bar on things like reducing food recalls due to factors including: … Read more...

Quality in the Food Safety Industry

Each industry will have different interpretations of the concept of Quality and how to prioritize its tenets within their own field of practice, expertise and work experience. Perhaps the best fundamental principle is the definition of Quality given by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as “the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfills requirements where a requirement is a need or expectation.” This look at the Food Safety sector is one in a series of blogs that provides a quick look at how the concept of Quality applies in different industries.

The global food supply chain is increasingly complex – especially when it comes to addressing food safety incidents and recalls. Food moves around the world in an international marketplace, and the potential for error with catastrophic health consequences for consumers is high. Each year in the United States, 48 million people fall ill as a result … Read more...

What Can Go Wrong, Will Go Wrong – Part 1: Maple Leaf Foods and Quality Management

Quality Management is more than simply a collection of processes and tools that lead to better efficiency and customer satisfaction. It’s a perspective that must change the way everyone in an organization views the way they do their jobs and the way they process information. It’s not enough for an organization to have Quality software; it must also listen to every voice in the organization to identify weaknesses in the overall QMS, no matter how slight they may appear. As we’ll see below, negative events are not always big, dramatic cataclysms, but are often found hiding in the furthest reaches of even the best Quality Management Systems.

In 2008, Canadians in several provinces reported illnesses that were eventually diagnosed as listeriosis, a type of food poisoning related to the listeria monocytogenes bacterium. A total of 57 people became seriously ill and 22 people died. The source of the bacteria was … Read more...

BRC Version 8 targets global food safety and quality assurance

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Today’s food literally comes from everywhere in the world. The sourcing of it is now an international affair and assurance of food safety and quality is perhaps more important than ever.

Among those looking to bring uniformity to … Read more...

FDA’s New FSMA Rules Mean Hard Times for Old Compliance Tracking

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
Read more...

5 Errors That May be Impacting Your GFSI Compliance

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What is GFSI?

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is a global initiative for the continuous improvement of food safety management systems. The initiative’s goal is to ensure confidence in the delivery of safe food to consumers around the world.

The initiative was launched in 2000 following a number of food safety crises that severely diminished consumers’ confidence in the global food supply chain. The key activity within the scope of GFSI was the definition of food safety requirements for food safety schemes through a benchmarking process. This global set of standards has helped to accelerate the recognition and implementation of several existing food safety schemes. It has also driven growing confidence in third-party certifications along the entire food supply chain.

A Surprising Issue for GFSI Compliance

From a functional standpoint, one of the most challenging elements of keeping up with GFSI compliance for food producers is sufficient document controlRead more...

Dairy Worker Safety, PTSD, OSHA Changes and More…

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in
environment, health and safety news:

  • A push for more worker safety in dairy
  • Ontario’s new PTSD strategy
  • New Dietary guidelines and food safety implications
  • OSHA management guidelines

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you. Until next week, enjoy the program!

EHS This Week Resources

For more information on the stories and resources mentioned in this week’s podcast, check out the links below.

  • Learn more about the push for dairy worker safety. Click here
  • Learn more about Ontario’s new PTSD initiative. Click here
  • Read more about new dietary guidelines. Click here
  • Get the details about OSHA management guidelines. Click here
[audio: 2016/02/EHSTW-021116.mp3]… Read more...

The Future of the Technology and Compliance Landscape

Bar none, the biggest change we are seeing in the world right now is the accelerating degree of connectivity we all have as consumers. In fact, research shows that this connectivity has grown past a trend and is now our new normal.

The growth curve of internet adoption is staggering. The analyst, Mary Meeker, compiled some fascinating metrics in her 2015 internet trends report. In the study we see that from a user base standpoint, the internet has growth from a mere 35 Million users in 1995 to a staggering 2.8 Billion users in less than 20 years.

The nature by which those billions of users are accessing the internet has also undergone a change.

Mobile phone adoption and smart phone adoption in particular have not only continued to fuel internet usage but also drastically changed how easily consumers can get online. For developing nations, mobile phones provide a Read more...