There are three essential aspects for driving food safety training for a diverse workforce: accessibility, inclusivity, and dynamic responsiveness. The key to food safety education is to meet people where they are and commit to food safety training and education. Document everything: if it doesn’t get documented, then it didn’t happen. For good food safety education to work, there has to be a commitment from the top down, but also a bottom-up education and knowledge transfer. The employees on the floor should be an integral part of the food safety training curriculum. This approach is similar to cultivating a food safety culture.
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.
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.
Food defense is a broad term that seeks to tackle risks to the food system from food terrorism. As food systems in the US and globally continue to increase in scale and complexity, the need for comprehensive programs that address risks to food systems has also increased. Protecting the food supply is a matter of public health and national stability, but there is often some confusion about what food defense encompasses and how best to tackle it within some parts of the industry.
After a series of large-scale food recalls due to contamination, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided to overhaul the food safety system with the most sweeping reforms seen in decades. Then-president Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act into law in 2011, starting a cascade of fundamental shifts in how the FDA regulates food safety from end-to-end. Implementation of FSMA has been an ongoing process because of the size and scope of the new regulations.
In the food industry, what you measure tells a story about what you value. You can’t improve what you don’t measure. This sends a strong message from the top that food safety is a priority for the organization. Establishing and communicating objectives and KPIs related to food safety can influence a facility’s food safety culture. But how do you know if your KPIs are driving the right behaviors? And are there better KPIs you could be setting?
Frequently, manufacturers in the industry use the terms “food safety plan” (FSP) and “HACCP plan” interchangeably. However, there are critical differences between these two concepts. Although both terms can support a robust approach to food safety in food and beverage companies, understanding the nuances of each program is essential to identifying best practices for ensuring compliance. Let’s take a close look into each type of plan and what they entail, along with key differences between the two.
GMP stands for good manufacturing practices. The role of GMP in food industry success is critical—they help food and beverage companies maintain food safety and quality while increasing their productivity. All relevant food legislation, including the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), emphasizes these practices, including customer certification requirements.
Food safety is a top concern for Food and Beverage companies and for a good reason. Not only does it help to ensure the safety of your consumers, but it also prevents severe consequences like hefty fines and irreparable damage to your company’s reputation. While each company is unique and thus must take its own tailored approach to compliance, there are a few industry best practices you can use as a starting point for designing more specific food safety programs. In this blog, we will cover the key components of Food Safety Compliance: