FSMA: Automated Temperature Control Systems Facilitate Compliance
GENEVA, OH, September 21, 2016
It’s imperative for food manufacturers to be compliant with FSMA regulations. The FSMA’s strong focus on preventative measures requires accurate data tracking, management and control. Cloud-based technologies are now available to help manufacturers meet requirements while working to limit and prevent foodborne illness outbreaks. Here are some tips on what to look for to ensure the best quality solutions.
What to Look for in an Automated Temperature Control System
- Should be compact, lightweight, water- and dust-resistant.
- Should allow an inspector to carry it easily.
- Should connect to a cloud-based system via a non-proprietary wireless technology standard, such as Bluetooth®.
- Should operate at the push of a button to measure, record and save temperature data, including time and location.
- Should be easy to clean and sanitize.
Return on Investment for Automated Temperature Control Systems
If you invest in an automated temperature control system, you’ll see an immediate return on investment. For instance, if a technician needs to record a measurement in a smokehouse, he opens the door, collects the reading and closes the door with an automated device. With a paper-based method, the technician opens the door, collects the measurement, closes the door, records the measurement and exposes the food product to potential contamination from the paper, pencil, and clipboard. This also does not factor in the increased opportunity for human error if, for example, the technician forgets the numbers while shuffling papers, transposes numbers or writes the reading in the wrong location. If this happens, the technician may need to reopen the door and collect another reading, which increases cooking time and slows production. And, as mentioned in the previous blog post, paper-based filing systems can leave your manufacturing company vulnerable.
Benefits of an Automated Food Thermometer
- Data is immediately accessible up and down the supply chain.
- No manual data entry, recording and transcription errors.
- Efficient and accurate data collection.
- Data is also safely stored away from the production facility in a secure cloud environment.
- Rapid data access allows identifying non-compliant readings almost instantly.
- Response time to compliance issues is shortened dramatically and production downtime is reduced.
Be FSMA Compliant
Temperature measurement is an important element of an FSMA-compliant preventive control process. One big positive step is to eliminate the pencil and clipboard from food processing temperature measurements. It’s crucial to automate data collection, including temperature readings. Doing so addresses FSMA requirements for science-based, in-process temperatures to reduce pathogens. Cloud-based data solutions make it easy for suppliers and producers to capture the data in a single acquisition step, import it into a database, and make it available throughout the supply chain.
To learn more about food temperatures and safety and how to comply with the FSMA, download “Preventing Foodborne Illness: The Farm-to-Fork Focus of the FSMA.”