Standards, regulations, compliance…How do food and beverage manufacturers keep up?

December 22, 2015|Tom Maurer

There’s no doubt about it. Food and beverage companies have their work cut out for them in terms of keeping up with the most recent standards and regulations…and for good reason. Without them, it would be more difficult to keep our food, public and world a safe place.

The Globally Harmonized System (GHS), for example, is an initiative brought about by OSHA to provide chemical users and handlers with enhanced and consistent information on chemical hazards worldwide. For example, this pictogram GHS hazardous substance pictogram for hazardous substances is the same across the world. Although the benefits of GHS are obvious (keeping us and our world safe from dangerous chemicals), it is yet another regulation that food and beverage manufacturers have to be aware of. How are you staying compliant with the GHS standards?

Food borne illnesses also pose a threat to public health and the FDA has been responding by establishing new polices and legislations such as the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This act has prompted food and beverage companies to update and revise their food safety plans. Does your food safety plan comply?

These are just a few examples of what you need to consider in order to stay compliant as a food and beverage manufacturer. So how do you keep up? Here are a few tips to consider:

  1. Communication: When updating your food safety plan or implementing GHS at your company, make sure everyone is on the same page. Food safety training, regular meetings, and executive buy-in can all help ensure the food you produce is safe. It never hurts to remind employees of the implications of unsafe or contaminated foods so they comprehend the severity and risks of ignoring food safety.
  2. Traceability: From start to finish, how secure are your food and beverage products? Traceability throughout the supply chain is a crucial task for food and beverage companies. For example, Kraft Heinz recently recalled more than 2 million pounds of bacon. Think of the impact that recall has on their manufacturing and distribution facilities, their traceability process, and their future testing standards.
  3. Testing: Testing means a major increase in cost and there is also risk of cross-contamination without proper warehousing techniques. Despite this, food and beverage companies must invest in product testing to ensure the safety of every product they deliver to the public.

All of this may seem overwhelming, especially if you don’t have an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution in place that can help tie it all together. Here at Schenck, we have worked with food and beverage manufacturers to counteract these challenges with the implementation of Sage X3, a comprehensive ERP solution. Sage X3 can help streamline recall preparation through traceability features and business intelligence and better yet, it’s all automated.

Learn more about Sage X3 or contact Tom Maurer, Director – Technology Consulting, at 920-996-1331 or tom.maurer@schencksc.com.


Tom Maurer assists clients with many aspects of technology system planning, selection and implementation. He has extensive experience providing consulting services to a wide range of clients, as well as hands-on experience providing implementation, training and support for various ERP solutions.