Core FSMS Elements to Leverage for Reduced Compliance Risk

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Mar 14, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Travel around the world, and you’ll find a wide variety in what comprises a Food Safety Management System (FSMS) at different companies.

For some, it’s as basic as a set of spreadsheets, internal policies and training programs. For others, it’s an enterprise-wide system of integrated software modules that links together every step of the food safety process. In both cases, the main goals are to ensure food safety, produce high quality products, and of course, reduce compliance risk.

In today’s post, we’re looking at core elements every FSMS needs to do this. We’ll focus on the basics companies need to have in place, plus next-level capabilities that deliver even better results.

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Food and Beverage

4 Ways to Improve Traceability in Food Manufacturing

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Feb 02, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported 150 food recalls in 2015, exceeding the number of recalls for every year in the past decade. All told, the agency recalled over 21 million pounds of food over problems that include listeria and salmonella contamination, undeclared allergens and extraneous materials.

Experts say only part of that represents contaminated food, with poor traceability forcing companies to recall as much as 50% more product than is actually necessary out of an abundance of caution.

The lesson? Improving traceability not only helps protect consumers, it also helps companies execute recalls faster, at lower cost and with less damage to their reputation. Let’s look at some key areas where companies need to focus to get there.

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Food and Beverage

Sustainability Trends in the Food and Beverage Industry

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Jan 17, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Experts estimate the global population will reach 9.7 billion by 2050. Over that same period, food demand may rise as much as 98% as the standard of living rises in developing countries.

At the same time, global climate change has the potential to limit crop yields due to extreme heat and precipitation changes. Even if some regions benefit from an increased growing season, the need to double food production still represents a major challenge for current and future generations.

While agriculture represents most of the environmental resources used to make food, the food and beverage industry can play a key role in helping address some of these challenges.

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Food and Beverage

The Willy Wonka Guide to Food Safety

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Dec 29, 2016 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a classic movie about food safety gone awry. No, I’m not talking about the Johnny Depp version. I’m talking about the 1971 film featuring Gene Wilder and, in my opinion, a more authentic version of Charlie Bucket.

In the film, a group of child auditors visits a candy factory somewhere in Europe owned by the mythical and reclusive Willy Wonka. Due to gaps in Wonka’s Food Safety Management System (FSMS), several adverse events take place during the audit itself. The result is mayhem and hilarity, but for the observant food safety professional, there are also lessons to be learned.

Let’s have a look at a few of them.

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Food and Beverage Fun Takes

Why Data Integration is Key to Recall Management

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Dec 13, 2016 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Listeria. Salmonella. E. coli. Undeclared ingredients and allergens. The number of food recalls has increased over the past decade, leaving many companies scrambling to respond while millions of people are sickened every year by foodborne illness.

To be sure, food safety management should focus on risk-based controls that prevent the need for recalls. But the complexity of today’s complex supply chains combined with the fast pace of manufacturing means sometimes problems slip through the cracks.

The difference between a company that gets dragged under and one that can weather the storm often comes down to recall management. An effective response requires having all the information you need to act quickly, something made much easier with integrated data. 

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Food and Beverage

How Risk Management Helps the Food Industry

[fa icon="calendar'] Wed, Dec 07, 2016 / by Emily Ysaguirre

Tracking and managing nonconformances is a critical step to ensuring product safety and quality. Risk Management software ensures that product defects are flagged and handled as nonconforming material. This allows necessary actions to be taken in order to resolve it.

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Food and Beverage

3 Pro Tips for Conducting Supplier Audits

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Nov 22, 2016 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Supplier audits are an important part of verifying supplier compliance with industry best practices as well as your own internal requirements. While some suppliers will hire third-party auditors to demonstrate compliance, developing your own internal standards and bringing in your own representatives can ultimately provide better visibility.

This post outlines strategies for streamlining the process, so you can better prevent supplier issues that lead to food safety problems.

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Food and Beverage

5 Problems That Cost More Than a Food Safety Management System

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Nov 03, 2016 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

With the advent of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), many food and beverage companies large and small are working towards implementing Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS).

These systems give companies more control and visibility throughout the manufacturing process while systematically reducing risk across the organization.

But making the commitment—and following through on it—does require investing time and resources into the process.

As a result, many companies just don’t want to make the investment, viewing it as a net cost to the company. But the truth is, not having an FSMS is something that can ultimately prove more costly. Within this context, let’s examine 5 problems that cost more than an FSMS.

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Food and Beverage

How an FSMS Supports the 7 Principles of HACCP

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Oct 18, 2016 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) compliance dates are approaching, with many companies required to establish a food safety system that analyzes hazards and implements risk-based preventive controls.

A Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan has long been one of the main standards for developing such a system. Integrated Food Safety Management System (FSMS) software provides a simplified way to streamline compliance with the new requirements.

To see how, this post will look at the ways an FSMS supports the 7 principles of HACCP.

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Food and Beverage

4 Document Control Gaps That Can Cause Big Problems (and How to Avoid Them)

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Sep 29, 2016 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Document control is central to certification and regulatory requirements that include multiple ISO standards, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

And yet, according to a McKinsey & Company report, employees spend almost 20% of their time searching for and gathering internal information. That means out of every 5 workers, only 4 are actually getting work done at any given moment.

The problem points to how common document control problems are in many organizations. In this post, we’ll examine 4 of the most common document control gaps and what you can do to fix them.

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Document Control Life Sciences Food and Beverage aviation EHS Quality Management