You don’t want to miss this week’s episode of the 2021 Food Safety Consortium Virtual Conference Series. The session, Food Defense: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, will discuss pre-FSMA IA Rule voluntary food defense programs, compliance timelines, and regulatory compliance vs. enterprise risk based approaches to food defense. Presenters will address the status of Food Defense plan quick checks and share insights on Food Defense Plan reanalysis. Participants will gain insights on threat intelligence sources and food defense-based research updates. Other topics to be covered include a brief overview of recently released insider risk mitigation reference material, cyber/IT “vulnerabilities”, critical infrastructure protection and how an all-hazards mindset to “all of the above” can help to contribute to a Food Protection Culture.
The following is the line up of speakers for Thursday’s episode, which begins at 12 pm ET.
Jason Bashura, PepsiCo (moderator)
Food Defense Yesterday with Raquel Maymir, General Mills
FBI HQ Perspectives of Food Defense with Helen S. Lawrence and Scott Mahloch, FBI
Food Defense Tomorrow with Frank Pisciotta, ASIS Food Defense & Ag Security Community and Cathy Baillie, Mars, Inc.
Risk-based Food Defense with Jessica Cox, Department of Homeland Security, Chemical Security Analysis Center
Food Defense & Supply Chain Perspectives: Regional Resilience Action Plan with Jose Dossantos, Department of Homeland Security/CISA
The Fall program runs every Thursday from October 7 through November 4. Haven’t registered? Follow this link to the 2021 Food Safety Consortium Virtual Conference Series, which provides access to all the episodes featuring critical industry insights from leading subject matter experts!
With the increasing globalization of the food industry, ensuring that products reaching consumers are safe has never been more important. Local, state and federal regulatory agencies are increasing their emphasis on the need for food and beverage laboratories to be accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 compliance. This complicated process can be simplified and streamlined through the adoption of LIMS, making accreditation an achievable goal for all food and beverage laboratories.
With a global marketplace and complex supply chain, the food industry continues to face increasing risks for both unintentional and intentional food contamination or adulteration.1 To mitigate the risk of contaminated products reaching consumers, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), using a consensus-based approval process, developed the first global laboratory standard in 1999 (ISO/IEC 17025:1999). Since publication, the standard has been updated twice, once in 2005 and most recently in 2017, and provides general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.2
In the recent revision, four key updates were identified:
A revision to the scope to include testing, calibration and sampling associated with subsequent calibration and testing performed by a laboratory.3
An emphasis on the results of a process instead of focusing on prescriptive procedures and policies.4
The introduction of the concept of a risk-based approach used in production quality management systems.2
A stronger focus on information technologies/management systems, specifically Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).4
As modern-day laboratories reduce their reliance on hard copy documents and transition to electronic records, additional emphasis and guidance for ISO 17025 accreditation in food testing labs using LIMS was greatly needed. Food testing laboratories have increased reliance on LIMS to successfully meet the requirements of accreditation. Food and beverage LIMS has evolved to increase a laboratory’s ability to meet all aspects of ISO 17025.
Chain of Custody
A key element for ISO 17025 accredited laboratories is the traceability of samples from accession to disposal.5 Sometimes referred to as chain of custody, properly documented traceability allows a laboratory to tell the story of each sample from the time it arrives until the time it is disposed of.
LIMS software allows for seamless tracking of samples by employing unique sample accession numbers through barcoding processes. At each step of sample analysis, a laboratory technician updates data in a LIMS by scanning the sample barcode, establishing time and date signatures for the analysis. During an ISO 17025 audit, this information can be quickly obtained for review by the auditor.
Procurement and Laboratory Supplies
ISO 17025 requires the traceability of all supplies or inventory items from purchase to usage.6 This includes using approved vendors, documentation of receipt, traceability of supply usage to an associated sample, and for certain products, preparation of supply to working conditions within the laboratory. Supply traceability impacts multiple departments and coordinating this process can be overwhelming. A LIMS for food testing labs helps manage laboratory inventory, track usage of inventory items, and automatically alerts laboratory managers to restock inventory once the quantity falls below a threshold level.
