Jan 3, 2019

The Food Safety Modernization Act and You (and Your ERP Software)

The Food Safety Modernization Act

Did you know the there are new rules to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) being implemented this year and next? If not, don’t worry – we’re here to keep you informed. If so, we’re still here to help you comply with the new standards.

Although the FSMA was signed into law back in 2011, some of its rules went into effect last year with more to come this year for small farms and food handling facilities.

The two newer rules are the produce rule and the preventative controls rule. The produce rule applies to businesses that grow or otherwise handle fruits or vegetables before they are sold to consumers. To comply with this rule, you must keep specific records about how your food products are grown and handled and then make those records available to the FDA. The preventative controls rule applies to companies that manufacture, process, pack, or hold any kind of food that is made for human consumption. To comply with this rule, you must register with the FDA and develop a full Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventative Controls plan, which requires you to analyze the risks associated with your facility and then determine how you can minimize those risks. While large facilities are already subject to some of these rules, small facilities were required to start complying as of September 17th of last year and small farms must begin complying as of this month.

Update 2/13/2019: Large farm inspections have been postponed until spring of 2019 with the exception of potentially high-risk situations and routine inspections of small farms has been postponed until spring of 2020 with the exception of sprouts operations.

With FSMA regulations, you must adhere to the guidelines as to what data to record, how to record it, when to record it and who is to record it, requiring a more rigorous process of data management. And, it’s not enough to record this information correctly, the FDA mandates a four-hour window for producing the necessary information such as receipts, purchase orders, bills of lading, etc.

For food manufacturers with multiple production steps and a manual system or systems to track it all, complying to these standards can be daunting and nearly impossible. Keying information into multiple, manual systems can be time-consuming and inaccurate as it leaves a lot of room for human error. It can also be difficult to compile comprehensive reporting as you must pull information from multiple systems and compile in another. Combined, these drawbacks of multiple, homegrown systems can result in the inability to trace product, thus resulting in a failure to comply with the FSMA.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

How to be a Compliance Master

You can stop spending time on administrative tasks and start focusing on strategic planning with NorthScope, all while adhering to the FSMA.

As a single source of truth, NorthScope helps you master the compliance standards by:

  • Capturing detailed data that lends itself to reports suitable for an auditor.
  • Providing drill-down reporting that can help you identify trends and conduct root-cause analysis.
  • Displaying real-time data to support sales, manufacturing, distributing, and other activities.
  • Offering lot-tracing capabilities enabling you to track defective lots to respond to recalls economically and efficiently and to gather accurate, required data about product quality in a timely manner.
  • Presenting detailed visibility into costs, inventory management, customer activities and more!

Combined, these benefits can help you become a compliance master that also:

  • Improves efficiencies.
  • Reduces costs.
  • Increases margins and customer service levels.
  • Prevents illness if a safety concern arises.
  • Avoids having to recall product that is perfectly safe and salable.
  • Earns greater trust from retailers and consumers.
  • Engenders confidence among auditors, regulators, and inspectors.
  • And more!

Schedule a demo and become a compliance master today!