Each company has different requirements, so different solutions suit different business profiles. What to keep in mind when choosing a food safety...
The Basics of a Successful Food Safety Management System – Create Your Food Safety Management Strategy
Every food business must have a Food Safety Management System to protect their customers. Do you know how to establish ...
Every food business must have a Food Safety Management System to protect their customers. Do you know how to establish one?
Every food business must have a systematic approach to controlling food safety hazards. Managing these hazards is critical to keep a food business running. Fulfilling management tasks means building a comprehensive food safety management system that will protect public health from harmful food handling practices and prevent the occurrence of a foodborne illness outbreak. The requirement is a food industry standard and is considered the highest effort for any food business to ensure food safety.
Learn the basics and importance of building a strong food safety management system from this article.
Key points covered:
- FSMS stands for food safety management system.
- A food safety management system is a program that ensures food safety and quality throughout the supply chain.
- A food safety management system aims to control the risk of food safety hazards and ensure that no unsafe product is released to the market.
- A food safety management system consists of a trained team, hazard plan, prerequisite programs, comprehensive monitoring system, traceability system, and proper documentation.
- Examples of FSMS in the food industry include prerequisite programs, HACCP, HARPC, and ISO.
- A sound strategy for implementing an FSMS includes assessing business needs, researching options, evaluating requirements, seeking expert advice, establishing a control system, and verifying the food management system
- Food businesses can create a smart Food Safety Management System in 15 minutes using FoodDocs.
- Smart tools such as intuitive task notifications and detailed instructions can help food business operators ensure that operations are done on time and correctly.
- FoodDocs' Food Safety Management System features a real-time overview that can help managers save up to 20% of time supervising the team.
Dealing with the entire food chain comes with risks and potential safety issues. Learn how every food business can preserve safety by ensuring compliance through the following topics:
WHAT WE'LL COVER:
- What is Food Safety Management System?
- Why is a Food Safety Management System important?
- What are the components of a safety management system in the food industry?
- What is an effective food safety management strategy?
- What are Food Safety Management Systems examples?
- 4 Tips for choosing the right food management software
- How to implement comprehensive digital FSMS in just 15 minutes?
- Task notifications to never miss a task
- Detailed instructions on monitoring logs to ensure compliance
- Customizable features to fit business operations
- Real-time overview to save time on supervision
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Food Safety Management System?
Food Safety Management System (FSMS) is a comprehensive and systematic program used in the food industry for managing food safety hazards.
An FSMS is a legal requirement for almost all food businesses, as food safety is a key concern in the food industry. A compliant FSMS covers monitoring receiving processes up until the distribution of finished products.
Food Safety Management Systems vary depending on the nature of a food establishment. Routine safe practices and appropriate monitoring procedures will vary depending on the potentially present food safety hazards in a food business.
All operations related to the management of food safety procedures of a business must be documented as proof that the business has established a line of defense.
This documentation must be regularly visited and reviewed to ensure that the system is still efficient and effective. In case of improvements, the collected information can be used for every decision needed.
Did you know that every food business team can establish a comprehensive Food Safety Management System in just 15 minutes? This is possible with the help of FoodDocs' smart Food Safety Management Software.
Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), food businesses can get pre-set tasks and checklists that can be further customized to fit unique operations.
Start using our Food Safety System software now with our 14-day free trial.
Why is a Food Safety Management System important?
A food safety management system ensures the safety and quality of food throughout the entire food production and supply chain for safe consumption.
The system protects the public from foodborne illnesses and other related injuries.
Below are some of the critical importance of a food safety management system:
1. Ensuring food safety. The predefined operations in an FSMS help control particularly identified food safety hazards. When the FSMS is followed accordingly, a food business can become more credible in the eyes of the public from compliance with food safety policies and regulations.
Failure to comply with food safety regulatory requirements increases the risk of causing foodborne diseases or food poisoning. Because food safety risk factors are inevitable in the food industry, food businesses must use a complete FSMS to address any risk of food safety issues.
