Modern food supply chains are fundamentally complicated, having items that usually go through several suppliers and distributors, and through countries and continents, and then reach supermarkets. Even though global supply chains provide customers more options and ease, they also make it a challenge to maintain the security of food items. Because of more contributors between farm and fork, the risk of products being exposed to biological or chemical adulteration, and food contamination issues is high which is going to put consumer health as well as the reputation of the brand in trouble.
The reliability of supply chains is placed under more scrutiny by the global regulatory bodies considering the significance of keeping the protection, superiority, and provenance of food products. For instance, the adoption of FSMA in the United States diverted the focus from countering foodborne diseases to preventing them by putting emphasis on complete food testing procedures, carrying out inspections, and empowering the system to respond properly to safety issues using fines, recalls or permit suspensions.
Likewise, the revised Food Safety Law of China (called FSL 2015) is regarded as to be stringent in the country’s history and aims to increase quality standards by enabling regulators and improving traceability and accountability with strong record-keeping. The European Union constantly adjusts and checks food safety using its General Food Law, which is autonomously supervised by the European Food Safety Authority from a scientific view.
Achieving The Highest Standards Of Food Security, Integrity And Traceability
For producers, manufacturers, and distributors, the increased regulatory emphasis on the safety and reliability of the food supply chain has set more focus on correct record-keeping, accountability, and traceability from beginning to end. To fulfill the requirements of the latest regulatory landscape, food chain investors need strong arrangements and means to handle their quality control (QC), environmental monitoring, and chain of custody data. Despite this, various businesses still manage this material through paper-based methods or localized spreadsheets. However, operational efficiency and regulatory compliance can be compromised due to this.
The dependency on manual data entry and transcription steps is the major drawback of these traditional data management approaches, as it can make data prone to human error. Some companies ensure the accuracy of data by applying resource-intensive verification or review checks. But, these stages prolong workflows and postpone decision-making, eventually delaying the launch of items at a high rate to businesses. Furthermore, as paper and spreadsheet-based data management systems need to be manually updated, they usually function just as a record of past incidents and are not able to offer insight into activities that are going on. The interval related to recording and examining supply chain data means that important insight is not available until the process finishes, and operations can’t be optimized in real-time with the help of data.
Moreover, through conventional approaches to data management, collecting information in the event of an audit or food safety incident can be very difficult. Going through paperwork or using data present in spreadsheets saved on local computers is laborious and resource-intensive. Regarding responsibility for actions, these systems are usually incapable of offering a comprehensive audit line of events.
Digital Solutions Transform Food Security And Compliance
Considering the imperfections of conventional workflows, food supply chain stakeholders want more strong data management solutions that will enable them to increase effectiveness, and simultaneously help them fulfill the latest regulatory expectations. For several businesses, laboratory information management systems (LIMS) continue to be an efficient solution for gathering, saving, and distributing their QC, environmental checking, and chain of custody data.
One of the major benefits of managing data through LIMS is how they bring people, instruments, workflows, and data together in one integrated system. When it comes to managing the receipt of raw materials, for example, LIMS can improve overall workflow visibility, and help to make processes faster and more efficient. Samples can be pursued by the system across several laboratory and storage locations using barcodes, radiofrequency identification (RFID) tags, or near-field communication. Through LIMS tracking samples at each phase, ingredients and other materials can be inevitably launched into production once the QC results have been authorized, streamlining processes and removing expensive delays.
The standard operating procedures (SOPs) used for raw material testing or QC centrally in a LIMS can be stored and worklists, protocols, and instrument methods can be inevitably downloaded straight to equipment. This is how LIMS can remove time-consuming data entry stages, decreasing the possibility of human error, and enhancing data integrity. These solutions can be integrated with laboratory execution systems (LES), and they can even lead operators step-wise through procedures, guaranteeing that SOPs are implemented constantly while conforming regulatory manner.
These integrated solutions enhance the dependability and reliability of data by ensuring tests are done in a standardized way through various sites and testing teams, and also increase operational efficiency by making set-up procedures simpler and quickening the delivery of results. LIMS can offer a comprehensive audit trail of all user interactions within the system. This centralized method of data management is a strong means of guaranteeing complete traceability and accountability. LIMS are effective at developing more strong supply chains and avoiding food security challenges, and also countering possible threats quicker and easier.
Using LIMS To Protect Security And Integrity Of The Food Supply Chain
Businesses better food security by getting people, instruments, and workflows in one integrated system with the help of LIMS. Processes get simpler and automated and offer visibility throughout the food supply chain from beginning to end, and guarding the integrity of data at every phase. These strong digital solutions are helpful for food supply chain stakeholders to ensure full obedience with the modern guidelines and also enable businesses to work more proficiently.