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Ensuring quality and compliance
a digital approach to food safety standards

Michael Benko
18 Jan 2024

According to data released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2022: “…an estimated 600 million – almost 1 in 10 people in the world – fall ill after eating contaminated food and 420,000 die every year, resulting in the loss of 33 million healthy life years (DALYs) …children under 5 years of age carry 40% of the foodborne disease burden, with 125,000 deaths every year.”

Food safety has always been paramount, today is no different. Ergo, in the ever-evolving landscape of the food and beverage industry, ensuring the quality of products is of paramount importance.

The global nature of the food supply chain, increased consumer awareness, and changing regulatory requirements make it essential for businesses to adopt innovative approaches to food safety standards.

One such approach that is gaining momentum is the use of digital technology. In this blog post, we’ll explore how a digital approach can revolutionize the way we manage and monitor food safety standards, ultimately benefiting both businesses and consumers.

The traditional challenges of food safety

Traditionally, food safety has been managed through a combination of manual record-keeping, periodic inspections, and reactive measures to address issues. While these methods have served the industry for many years, they come with several challenges:

  • Human error: Manual processes are susceptible to human error, which can lead to data inaccuracies and compliance issues.
  • Inefficiency: Paper-based record-keeping and manual inspections are time-consuming and labor-intensive, often leading to delayed responses to safety concerns.
  • Limited traceability: Traditional methods make it difficult to trace the origins of food products, making it harder to identify and isolate contaminated batches.
  • Regulatory compliance: Staying up to date with evolving food safety regulations can be a daunting task, especially when relying on manual processes.

The digital revolution in food safety

The adoption of digital technology has transformed how the food industry approaches safety standards. Here are some key aspects of this digital revolution:

  • Real-time monitoring: Digital systems allow for real-time monitoring of critical control points in the production process. Sensors, connected devices, and data analytics enable the immediate detection of any deviations from safety standards.
  • Data-driven insights: Digital platforms can collect and analyze vast amounts of data, providing businesses with valuable insights into their operations. These insights can help identify trends, predict potential issues, and make informed decisions.
  • Enhanced traceability: Blockchain and other technologies provide end-to-end traceability of food products. Consumers can access information about a product’s journey from farm to table, enhancing transparency and trust.
  • Automation: Automation reduces the risk of human error by streamlining processes. Quality control checks, temperature monitoring, and sanitation routines can be automated, ensuring consistency and compliance.
  • Regulatory compliance management: Digital platforms can be equipped with compliance tracking and reporting features, making it easier for businesses to stay in line with the latest regulations. This proactive approach helps avoid costly penalties and recalls.

Benefits of a digital approach

The shift toward a digital approach to food safety standards offers several significant benefits:

  • Improved product quality: Real-time monitoring and data analysis enable early identification of issues, allowing for immediate corrective actions. This, in turn, leads to improved product quality and reduced waste.
  • Enhanced consumer confidence: With increased transparency and traceability, consumers can make more informed choices about the products they buy, ultimately building trust in brands and the industry.
  • Cost savings: Automation and efficiency improvements can lead to long term cost savings. Fewer recalls, reduced product losses, and streamlined operations all contribute to a healthier bottom line.
  • Adaptability: Digital solutions are scalable and adaptable to the food industry’s evolving needs. They can accommodate changing regulations, emerging threats, and growing consumer demands.

Conclusion: towards safer, better food production

The digital revolution in food safety standards is not merely a trend; it’s a necessity.

Businesses that embrace digital technology to enhance safety and quality standards will not only thrive in an increasingly competitive market but also contribute to the overall well-being of consumers. This transformation is not about replacing human expertise but augmenting it with tools that make food production safer, more efficient, and more transparent. By doing so, the industry can meet the challenges of today and tomorrow while maintaining consumer trust.


Michael Benko

IT consultant and process engineer
Michael Benko is an IT consultant and process engineer with broad cross functional expertise. His industry experience includes food & beverage and pharmaceutical manufacturing, along with software pre-sales, implementation consulting and numerous enterprise level software implementations. Michael combines his expertise in Product Lifecycle Management with new product development best practices to solve a range of businesses’ most pressing problems.

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