Manufacturers need ongoing planning for Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) compliance


In today's food and beverage industry, companies have to keep on top of government requirements.  And that means manufacturers have to prepare for the far-reaching manufacturing compliance reform, like the US Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The purpose of the law is to provide a safer food supply and a more stable food industry.

Under the FSMA, the FDA has the authority to order recalls of contaminated food, a power it did not have prior to the enactment of the Food Safety Act, according to Teri Mascotti, director of business development at WithoutWire Inventory Sciences, a provider of inventory management solutions. Mascotti spoke to a recent online meeting of GPUG.


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About Linda Rosencrance

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer/editor in the Boston area. Rosencrance has over 25 years experience as an reporter/investigative reporter, writing for many newspapers in the metropolitan Boston area. Rosencrance has been writing about information technology for the past 16 years.

She has covered a variety of IT subjects, including Microsoft Dynamics, mobile security issues such as data loss prevention, network management, secure mobile app development, privacy, cloud computing, BI, big data, analytics, HR, CRM, ERP, and enterprise IT.

Rosencrance is the author of six true crime books for Kensington Publishing Corp.

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Don't forget the paper in your FSMA compliance plan

Great article, Linda. You mentioned that “food and beverage manufacturers should be investing in reliable food tracking systems that will allow them to trace their products and recall them when needed.” Dynamics is a great platform to use to manage all of the data that drive efficiencies and enable accountability in the food chain. Then there’s the challenge that exists with all of the paper associated with all of this.

A comprehensive food tracking system has to be able to store and manage all of the paper generated throughout the food supply chain—from procedure documents, to quality documents, to material safety data sheets (MSDS), to certificates of analysis, etc.

Powerful extensions of the basic need to store and manage this paper is the ability to maintain all of the inherent data relationships among batches, formulas, items, vendors, etc. in Dynamics and to enable people to review and process documents based on their role in the organization. Examples of how this can be useful might include when

  • a quality manager needs to review production quality results to determine whether there is a possible issue with a formula, review documents related to finished batches as well as those still in process, etc.
  • an R&D specialist needs to process a new formula request from a customer and review documents related to previous batch results for that formula, including product specifications, nutritional analysis, and the MSDS related to specific raw materials used in the batch, etc.
  • a cost accountant needs to review batch cost overruns by identifying specific formulas for additional review by looking over physical batch tickets from the shop floor that reflect unusual circumstances that were recorded during production run, and even drilling down to review raw material lots, price fluctuations, and vendor COAs, etc.
  • a purchasing manager could review vendor performance by comparing COAs to item specifications, see all vendors that supply a specific item and their related documents, review batch yields by going to batches that contain these items, etc.