‘Knowledge is Power’. As a scientist, Francis Bacon knew what he was talking about when he coined this phrase. With knowledge comes the power to make decisions and act in the most appropriate way to achieve our objectives. However we also know that a little knowledge can be dangerous while too much can be overwhelming. When we need to obtain knowledge, we also need to ensure it is of good quality, timely and pertinent.
The world of food safety management is dynamic. This is true whether we are talking about food safety at a global level or at the local plant site. Notifications, recalls, withdrawals, alerts, emerging hazards and scientific developments are all fixed features of the food safety landscape. These events occur daily and impact on the management of food safety. Or let me put it more accurately – these events should impact on our management of food safety but in many cases don’t. The reasons why this is the case are varied but one which many of us will recognise as significant is the difficulty of identifying the sources of information and the time required to review them. To find the time in the working day to stay on top of this constant stream of events is difficult. When things become busy for the food safety manager certain things are dropped from the to-do-list and updates are usually the reluctant victim.
This however is a luxury no longer available to the food safety manager. The GFSI has now made the need to stay up to date on what is happing in the world of food safety a requirement. It is now audited and regardless of the pressures felt by managers most will agree that this should be the case. If there is a recall of an ingredient which you might use in your products this is something you want to know as soon as possible. If there is a new emerging hazard that needs to be addressed in your HACCP plan it is better to know before a product recall brings it to your attention.
In my own time as a manager I tried my best. I was a prolific subscriber to every update email service from the relevant regulatory agencies. Every day my inbox would be bulging with notifications screaming for my attention until eventually the ‘move to trash’ function relieved my pain. I knew a service or a facility which filtered the noise and made the pertinent updates available to me in the place and time that I worked would be more than powerful – it would be an essential tool.
This week Safefood 360 launched its Update service for our customers and we are excited! It represents the first of a series of new functions and features that brings our food safety platform closer to the real world where the effectiveness of local food safety management is expressed – the food market. Customers can now view on their Dashboard live updates of real time events across the globe. These are fed to your dashboard as you work hour by hour on your own food safety system. It will provide updates on the following:
- Recalls and Withdrawals
- Notifications and Alerts
- New and changes to food legislation
- Scientific updates
- Events and conferences on food safety
- Food safety community forums and discussions
We have provided customers with the ability to select which sources they wish to receive updates from including the FDA, USDA, EU and local national regulatory agencies.
We are also proud to continue our association with the International Food Safety and Quality Network (IFSQN) which is the largest global online community of food safety specialists. Topics and posts from the community are fed live to the Updates page linking our users with their peers from around the world.
Finally, users have the option of viewing the source update to ensure they are receiving accurate information. Where the update is relevant and requires further assessment by the company the user can click on the review button and generate their review record within Safefood 360.
Auditors and customers will no doubt have a smile on their face when learning of this new feature. We are sure you will find it invaluable.