Importance of Checklists

The introduction of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) reinforced the preponderance of checklists.

In today’s world, checklists aren’t just reminders for schoolchildren to complete trivial tasks. They are key cogs in the everyday operations of surgeons, military leaders, and food safety practitioners. Utilized as a reminder exercise, and comprised of a list of tasks to complete; checklists have become necessary in the food safety industry.

The introduction of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) reinforced the preponderance of checklists. Much like FSMA, checklists are utilized as a preventative measure, rather than a reactive one, so we do not forget to complete important tasks. “In many ways, checklists are turning out to be the “head of spear” for the software and technology necessary in the war against food poisoning” says Dan Flynn of Food Safety News.

For years, food businesses have endured periodic and even surprise health inspections from local, state and federal agencies. Generally, to prepare, an establishment would put together a last-minute checklist to ensure cleanliness. However, this would not necessarily be reflective of its day-to-day consistency regarding its food safety program.

Enter: FSMA. FDA Deputy Administrator Mike Taylor states, “Part of the rationale behind the FSMA’s accompanying rules {…} is to help food producers, handlers, and retailers develop and consistently apply policies and protocols so those snapshots of food safety become more like streaming video – uninterrupted processes and procedures that are part of every employee’s work every day.” (Beach, 2016)

Technology can now assist in the development and consistency of these protocols. Rather than filtering through a book or manually logging checklists, the PAR SureCheck® Advantage offers a complete digital HACCP program to replace these outdated methods. The device automates FSMA and HAACP processes which improves efficiency and allows for continuous monitoring of compliance. Checklists can be digitally stored and accessed via the devices cloud-based storage capabilities. This not only encourages employees to follow food safety procedure, but offers a paradigm to follow and ensure our food is safe for consumption.