Ensuring FSMA compliance in food distribution

Author:
Categories: Compliance, ERP, Food and Beverage, FSMA
December 6, 2016

FSMA rules for food distribution will affect railways, trucking companies, and those that use heavy equipment for food distribution.

It’s easy to become frustrated with the growing body of regulations governing food manufacturing, food transportation, food quality, food handling, and related issues. It’s easy to believe that the government is just down on the food industry and looking for ways to make life harder. But the flipside of all those rules and regulations is that the United States enjoys one of the safest food, drug, and water supplies in the entire world. In fact, even the food we feed our pets and livestock is safer and of better quality than some of the food delivered and served to people in some parts of the world.

What’s FSMA compliance?

So, get ready to be thankful, as the brand new FSMA rules are ready to go. Slated for taking effect in April of 2017, the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food Rule focuses specifically on avoiding risks during the transportation of food, as opposed to strict focus on food quality issues. It is designed to respond to more than 200 comments the FDA received, most from inside the food transportation industry.

FSMA rules for food distribution apply to four main areas:

  1. The equipment and vehicles that transport food
  2. The operations of food transportation
  3. The training of personnel responsible for food transportation
  4. Record keeping on the food transportation processes

As profit margins become ever slimmer for food manufacturers and food transportation companies, additional requirements like these don’t make things easy. However, the right food distribution software can tremendously help, both in terms of staying compliant with laws and regulations like FSMA and in keeping operations efficient and productive to maximize profits.

How food distribution software helps you stay FSMA compliant

The benefits of these laws are that the US enjoys some of the safest, highest quality foods in the world. The downside is that these regulations drive up operational costs.

Food distribution software can help your food transportation company remain FSMA compliant, and also:

  • Find the most efficient shipping routes. You will be able to give your customers your guarantee that you will be able to fulfill their order precisely and on time for the lowest possible cost.
  • Improved lot control means you will be able to manage to stick within even the strictest of FSMA compliance and other regulations. You will be able to perfectly track the path of your stock via RFID and EDI technologies.
  • Simpler, easier management of food recalls means you can quickly and easily remove products that have been classified as unsafe by using automated product lot numbers.
  • Improved, enhanced inventory management means you can see accurate, current numbers in real time so that you can make the right decisions about your inventory on the spot, even if your inventory is in flux.
  • When your customers are running promotions, you will be able to manage and track those using the system’s streamlined trade promotions features.
  • Improved quality control means that you can keep track of expiration dates and proactively test products to assure that they are within compliance regulations and determine whether or not they contain potential allergens.
  • Increased visibility into operations means that you can get valuable insight into all your business processes via business intelligence tools.

Are you ready to get the food distribution software you need to remain FSMA compliant and improve your profit margins? Download the NexTec Food Brochure to find out more now.