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The food and beverage manufacturing industry includes 30 different sub-sectors, including soft drink manufacturing, meat and poultry processing, seafood, bakeries and tortilla products, sugar & confectionary, and the dairy industry. Keeping in mind the well-being and health of the consumers, food safety is paramount to the food and beverage manufacturing industry. Consequently, manufacturers are mandated by regulators to uphold the standards in three areas — environment, health, and safety.

Due to the nature of the process associated with manufacturing these consumable products, which even includes various forms of livestock, there are several potential risks involved. These risks can be categorized into two: environmental risks and health & safety (H&S) risks.

Environmental risks caused by:

  • Organic, putrescible solid waste in the form of rejected products and inedible materials
  • High biochemical and chemical oxygen entering wastewater
  • High thermal energy consumption
  • Emissions to air such as particulate matter (PM) and odor

H&S risks include:

  • Respiratory, rheumatic disorders due to suboptimal working temperatures
  • Safety hazards due to the presence of glass and other sharp objects
  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals and loud noise
  • An outbreak of disease due to recontamination from poultry and other animals
  • Chronic injuries or cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs) as a result of physically demanding tasks and postures

Industry standards

The growing importance of maintaining a safe work environment and the need to protect the environment have resulted in several new regulations and standards.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Food Safety Modernization Act, ISO, USDA QMP, and QAD are the primary governing bodies catering to upholding the environmental, health, and safety standards of all food and beverages industry products in the United States. There are other governing bodies across the world that set their own standards and regulations. Despite the presence of various food and beverage standards worldwide, they are united by a single goal — to protect and ensure the health and safety of the consumers and employees at these organizations.

Mitigate EHS risks with QHSE software

The cost of non-conformance and failure to adhere to legal and regulatory standards has a direct impact on both the bottom line and top line of companies. It certainly also hurts the reputation of the organization to deliver to consumers a trustworthy product.

To avoid hefty penalties for non-compliance, it is clear that food and beverage companies must meet the expectations for quality and safety throughout the production process and supply chain. To adhere to all the health and safety standards and environmental regulations, organizations must deploy a robust and well-managed quality and safety management solution that is scalable and easy to implement.

Leveraging technology such as QHSE software to manage suppliers, retailers, and third-party partners will help mitigate risks in the following ways:

  • A holistic view of the production process and supply chain will help create visibility to handle quality, health, and safety risks across the value chain
  • Regulatory and statutory compliance becomes easier with a next-generation QHSE
  • Single platform to track, report, and prevent health and safety incidents on the processing floor
  • Minimize health risks by automating repeatable health and safety management processes
  • Track and prepare CAPA for high-risk scenarios

For businesses in the food and beverage manufacturing industry operating with multiple supply chains and diverse sets of requirements, ‘continuous improvement’ is a crucial element to drive excellence in quality and build an enterprise-wide safety culture.

ComplianceQuest’s Quality, Health, Safety, and Environment system is a 100% cloud-based system built on the Salesforce platform. It provides a fully integrated QHSE system that works seamlessly with all other ERPs. Some of the mandatory modules required by users from the food and beverage industry are part of ComplianceQuest’s QHSE software. They are –

  • CAPA management software uses predictive analytics and intelligence to identify the right issues (based on risk and urgency levels) to solve to ensure all quality and safety standards are maintained
  • Inspection software allows businesses to track, conduct, and complete inspection activities by automating the inspection process by streamlining all inspection-related processes
  • Risk management software uses unique AI and analytics capabilities to spot potential risks based on history and trending data
  • Supplier management software is an end-to-end management application that supports supplier/contractor lifecycle management needs for global supply chains

ComplianceQuest’s QHSE software addresses the following regulations.

  • CFR Part 117
  • Part 11
  • cGMP
  • ISO 14001
  • ISO/FSSC 22000
  • ISO 18001/45001
  • ISO 31000
  • FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act)
  • USDA QMP, QAD

We recently published a whitepaper titled ‘The Future of Safety Management at Food Processing Companies is Digital & Data-Driven’.

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