In this hustles & bustles of urban lifestyle — be it the students or the corporate guys— our lives have become fast-paced. Therefore, we don’t always get time to prepare our meals.
Consequently, the demand for takeaway, meal kits, food deliveries, and other food businesses is witnessing a constant spike.
According to Statista’s data, the Food market is expected to grow annually by 6.72%. In 2022, the industry made a revenue of approximately US $8.66tn, which is likely to grow tremendously by the end of the year.
According to the National Restaurant Association’s report, in 2021, the US Food Service Industry touched the mark of $789 billion (19.7% higher than 2020). A survey conducted by the associate further revealed that 64% of respondents suggest takeaways and deliveries are their “essential way to live.”
However, every coin has two sides. According to WHO, one in ten people falls ill from contaminated food. Children under the age of 5 are exposed to foodborne diseases that may or may not lead to fatality.
Considering all this information, it has become critical for food businesses to pay attention to the product or food quality.
Let’s dig deeper into this!
What Is The Need For Food Quality Check (QC)?
Product quality control is often associated with understanding and meeting customers’ expectations. However, it is much more than that!
The FDA (The United States Food and Drug Administration) has set a few guidelines for food businesses to adhere to. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) mandates that businesses (and authorities) promote public health and protect consumers by providing high-quality products.
From manufacturing to consumption of any food product, companies must comply with set standards. It helps consumers learn about the manufacture and expiry date of the products. It offers confidence to the consumers that the food is safe and offers adequate nutrition.
In a nutshell, businesses need food quality checks because it helps build brand credibility and reputation in the market.
Below we’ll elaborate on the quality control checklist you can follow to improve your business operations in the food industry.
Practices To Follow
The process of ensuring utmost quality products are delivered to the consumers begins at the production stage and ends with consumer satisfaction. The checklist includes:
- Invest In Food X-Ray Inspection
Food manufacturers often encounter scenarios of product contamination due to metals, glass, bone, plastic, and more. Keeping a keen eye on the manufacturing process, machine, and material used is critical for avoiding food contamination cases.
Fortunately, investing in an x-ray inspection system could become your savior here. This system allows you to screen the raw material and end products to discover contamination. It offers you surety that the food packed or delivered is clean.
Now, you might be wondering- Why is the food X-ray system better than other food inspection methods?
Bone and other solid contaminants are often left undetected in the manual inspection. X-ray inspection, on the other hand, lowers the risk of human error and improves product safety. The system can also monitor the process in real-time and resolve the issues early on.
- Provide Nutritional Facts On The Food Label
As stated above, millions of people get severely sick every year due to contaminated food. This situation has given rise to the need to use food labels. Your business should contact a food lab to get a nutritional analysis of your product. This analysis will help determine the safety level as well as the nutritional value of the product.
The labels must also contain any warning- storage or cooking instructions, so the consumers enjoy the end product. Every detail stated on the label must be clear and accurate.
There are a few FDA regulations that businesses must follow. These are typically related to nutritional information, raw materials, ingredients, and allergens.
You must also be specific about the name of the products. For instance, if you are producing and retailing milk, what type of milk it is- almond, low-fat, or lactose-free- should be specified on the label. It makes your product consumer-friendly and boosts credibility.
- Improve PPE Compliance
The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is mandatory for many food businesses. It helps protect workers from injuries and ensures good quality products are manufactured.
According to the FDA and OSHA (The Occupational Safety and Health Administration), businesses non-complying or violating the PPE rule, irrespective of the reason, are likely to be held liable. In the worst-case scenario, the company might have to recall all the products from the market, losing business reputation and goodwill.
PPE rules and regulations must be shared with the employees unambiguously and prominently. You can conduct random checks or impose penalties for violations to ensure utmost compliance with the rules.
- Bring Transparency To Supply Chain
Transparency is the backbone of the supply chain. From purchasing the raw materials to selling the product to wholesalers and retailers, businesses need to ensure that product safety and quality improvement are not neglected.
You must be able to track all the parties involved in the supply chain to establish transparency. It will help identify the possible quality issue with the production and product supply and notify the accountable person to make necessary rectifications.
Deploying advanced software for effective supply chain management can also help boost transparency. Additionally, it will help earn the trust of the end consumer.
- Train Your Employees Frequently
Last but definitely not least, you must focus on employee training on a frequent basis. High food quality is directly associated with the correct handling and efficient production of raw materials.
You can collaborate with major organizations or FDA to implement new training programs or standards for your employees. Special attention in these programs should be given to on correct use of the equipment and proper handling techniques to reduce human error and negligence.
Frequent training will give you assurance about contamination prevention and superior quality products. Additionally, it will boost the employees’ skills and productivity.
The Bottom Line
Quality control should be on your priority list to thrive in the food industry. As the demand in this industry is at an all-time high, following good practices for food safety and quality is sure to give your business a competitive lead.
So, what’s the wait for? Follow the checklist given NOW!