Category

FSMA

Eight Reasons ISO 9001 Can Improve Food Safety Management

By | Compliance, Food and Beverage, FSMA, Process Manufacturing | No Comments

food-safety-id-100262218The word “quality” has lost its impact. It has become so overused as a marketing buzzword that no one is sure what the word really means. Becoming registered to the ISO standards fills the word with new meaning, making it as robust as it was originally intended.

ISO 9001 – Where quality actually means quality

ISO 9001 certification is the hallmark of a Quality Management System. It is the stamp of approval awarded by the exclusive registrars who represent and audit individual business’ Quality Management Systems on behalf of the Organization for International Standardization. ISO registration certificates are proudly hung in places of honor in the lobbies of companies that have earned them. Let us pause just a moment to reiterated that ISO certificates are not awarded – they are earned after rigorous, provable implementation and comprehensive audits by ISO registrars.

Say what you do, then do what you say

The basis for an ISO-approved Quality Management System is to “Say what you do, then do what you say.” This is accomplished by the development, documentation, and implementation of policies, processes, procedures, and work instructions from the top of the company to the bottom and throughout the entire breadth of it.

The standard requires an organization to meet its own requirements and those of its customers and regulators. It is based on the plan-do-check-act methodology, which helps organizations establish, implement, monitor and measure their processes to deliver results that align with the organization’s requirements and continually improve performance by taking appropriate action.

How ISO 9001 can improve food safety management in your company

  • It improves ALL processes within a company. Since safety plays a major role in nearly every company that produces, stores, transports, or serves human or animal food products, the issue of safety is integral to the control of each and every process.
  • The written policies specifically define the regulatory and customer requirements that are to be met and maintained by the company
  • The procedures and work instructions drill the policies down to the process level, ensuring that every aspect is fully controlled at all times. They define the sequence and integration of processes so that the desired result – in this case, safety compliance – is consistently achieved. This is the “Say what you do” element.
  • The standard creates specific resource management requirements, especially with regard to the qualifications and ongoing training of human resources to ensure employee awareness of and compliance with the policies, procedures, processes, and work instructions. This is the “teaching them what we say, so they do what we say we do” portion.
  • The standard requires documentation that the company actually does what it says that it does. The Quality Management System documentation must be able to provide irrefutable evidence that all processes are continually controlled and followed.

food-id-10024658

  • Compliance is verified through the establishment of an internal audit program whereby a team of trained auditors can check documentation, and observe actual performance. In addition, regular audits are conducted by third-party teams, usually from the ISO Registrar that issued the company’s certification.
  • Found issues of non-compliance or non-conformance, discovered in an audit, or at any other time, must be cured by documented corrective action that effectively prevents those issues from recurring.
  • A driving force of the standard is customer satisfaction. Successful implementation, therefore, ensures that food safety should never be a concern to the customer, including “customers” such as internal departments and transporters.

ISO 9001 – Where Food Safety Management Is of Unquestionable Quality

Food safety cannot be an afterthought. It must be a theme that is central to every process point, every day, all the time. Implementing the ISO 9001 standard ensures your company and your customers that when you talk about quality in food safety management that you are serious about it and the likelihood of ever encountering a problem is virtually nil. Contact us to learn how NexTec solutions can help integrate your ISO 9001 implementation or download the FREE NexTec Food Brochure.

Images courtesy of David Castillo Dominici and Savit Keawtavee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

FSMA compliance starts now

By | Compliance, ERP, Food and Beverage, FSMA, Sage X3, Traceability | No Comments
Get the At-a-Glance Guide on FSMA compliance

Get the At-a-Glance Guide on FSMA compliance

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA) spells dramatic change for companies in the food and beverage industry. While the FSMA has been around since 2011, many of the rules have only recently been finalized and published. The first FDA compliance audits begin this year.

For many food and beverage companies, the impact of the FSMA is huge.

A wide range of business processes they’ve been handling with paper logs and unconnected computerized systems need to be updated and transformed. For most of these companies, the best to way to achieve a timely, effective FMSA compliance is to invest in a comprehensive Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to collect and report their data.

We’ve put together an At-A-Glance guide to help food and beverage manufacturers better understand FMSA and compliance requirements. The guide provides a sense of why companies are turning to ERP solutions like Sage X3 to achieve compliance.

Know the top 3 FSMA provisions

  1. Preventive Controls. Food and beverage manufacturers are now required to show proof that they have FDA-mandated safety systems and measures (preventive controls) in place — even if no violation has been reported. Proof includes documentation of a wide range of manufacturing and shipping systems, including testing and auditing.
  2. Foreign supplier verification program. FSMA requires more extensive documentation for all imported products. Under the new Foreign Supplier Verification Program Proposed Rule (FSVP) you’ll need to up the level of quality and safety checks and documentation, including verification that foreign suppliers are themselves conducting a hazard analysis and other safety checks.
  3. Traceability and Transparency. For many manufacturers, the most challenging element of the FSMA involves new requirements of traceability. For most companies, this means significant investment in tracking and documenting supply chains.

All food and beverage companies are affected by the FSMA, though compliance deadlines are different based on company size. Again, the NexTec guide highlights some of these differences.

Explore the Sage X3 solution

FSMA requires transparency about safety data at every stage of the food production cycle, from farming to distribution. A robust ERP system like Sage X3 helps you collect that data and produce easily readable reports. It handles data for tracking, traceability, and even business intelligence, giving you much greater control over not just safety but your own business processes.

Sage X3 is a product of The Sage Group, which specializes in business management software for small and medium-sized organizations. Sage X3 provides a powerful, highly customizable business software solution — including industry-leading mobile options for companies with a distributed workforce. As a Sage partner, NexTec helps companies, install, configure and customize ERP software.

Contact us and find out how your company can use Sage X3 to ensure FSMA compliance.