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Five Food ERP Features for the Food Safety Modernization Act

The burden of foodborne illness is considerable. Every year, 1 out of 6 people in the United States—48 million people--suffers from foodborne illness, more than a hundred thousand are hospitalized, and thousands die.

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years, was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. It aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it.

However, many food and beverage processors are already becoming overwhelmed as they move towards compliance with the major provisions of the FSMA, including:

  • Inspections and Recalls: The FDA now has the sweeping authority to inspect “high-risk” food products annually, and to initiate product recalls of suspected tainted foods. This is a significant transition away from relying on individual producers and distributors to voluntarily issue their own recalls.
  • Penalties and Fines: The FDA has also been given the power to levy heavy fines and limit supplies to food companies that do not cooperate with FDA inspections and recalls.
  • Food Safety Plans: Food processors are now required to develop comprehensive food safety plans, or Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points plans, that are easily accessible by the government in case of an emergency. These Food Safety Plans need to include analyses of potential biological, chemical, and physical hazards, preventive controls and corrective actions to be taken after an event.
  • Food Traceability: Over the next few years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is required to create a food tracing system to streamline the discovery of contamination sources and accelerate the response times during an outbreak of food poisoning.
In order to meet the document management and traceability requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (and other Food Safety regulations), food processors need to choose innovative Food ERP solutions that provide more than just lot traceability and corrective actions. Today’s leading Food ERP solutions go beyond finance, accounting, and supply chain management - they enable you to identify, document, monitor and follow up on critical control points, thereby supporting compliance with even the most stringent regulations and reporting requirements, including FSMA, GFSI, and SQF protocols.

Here are five Food Safety software features that every Food processor must have in their ERP system to ensure that the company maintains the highest levels of quality, safety, compliance and profitability.

  1. Traceability: The increasing demands for regulation and easy access to real-time data have made traceability programs and systems a necessity for any food manufacturing and distribution company. The capability to track (farm to fork) and trace (fork to farm) details per product or per lot is critical. Tracking and tracing is the core of most global regulations. The capability to track a product from farm to fork or using the one up and one down rule combines collecting appropriate information, organizing the information, and retrieving it as required. 
  2. Recall Management: At any given moment, Food companies must be able to quickly and effectively recall products that have been deemed unsafe for the market. Failure to handle a recall successfully (either voluntary or mandatory) can have serious economic and legal consequences. Choosing an industry-specific ERP solution with comprehensive, end-to-end food recall management functionality positions a company to plan their entire recall process in advance, to perform mock recalls proactively or at a customer / regulator’s demands, to constantly measure and improve the recall process and, most importantly, to respond rapidly, accurately, and thoroughly if an actual recall is required.
  3. Quality Management: Food and beverage companies are also required to detect and react to Food Safety incidents and non-conformances and ensure that appropriate actions are taken to correct and prevent future occurrences. Still, more than half of the FDA warning letters cite Corrective Action / Preventive Action deficiencies. Using a systematic approach to correcting and preventing issues, measuring the outcome and continuously monitoring the system can ensure that a company is compliant, effective and efficient. And, having a well-thought-out Food Safety Management system can result in successful audits, fewer investigations, less product loss, better customer satisfaction, and an increase in overall operational efficiencies.
  4. Electronic Document Management: Today’s successful food companies are increasingly global. These organizations must sustain global manufacturing and distribution processes while addressing the potential operational risks, as well as overcoming the quality, safety and pricing pressures inherent in an already complex industry. As a result, many food companies seek to implement enterprise-wide food safety and compliance document management solutions that can quickly address customer and regulatory issues consistent with worldwide requirements, while simultaneously being leveraged to automate and enhance business processes. These companies need to manage unstructured data in a controlled manner and according to their food safety compliance programs - and do so efficiently without paper-based and people-intensive processes.
  5. Inventory Control: Every manufacturer must plan production, purchase and manage materials, execute the manufacturing plan, and deliver products. Food process manufacturers however, require a unique set of capabilities, including management of co-products and by-products, multiple packaging configurations, lot traceability, item weight and specification variances, and product shelf life. Food inventory management must enable companies to track and manage raw materials while taking into account the complexities of multiple inventory characteristics such as weight, container type, and expiration date. In addition, companies must be able to define, manage, and cost multiple outputs, such as co-products and by-products, from a single production process.
MAXFood Safety ERP allows organizations to grow their business instead of spending time on manual tasks, redundant data re-entry, and people-intensive processes. It enables food processing companies to simplify compliance with stringent food safety standards - including FSMA, GFSI, and SQF. MAXFood streamlines and automates recalls, and helps companies identify, document, monitor and follow up on critical control points.

