Food Logistics Tips Suppliers Should Know
There are many methods, ranging from smart monitoring tools to supply chain audits, to improve food logistics and provide accountability and compliance.
The Importance of Food Logistics for Businesses
Transportation-related food and beverage safety failures cost businesses over $2 billion each year. Many food industry professionals believe that this figure is severely underreported and is in reality much higher.
Food safety failures may be incurred due to factors ranging from tampering to temperature changes. With so many separate parties involved, it is difficult to make sure that foods reach their intended destination safely.
Contaminated goods can have disastrous consequences on a food industry business, ranging from legal proceedings to the potential death of a consumer. For these reasons, food safety logistics must be strictly and routinely implemented.
There are various logistical measures employable to create a safe, reliable, and secure food transportation management system. These measures include smart monitoring tools, sterile packaging, training, education, understanding legal obligations, and regular supply chain audits.
Each product transported must be specifically considered which can be challenging. For example, certain products stored in fragile containers could not get mindlessly tossed onto the floor of a transport truck.
While a can of soup may fair just fine, a glass container of pickles would require appropriate packaging to ensure the product would not arrive at its intended destination damaged.
Proper sanitation is essential to maintaining healthy food standards during transportation and avoiding foods being contaminated or cross-contaminated. Industry professionals need to vigilantly monitor sanitation through all stages and processes of food supply chain management.
Remember to disinfect and sanitize machinery that products are in contact with regularly. Water sources, lines, tanks, and nozzles should be frequently checked for pathogens and biofilms. This will prevent the spread of foodborne illness, which could not only result in a costly lawsuit but potentially the injury or death of a consumer.
Sterilely and securely packaged products are not enough to maintain food safety standards during transportation. All surfaces that make contact with products need to be completely sanitary and disinfected.
Transport vehicles and fleets need to be sanitized throughout the food supply chain. Employees should always strictly comply with sanitation guidelines, including handwashing and wearing proper safety gear.
Accountability Through Proper Supply Chain Management
Food logistics necessitate proactive maintenance, including regular checks and audits, to help ensure all processes and operations are functioning efficiently. Audits check that all parties involved are following necessary policies and regulations. Checks and audits are indispensable tools for preventing food safety issues before they occur.
Beyond meeting industry standards, audits provide an opportunity to improve food logistics. An audit is a great time to invest in upgrades that could enhance your business. Below are some questions to help you pinpoint areas where you can improve during the audit process-
- Is my system transparent enough?
- Is there any way I could boost my preventative or corrective measures?
- Do I have the most efficient tracking system possible?
- Am I happy with my current partner and third party business relationships?
Through continuous system improvements and accountability, industry professionals can lead the entire industry towards a safer and more effective future.
Awareness of Compliances
All employees involved in the supply chain management and transport management process should receive training. Everyone, including third-party service providers, need to understand the safety guidelines and regulations relevant to their role.
Invest time in understanding the education and training processes of third parties you intend to work with to prevent issues from arising in the future. If you are already working with a third party, ensure their product quality standards align with your business's rules and restrictions.
Food industry professionals need to understand both the legal obligations and regulatory demands relevant to their business's food logistics. Consult the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for specific legalities and regulations applicable to your operation.
Examine the FDA's food regulatory program standards closely and confirm your business practices are compliant with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Research how these regulatory demands and legal obligations, when properly implemented, will affect the operation of your business. The time and effort that you invest in ensuring compliance and improving operations will be reflected in your business's efficiency and growth.
Implementing Software Solutions
There are various systems available to assist with food safety monitoring. The most efficient and comprehensive monitoring is Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPC) compliant.
HARCP represents substantial new regulation requirements that include unprecedented coverage of all food supply chains, both domestic and imported. The benefits of implementing monitoring solutions include easier information collection, comprehensive data reports, compliance assistance, help identifying dangers, and reduction of the potential for human error.
There are many tools available to incorporate into food monitoring systems, including sensors and smart devices. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can automate many back-office functions, saving your business both time and money.
These systems, software, and tools provide product accountability throughout the entire transportation and delivery process.
- Food logistics can utilize systems, software, and tools to promote accountability and ensure compliance with guidelines, laws, and regulations.
- Transportation-related food safety failures cost businesses over $2 billion each year, but may in actuality be much more costly
- There are various logistical measures employable to create a safe, reliable, and secure food transportation management system, including smart monitoring tools, sterile packaging, training, education, understanding legal obligations, and regular supply chain audits.
- Food industry professionals need to vigilantly monitor sanitation through all stages and processes of the food supply chain to prevent the spread of foodborne illness, which could not only result in a costly lawsuit but potentially the injury or death of a consumer.
- Proactive maintenance, including regular checks and audits, help to ensure all processes and operations are functioning efficiently.
- Training and education are necessary for all parties involved in the supply chain management and transportation process.
- Industry professionals need to understand both the legal obligations and regulatory demands that are relevant to their business.
- The benefits of implementing monitoring solutions include easier information collection, comprehensive data reports, compliance assistance, help identifying dangers, and reduction of the potential for human error.
- An Essential Overview of the Food Safety Modernization Act
- A Look Into The World Of Food Hygiene
- The Underlying Causes of Poor Food Hygiene
- Food Safety and Food Hygiene- Can You Tell the Difference?
- Food Safety and Produce- What to Know to Avoid Contamination
- Food Logistics Tips Suppliers Should Know
- Understanding the Food Supply Chain
- The Importance of Food Traceability