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Regulations on the meat industry are higher than many other ones due to the potential risks associated with pathogens stemming from contamination.

Health issues in meat consumption are often related to how an animal has been kept, loopholes in the supply chain, sub-optimal storage, and/ or cross-contamination by retailers. As a result, consumer concerns and expectations about meat safety and quality are growing; meat-based product manufacturers are striving hard to comply with increasingly stringent regulations; all the while, markets are steadily becoming more competitive.

Together, these factors are making meat businesses worry over compliance with regulatory norms which are often varied, complex and difficult to keep up with—so much so that efficient production schedules and bottom lines are being hit adversely.

Meat business-related regulations and their complexities

Most consumer concerns about meat-based food products revolve around proof of origin and traceability. Regulators are constantly revising meat industry regulations to ensure transparency on both counts. At their end, regulators too are taking cues, and learning, from fresh problems they come face-to-face with. Other key factors that have a bearing on compliance requirements are the location, the size, and the type of meat business.

For meat processors, ensuring premier product quality means that customers can trust the brand and offers an opportunity for improved customer loyalty. Conversely, having to recall a product is a nightmare. Not only does a product recall mean that a business is lagging behind industry standards, it can also lead to a fiscal loss of millions of dollars.

ERP for compliance – The way forward

An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution is critical for quality control and traceability in the food industry. For the meat sector especially, such a solution is indispensable for regulatory compliance. This blog spotlights the various ways ERP software for the food industry ensures meat manufacturers and processors meet stipulations, operate efficiently and delight customers.

A meat business must be able to track its product and its ingredients upstream as well as downstream—from raw materials to the finished product. The supply chain provides an audit trail for this purpose. Specialized ERP software for the meat industry collects real-time data from every point of the supply chain and centralizes it, helping manage food safety and traceability instead of waiting for a recall situation to happen.

ERP software for meat processors streamlines the compliance exercise in the following ways:

  1. Traceability: A specialized ERP solution introduces greater transparency into the traceability aspect across the complete supply chain. Given customer interest in the proof of origin of meat products, this kind of visibility is invaluable.
  2. Quality Control (QC) and safety standards: A meat industry-specific ERP solution helps put quality control measures in place to ensure products are manufactured – and regulated – at pre-defined quality specifications. This interconnectedness helps extend the QC aspect over entire inventories. QC helps ensure:
        - Automated monitoring of product processing
        - Temperature management, refrigeration and storage
        - Setting up of hygiene and packaging best practices
        - Storage details documentation
  3. Shelf life management: The answer to avoiding a major food safety/ food recall incident is to be able to control every aspect of the inventory. An ERP solution’s logistical intelligence feature prevents safety breaches include stopping the sale of meat that does not comply with regulations and standards or which is stored incorrectly or has expired date.
  4. Recalls: In case sub-standard meat gets dispatched, a meat industry-specific ERP’s recall functionality kicks into action through real-time and quick communication, mitigating the extent of (possible) damage.
  5. Protocol(s) set up and enforcement: An ERP solution interconnects the compliance processes across an organization through checklists on the standards, protocols and testing regimes that need to be followed. Individual mistakes find it difficult to slip through as a result.

Working towards providing healthy and hygienic meat

Manufacturers in the US must adhere to the regulatory mandates of the Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs), Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). An ERP platform can help meat businesses meet all these local, regional, national and international regulatory requirements in addition to generating Nutritional Labels, Supplement Fact sheets, Ingredient Statements, and other FDA reports plus labels.

Does your current ERP solution ensure fool-proof quality control and compliance? At Columbus, we help you choose the right solution for your business, assist you with leveraging the maximum value out of your data, facilitate compliance planning—in a nutshell, we make the entire digital transformation process smooth and seamless for you.

Next Read: ERP systems are essential in ensuring compliance with food safety  standards



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