The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly boosted the discussions around assessing risk remotely using digital tools. One of the most important tools to assess risk — onsite audits — is not currently available to food safety and quality assurance experts, creating the need to assess the risk remotely. While this verification tool is currently unavailable it is essential that the food industry uses remote risk assessment, by harnessing new analytical tools, all available food safety data, new methods and new systems.
The GFSI standards and regulations like FSMA require a detailed risk assessment of hazards for ingredients, finished products, processes and suppliers. According to the GFSI standards and FSMA, generic risk assessment for product categories and suppliers is no longer sufficient. They require assessing risk for suppliers, for facilities (processing plants/ factories / packaging plants) and for all the materials used in each facility.
In addition to that, consumer trends for safe, traceable, organic ingredients and reduction in processed foods have increased the need to understand better and to predict the food safety risks. All these factors call for a remote risk assessment approach that:
- is using accurate data about reported issues in the global and company’s supply chain
- is not static and is updated frequently because microbial, chemical, allergen and fraud risks are continuously evolving
- applies predictive models of pathogens growth, toxins and chemicals contaminants
- takes into account consumption and population data
- takes into account the processing steps applied to materials (cooking, partitioning, packaging, storing)
- concludes to recommendations on how to mitigate risks
For many food companies, this is a long list of things to consider and to implement and many of them are usually wondering if they have all the digital tools that can support the demanding process of assessing risk remotely.
A platform named TheFSM that can support remote risk assessment
Remote risk assessment is not a trivial task. It needs a combination of data management, analytics technology and predictive models. Let’s analyse TheFSM platform, a tool that can meet the rewuirement for a remote risk assessment.
To access accurate and timely data about reported incidents in the global supply chain, one will be able to utilise the online tool named “TheFSM platform“. This is a cloud-based operational platform with a simple and straightforward user interface will generate insights about the food supply chain from global food safety data, while it will utilise state-of-the-art data technologies, providing not only information needed in no time but also, a deep hazard analysis, and supplier check and risk estimation that can all be set in a few minutes. More specifically, most of these measures will be executed by TheFSM’s integrated platform, named FOODAKAI (a software enterprise platform) which helps food businesses to monitor food safety hazards (biological, chemical, physical, contact material) and food fraud issues in different food materials. The platform collects, translates and enriches more than 100 million food safety records for food recalls, import refusals and laboratory testing analysis results that are published by National Authorities. The platform identifies risk level for each hazard type implementing a computational model that classifies risk to high, medium, or low based on the number of recalls and severity of the hazard that occurred in specific food materials.
Importance of the remote risk monitoring and assessment
It’s critical to take into account that risk assessment is not a one-off task or a task that can be performed once or twice in a year. The global supply chain is complex and is not only affected by pandemics such as COVID-19, but also dependent on environmental, social, and economical factors.
Food safety professionals to monitor new hazards that may increase risk in their supply chain and follow new scientific and technological advancements that may improve the risk assessment process.
As so, our paltform aspires to ensure transparent and safe food production, help food safety professionals to monitor new hazards that may increase risk in their supply chain and to follow new scientific and technological advancements that may improve the risk assessment process.