We read with interest a recent Food Safety Magazine article entitled Preparation Is Key to Staying off FSMA Recall Report. As the article notes, the US Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires food companies implement the appropriate processes to not only manage recalls, but also to implement tools that support an effective food safety plan.
Elements of an effective food safety plan include verification that preventative controls are up-to-date, and that necessary records are being kept throughout the processing operation.
Other requirements noted in the article that can be addressed with food processing ERP systems include establishing a mechanism to track the product implicated, purchase location, product identifying code and other key data.
Food Processing and ERP Software
When our team partners with companies for an food processing ERP project, it’s evident that food industry-specific ERP systems can help make a difference in complying with FSMA mandates, including managing a recall or alert.
As processors face more complex mandates including the Global Food Safety Initiative, Hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) and other regulations, those saddled with outdated ERP or manual methods will find it difficult to meet mandates.
As an example, FSMA recordkeeping and lot-tracking requirements mandate that processors rapidly identify and track every single ingredient in their products, from receipt through processing, packaging, and shipping, to the exact customer location.
A company can’t afford bottlenecks or manual processes in this area. The ERP system should help a company quickly respond to recalls, notifying customers, vendors, and government agencies in the least amount of time as possible.
In terms of meeting HACCP requirements with ERP, the food safety plan and all related documents must be made available to FDA during inspections. As part of its food safety plan, the ERP system can help document sanitation procedures, a recall plan, a food allergen control program, supplier verification activities, and environmental sampling testing, among other areas.
ERP Features and Functions for Food Processors
Food and beverage manufacturers evaluating ERP need to gain a high level of traceability to better manage their overall operations.
We suggest companies look for the system that provides the best process visibility — enabling them to meet their stringent requirements and avoid delays during product recalls.
In addition to integrated financials, supply chain, quality and other areas, specific features to look for include:
- Electronic Document Management
- Recall Management
- Bill of Materials (BOM) or Formulas
- Traceability Audit Trails
- Recipe Management
The ability to manage production quality is critical to food and beverage manufacturers. Companies are wise to evaluate systems offering detailed historical information related to supply chain, production, inspection, genealogy and usage.
And as the Food Safety Magazine article cited above notes, food processors must have an ERP system that supports a comprehensive food safety management plan.
Our team has experience guiding food and beverage companies through a thorough ERP selection project. We apply specific methodology to effectively evaluate the best fit regarding traceability, electronic document management, recipe management, as well as using ERP for effective food safety plans.
Food and beverage manufacturers contemplating an ERP project can contact the Ultra team to discuss specific needs.