A food LIMS can ensure that materials are ordered from approved vendors only, flagging items purchased outside this group. As supplies are inventoried into LIMS, the barcoding process can ensure accurate storage. A LIMS can track the supply through its usage and associate it with specific analytical tests for which inventory items are utilized. As products begin to expire, a LIMS can notify technicians to discard the obsolete products.
One unique advantage of a fully integrated LIMS software is the preparation and traceability of working laboratory standards. A software solution for food labs can assist a technician in preparing standards by determining the concentration of solvents needed based on the input weight from a balance. Once prepared, LIMS prints out a label with barcodes and begins the supply traceability process as previously discussed.
Quality Assurance of Test and Calibration Data
This section of ISO 17025 pertains to the validity of a laboratory’s quality system including demonstrating that appropriate tests were performed, testing was conducted on properly maintained and calibrated equipment by qualified personnel, and with appropriate quality control checks.
Laboratory Personnel Competency
Laboratory personnel are assigned to a specific scope of work based upon qualifications (education, training and experience) and with clearly defined duties.7 This process adds another layer to the validity of data generated during analysis by ensuring only appropriate personnel are performing the testing. However, training within a laboratory can be one of the most difficult components of the accreditation process to capture due to the rapid nature in which laboratories operate.
With a food LIMS, management can ensure employees meet requirements (qualifications, competency) as specified in job descriptions, have up-to-date training records (both onboarding and ongoing), and verify that only qualified, trained individuals are performing certain tests.
Calibration and Maintenance of Equipment
Within the scope of ISO 17025, food testing laboratories must ensure that data obtained from analytical instruments is reliable and valid.5 Facilities must maintain that instruments are in correct operating condition and that calibration data (whether performed daily, weekly, or monthly) is valid. As with laboratory personnel requirements, this element to the standard adds an additional layer of credibility that sample data is precise, accurate, and valid.
A fully integrated software solution for food labs sends a notification when instrument calibration is out of specification or expired and can keep track of both routine internal and external maintenance on instruments, ensuring that instruments are calibrated and maintained regularly. Auditors often ask for instrument maintenance and calibration records upon the initiation of an audit, and LIMS can swiftly provide this information with minimal effort.
Measurement of Uncertainty (UM)
Accredited food testing laboratories must measure and report the uncertainty associated with each test result.8 This is accomplished by using certified reference materials (CRM), or known spiked blanks. UM data is trended using control charts, which can be prepared using labor-intensive manual input or performed automatically using LIMS software. A fully integrated food LIMS can populate control data from the instrument into the control chart and determine if sample data analyzed in that batch can be approved for release.
Valid Test Methods and Results
Accurate test and calibration results can only be obtained with methods that are validated for the intended use.5 Accredited food laboratories should use test methods that are current and contain embedded quality control standards.
A LIMS for food testing labs can ensure correct method selection by technicians by comparing data from the sample accession input with the test method selected for analysis. Specific product identifiers can indicate if methods have been validated. As testing is performed, a LIMS can track time signatures to ensure protocols are properly performed. At the end of the analysis, results of the quality control samples are linked to the test samples to ensure only valid results are available for clients. Instilling checks at each step of the process allows a LIMS to auto-generate Certificates of Analysis (CoA) knowing that the testing was performed accurately.
The foundation of a laboratory’s reputation is based on its ability to provide reliable and accurate data. ISO 17025:2017 includes specific references to data protection and integrity.10 Laboratories often claim within their quality manuals that they ensure the integrity of their data but provide limited details on how it is accomplished making this a high priority review for auditors. Data integrity is easily captured in laboratories that have fully integrated their instrumentation into LIMS software. Through the integration process, data is automatically populated from analytical instruments into a LIMS. This eliminates unintentional transcription errors or potential intentional data manipulation. A LIMS for food testing labs restricts access to changing or modifying data, allowing only those with high-level access this ability. To control data manipulation even further, changes to data auto-populated in LIMS by integrated instrumentation are tracked with date, time, and user signatures. This allows an auditor to review any changes made to data within LIMS and determine if appropriate documentation was included on why the change was made.