2. Assuring food quality. While the main objective of an FSMS is to maintain food safety, it also ensures quality products. A food safety monitoring system also considers changes in the physical and chemical characteristics of the food product.
Any change, whether visible or seen only through analytical testing, can affect safety as much as food quality standards. An FSMS promotes uniformity over the products and helps ensure that the food items are of good quality.
The operations monitored by an FSMS are often based on the product specification, which also relates to the product's quality.
3. Preserving economic value. An FSMS can help food businesses save on costs, improve consumer acceptance, and increase sales and profits.
In terms of cost, an FSMS can reduce the amount of food waste generated by a food business. Standardizing the operations for safety can help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of preventive controls and overall food production. The lack of a comprehensive FSMS can lead to causing a foodborne illness outbreak, which costs around $95.2 billion yearly for low- to mid-income countries.
4. Following regulations. Implementing an FSMS helps food businesses comply with food safety regulations and standards set by local authorities and international organizations.
The establishment of a food safety system itself is a requirement by food safety agencies in countries such as the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.
5. Improving operational efficiency. By establishing standardized procedures and practices, an FSMS streamlines operations, reduces waste, and optimizes resource utilization.
A comprehensive FSMS can help food operators ensure that they cover all safety precautions during the production stage. This program also reduces the likelihood of unnecessary delays and food safety issues.
6. Encouraging continuous improvement. An FSMS promotes a culture of continual improvement by regularly reviewing processes, updating practices, and incorporating customer feedback for better food safety outcomes.
Operations can be efficiently improved once streamlined by a comprehensive FSMS. Verifications can be done through the gathered documents, and the food safety management team can make more informed decisions.
7. Preventing recalls and legal actions. With an FSMS, food businesses are less likely to conduct food recalls because operations are always monitored. The sources of problems are detected before the products are even served.
In case of a food recall, food safety records can help address the problems faster. Recall procedures can become more efficient as all needed information are organized and neatly compiled.
8. Safeguarding reputation and business. As the quality and safety of products improve with an effective FSMS, the business reputation and customer loyalty can improve. This aspect can help promote the business as an institution that values the safety of the consumers. Loss of customers can potentially occur when food contamination risks are uncontrolled.
Particularly for restaurants, a study concluded that a single foodborne illness outbreak had been estimated to cost around:
- $3968 to $1.9 million for fast-food restaurants
- $6330 to $2.1 million for fast-casual restaurants
- $8030 to $2 million for casual-dining restaurants
- $8273 to $2.6 million for fine-dining restaurants
Food Safety Management Systems goes beyond just food safety. The importance of having an effective and functioning FSMS cannot be neglected for the food business to succeed.
This is exactly what we envision at FoodDocs - for food safety to be accessible to all food businesses and help them flourish. Using our digital Food Safety Management System, operators can ensure the safety of foods and that all tasks are done correctly and consistently on time.
Our digital solution includes smart tools, such as an automated setup and smart notification system. Ensure that all food safety tasks are done on time by allowing our system to send intuitive notifications to food business operators through our food safety app.
What is the purpose of a Food Safety Management System?
The purpose of a food safety management system is to ensure that all food safety operations are effectively working while reducing the risk of causing foodborne illnesses.
The elements of food safety management systems aim to manage potential food hazards in any food business and ensure safe food products for human consumption are released to the market.
An FSMS also guides food handlers on how to properly conduct essential food safety procedures and maintain a high level of food hygiene. It lays out concrete and standard operating procedures of food handling practices, including information on how and when to perform them.
What are the components of a safety management system in the food industry?
Achieving food safety is not a guessing game. Proper food safety management systems are composed of formulas and definite principles that must be apparent to achieve food safety.
As a system, an FSMS is composed of different parties and key personnel from the food industry.
It takes the participation of the food service manager, food workers, suppliers, and customers to build a working food safety management system.
Here are some of the essential components of a working food safety management system:
1. A Food Safety Team. This team will be responsible for all the documentation and food-handling tasks. All food safety team members must have sufficient knowledge of food safety practices and the consequences of non-compliance with regulations.
