COVID-19 Food Safety Update

On March 11th the World Health Organization officially declared the COVID-19 Coronavirus a pandemic.

Originating from China towards the end of 2019, the continued growth of this specific strain of Coronavirus has seen it quickly spread from the city of Wuhan in Hubei province to more than 180 countries, affecting more than 340,000 people and causing more than 14,000 deaths at the time of writing.

While much about the virus is yet to be discovered, its affect already on the global supply chain has been seen in stores from Auckland to Austin with many shoppers stockpiling goods and food items in the fear of a global supply chain break down, albeit, this occurring while the supply chain itself is still fully functional.

These actions and attitudes might be better attributed to a human fear of ‘what is to come’ due to the virus’ exponential growth as communities seek to ‘flatten the curve’, and do not typically consider how modern food businesses are prepared for disaster scenarios to continue to perform and deliver vital business functions, as already they are demonstrating their capabilities to do so.

Supply Chain Precautions

Just less than a decade ago the FDA introduced the Food Safety Modernization Act which is considered the first major federal address for food safety in the United States for more than 70 years.

The sweeping reforms that have been introduce since then authorize the FDA to take more action and bring stability and security to the US, and consequently, the larger global food supply chain than ever before.

Already, the FDA has taken steps to adapt to the challenging situation of limited travel that COVID-19 presents and has announced a temporary suspension of onsite verification audits, so long as other reasonable methods are taken (read more).

Equally, so too have the USDA (read more) who are collaborating with the private sector (more information), and as have the GFSI who have clarified their position on audits in this time (more information) and the BRCGS who have issued guidance on Audits and Re-Audits, Risk Assessments, Certifications and a multitude of other considerations (more), all which will bring stability to food operators and ensure that their standards remain in compliance as they endeavor to deliver safer food to consumers.

How does Safefood 360° help

Safefood 360° are fully committed to helping our users ensure their business activities continue as usual.

Our products and services are operating to their full capacity and the continued use of the platform will remain unaffected for our customers and their suppliers.

As a fully cloud-based software our systems are hosted and supported globally with a number of redundancies and fault mechanisms in place to ensure their continued delivery in the face of global issues such as, specifically, in this case, a pandemic.

Learn more information about our underlying technology and security here.

Regulatory requirements and GFSI certifications have prompted us to work with like-minded vendors, which has positioned companies within the global food supply chain to already be working towards a common goal of providing safe quality food to the store shelves.

The Safefood 360° software will allow your company to leverage technology and unlock the power of your data to seamlessly connect your company’s food safety systems with your supply chain and improve communication across your business group.

This means your business can continue to demonstrate compliance and assure your vendor compliance without needing to physically visit their onsite premises and can continue to operate criticial business processes while mitigating risk and exposure from your staff to COVID19.

Essentially, the Safefood 360° platforms allows businesses to maintain oversight during the current global situation and allows businesses to maintain their compliance and demonstrate their commitment to the necessary precautions in otherwise uncertain times.

In these trying times of unprecedented change, we will continue to operate our systems and support our users in their multitude of applications from Food Safety Plans, Auditing and Document Control to Supplier Approval, Assessment and Score Carding with a system that allows users to bring together disparate fragments of information into a food safety management system that brings it all together.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about how we can help your business continue to deliver core critical functions, please leave a comment, or email me (barry.oneill@safefood360.com).

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