Best Risk Management Practices For The Food Industry

Posted by Romeo Elias on Wed, May 09, 2018 @ 10:27 AM

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To ensure quality and safety, it’s critical for the food industry to manage and track non-conformances that can lead to product defects and disastrous mistakes.

Risk Management tools and practices were specifically developed to protect against these food safety dangers. By leveraging them, the food industry can protect itself from the risk of a lawsuit, accident, deliberate acts, and even acts of nature.

From supply chain to food health, the food industry cannot be entirely free from internal failure or external events that can threaten productivity and safety. However, having risk management practices in place puts you in a better position to protect yourself from the risks your business is exposed to every day.

If you want your food business to be profitable, you need to pay close attention to all the details; this includes everything from ingredients to equipment to your workforce; most importantly, it involves focusing on defining processes and policies. Here are some best practices in risk management:

Identify Responsible Parties

The key to managing risk is to identify all parties that are involved. It’s critical to understand who is accountable for food safety risk, quality, and compliance. 

When it comes to minimizing risks with manufacturing foods, everyone should recognize that it is a responsibility shared across all levels; this involves plant managers, quality, and food safety group, corporate supply chain, operations staff, QA personnel, and your maintenance crew.

Your QA personnel plays a significant role at all stages of production, making them critical to your overall risk management plan. Without diligence in documenting areas of high risk and communicating concerns to relevant stakeholders, risk cannot be mitigated.

Prepare Employees with Thorough and Continuous Training

Your employees handle day-to-day processes; therefore, risks start with your people. To lessen the possibility of devastating situations, your team should be properly trained in equipment handling, customer service, and safety procedures. Ensure they’re across on employee health codes that outline employee hygiene, inspections, regulated equipment, and even which cleaners are acceptable to use on facilities and surfaces.

While equipment may seem self-explanatory, it would surprise you how many times the wrong assumptions on how to operate equipment has led to disastrous accidents. To boost compliance, train employees how to properly handle all equipment. Thoroughly explain safety protocols that include proper handling, storage, and preparation of food items.

Leverage Technology 

Empower staff with food safety software that complements your overall risk management efforts. Visibility, communication, and compliance can all be improved by using the right solutions.

Communication is crucial. Without it, contamination risks may not be addressed immediately. Safety and quality are all put at risk when there is a breakdown in the exchange of information, leading to dangerous consequences.

With the right food safety and risk management software, you can establish a safety plan that meets FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) compliance requirements and optimize operations by standardizing practices and eliminating duplication of documentation. You can increase productivity by automating manual processes that are repetitive and slow down productivity. And because you have access to historical data, you can analyze and predict trends and identify risks.

 

Tags: risks, food industry, Risk Management, regulatory, Regulations, business process

4 Steps to Achieve Workflow Compliance

Posted by Romeo Elias on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 @ 11:29 AM

 

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All companies, regardless of industry, are responsible for ensuring that their policies and processes are designed to comply with applicable laws and regulations. Because of the complexities of regulations and requirements, many companies struggle to secure compliance.

Companies who compliment their efforts with technology have found that staying compliant has become far less challenging. In the past, businesses had no choice but to rely on Excel sheets and Word docs to keep track of all their people and processes. It meant exchanging numerous emails and risking communications getting lost. Innovative software means the end to duplicate reporting and copying data repeatedly.

These centralized technology tools meant having confidence in your compliance and meeting regulatory requirements. Compliance workflow automation gives you the ability to audit multiple tasks into one process and schedule these processes to run on a regular basis automatically.

While the technology has been revolutionary, it still doesn’t relieve compliance teams of monitoring people, processes, and anyone else who must meet compliance obligations.

One of the crucial steps to ensuring compliance is streamlining workflows to ensure that only employees who should have access to specific data have relevant access. The purpose of a workflow is to divide processes into smaller steps which are passed to different people with the company.

Because of the multiple exchange of hands in documents, there could be numerous submissions for review and need for amendments. All the necessary steps should be taken into account and control processes must be enforced, and verification of information should be ensured.

Here are some tips track and monitor workflows to ensure that they achieve compliance, and nothing is overlooked or goes missing:

1. Identify Legal Obligations

What are all the compliance obligations and how do they impact your business? Once you have identified what these are, interpret them into specific compliance requirement statements.

Each of these requirements should be organized according to underlying regulations and codes along with common requirements such as policy development and monitoring requirements.

2. List All Parties Subject to Audits

List everyone who will be held responsible for meeting compliance obligations; this includes people, vendors, 3rd parties, sites, and processes. Because this will likely be a comprehensive list, be sure to organize them in department folders.

3. Evaluate Level of Risk

It’s impossible to monitor every aspect of your business at all times; instead of attempting to do so, focus your attention on where risk is highest. Identify who you would consider as compliance risks to your business based on criteria that evaluate the levels of risk.

4. Determine of Level of Attention

Set up your system to conduct audits regularly. Audit frequency should be established based on the level of risk. For obvious reasons, high-risk people, processes, and parties should be audited more frequently than those that are considered as low-level risks.

While the right software can help you achieve workflow compliance, the reality is that your employees are the risk that you will have the least control over. To become fully compliant, it’s important to not only streamline your processes and systems but also regularly review your people.

 

 

Tags: digital transformation, quality data, Compliance, Workflow, Workflow Managment, Workflow and Business Process Management, workflow automation, legal, Audits, Risk Management, risks