How Mobile Checklists can Help Manage FSMA Compliance on Prevention Controls

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The final rules on prevention controls in human and animal food were announced on August 31, 2016. While the dialog about the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) has been primarily focused on “What is going to be required by a company?”, it is quickly shifting to “How am I going to make sure we are compliant?” If you look at what being FSMA compliant means, it really comes down to defining gaps in your current food safety systems, updating your programs to fill those gaps, and implementing an ongoing program backed up by comprehensive program documentation and record keeping. This is where mobile checklists can help your organization tackle these compliance challenges effectively and efficiently.

Key Requirements

Manufacturing and processing facilities must establish and implement a food safety system that includes an analysis of hazards, oversight and management of risk-based preventive controls, corrective actions, and verification of corrections.

Mobile apps, designed specifically for food safety and quality assurance program management, provide a company with a variety of opportunities to manage FSMA compliance, including:

  • The ability to include multiple corrective actions within a checklist, providing the end user with very clear instructions on how to address potential hazards
  • Monitor corrective actions accurately and in real time,helping  to determine if the right course of action was taken.
  • Digital record keeping which eliminates the need for the storage of hard copy of logs for years
  • Utilization of digital checklists on smartphones or tablets, which can save an organization thousands of dollars over buying specialized devices or equipment. Additionally, t also allows the end user to use a device that they are familiar with and comfortable using.

Another key requirement of the finalized FSMA rules is that management must ensure that all employees who manufacture, process, pack or hold food are qualified to perform their assigned duties.  This would require the employees have the necessary combination of education, experience, and training in the principles of food hygiene and food safety.  

On the spot training can be done through the use of video or documentation immediately on an employee’s electronic device. With mobile technology, companies can access FSMA regulations and a host of corrective actions in the palm of their hands. Evaluation of the end user through the use of dashboards and other tracking abilities ensures that the right food safety tasks are taking place, at the right time, and with the most up to date requirements and documentation.

Should FSQA mobile apps be considered an integral part of your FSMA compliance toolkit? You bet. Could these mobile apps help your organization regardless of what is being dictated by FSMA? Absolutely! Quality mobile apps can have a large impact in effectively identifying the gaps within your food safety system and ensuring implementation and ongoing program compliance backed up by comprehensive documentation and record keeping.