Food Safety Management System

What is the purpose of a Food Safety Management System (FSMS)?

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What is the purpose of a Food Safety Management System (FSMS)?

With the primary purpose of an FSMS being food security, another crucial purpose is compliance with government standards in most countries, increasing consumer and customer confidence and contributing to global health attainment. Another goal of the FSMS is to become ISO 22000 certified, transforming eateries and food manufacturing companies into reliable and confident producers. 

FSMSs, an overview:

This article will answer  questions like 

  • What is the purpose of FSMSs? 
  • Why are food operators required to develop an understanding of this system, and how is it beneficial?
  • What are an FSMS and its importance in the food industry?

An FSMS is a controlled set of actions defined for every individual step of the journey of Food products. Food safety is secured from the collection of raw materials to treatment and the packing and delivery of edible products. 

FSMSs entail the implementation of HACCP ( Hazard Analysis Critical Control point) standards obligatory upon food producers. 

The three main objectives achieved by adopting FSMS are Food Safety, Quality control, and Legal compliance with health standards. 

The collective actions employed to attain Food Safety Objectives (FSO) are called FSMSs. This system can use tools such as good manufacturing practice (GMP), good hygiene practice (GHP), and the hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) system.

 What are the critical elements of the FSMS?

ISO 22000 defines four main elements of an FSMS:

Interactive Communication: This is the deliberate and consistent interaction between all the parties involved in the food production process. 

Although a Food business operator cannot have Communication with all the stakeholders: the suppliers, distributors, and retail providers, it is enough that the operator is in direct dialogue with two parties: The operator in the segment right above them and right after them in the Supply Chain. The conversation between these parties should revolve around the implementation of FSMSs and the progress of the planned procedure. 

Every Food producer should make decisions concerning preferences, concerns, and specific needs. 

  1. System Management: Food Business Operators (FBO) use System Management to assess the efficiency of their employed FSMSs. The assessment is performed via various channels, but it is ideal for conducting it using the ISO method for system management because what is the purpose of an FSMS if it is unreliable and does not meet ISO 2000 standards? 
  2. Prerequisite programs: ISO defines the fundamental conditions and actions needed to be established within an organization and across the food chain to secure food safety. Some prerequisite programs are Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Good Agriculture practices (GAP), and Good Hygenic practices, among others. 
  3. HACCP ( Hazard Analysis Critical Control point): obligates Food producers throughout the Supply Chain to recognize Critical Control Points( CCP) in Food production where possible hazards can occur. Every CCP must have defined limits for all the variables involved. Close monitoring, Restorative actions, Verification of processes, and Record-keeping are the other principles involved in HACCP FSMSs. 

Benefits of FSMS:

Adopting the FSMS benefits producers, sellers, customers, consumers, and the environment. Some notable benefits of using an FSMS are as follows:

  1. Cost-effective in the long run. By assessing for potential hazards proactively and progressing in production carefully, Food Business Operators (FBOs) save considerable money that would otherwise be spent on reworking or repairing harm after it has impacted the production process. 
  2. Your customers consume only the best! 

An FSMS ensures that the morsel from raw materials to your consumer’s mouth has not been compromised for hygiene, quality, or safety standards. 

FSMSs decrease the risk of foodborne illnesses such as Campylobacteriosis (Campylobacter)Cryptosporidiosis (Cryptosporidium)Cyclosporiasis (Cyclospora spp.), and Escherichia coli O157:H7 Infection (E. coli O157)

  • Customers trust your business: 

When a food business, an eatery, a processed food seller, or even a meat producer is certified to have handled food only with absolute hygiene, care for quality, and concern for freshness, they earn money and the confidence of consumers. 

Confident and consistent customers entail increased economic and social growth for the business. 

  • Stay on top of Food production processes:

With an FSMS, FBOs can track and monitor the production process from the source of the product to the packaging and delivery.  

Similarly, the stringent safety protocols and consistent step-wise analysis resulting from the FSMS ensure that operators are involved and observant at every step. Close observation can also translate into an increased focus on production and increased quality as the operator keeps learning and improving along the way. 

How can you know which FSMS is best for your business?

Deciding on an effective FSMS is pivotal to the efficiency of any safety plan you adopt. 

Before selecting an FSMS for your business, consider the following:

  • Which sector, stage, and the segment does your business fall in the Food Supply Chain? The requirements for raw material harvesters and packaging companies are different. The former has to consider temperature and water safety, while the latter has to control direct human contact with the food. 
  • Consider the costs of assessment tools, software, staff training, and record maintenance. Every individual business requires Food safety management plans that consider the respective safety threats present and the monetary investment needed to implement the desired FSMS. Companies should choose systems they can afford and conduct with consistency.
  • Adhere to the regulations of the country where your business is located. Food safety protocols and laws differ from country to country, albeit slightly. The legislative bodies that govern these protocols are informed by federal or state laws ( as in the US).
  •  The European Union, as well as the UK, requires strict adherence to HACCP guidelines. However, in the US, adopting HACCP food safety management programs in meat, poultry, seafood, and juice is mandatory. Other food businesses must follow organized safety protocols but are not obligated to follow HACCP or ISO 2000 standards thoroughly.

Why are internal audits necessary in FSMSs?

 Internal audits are preliminary assessments before the executive assessment by external authorities. An independent internal audit analyzes the achievement of legal compliance and Food Safety Objectives (FSO). 

Through internal audits, company management develops an understanding of where the organization stands in terms of complying with legal and what is the organization’s progress in achieving the safety goals set out initially.

Nonconformance and deviations from control limits are studied, and restorative measures are therefore set in motion before 

Internal audits also determine whether data is being recorded and processes are tracked per legal requirements. 

These internal audits are crucial in ensuring that external audits go smoothly and companies easily earn certification of adherence. It also saves companies from bearing the repercussions of non-compliance and poor food safety production. 

Technology-driven FSMS:

The systematic assessment of potential hazards and critical points, as well as record-keeping and efficiency calculation, can be performed most effectively with customized and methodical software. 

Food safety management software has fast-tracked processes like tracking the origin of a food substance or direct Communication with the active stakeholders involved in the food Supply Chain. 

Folio3 has created ease for numerous businesses worldwide by digitally optimizing the implementation of SMS. Such intelligent food safety compliance software, approved by various regulatory authorities, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), to name a few, is the requirement of every food and beverage company.

Customization, easy tracking, and one-click access to your database are some of the many benefits you can enjoy by choosing Folio3 as your Food safety management partner.

FAQS

1. What is the role of the FSMS in the food industry?

The FSMS enables organizations to have certainty about the efficiency, progress, and implementation of their food safety plans. It assures customers and consumers about the quality control different Supply Chain stakeholders have over food safety. 

2. What is the scope of the FSMS?

The FSMS (FSMS) scope involves product variants; activities conducted, processes, production locations, and any outsourced activities that may affect food safety.

About Folio3 AgTech Practice

Folio3 is a Silicon Valley based Digital Transformation partner for entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies with a special focus on digitization of Agriculture, Production and Companion Animal industry. Having worked with some of the world’s leading animal health companies, cattle associations, cow-calf operators, cattle feeders, beef processors and beef marketing companies, we have the design and development expertise required to help you digitize your manual procedures and practices, whether you’re a farm or a ranch owner, veterinarian, feedlot manager, nutritionist, or processing plant owner, we have got you covered.

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