RKL eSolutions Blog Trends and Insights

Minimize the Embarrassment and Expense of Recalls with Sage X3

As I write this blog, there have already been exactly 120 public notices for recalls, market withdrawals and safety alerts for FDA-regulated products this year. That amounts to a recall every day for products that we assume to be safe and free of allergens or contaminants that might make us ill. Product recalls are expensive, damage your brand, lower teammate morale, decrease consumer confidence, and more. Sometimes, they have deadly consequences for those living with allergens.

What steps are you taking to avoid recalls by being proactive and diligent in your operations? Do you have a business management solution that complements your safety documentation? Sage X3 is a complete solution for F&B manufacturers—beyond accounting—that helps companies minimize recalls utilizing technology, best practices, relational data, and reporting from ingredients to packaged goods.

4 Steps for Food & Beverage Manufacturers to Take to Avoid Recalls

1. Supplier Management and Lot Traceability is critical

Supplier Management and lot traceability are critical throughout the supply chain, from purchasing, handling and storage to production, shipment and consumption. At its simplest, food manufacturers must be able to trace ingredients back to the originating supplier or farm, including handlers, and store them through the delivery to a consumer. Visibility of this network requires extensive tracking, record keeping, and data integrity that links multiple sources of business partners, internal processes, and otherwise unrelated data. The ability to quickly access this data from parent-child relationships both forward and backward in the network will significantly reduce the time to recreate activity and isolate affected batches if a recall is required.

2. Test Your Recall Workflows and notification process!

Recording lot and batch data is a necessary first step. However, many companies aren’t prepared for a recall simply because they never test their internal systems through a mock recall. Performing a mock recall is the equivalent of an IT expert testing your backup and data recovery processes in the event of a security breach. Mock recalls either expose shortcomings in the documentation and recall readiness or confirm that your documentation, systems, and teams are performing as expected. Approach this as a preventive insurance policy, and then repeat it regularly.

3. Accurate Labels are Everything

My daughters have deadly nut allergies. As a parent and consumer, our family relies on precise food labeling, including ingredients used and potential cross-contamination, when selecting food items. When companies don’t leverage nutritional databases, use Good Manufacturing Practices, or keep food labels up-to-date, they create unnecessary risk and potentially deadly outcomes for unsuspecting customers.

4. Be Vigilant with Quality and Compliance

Employing a culture of safety and compliance goes beyond government regulations and good manufacturing practices. It’s not uncommon for our clients to staff food data scientists for recipe management and label compliance. Statistical process control ensures that food items are routinely and randomly screened for contaminants and conformance. Continued education and awareness of food safety regulations are never-ending. We’ve learned that attending regional IFT pre-event content in short courses and lectures has been invaluable to staying current with trends and important notices.

Avoiding food recalls requires persistent commitment throughout an organization from staff and documented workflows through production including equipment and technology. A software solution designed specifically for food production coupled with our industry expertise to configure and optimize your investment might be the missing ingredient to recall prevention in your enterprise.

Walt Goodfield

Written by Walt Goodfield

Walt is based in Cleveland, OH and has been selling, implementing, and supporting ERP software for over 25 years. Currently, he is the Chief Business Officer at RKL eSolutions, driving revenue growth through customer acquisition and strategic business partner alliances.