ISO 17025:2017 requires all food testing laboratories to have a documented sampling plan for the preparation of test portions prior to analysis. Within the plan, the laboratory must determine if factors are addressed that will ensure the validity of the testing, ensure that the sampling plan is available to the laboratory (or the site where sampling is performed), and identify any preparation or pre-treatment of samples prior to analysis. This can include storage, homogenization (grinding/blending) or chemical treatments.9
As sample information is entered into LIMS, the software can specify the correct sampling method to be performed, indicate appropriate sample storage conditions, restrict the testing to approved personnel and provide electronic signatures for each step.
Monitoring and Maintenance of the Quality System
Organization within a laboratory’s quality system is a key indicator to assessors during the audit process that the facility is prepared to handle the rigors that come with accreditation.10 Assessors are keenly aware of the benefits that a food LIMS provides to operators as a single, well-organized source for quality and technical documents.
An ISO 17025 accredited laboratory must demonstrate document control throughout its facility.6 Only approved documents are available for use in the testing facility, and the access to these documents is restricted through quality control. This reduces the risk of document access or modification by unauthorized personnel.
LIMS software efficiently facilitates this process in several ways. A food LIMS can restrict access to controlled documents (both electronic and paper) and require electronic signatures each time approved personnel access, modify or print them. This digital signature provides a chain of custody to the document, ensuring that only approved controlled documents are used during analyses and that these documents are not modified.
Corrective Actions/Non-Conforming Work
A fundamental requirement for quality systems is the documentation of non-conforming work, and subsequent corrective action plans established to reduce their future occurrence.5
A software solution for food labs can automatically maintain electronic records of deviations in testing, flagging them for review by quality departments or management. After a corrective action plan has been established, LIMS software can monitor the effectiveness of the corrective action by identifying similar non-conforming work items.
Food and beverage testing laboratories are increasingly becoming accredited to ISO 17025. With recent changes to ISO 17025, the importance of LIMS for the food and beverage industry has only amplified. A software solution for food labs can integrate all parts of the accreditation process from personnel qualification, equipment calibration and maintenance, to testing and methodologies.11 Fully automated LIMS increases laboratory efficiency, productivity, and is an indispensable tool for achieving and maintaining ISO 17025 accreditation.
Much of the attention that cybersecurity gets is on the IT or office network side of things, but recently people have begun paying more attention to operational technology (OT) systems that make up the country’s critical infrastructure. When people think of critical infrastructure, they automatically think of oil and gas, power generation, and water. Many people don’t realize that there are actually 16 critical infrastructure industries:
Water and Wastewater
Food and Agriculture
One of the easily forgotten, but perhaps most important, is food and beverage manufacturing. A cyber attack on a food and beverage company might not result in the lights going out or clouds of toxic gas, but they could result in explosions, or tainted food. We need to start paying more attention to cybersecurity in the food and beverage industry. What would happen if a hacker got into the control system at a frozen foods distribution facility? They could raise the temperature in the freezers, thaw the food and then refreeze it. This could result in food poisoning for hundreds or thousands of people. Bad actors can do a lot of harm by targeting this sector.
Many companies are pushing to combine their IT and OT departments, something they call IT/OT convergence. This can be done, but you need to first understand that IT and OT have differing goals.
It is important to review the organizational structure. You will typically find that both IT and OT report organizationally to the CEO level. We also find senior management believes IT owns the industrial control system (ICS) networks and security—mainly because IT owns support, maintenance & operational budget for network and security (basically letting OT off the hook).
IT’s primary goals are confidentiality, integrity and availability, the CIA triad. While working toward these objectives IT also tries to make it possible for users to access the network from any location from which they are working, using whatever computing device they have with them. The goal is to make it as easy to work from an airport, hotel room or coffee shop as it is to work in the office itself. Technology is updated and replaced often. Service packs are loaded, new software releases are loaded, and bugs are fixed.
OT’s primary goals are availability, integrity and confidentiality—a complete reversal of the CIA triad. They strive to keep production running, be it an electric utility, an oil rig or a pop-tart factory 24/7/365. OT is all about what works, a “We’ve always done it that way” mentality. OT will always be reluctant to make any change that might bring down the production line. Remember, they are graded on widgets per minute. There must be trust and open communication between IT and OT if things are going to work properly.
