Each year, approximately 48 million Americans become sick from contaminated food.
More diverse consumer demands and greater competition have driven food and beverage makers to produce more SKUs than ever before – and this has introduced greater complexity into their production processes and supply chains.
Therefore, it’s imperative that food and beverage producers are proactive when identifying and resolving issues that lead to product recalls and contamination.
An enterprise wide approach that embraces information-enabled technologies and automation can help you address food safety across operations while increasing productivity. It involves five key steps:
1. Get connected
The Connected Enterprise enables seamless connectivity and collaboration among the many people, processes and technologies that impact product safety and quality.
Transitioning to a Connected Enterprise first involves converging your operations technology (OT) and information technology (IT) systems into a single, unified network architecture.
From there, you can implement technologies like mobile platforms, cloud computing and Ethernet that can help improve visibility into safety- and quality-related processes.
2. Secure your networks
Network security directly impacts food safety and quality, and a “security through obscurity” approach is no longer viable.
A defense-in-depth (DiD) security approach builds several lines of defense across multiple levels of your network infrastructure.
It addresses internal and external security threats, and should serve as a natural extension of your manufacturing processes.
3. Employ a risk-based, preventive control program
Software can automate the collection and visualization of process control. This can replace slow and outdated paper-based, information-gathering methods and give you deeper insights into your manufacturing methods.
The right technology can help you apply a more proactive approach to your food safety program. This preventative approach can help you more easily comply with regulations through:
Globally, there’s a push for stronger traceability requirements, and in the U.S increased specifications are expected in upcoming Food Safety Modernization Act revision.
Beyond compliance, a food safety program can be used to improve product quality, asset utilization, yield and energy usage.
Take advantage of technologies that improve asset utilization to meet demanding production goals and support fast changeovers while also maintaining high product quality. These technologies include:
Remember, your brand and business are at stake in every food or beverage item you produce.
Unresolved production quality and safety issues not only put consumers at risk, but could result in major financial tolls on your business.
Investing in a comprehensive approach to food safety is not only a win for your company, but will strengthen your image in the eyes of stakeholders.
Click here to learn more about best practices for food safety.