By Laurel Maloy, contributing writer, Food Online
Implementation of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points can be managed cost-effectively. The original cost will be quickly offset by more efficient and safer food production, as well as fewer recalls and stress-free FDA inspections
As the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) moves inevitably toward implementation, food processors and manufacturers are concentrating on the implementation of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). Not only do processors and manufacturers want to the ins and outs of HACCP to be compliant, they want to know how to justify the cost of these measures. They also want to know how to educate employees and get them to buy into the system.
When it comes to cost, overcoming objections can be difficult. The simple answer is: It's the law; you don't have a choice. However, once getting past that sticking point, the simple solution is to sit down and figure it out.
As outlined in HACCP—What You Need To Know, the process, once broken down, is not as difficult as it may seem. Facilities will not have to hire a group of professionals, or even one professional to lead the team; the "in-the-know" people are already employed by food manufacturing and processing companies. These are the folks who grow and pick raw products, the workers transporting and warehousing ingredients for products, the men and women who maintain equipment, monitor production, and uphold quality control standards. These are the professionals that processors and manufacturers must reply upon in order to implement HACCP in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
First, a team leader must be chosen. This individual should create and clearly define expectations for the team. This leader should be an excellent communicator as well as a great encourager as communication and cooperation are essential throughout implementation. The ideal candidate will have others quickly wanting to follow suit with the team's leader. Use this to perfect and streamline production. Reassign and reorganize personnel in order to accomplish the tasks at hand. Delegate, but monitor progress. Finally, communicate progress to consumers through the Internet, social media, and throughout the food and beverage community.
In a previous article, Transparency In The Supply Chain, transparent communication is one of the most critical factors in establishing a connection with the consumer. In fact, as demonstrated in this article, consumer trust equates to company profit. Utilize every opportunity the technology of today affords and think of HACCP implementation as a marketing tool.
HACCP and FSMA are facts of life. It may seem daunting, but in reality, it is a win-win for the farmer, the processors, the manufacturers, and the consumer. This is an exciting time! It is an opportunity to accomplish the goal foremost in every food producer's mind — providing the consumer with a safe product, at a fair and reasonable price, while making a profit.