When we are talking about OT cybersecurity, we usually use terms like secure or prevent, when we really should be thinking about words like containment. Securing the network and preventing attacks is important, but at some point, an attack will get past your defenses. Then it is a matter of containment: How do we keep the problem from spreading to other networks?
One thing to definitely avoid is the desire by IT to have bi-directional communications between the IT and OT networks—this should never happen. Also, avoid the desire to connect the ICS to the Internet so that you can control the process remotely. There is no reason for the plant manager to be able to go home, have a couple beers and then log on to see if he can make things run better. If the control system is going to be connected to the corporate IT or the Internet, it should only have out-going uni-directional data transmission to allow monitoring of the system.
Building a good OT cybersecurity program, you need to do three things:
Get C-Level support and buy-in for the changes to be made.
Communicate with stakeholders and vendors.
Make decisions as a team, make sure all the stakeholders, IT, OT, engineering are all involved.
After you have set up the structure and started communicating, you need to begin cybersecurity awareness training for the OT staff. This training should be focused on educating plant personnel on what cybersecurity is, both at work and at home, and how to respond or escalate something that seems wrong. They need to be trained what needs to be dealt with immediately and what can wait. Consider doing tabletop exercises where you practice what to do when certain things occur. This can act as a stress test for your incident response plan and help find the holes in your plan and procedures. These tabletop exercises should involve C-suite individuals as well as people from the plant floor, so everyone understand their part in a cyber-attack response.
If these concepts are followed, you will be well on your way to creating a much more cyber-secure production environment.
The plant-based meat market is anticipated to be worth more than $320 millionin the next five years, according to a report released last summer by Global Market Insights. As the popularity of meat-alternative products continues to rise, new challenges are being introduced to supply chain management. Joe Scioscia, vice president of sales at VAI explains some of these hurdles and proposes how technology can help.
Food Safety Tech: Is the growing popularity of plant-based foods introducing hazards or challenges to the supply chain?
Joe Scioscia: The growing popularity of plant-based foods has presented a new set of challenges for the supply chain, especially considering many of these organic items are being introduced by traditionally non-organic retailers. Impossible Foods received FDA approval for its plant-based burger in 2019, showing just how new the plant-based movement is to the industry.
Obviously, the organic supply chain and produce suppliers have long followed regulations for handling produce, such as temperature controls, cargo tracking, and supply and demand planning software, so the produce could be tracked from farm to table and in the case of a recall, be traced back to the source. But for meat alternatives that are combining multiple plant-based ingredients, organizations in the supply chain who are handling these products
have new food safety concerns. Considerations on how to store and process meat alternatives, how to treat each ingredient in the product and, most importantly, how to determine temperature controls or the source of contamination are all discussions the food industry is currently having.
FST: How are plant-based foods changing the dynamic of the supply chain from a food safety perspective?
Scioscia: The food supply chain has changed dramatically in recent years to become more complex, with food items traveling farther than ever before, containing more ingredients and required to follow stricter regulations. Many of the changes to the supply chain are for the better—organic and plant-based alternatives offer health benefits for consumers and are a move towards a more sustainable future. But the reality is that the supply chain isn’t quite there yet. Suppliers, retailers and producers at every part of the supply chain need to work together to ensure transparency and food safety compliance—including for plant-based products. Foodborne illnesses are still a real threat to the safety of consumers, and these same consumers are demanding transparency into the source of their food and sustainable practices from brands. All of these considerations are what’s making this next era of the food industry more complicated than ever before.
Because food safety compliance is always top of mind in the food industry to keep consumers safe, this new and complex supply chain has required companies to rely heavily on technology solutions to ensure plant-based products are equally as safe to consume as non-organic alternatives. These same solutions are also helping supply chains become more transparent for customers and streamline food processes to build a more sustainable future.
FST: What technologies can food companies and retailers use to better manage the supply chain risk while supporting the increased consumer demand for meat alternatives?
