The FDA is inspecting and monitoring organizations’ processes for preventing food contamination more frequently and with the enactment of the Food Safety Modernization Act, manufacturers and producers have placed more emphasis on accountability, avoidance, and obligation at each step and process throughout the entire supply chain. As such, traceability has become a more important feature in food manufacturing ERP than ever before.
The ability to track and trace “from farm to fork” and back (or cradle to grave and back) has become the principal of almost all global regulations. Process manufacturers have the responsibility to maintain detailed lot-related information and to also trace its use, which is why food manufacturing ERP systems have become a necessity for any company in the industry.
Time is of the essence when getting the information you need for FDA inspections. Take too long and you’re probably in for a lengthy and costly audit but produce accurate and timely information and your compliance costs are sure to go down.
Further, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requires you to pull all necessary information within a narrow four-hour window. You do not want to be the organization still operating manually and scrambling to get the information they need –especially if you’re busy or working otherwise unavailable. A study by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) discovered the following:
• Only 5 of 40 products purchased could be traced through each step of the food supply chain back to the farm or border where they entered the country.
• 31 of the 40 products purchased could not be traced through each phase of the food supply chain back to the facilities that were likely to have handled the products.
• The remaining 4 of those 40 products and facilities were completely unknown.
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