4 ways ERP helps food manufacturers stay compliant

Both Canada and the United States have regulations that are intended to protect citizens by requiring food producers to comply with regulations. ERP for food manufacturing can, if properly configured, track and record data required by these regulations. ERP can also alert producers when real-time data collection shows something is out of tolerance, so the producer can maintain the quality of its food.

1. Canadian Food Inspection Agency

CFIA has a mandate to implement regulations under the Safe Food for Canadians Act. In June 2015, the agency opened a conversation intended to reduce the cost of compliance for smaller businesses. One proposal was to provide licensing at no cost for businesses generating $30,000 or less annually. ERP systems not only help manage the operations of food producers but also include accounting and financial management components. The CFIA proposal may also delay the enforcement of regulations by up to three years for businesses generating under $100,000 per year.

2. Bioterrorism Act

The US Food and Drug Administration protects citizens under the 2002 Bioterrorism Act. Title III covers protecting the safety and security of food supplies. This act requires rapid testing to find any contaminated foods. ERP for food manufacturing can help with compliance at purchasing by specifying particular tests to be made for each order and an inspection plan that lists each test and records the real-time results of the tests.

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ERP also improves compliance reporting by controlling the recipe used and tracking whether the ingredients actually used match those specified by both weight and volume. Any deviation will be caught, allowing necessary action to be taken.

3. Uniform Meat Cut Nomenclature System

This is part of the Canadian Meat Inspection Act and Regulations. Cuts of meat have common and standardized names that must be used for sale in Canada. ERP systems with extensive formulation and production management will print specific labels based on the production job, ingredients or process. ERP links manufacturing to specific customers as well, so ERP for food manufacturing can specify the correct Canadian label for a cut to be sold within the country and specify a different label for a cut to be sold in another country.

4. FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010

This act, signed into law by President Obama, shifts the focus of safety from response to prevention. Registered food production facilities must maintain hazard analysis and preventive control plans. The specifics for any business can be built into its ERP quality systems. For example, the first production operation might be to clean equipment following a described method using proper cleaning agents. The second step could be an inspection by another person to verify that the equipment has been properly cleaned. The inspection process used by the cleaning person and the inspection person are recorded in ERP. The cleaning agent will show it was checked from stores by an ERP transaction. The training that qualified the cleaning and inspection staff is also kept in ERP. All that data is easily available for any inspection.

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Tom Miller

About the author…

Tom completed implementations of Epicor, SAP, QAD, and Micro MRP. He works as a logistics and supply chain manager and he always looks for processes to improve. He lives near San Francisco Bay in California and can be found on the water in his kayak or on the road riding his motorcycle. Contact Tom at customerteam@erpfocus.com.

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Tom Miller