Quality and safety standards for the food and beverage manufacturing industry have been shifting as the world experienced unprecedented supply chain disruptions through the pandemic. From this disruption, the FDA and other regulatory bodies have adapted some compliance requirements to ensure a steady supply of safe and quality food while developing new regulations. It is crucial that manufacturers understand, prepare for, and implement policies to comply with these changing standards.
Most organizations understand the value of performing internal audits. The objective of auditing is to gain insights into your processes, help you maintain conformance, mitigate risks, and improve your operational excellence.
However, there are best practices you can incorporate into your audits to make them more effective, insightful, and useful to increase the likelihood of continual improvement.
Each food and beverage facility is different, with its own unique set of food safety and customer requirements to satisfy. With that said, there are many key performance indicators (KPIs) shared across the industry which are used to measure success.
Packaging manufacturers are faced with the challenge of balancing regulations, available materials, cost, and function to demand. This article will discuss packaging manufacturing regulations, the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, and FDA compliance to shed light on the many regulations that dictate the packaging industry.
Traceability is a tool, and as such, it is not an answer or the solution; it’s a means of getting there. Companies often state that they wish to have greater traceability. It is crucial that companies identify what they hope to achieve with traceability because understanding the goal can guide them in how best to use traceability. As a tool, traceability can be an effective marketing technique or a way to authenticate a product. Companies can also use traceability to increase supply chain efficiency or facilitate simpler and easier recalls. Many companies are examining traceability as a way to improve in all of these areas. The technology exists to support all of these goals, but it is helpful for companies to clarify the goals first before attempting to implement traceability.
Statistical Process Control (SPC) is an industry-standard procedure that utilizes statistical techniques during the manufacturing process. Managers using SPC can access quality data during manufacturing in real-time and plot data on a graph with predetermined control limits. The capacity of the process determines control limits, and the client’s needs determine specification limits. By implementing SPC, manufacturers use quality data to record and predict deviations in the production environment. Data are plotted on a graph, incorporating factors like control limits (natural process limits) and specification limits (requirements determined by the corporate). When recorded data falls within control limits, it indicates everything is operating correctly.
Regulations in recent years have sought to assist allergen-aware consumers by requiring changes in labeling to reflect individual ingredients and sourcing, but challenges remain in creating labeling clarity and providing relatable education that can facilitate a better understanding for consumers of what labels mean.
The commitment to understanding and protecting the food allergen consumer continues to be a priority for food manufacturers. The impact from a safety and purchasing standpoint is significant. 32 million Americans live with food allergies that impact their well-being and quality of life. Retail establishments, food companies are key players in building empathy and trust with the customer.
Manufacturers use statistical process control (SPC) to reduce variability in processes and increase compliance. Several SPC tools are commonly used, but the control chart is arguably the most popular. Introduced in the 1920s, control charts utilize recorded data over time to indicate when deviations in quality occur that may still be within specifications. Control charts can help manufacturers distinguish between common cause and special cause variation. However, managing manual control charts can be a complicated and time-consuming process. Many organizations are looking for more efficient and cost-effective ways to use SPC. In this blog, we’ll discuss:
- How software can make SPC implementation more effective
- What SPC can look like in your facility
- The most commonly used SPC tools today
Modern impressions of the word ‘chemical’ are often negative. Consumers often express disgust, fear, and other negative emotions. Data suggests that consumers have many misconceptions about chemicals, which drive negative feelings about chemicals. Some of the confusion may stem from how the food industry characterizes chemicals. For example, an ingredient deck can be misleading. Consumers may perceive a shortlist of only four or five ingredients to be a cleaner food, but in fact, there are harmful substances that only require four or five ingredients, and there are healthy foods that include dozens of ingredients.
Manufacturers must integrate policies and processes that meet or exceed industry standards and governmental regulations. At the same time, these policies and processes must also meet or exceed the expectations of customers. Many organizations develop a quality management system (QMS) to manage both aspects of quality and compliance. An organization’s QMS formalizes and directs quality and compliance activities and facilitates continuous improvement. ISO9001:2015 details the requirements for quality management systems. QMS programs can be a valuable tool in building strong relationships with customers and helping organizations remain competitive.