How ERP Systems Provide Visibility into Food Quality & Safety

June 11, 2020 | Process Manufacturing
woman checking food quality

Food processors have seen their industry become progressively more sophisticated over the years. Tracking products from raw material to packaged goods is often a struggle for them, and with traditional methods of keeping data, it has become all but impossible. 

According to a recently published report, Proactively Manage Food Safety and Compliance with Integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), “48 percent of food and beverage manufacturers noted that ensuring compliance with current and future regulations is their top pressure…(and) mandates such as the Food Safety Modernization Act and GS1 standards are constantly evolving and changing, making it difficult for manufacturers to enforce compliance and avoid fines.”

ERP systems can help food manufacturers by providing the necessary visibility into food safety, quality control, and traceability. Those food and beverage companies that have been proactive in implementing solutions to manage food safety and traceability–instead of waiting for a costly food safety recall–are benefitting from their decision.

What are the causes behind a food recall?

Recalls are a growing problem for food manufacturers, especially those in the meat and poultry sectors. A 2019 report indicates that between 2013-2017, overall food recalls have increased by 10%, but for meat and poultry processors, they have gone up by 83%.

What could be triggering all these recalls?

Some of the contributing factors include:

  • The product was deemed hazardous or potentially hazardous according to safety standards.
  • The product was altered or mislabeled.
  • Food and safety inspectors found unsafe or mislabeled food in the facility.
  • There was sufficient data, provided by state or local public health departments, that confirm unsafe food or food practices within the company.

Food safety standards and procedures were created to eliminate risk and give shop floor workers a guide to follow. These processes can be both defined and enforced through an ERP solution. The software provides employees with the means to minimize risk by determining the best practices that can differentiate between operating safely and facing a recall. 

Food processors could avoid many recalls.

Many food safety experts believe that the globalization of food production has created a challenging environment in which to control safety and quality issues. But despite this complexity, many food manufacturers still rely on paper records or a mixture of standalone systems to monitor their food production.

With a considerable supply chain that incorporates farmers in the field, manufacturing plants that use the raw ingredients, and distribution networks that ship products to restaurants, grocery stores, and warehouses, paper records and antiquated systems will not suffice.

As recalls continue to rise, all food manufacturers are searching for solutions. ERP systems can help these companies keep a close watch on food safety and quality by increasing their visibility throughout these vast supply chains. 

ERP systems can enable food and beverage companies to grow.

Food manufacturers must be able to provide, produce, and retrieve organized data immediately. Because of this, they have ramped up their automation to meet the stringent industry requirements and to obtain the necessary certifications.

With the help of safety-focused ERP solutions, these food and beverage processors have been passing third-party audits that were initiated by their customers, enabling them to reach out to customers that were not a possibility previously. They have expanded into domestic and international markets and have begun to sell to big-box retailers and national supermarket chains.

ERP solutions are the way to go.

ERP is the most widely used system for addressing food safety and quality, and there is an excellent reason for that. ERP enables forward-and-backward traceability, and traceability is the main objective in many food quality circles. It means that a processor can track every phase of their product’s production and distribution. And it’s this degree of visibility that allows them to tackle safety and quality issues, deal with them quickly, or perhaps avoid them in the first place. 

For food manufacturers and food processors, there are tremendous visibility, traceability, and food safety benefits when integrating or upgrading ERP in your environment. The entire team at Decision Resources, Inc. has the expertise and experience to ensure your ERP has what it takes to fulfill your company needs and customer expectations during this time. Please get in touch through our online contact form, call 412-562-9660, or email us at

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