With what seems to be an increase in foodborne illness and product recalls, and contamination outbreaks, the Food and Drug Admistration (FDA) has developed the Food and Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) aimed a reducing these outbreaks. The FDA has given special attention to food processing facilities and their duty as processors to encourage hygienic processing practices. Adhering to the FDA's Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) is a key piece of the act.
As the food processing industry continues to see growth and an influx of imported foods make their way onto supermarket shelves, it is crucial companies abide by hygienic design in their processing facilities. We've compiled a list of reasons why companies need to abide by hygienic design in 2019 and beyond.
Food Processing Revenues are Expected to Grow in 2019 - An increase in revenues can be the result of increased production rates, increased consumer demand for your product or improved technological efficiencies within food processing facilities. If you're expecting to process more product in 2019 than in previous years, consider swapping out your current equipment for an upgraded hygienically designed version that not only focuses on efficiency but also focuses on keeping food safe to ensure your product can safely meet new consumer demands.
FDA Cultural Change - The FDA is undergoing a cultural shift in practices which aims to shift their focus from reacting to food borne illnesses and outbreaks to a more preventative method of controlling processing facilities and farms and stopping contamination at the source. For processors this means more on-site inspections and harsher enforcement consequences. To ensure your processing facility is compliant with rules and regulations of your industry, first take a look at your processing equipment to ensure it meets hygienic design criteria and that you have mitigated risk where possible. If you're unsure if your equipment meets the latest in hygienic design standards, reach out to CMP.
Mandated Inspection Frequency Based on Risk - If you're processing a product that is considered to be 'high-risk', the FDA is paying special attention to your processing facility so you can expect more frequent visits from FDA Inspectors. New food products are continually being added to the list of 'high-risk' products as we see contamination and foodborne illness outbreaks effect multiple industries. These FDA inspections will review things from your production process to your risk monitoring systems, past records and even samples of your products. Samples taken from your equipment will look for any suspicious levels of bacteria or contaminants and provide valuable information to the FDA to use as comparisons. If your processing equipment has not been hygienically designed, there is a greater risk of bacteria building up in harbourgate points or in areas where water pools. A hygienically designed piece of equipment will eliminate both harbourgate points and areas where water might pool, giving you piece of mind during these surprise inspections.
Consumer Loyalty - Brand recognition and reputation are what keep our customers loyal, and loyal customers are the ones who bring your brand to recognizable brand status. So what happens when your brand has to fess up to a massive recall of products due to contamination? You're hit financially, your reputation is ruined, and it is hard to ever completely recover. Avoid a brand recall by taking a close look at your processing facility and all the equipment you use. Ensure the equipment is hygienically designed to prevent contamination from ever happening because nothing kills a good brand faster than a food recall.