FSMA Compliance: Take the Digital Leap & Ditch Pencil and Paper

FSMA calls for food retailers to establish preventive control systems modeled after HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) guidelines to help prevent foodborne illnesses.

The time has come for food retailers to get serious about FSMA compliance.

The Food Safety Modernization Act was enacted to protect public health by reinforcing the U.S. food safety system. When it was signed into law by President Obama in 2011, many food retailers were pleased to hear it would be a phased implementation process. After all, it was the biggest regulatory change the food industry has seen in over 70 years; everyone needed time to prepare.

In 2015, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) started shifting their focus from reaction to prevention by holding food retailers accountable for FSMA compliance.

The FSMA calls for food retailers to establish preventive control systems modeled after HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) guidelines to help prevent foodborne illnesses. It also mandates that the FDA has access to at least two years of documentation showing adherence to this new protocol.

If you are a food retailer and the FDA comes knocking at your door, what do you have to show them?


The Old Pencil and Paper Log

Yes, some retailers still rely on old-fashioned pencil and paper to manage important things like food safety monitoring. Manual, paper-based recording methods are inefficient in a myriad of ways.

Such as:

  1. Paper logs are easily misplaced or misread.
  2. Information on paper-based records can be unreliable due to personal error.
  3. Access to paper records is hindered by location and time.
  4. Paper-based reporting is inefficient: data is not searchable or easily manipulated.
  5. Written reports do not include digital time and date stamps for verification purposes.
  6. Physical space is needed to store information.
  7. You run the risk of destroyed records in the case of a natural disaster like fire or flood.
  8. Administrative time is required to sort and file paper reports.

 With all the disadvantages of paper-based reporting, it’s hard to believe any food retailer would rely on it to prove FSMA compliance. In fact, retailers today are beginning to utilize all-in-one digital solutions to ensure they remain steadfast in complying with the FSMA.


The SureCheck Advantage

To ensure FSMA compliance, food retailers are relying on Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to capture and store data in real-time.

PAR’s SureCheck Advantage is an example of an IoT-based solution that is helping food retailers manage their new FSMA reality. Here’s how:

  1. SureCheck Advantage can be preloaded with FSMA
  2. All data is captured and uploaded in real-time to the cloud for daily reporting and storage.
  3. Checklists are easily updated based on menu or ingredient changes.
  4. In real-time, you can customize, store, filter, and analyze all data logs.
  5. Employees are prompted to complete tasks to ensure FSMA compliance.
  6. SureCheck Advantage keeps track of relevant safety and recall alerts.
  7. Flags missed steps and violations, issues corrective actions, and delivers a complete audit trail including the name, location, and timestamp associated with the event.
  8. SureCheck Advantage can be customized to fit your unique environment.
  9. Since data is stored in a secure cloud, physical storage space is not needed to comply with the two-year record requirement by the FDA, and you have unlimited 24/7 access.


The Future is Now

The lists above validate why businesses trust IoT solutions like SureCheck Advantage over the old-fashioned manual recording system!

Handheld IoT mobile solutions like the PAR SureCheck Advantage play an important role in the new era of food safety modernization by helping food retailers meet FSMA compliance without additional administrative work. It’s time to Break the Pencil and begin to streamline your food safety procedures by partnering with PAR and the SureCheck Advantage today!

PAR offers SureCheck Advantage, an Intel-based IoT solution focused on food safety. It comes equipped with three temperature-measuring modes (traditional, infrared, and RFID), an Intel Atom processor inside, and features Bluetooth wireless connectivity. Learn more about SureCheck Advantage and how it can help meet your food safety needs!