There is nothing more powerful than food in this world. While giving people the energy to perform well both socially and professionally, it brings joy, happiness, and satisfaction in their lives. Considering the significant role food plays in people’s lives, it is critical for food and beverages (F&B) manufacturers to ensure food safety and quality. This has become even more vital today as the consumers are well-informed and conscious about the things they consume, especially food products.
F&B manufacturers that align their efforts with the changing consumer mindset and ensure compliance with the strict guidelines set by authorities are acquiring popularity and success in the industry. As a manufacturer working in consumables that directly impact the well-being of the people, F&B companies need to practice utmost diligence in their food safety and quality control processes.
The literary world and the internet provide a myriad of different methodologies for improving quality control in food manufacturing. Implementing all and every method can mess things up and make the process extensively overwhelming.
The right approach is to act smart and implement strategies that maximize productivity while boosting food manufacturing quality. To make things easy for you, we have enlisted the top seven quality control methodologies to enhance food safety management.
Adapting a Step-by-Step Approach
Planning is one of the crucial stages for everything. Be it creating a team management structure or ensuring a top-quality food safety management system.
Without a plan, it is nearly impossible to reach the set goals and enjoy the desired results.
There is no denying that to come out as a strong competitor in the market, and F&B manufacturer must have detailed and strict quality control procedures. This is one of the fundamental requirements set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for those willing to acquire FDA licenses.
You need to start with the Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPC) plan. What is this? The HARPC plan is a procedure set by FDA to ensure food safety by building a strong food safety management system.
By following this plan, you will meet both your goals; compliance with safety standards and satisfaction of consumers. The best thing about this plan is the way it takes both preventative and corrective measures for the F&B manufacturers.
As food manufacturers, companies can easily apply and get FDA licenses. The FDA thoroughly examines the implementation and execution of the plan before it approves the license.
Traceability is Not to Be Ignored
In this modern world where technology is the driving force, the demands of the consumers are getting strict with every passing day. The ‘modern’ consumers demand perfection and do not compromise on the quality of the food they consume.
Even the slightest negligence in quality can lead to wide scale recalls reciprocating to severe losses for companies.
This is where traceability comes into play. In this modern age, traceability is everything. It is critical for companies to establish a verifiable supply chain. Tracking the origin of raw material and the processes which it went through is what traceability is, and it is the need of the hour.
With traceability, manufacturers can easily inquire about product recalls and investigate the root of the problem. Also, it is great for preventing these events from occurring. Transparency is what the consumers demand today, and traceability tools are going to give the manufacturers exactly that.
Do Not Overlook PPE Violations
PPE or personal protective equipment policy is one of the most important aspects for an F&B manufacturer. Despite its significance, many manufacturers overlook this aspect and treat this as a matter of convenience. In reality, this is a matter of necessity.
Focusing on establishing powerful and impactful PPE policies leads a manufacturer close to the FDA license. With these policies, companies can prevent OSHA or FDA violations. In addition to this, manufacturers can easily deal with injuries, product recalls, and quality control failures.
Manufacturers can only achieve this by having fixed and set PPE rules and policies. Every employee of the company must have a thorough understanding of these policies and ensure compliance throughout the supply chain.
Regular inspections and announcing strict consequences to failure to adhere to the policies is the smartest approach to reducing PPE violations.
Automation is the Key
Regardless of how far the world advances, there will always be room for human error. Humans are not perfect, and they are prone to make mistakes. Even though they aim for perfection but they are far behind. This is something that the world cannot eliminate, which is why it is looking for ways to replace it.
It is one of the major reasons why every industry, including F&B, is integrating technology and welcoming automation. It is one of the smartest ways to address the element of human errors. The manufacturing IoT is what the food and beverages world is raving about, and it is working wonders, especially when it comes to food safety management.
Food Defense is Equally Important
While F&B manufacturers focus on food safety, they forget or overlook ‘food defense.’ What is food defense? Well, food defense is the elimination of intentional adulteration. This process must involve a thorough evaluation of the manufacturing floor.
For this purpose, it is best to establish a network of employees on the production floor who can keep an eye out for suspicious activities that may impact food safety and quality.
Strict Failure Analysis
Every F&B manufacturing company has to deal with food safety management failures. There are no companies that have not dealt with such scenarios. Unfortunately, only a handful of companies can effectively deal with such food safety failures.
Manufacturers, irrespective of their size and scale, must have a smart system for failure analysis. The sooner they reach the root of the problem, the better it is for both the company and consumers. Not only do recalls lead to massive monetary losses but also significantly deteriorate the reputation of a manufacturer in the market.
Digging deep into surface-level symptoms and investigating for more than one root cause are the key elements of a strict and efficient failure analysis system. When it comes to evaluating or investigating failures in food safety or finding loopholes in a food safety management system, it is best to use equipment designed for food and beverage analysis.
Consider the Cost of Quality (COQ)
An element that many small and medium-scale F&B manufacturers overlook is the Cost of Quality, also known as COQ. This cost comprises the cost of preventative measures, appraisal expenses, along with internal and external failure losses.
It is important to keep a check on all these costs associated with quality. Not doing so can lead manufacturers to a phase where the expenses become much higher than their revenue. Keeping a check ensures that COQ remains low throughout and does not unnecessarily strain the budget.
Executives of such companies must communicate the importance of cost of quality across every department. Every employee in the company must be well aware of its importance. It helps companies address critical COQ-related issues during the early stages.
Food safety management is vital for the success of F&B manufacturers in this competitive world. There is no way that companies can get past the ‘modern’ consumers with products that are low in quality and not up to the mark. These seven strategies are the best way to improve quality control in food manufacturing and ensure food safety and quality that impresses masses, wins hearts and establishes a top spot in the market.