Scioscia: Utilizing a centralized software system is one tool many food suppliers and distributors can use to better visualize, trace and process products in the supply chain—including for plant-based alternatives. Having access to a central platform for business data to track assets and ensure food safety regulations are being met allows for companies to optimize processes and cut unnecessary costs along the way.
Heading into 2020, many organizations in the food supply chain are also looking at new applications like IoT, automation, and blockchain as ways to curb food safety issues. The FDA has taken steps to pilot blockchain and AI programs to better track drugs and food products, in conjunction with major food brands and technology companies. Other organizations are following suit with their own programs and many are looking at these solutions to improve their food tracking efforts. It’s clear technology has the most potential to make it easier on the industry to comply with food safety regulations while meeting customer demands for plant-based alternatives and organic options—all the while building a sustainable supply chain for the future.
Despite much progress in technology, information technology departments (IT) continue to lack credibility with business leaders and despite spending significant costs, many “IT” projects continue to “fail” in the eyes of the very users that IT tries to support. In this article, I will share the common challenges that contribute towards perceived and actual misalignment between IT and business.
We know that technology is at the core of every business process and is the primary driver of competitive advantage. However, studies suggest that most business leaders do not feel comfortable with the direction for their IT and digital transformation. As business leaders focus more on IT costs and not how IT can transform the business, IT is pushed more towards daily operations versus long-term strategy. Dave Aron of Gartner Research, says that “Buying a piece of technology does nothing by itself. It’s how you use the technology that matters the most. But we must make sure that what we buy satisfies the business needs.”
During my many interactions with business and IT leaders, I normally ask questions like:
Explain the core business of the organization?
Have IT resources spent anytime working in the day of life of an average business user doing daily tasks as if they were in that role?
Do business and IT teams communicate in the same language (i.e., Does IT communicate in a manner that a business user will understand technology), or does IT use technical jargon that goes over the heads of most people?
Are you comfortable that your IT and business strategies are aligned?
Do IT leaders actively participate in senior leadership meetings and define business strategy?
Not surprisingly, the answers to these questions are on opposite ends of the spectrum between the business and IT leaders. In spending more than two decades of providing technical solutions to business problems, I have found that such divide is only expanding as technology becomes increasingly complex each day. A global economy puts increasing pressure on business to stay competitive and drive growth at a rapid pace, especially as it relates to food safety, regulatory and quality. Food is now globally sourced and the processes require innovative technical solutions in assisting food safety and regulatory compliance of foreign suppliers. Many IT organizations do not have a deep understanding of the business of food safety, leaving a gaping hole in deploying solutions that keep our food chain supply safe.
Defining a Bridge
So how do we effectively tackle this divide between IT and business leaders? I often call myself the “bridge” between business and IT. For those that understand technology, it is your role to ensure that what we do with technology satisfies the business need! Ultimately, it is the business that will succeed with our support, because technology by itself is not successful. But wait, not every IT staff member can be expected to understand the business and technology. What I often observe is that most IT organizations lack a leader who has the business, technical, interpersonal, innovative and customer-centric skills. Such people are certainly not growing on trees. Business and IT leaders must establish a group of resources that act as the “bridge” for their organization. By identifying these resources, you can focus on providing them with the appropriate skills and training to work jointly with business and IT to deliver solutions that drive the overall business strategy. Finally, I must point out that this group is normally led by the chief information officer (CIO), who is more importantly a business leader with technical acumen and not a hardcore technologist.
CIO as a Business Leader First
The role of a CIO is perhaps the most complex of all C-Level executives. CIO is expected to manage daily IT operations, contain costs, increase efficiencies, provide valuable insights through factual data, partake actively in business strategy, align the IT strategy with the business, and innovate at the speed of business. Not to mention, do all this while increasing overall customer experience. CIOs must tighten the connection of their IT teams to the business!
IT Drives Project Prioritization Aligned to Business Strategy
How can CIOs, IT, and business leaders close this fundamental gap between their IT and business organizations? Let’s first start with prioritization. How often do you find yourself saying that I must have something completed by IT yesterday? If you are like most people, you would probably challenge yourself in whether you demand IT to be reactionary to your needs. Most IT organizations fail to understand the true impact of user requests to the business. Usually, project prioritization comes down to cost, who will pay for it, and what may be defined as the “cool” factor.
