Methods for Preventing Food Recalls: Looking To a Safer Future

Food recalls are seeming to be more prevalent than ever as companies deal with difficult growing conditions and compromisation of food quality. Many producers and manufacturers are looking to preventative measures and transparency tools to help them to avoid falling victim to a large-scale recall. In this article, we explore different methods for preventing food recalls, and how cloud-based ERP software solutions are able to assist manufacturers in minimizing different risks throughout the food production process.  

Are recalls common in the United States? 

Unfortunately, food recalls have still remained prevalent despite the amount of technology and automation that have been inserted into the food production process. Recalls leave hundreds of thousands of Americans struggling with health issues and digestive disturbances every year. A study conducted by the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) has seen a 10% increase in recall occurrences between the years of 2013-2018. As the pandemic entered the global market at the end of 2019 and the dawn of 2020, food quality issues continued to abound as supply chain disruptions and production issues worsened. 

What causes recalls in the food supply chain? 

Any small discrepancy throughout the process of food production can potentially lead to a widespread recall. For example, instances of microbial contamination and transmission, or breakage of the food production machinery can cause large-scale recalls. This isn’t a victimless event, as it can sicken consumers, undermine consumer confidence and trust in the product sourcing the recall, and cause the company thousands of dollars in the process. Investing in preventative measures and technology can save significant costs and time. 

How can suppliers and producers minimize instances of food recalls? 

There are many different techniques that producers can use to minimize their risks when it comes to recalls. It is important to note that recommendations will be dynamic and should be structured to fit a company’s unique needs. Below, we’ve compiled a list of three of the top ways that producers are able to actively limit the risk that food recalls pose to their businesses: 

1. Employ routine systems inspections and quality checks 

While these are generally mandated based on guidelines from the USDA and other authorities, companies can go above and beyond when it comes to prevention by conducting routine checks and inspections of their own volition. These systems checks are most effective when they are scheduled, standardized, and recorded, allowing for a library of resources and past reviews to remain accessible for team members and other stakeholders. This system also allows higher levels of consumer confidence thanks to the transparency that the practice provides. 

2. Invest in automation and learning management systems

Often, error comes where there is a lack of clarity and communication. For replicable, daily tasks, companies may consider investing in quality automation services that reduce the risk for human microbial contamination or error. This can also help to significantly streamline processes in your business operations while reducing risks. Additionally, for tasks that require the human touch, businesses can complete and implement centralized learning management systems for employee reference. 

3. Regular compliance training and education 

Learning management systems are one of the first correct steps that you can take when it comes to streamlining and replicating your business processes well through every stage of your operations process. However, regular, supervisor-led staff compliance training can go a long way to minimizing threats and recalls. This routine process showcases the importance of quality to the staff on a regular basis and minimizes the risk of outstanding questions that could slow or pose a risk to your process. 

4. Use an updated ERP system that allows for maximum traceability capacity 

Time is always of the essence in the instance of a recall. Using a quality cloud-based ERP software that allows you to quickly access the lot numbers and identifying information of the lots at risk is essential to minimizing your risk. With other more outdated methods of tracking, this can be time-consuming and result in higher rates of cost for the business and illness among the consumer group. However, with software that is updated in real-time, you are able to quickly identify all lots at risk in the production process and segregate the effects of the recall to those products only — protecting your other products from limitation or slowdown due to the recall. 

Inecta’s ERP software solution helps thousands of industry leaders to thrive 

Recalls are a risk to every producer in the food industry. For this reason, your investment in a quality ERP solution is vital to the health and longevity of your business. Inecta has led the industry for over 20 years, offering top-of-the-line technology solutions that help your business function well. With enhanced traceability and transparency elements that have been incorporated into the software, as well as real-time updates and reporting capabilities, you can minimize your risk at every stage of the production process. For more information, please reach out to us via our website at https://www.inecta.com/, or you can give us a call at 800-632-0573. 




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