Recently there have been a number of high-profile food safety incidents which have had disastrous consequences for consumers and, subsequently, the retailers who delivered the product. Such cases have brought Quality Control (QC) and Quality Assurance (QA) in food retail to the forefront of public discussion. The need for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) compliance has never been so prominent an objective for those involved in the preparation, distribution or selling of food products.
The Development of HACCP Compliance
HACCP protocols, originally developed in the 1960s to guarantee astronauts had safe food, provide a specific and systematic approach to food quality control by facilitating the identification of hazards and the points at which they can be controlled. HACCP principles have been internationally recognized and, in 1993, were endorsed internationally by The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO).
To offer an example, a Critical Control Point (CCP) affecting the safety and quality of ultra-high temperature (UHT) treated product may include:
- Raw milk quality
- Bulk storage and
- Processing conditions
However, as can be seen from the examples above, such CCPs fall in the scope of multiple parties as the product moves from producer to consumer. This is because any action or inaction in this chain can lead to an amplified risk to human health.
Traditional Versus Modern Food Safety Compliance
Prior to HACCP principles, industries ranging from poultry and fish to meat and dairy were very prescriptive and rarely focused on Quality Assurance and prevention. The result was limited safety controls over raw materials, the production process and distribution, which would fail to address hazards such as pathogenic micro-organisms within the meat supply industry. Traditional manual temperature monitoring was also time-consuming and a poor use of highly-qualified human resources.
Today, as organisations seek to meet modernised national and international standards set by organisations including the United Nations and WHO, HACCP-based Quality Assurance systems have become more widespread. Failure to adopt such robust systems would result in a competitive disadvantage due to the strict requirements of importing countries, and the inability to compete with such standards as these countries export their quality goods into the domestic market.
HACCP Compliance Made Simple
Recent technological developments have led to significant enhances in Quality Assurance and Quality Control for the food retail industry. RDM, especially, has developed innovative, demand-driven functionality which seeks to streamline temperature control and make regulatory compliance as simple as possible. This functionality includes:
- Complete Control: our flagship DMTouch offers complete control and visibility through its position as a front-end device which, via a range of controllers such as our Intuitive range, can connect all of the individual HVAC and refrigeration devices. With an HD, 10” multi-touch display, our DMTouch also makes it easier than ever to access vital data.
- Remote Access: Through open protocols and flexible networking, our DMTouch and its vital temperature due-diligence data can be accessed anywhere, anytime by individuals responsible for compliance.
- Data Logging: With a 16GB storage space, information can also be stored for more than 12 months to comply with legislation. This information can also be stored off-site through USB transfer for due diligence and peace of mind.
- Alarm Notifications: Should there be a fault in a system, our DMTouch can send alarm notifications by text or email, or both, to a designated employee. The front-end device can also be configured to provide alarm sounders and LEDs to ensure on-site staff are made aware of issues immediately. Such notifications ensure any issues are fixed quickly and efficiently – minimising downtime and stock loss.
- ActiveFMTM: Our award-winning software facilitates remote monitoring and incident handling, providing the information you need to identify food safety issues and predict equipment failures with minimal effort. Furthermore, the Temperature Data Retention (TDR) plug-in for ActiveFM gathers data from each location in your estate, automatically extracting the temperature data from the previous 24-hour period for comprehensive temperature due diligence.
We have been helping customers adhere to food legislation for almost 20 years. Our confidence is mirrored in our industry-leading five-year warranty and dedicated technical support team who are on-hand for any queries.
Contact our highly-experienced and qualified technical experts for more information on ensuring HACCP compliance through temperature control solutions. We can tailor our solutions to fit your unique business requirements and offer case studies as a proven track record of our successful installations.
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