Progressive Grocer

DEC 2016

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truly need to be removed from shelves. "e problem," she continues, "is that while most companies have some level of traceability in place, some are further along in implementing standard- ized traceability processes than others, or are using proprietary systems that are not interoperable. Out- dated, proprietary or paper-based systems that are not based on standards can lead to time delays dur- ing a recall, when time and accuracy are essential." To address this particular problem, retailers "should have all suppliers sharing complete, ac- curate product information in real time," counsels Fernandez. "Retailers can make the food supply chain safer by working proactively with manu- facturers and distributors to implement effective traceability programs. It's time for stakeholders to evaluate the effectiveness of their current trace- ability programs, or accelerate their development if they have not yet been implemented." She adds: "Retailers, as a community, also need to align their approach to product data requirements relative to traceability, so that suppliers won't have to provide the same information in multiple ways to different customers — this collaboration can ac- celerate their ability to fulfill requests. According to Fernandez: "Implementing supply chain visibility shows a strong commitment to trace- ability, and that a company is staying vigilant instead of simply reacting to a recall. With enhanced trace- ability procedures, businesses can prepare for crisis situations and avoid the damage a widespread recall can inflict for months or even years afterward." Under Audit Integral to transparency is an effective audit system, as Gonzalez acknowledges. "Where food retailers have increased exposure to compromised food safety is in the non-dry goods areas," she points out. "Foods in these areas have shorter shelf lives and can often be harmful if not kept at proper temperatures, and similarly, if food is handled improperly, there is risk for contamination. What will facilitate the FSMA requirements will be internal auditing controls, where a food retailer can inspect their location on a regular schedule to ensure compliance and food safety precautions are met on an ongoing basis." To address this need, FoodSafety offers iAudi- tor, which Gonzalez describes as "a mobile inspection checklist that can ensure proper protocols are taken to keep correct food temperature, storage and handling pro- cedures. Inspections can be conducted throughout the store via mobile device, and audit results can be viewed in real time to take quick action on unsafe food conditions. With digital inspections, food retailers can capture images of unsafe food storage or handling, record temperatures of food, scan bar code information, and more." e system has been imple- mented by Coles, one of the largest food retailers in Australia, allowing it to operate more efficiently in ac- cordance with that country's food safety laws, she notes. iAuditor is used across Coles' 760 stores, enabling each location to conduct its Meeting of the Minds As part of their commitment to food safety, Wegmans Food Markets and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. participated in a Nov. 15 Food Safety Mod- ernization Act (FSMA)-focused food safety briefing in Washington, D.C., held by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), at which some 200 attendees, also including Coca-Cola, Amazon and Mondelez, as well as government representatives, discussed how GFSI could be employed by governments and the food industry for FSMA implemen- tation, international business and public health. "Science guides industry and policymakers to the same place as we work towards our common objective of ensuring a safe food supply for consumers," notes Mike Robach, chair of the board of directors of GFSI, which was established and is managed by the Paris-based Consumer Goods Forum. "Public-private dialogue and collaboration is paramount to achieving this goal." What will facilitate the FSMA requirements will be internal auditing controls, where a food retailer can inspect their location on a regular schedule to ensure compliance and food safety precautions are met on an ongoing basis." —Liz Gonzalez, SafetyCulture December 2016 | progressivegrocer.com | 35

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