IT has the broadest view of all technology projects across the organization and must lead in communicating with all business leaders. A CIO needs to effectively communicate the impact of various projects on each of the business divisions, the impact of the project, the cost/ROI, and help define the prioritization for business projects. IT must play the role of a negotiator and help business leaders in making decisions that provide the greatest impact. Martha Heller in the CIO Paradox says that there are “no IT projects, only business projects!”
As mentioned earlier, IT departments usually lack understanding of the food safety and quality processes. CIOs need to conscientiously understand the business of food safety, as it is not only important to keep our food chain safe but also to protect the organizational brand and ensure that food safety and regulatory groups are able to monitor, assess, and proactively ensure that no harm is introduced to the public through their products. Many organizations rely on recall processes to help contain food safety issues, but that is a reactive approach, which in many cases, tarnishes the brand image and costs the organization more than what was ever expected.
Keeping It Simple
How often do we see technology being deployed because the previous tools were too old or have simply lost their luster? With a constant bombardment of new gadgets and apps, we increasingly find ourselves overwhelmed with the variety of options available for almost any task. But that does not mean that the most advertised, or the one with highest reviews is going to fit your specific business needs. Cookie-cutter approaches do not work in all business environments. IT must assess the business need, challenge the business users on their processes, propose and analyze options, and then actively work with business and software vendors to find the right fit. Sometimes, that means not changing anything at all.
I often see businesses put together selection committees comprised of business and IT teammates. The business leaders each focus on their own silos, and IT focuses on such things as security, infrastructure, demand on their time and support. But no one in the group is looking at the impact across the organization. An IT strategy aligned with business will ensure that IT leadership is able to guide each business user towards the pros/cons of any project impacting their specific business area. IT must be in front of the business and lead business users through all technology choices. CIOs and their IT teams need to learn to convey the messages through examples and language that a business user understands. Help businesses find software vendors that are at the forefront of innovation and have not fallen in the trap of legacy enterprise software companies that are resistant to change.
Another common mistake by IT is asking the business users what they want. IT needs to take the ownership of understanding the business and then innovate in a manner that makes that task/process easy, efficient, accurate, sexy and simple! Be truly disruptive by providing a product that your business users automatically gravitate to that solution. It is the role of the IT departments to understand the business. I am convinced that certain business jargon, like FSMA, FSVP, social responsibility, and sustainability are terms not well understood by most IT organizations. Many food compliance staff members are buried in mountains of paper, PDF and email documentation, leading to selective review and processing of information. Such an approach of sampling only a part of relevant information is a major risk to our food supply chain. In recent years, tools have emerged that allow food safety and regulatory staff to electronically monitor the relevant information and focus their attention on information that really matters. By streamlining the processes through creativity and technology, we can empower the food safety staff to be vigilant and ensuring that only safe, reliable, and high-quality food enters our food chain.
Getting Business to be Comfortable with IT
In an organization, it is easy to find executives and managers who have worked across several departments. A customer service representative may transition to sales, or a vice president of sales becomes a CEO of the company. But not many people crosspollinate with IT. Most people outside of IT do not understand technology at a level to contribute effectively on a technical team. So, you may be saying why can’t the business understand technology? Well that’s because technology is in a supporting role for the business. It’s like a supporting actor helps the lead actor succeed at their role in a movie. It is the job of the IT group to support the business and get them to be comfortable with you. In every project, ensure that there is a business leader who owns the project. Remember that it is a business project, and not an IT project.
The CIO Magazine and other such periodicals are frequently publishing articles on speaking the language of the business. This suggests that IT still does not understand how to communicate with the business. Simplify your communication by removing technical jargon from your communications. Actively participate in business meetings to understand the needs of the business user. Be curious and be a trusted advisor for the business. Remember that you are the bridge and you do not need to explain the underlying infrastructure to you your business peers; you just need to help them do their job effectively, and efficiently. Discuss with them how you can help them win!
IT is about serving the business, being adaptable, innovative, and having its success be defined as only being the success of its business partners. Martha Heller in CIO Paradox states that “[IT] needs to have egos that are big enough to initiate transformative projects but small enough to let someone else take credit.”
