While many compliance deadlines for the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) are behind us, many food and beverage companies are still awaiting inspections. In the meantime, questions remain: Is your facility doing everything it should to ensure FSMA compliance? And, if not, what could you be doing differently?
What’s the Best Thing to Do Right Now?
The overarching goal of FSMA is not just to enforce new laws, but to “create a preventive, food safety system that is self-sustaining,” according to FSMA Operations Team co-chair Joann Givens. To achieve that goal, Givens recommends looking at the “big picture” of your food safety system and assessing vulnerabilities so you can take proper action to proactively address them.
Yet, most food and beverage companies are already aware of their key risks and have processes in place to mitigate them. So, what can these organizations do to become even more proactive in their compliance efforts? Givens says “facilities should set up a thorough system for documenting what they do.” We’ll explore what that means in greater detail below.
Implementing a Thorough System
Food and beverage companies are already documenting what they do, but most are still relying on spreadsheets, binders, clipboards, and other limiting, offline systems. Food safety and compliance software can help companies better prepare for FSMA. These solutions leverage mobile data collection and program automation to make it faster and easier for companies to comply with regulatory requirements.
According to Givens, the better a company’s records are, the more they are able to demonstrate that it is meeting the legal standard. Software makes compliance simpler and more effective because it enables data collection from the production floor in real-time. Thus, cloud-based platforms provide instant visibility and management of all documents, forms, tasks, and records. Not only does this help companies save up to 80% of the time needed to prepare for audits and inspections, but it also ensures audit-ready records at all times. Plus, beyond simply achieving compliance, these solutions support more effective food safety management to help companies perform better.
About SafetyChain Software
SafetyChain is a Quality Management System (QMS) that helps food and beverage companies improve productivity, profitability, and compliance with a flexible, user-friendly software platform that captures, manages, and analyzes real-time operations data. Learn more at https://safetychain.com.