Many of us can honestly say there are aspects of our jobs that feel like a never-ending cycle. For plant and quality assurance managers in the food industry, the responsibility of preparing for audits really is an endless challenge. The perpetual need to ensure audit readiness can seem relentless and burdensome. The reality, however, is that food safety can be managed in a highly systematic way -- one that equips you and your team to embrace the kind of audit preparation that doesn’t spur an incessant loop of tedious tasks.
If the heightened threat of experiencing a food recall has been on your mind, you’re not alone. Professionals in the food industry at large have been transforming their mindset in response to consumer and government demands for a more rigorous food safety effort. Every brand is under scrutiny from the public, as well as the watchful eye of the FDA, to ensure that today’s food safety standards are being upheld. It’s time to take action on executing a FSMA-compliant plan to meet evolved regulations and protect your brand against the risks of a food recall.
Use this checklist to help avoid Tens of Millions in damage costs, severe brand equity loss, and unexpected food audits.
There’s no way around food safety audits for manufacturing companies. Government regulators, like the FDA, USDA and CFIA, continue to heighten compliance enforcement, and clients often conduct regular investigations to manage supplier food safety. On top of that, there are internal audits to be implemented on a consistent basis. That amounts to quite a mountain of audit preparation, which means complex data acquisition and reporting.
There’s a consumer-driven movement happening in the food industry, and it’s impacting the products you bring to market. As people become more informed about health and nutritional realities, interest in eating “clean” foods and maintaining organic diets has surged. In fact, statistics show that worldwide sales of organic food has risen 500% in the 21st century (from $18 billion in 2000 to $90 billion in 2016). In response, farmers are changing the way they grow and manage their crops. So, what does this shift mean for your plant’s approach to food safety and recall prevention?
In the food manufacturing world, plant and quality assurance managers are no stranger to the struggles of overworked employees, strained resources, interruptive audits, tracking snafus and testing pressures. You’re tasked with managing multiple systems at once because each one focuses on a different manufacturing need, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. But you don’t have to keep spinning your wheels to stay on top of critical quality and safety issues or mitigate the risk of a costly recall.
Where would your brand be without the loyalty and trust of its consumers? A company that suffers from diminished consumer confidence is a company at risk of failure -- or, at the very least, significant loss. Therefore, protecting your brand image is of the utmost importance, though this can be a major challenge in today’s food industry climate. As federal regulations evolve, consumers become more informed and the number of food safety incidents climbs, there’s one undeniable truth at the core of protecting your brand: You must adopt a preventive approach.