We’ve all heard about the latest disrupters in the retail supply chain, like the Internet of Things, wearable computers, cognitive analytics, machine learning and even the new value chain in which these technologies intercede to provide a better and more accurate shopping experience for consumers. There are also developments like digital fabrication that interacts with both the consumer and appliances to improve the way product gets to the consumer from the point of production.
Technology disrupters can fundamentally change supply chains, destroying existing ones and creating new ones. Other disruptions can be caused by not a single technology but by several new and existing technologies that come together in innovative ways. Smart retailers and their trading partners are working to judge the impact of these technology disrupters before or at least as they occur. They need to be more proactive by investing in key areas of strategy, culture and partnership.
Many of the technology disrupters in food safety are based on the growing ability to apply analytics, including machine learning, to drive a better understanding of and increase the personalized relationships with the consumer, and to glean insight from all the data being collected. Knowing exactly what information shoppers require to feel safe with the products they are buying from you can only help build and maintain a great reputation. Further, analytics help companies predict and address the weakest links on the production floor and in their own extended supply chain to keep those customers free from potentially deadly pathogens.
Cloud computing for the delivery of IT and business processes as digital services is transforming the food safety world through the unprecedented speed and agility it enables for mobile and social engagement. Telling your customers that a recalled product could cause an illness used to require lots of phone calls or even snail mail, but now technologies in the cloud facilitate almost instantaneous messaging of the warning to whole or subsets of a population. This is just one of the ways that everyone from shoppers to business people are changing the way they interact with each other and the way we all do business due to the cloud.
Security in general and cybersecurity specifically are disrupters for companies concerned with food safety, because they can fall prey to sophisticated hackers and other crooks that try to ransom a business’ reputation in the digital world. Think how important it is to protect your own information as well as that of your consumers and customers for payment details and personal data. Now add health data to the mix and you’ll recognize the critical nature of the issue.
All of these technology disrupters have the potential to seriously impair your food safety plans and procedures, but they can also help you better deploy resources to address individual food safety emergencies and ongoing issues. Knowing the impact of the disruption is the first step in addressing it; then you need to develop a plan that helps you take advantage of the positive sides of the disruption and eliminate the negative ones.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookies should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for these cookie settings.
We use tracking pixels that set your arrival time at our website, this is used as part of our anti-spam and security measures. Disabling this tracking pixel would disable some of our security measures, and is therefore considered necessary for the safe operation of the website. This tracking pixel is cleared from your system when you delete files in your history.
If you visit and/or use the FST Training Calendar, cookies are used to store your search terms, and keep track of which records you have seen already. Without these cookies, the Training Calendar would not work.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.
A browser cookie is a small piece of data that is stored on your device to help websites and mobile apps remember things about you. Other technologies, including Web storage and identifiers associated with your device, may be used for similar purposes. In this policy, we say “cookies” to discuss all of these technologies.
Data generated from cookies and other behavioral tracking technology is not made available to any outside parties, and is only used in the aggregate to make editorial decisions for the websites. Most browsers are initially set up to accept cookies, but you can reset your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent by visiting this Cookies Policy page. If your cookies are disabled in the browser, neither the tracking cookie nor the preference cookie is set, and you are in effect opted-out.
In other cases, our advertisers request to use third-party tracking to verify our ad delivery, or to remarket their products and/or services to you on other websites. You may opt-out of these tracking pixels by adjusting the Do Not Track settings in your browser, or by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative Opt Out page.
You have control over whether, how, and when cookies and other tracking technologies are installed on your devices. Although each browser is different, most browsers enable their users to access and edit their cookie preferences in their browser settings. The rejection or disabling of some cookies may impact certain features of the site or to cause some of the website’s services not to function properly.
The use of online tracking mechanisms by third parties is subject to those third parties’ own privacy policies, and not this Policy. If you prefer to prevent third parties from setting and accessing cookies on your computer, you may set your browser to block all cookies. Additionally, you may remove yourself from the targeted advertising of companies within the Network Advertising Initiative by opting out here, or of companies participating in the Digital Advertising Alliance program by opting out here.