I am convinced that most food producers only want to deliver safe food to the retail. Which does not detract from the fact that there are many challenges (and temptations) here. An unfortunate incident could happen at any time.
Fact: food safety is a hot topic. It is, and will remain so. That requirements are becoming stricter and consumers more critical and empowered, and the fact that we live in a fully connected world where social media has an immense impact, does not make it any easier. How do you stay alert to all the external risks? How do you maintain internal control over your processes and operations, while also remaining innovative and relevant? Automation and robotisation play an important role here.
Take a close look at your business process. For instance, go through the CCPs (Critical Control Points) with the QA department in a critical manner. Determine which steps can be automated or robotised. Consider label scanning and recognition, which allows you to check whether the ingredients and allergens on the label match the raw materials used in production. This prevents ingredients from ending up in the wrong place, which in the worst case could lead to life-threatening situations for people with food allergies.
Ensuring food safety is extremely important. But it remains human work. The risk of a recall is always lurking. Although prevention is better than cure, it is good to also look at that 'cure', in other words, a recall. Be prepared!
As a food producer, you want to be able to respond quickly and effectively to any food safety risks. I am convinced you can go a long way in this by automating simple control operations. The trick is and remains to react quickly to alerts; preferably before your products are available in the store.
Curious about the potential of automation for your organization? Feel free to contact us.
Source: Vakblad Voedingsindustrie