As the entire domain of food safety transforms and FSMA deadlines elapse, corporate-level executives and brand managers must prioritize their companies’ compliance efforts or risk facing crippling impacts. From regulatory penalties and legal consequences to recalls and reputational damages, the stakes are high. Food safety is one of the few, if not the only, events that can terminally damage a brand. Don’t believe me? Just look at Chipotle, Blue Bell and Peanut Butter of America. What’s your strategy for preventing these potentially fatal brand consequences? Have you established a structured corporate vision for food safety excellence? Do you know how?
If you’re someone who’s responsible for the livelihood of your food organization’s brand, you’d likely jump at the opportunity to see into the future and prepare for what’s in store. After all, your brand is a precious commodity -- the lifeblood of your business -- and you know that protecting it is an absolute necessity. Luckily, you don’t need a fortune teller or a crystal ball to get a glimpse into food safety five years down the road. You simply need to recognize the emerging trends, respect the compliance landscape and heed the advice of industry experts.
Use this checklist to help avoid Tens of Millions in damage costs, severe brand equity loss, and unexpected food audits.
If your corporation has established protocols and behaviors that satisfy all the requirements for FSMA compliance, you’re certainly on the right track. After all, these new rules are mandatory for food manufacturers, so you’d be facing significant penalties and risks by failing to comply. But if you’re focused solely on checking off the compliance boxes to avoid legal ramifications, you’re definitely missing the bigger food safety picture -- and that could have a negative impact on your brand.
The food manufacturing industry has been revolutionized by automation in recent years. What used to require excessive time and effort to manage via paper-based methods and cumbersome strategies is now streamlined through digital data collection, organization and reporting. Instead of wasting valuable production time on manual, labor-intensive processes for ensuring food quality and safety, plants have the benefit of optimizing these efforts through automated systems. Why, then, are some companies still failing to meet current safety standards and quality objectives. Why are they still suffering from inefficiencies that lead to costly problems? Is your organization facing a similar predicament? Even if you have an automated management system at your disposal, you may not be utilizing it correctly. A food quality and safety management solution is there to make operations easier, quicker and more accurate. If you’re not seeing these benefits, you may not be working with the right tool or getting the most out of it.
Smithfield Foods is a leading consumer packaged meats company, as well as the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. When the company first began working with Sample6, one of its three divisions included 12 plant facilities manufacturing ready-to-eat (RTE) products that required environmental listeria monitoring. With approximately 1,600 weekly testing samples being tracked by two corporate food safety directors, management of the program had become a complex, labor-intensive and time-consuming one.
Yes, the food safety industry is majorly transforming as we speak. Yes, you need to shift your mindset immediately and refine your processes dramatically. Yes, there’s a hefty, potentially devastating price to pay if you continue to rely on outdated approaches and refuse to adopt proactive measures. But no, this doesn’t have to be a nightmare for your manufacturing company. And no, you don’t have to be afraid. Why? Because the reality of change is as old as time, and with most periods of change come evolution and innovation. This can certainly be said of the food processing industry.