And with MAXFood Cloud ERP, employees can have real-time visibility and anytime, anywhere access to the critical business data they need to be successful - without compromising functionality or security.

New MAXFood ERP Website: Food Safety for Microsoft Dynamics AX

We are excited to announce the launch of our new MAXFood ERP website: http://www.maxfoodsoftware.com.

The new site provides a fresh new look and feel meant to enhance the overall user experience. It has been updated with new product information, demos, white papers, and deeper, more content-rich landing pages.

MAXFood Safety ERP streamlines how food companies operate according to the guidelines of the Food Safety Modernization Act, and according to Good Manufacturing Processes. MAXFood Safety provides more than just lot traceability and corrective actions; it enables you to identify, document, monitor and follow up on critical control points, thereby supporting compliance with even the most stringent regulations and reporting requirements, including GFSI and SQF protocols.

Learn more about MAXFood Safety:

  • Food Safety Portal: Increase control over operations, reduce the cost of compliance, and increase productivity with one integrated quality control and food safety document management solution for HACCP, Recalls, SOPs, Incidents, Audits, Complaints, GMPs and more.
  • Food Safety Incident Management: Quickly generate a Corrective Action or Preventive Action request that routes through review, root cause, corrective action taken, and verification stages. Generate multiple Food Safety Incident reports automatically, providing an effective mechanism for tracking the source and costs of problems.
  • Food Recall Management Workbench: Streamline and automate the recall process, enabling you to not only perform effective product recalls, but to provide concrete documentation and proof that you followed all FDA GMP mandated recall procedures.

With MAXFood for Microsoft Dynamics AX, food companies can minimize risk, maximize product safety, and deliver greater value to their customers. And with MAXFood Cloud ERP, you can also give your employees real-time visibility and anytime, anywhere access to the critical business data they need to be successful - without compromising functionality or security.

Food Safety Incident Management Software

Food and Beverage companies are required to detect and react to Food Safety Incidents (non-conformances) and ensure that appropriate actions are taken to correct and prevent future occurrences. Still, more than half of the FDA warning letters cite Corrective Action / Preventive Action deficiencies.

The common pitfalls and challenges of a Food Safety Incident Management system include:

  • Inability to link related problems
  • Inconsistent investigation process
  • Confusion over the difference between Corrective Action and Preventive Action
  • Time-consuming approval process
  • Changes to the action plan mid-stream
  • No means to generate metrics

Benefits of MAXFood's Food Safety Incident Management capability:

  • Quickly document Food Safety non-conformances and record all relevant incident information.
  • Automate the processes of assigning non-conformances, investigations, and corrective actions.
  • Improve management of Food Safety Incidents with root cause analysis and real-time trend reporting on food safety issues.
  • Streamline compliance with food safety regulations, including HACCP, SQF, and ISO.
  • Improve brand loyalty and customer satisfaction by continuously improving food safety and responding quickly to potential incidents.

MAXFood's Food Safety Incident Management capabilities enable you to increase control and assuredness for how your organization operates. With MAXFood, you can generate a Corrective Action or Preventive Action request that routes through review, root cause, corrective action taken, and verification stages. This Corrective Action tracking software generates multiple reports automatically, providing an effective mechanism for tracking the source and costs of problems.

Using a systematic approach to correcting and preventing issues, measuring the outcome and continuously monitoring the system can ensure that a company is compliant, effective and efficient. And, having a well-thought-out Food Safety Incident Management system can result in successful audits, fewer investigations, less product loss, better customer satisfaction, and an increase in overall operational efficiencies.