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Food Safety Takes a Big Bite From Your Business

Food safety Management consulting manufacturing frontline leadership operational performance maintenance improvement shop floor excellence operational culture

Food safety is not only a huge public health issue but also a huge concern for manufacturers when it comes to your bottom line. Let’s look at it by the numbers. Last year alone, there were more than 300 food recalls and 17 multistate foodborne investigations, which resulted in over $10 million in associated costs, according to this report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

“When looked at holistically, food manufacturers are discovering that implementing the culture of food safety makes good business sense,” the report says. “In many ways, it is a road map to drive efficiency and process innovation.”

Further, the above piece continues: “Food safety compliance relates to the bottom line in ways similar to operational safety, lean practices, and even wellness initiatives. Companies with a food safety culture are more likely to have long-term compliance, understand their role in carrying out preventive controls, and have buy-in among staff and managers.”

The first step, really, is to familiarize yourself with the different kinds of food recalls, and what corrective measures need to be in place both for prevention and for correction of any issues arising. A great guide and place to start can be found here in this article from Food Safety News.

Front line leaders in food and beverage industries can and should play an active role in delivering safe food, while also ensuring productivity that will allow them to meet the high demands that are placed on them. 

After all, if anything, COVID-19 has made the demand for certain food and beverage items higher than ever (a fact well-documented in reports that at the start of the pandemic, “the industry saw the fastest rise in food prices in more than four decades.”)

So, the next step is to look at your Good Manufacturing Practices, or “GMPs,” and how up-to-date and accurate those are. Are they a real reflection of what’s actually happening in your company? Do the processes and protocols make sense? 

As Food and Safety Magazine put it in this archival but still relevant article, “The most effective GMP programs have similar components, each dealing with specific categories, such as personnel practices, production-related items, housekeeping, equipment and utensils, and structural items pertaining to the building and grounds. Other key components include maintenance-related items, visitors and contractors, tracking methods, recordkeeping, and auditing.”

On a deeper level, making improvements to your GMPs entails looking holistically at ways to increase better maintenance execution and reliability, shop floor excellence, operationalized culture, and empowering your team. After all, healthy safety practices are generally a good sign of healthy workplace culture and a streamlined workflow.

While you’re implementing preventive maintenance changes, you’ll also want to develop the right systems and processes to build confidence in your front-line leaders, streamline shop floor processes, and help you align your organizational culture with the values and performance management style you desire. 

POWERS is trusted in the field of food and beverage performance optimization. We get results, whether you are producing frozen pizza, chicken breasts, root beer, or chocolate chip cookies. POWERS isn’t your average food manufacturing consultant; we roll up our sleeves and work side-by-side with your staff to improve performance. Ready to take a look at how you can make sure your operations are continuing smoothly, safely, and efficiently? Get in touch now.

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About the Author

Sean Hart

CEO, Managing Partner

Sean Hart is an industrial engineer with a background in manufacturing supervision and project management. Sean’s background is in improving overall plant efficiencies and implementing Lean techniques to improve processes.