The team will help maintain a safe working environment in any food business. As such, they must have proper training in observing the major food practices. Food handlers must have a proper understanding of accountability regarding food safety compliance and how to follow the FSMS.
Within the food safety team, at least one food worker must be certified through an accredited certification body to have adequate food safety knowledge. In some cases, all food handlers are required to have proof of proficiency.
2. Clear prerequisite programs. There are several different prerequisite programs in the food industry. Their main objective is to satisfy the minimum environmental conditions of a clean working space.
These programs include mandatory basic food hygiene practices to maintain clean and safe food preparation conditions. The operations under the prerequisite programs must be consistently delivered and performed.
Although essential to food safety compliance, these operations normally do not require comprehensive monitoring logs but daily checklists and food safety posters as visual aids.
3. A hazard control plan. This component contains the core of the food safety management system. Depending on the food safety legislation in a location, the orientation of the hazard control plan may vary. The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) program is perhaps the most well-known system.
The HACCP program contains systematic and detailed procedures to control identified and analyzed food safety hazards. It also contains important monitoring procedures to ensure that food safety compliance and hazard controls are always maintained.
4. Monitoring procedures and system. All hazard control procedures must be properly recorded to ensure that foods undergo safe processing. The results must be documented in monitoring logs designed to capture specific data on food safety tasks.
Monitoring logs are used to record the hazard control procedures' results and prove that the FSMS is effectively functioning. Documented food safety records must be retained for at least two years in case food safety concerns arise from released food products.
Some of the most important and commonly used monitoring logs may include the following:
Find free templates of the most important food safety monitoring logs from our HACCP plan template hub.
5. A recall and traceability system. As part of an FSMS, some businesses may require a recall and traceability system to address public health concerns. Food business must be prepared for any customer complaints.
The component consists of established procedures to control hazardous or unsafe food released to the market. Having an FSMS helps food business owners handle recalls and incidents better, as recommended by food safety agencies like the FDA.
A complete FSMS with extensive monitoring logs allows food businesses to track down which parts of the market where the affected products are distributed.
FoodDocs' FSMS allows visibility over the distribution of food products. Our smart FSMS features an intuitive Traceability System that helps managers keep track of their resources and products in real time.
6. Proper documentation. Effective food safety management systems are all about documentation. Details and information about the hazard control system are essential. Every critical procedure must be properly recorded.
Establishment documentation can be used to verify whether the FSMS needs to be improved or if it is still working efficiently. Documents such as food safety certificates, safety inspection reports, traceability logs, and training documents must all be properly collected and stored as part of the FSMS.
7. Food safety training. Intensive and sufficient training on food handling practices and food hygiene are integral parts of an FSMS. Food safety training highlights how to properly perform food safety tasks, the frequency of performing them, how to monitor each task and their particular importance.
Use our free food safety quiz to test and train employees on food safety topics.
FoodDocs accounts for and fulfills every component mentioned above. Every component prepares the food safety management team on how to handle food safety hazards and how to address cases of food safety issues.
Establishing an FSMS is a continuous process. This means that the system must be regularly updated based on food safety audit reports or amendments to the location's most essential food safety regulations.
Get a flexible food safety system at FoodDocs. All monitoring logs and checklists generated by our intuitive Food Safety Management System can be further customized to fit unique operations. Business owners can also easily apply comments from food safety auditors and immediately comply with their directions.
Who is responsible for implementing food safety management systems?
Food business teams are responsible for implementing food safety management systems in the facility themselves. As such, the implementation process is a collaborative effort among the management, food safety team, and external auditors.
Let's discuss the responsibility of each member of the FSMS implementation team:
- Management. The top management provides leadership and support in implementing the FSMS. They give the main directions and identify objectives that will be used for evaluation at the end of the process. The management is also responsible for allocating resources and establishing a food safety culture within the organization.
- Food safety team. A dedicated team within the organization is responsible for managing and implementing the FSMS. The team will oversee the implementation of policies, provide parameters for monitoring, and implement controls.
- External auditors. In some cases, external consultants or auditors may be engaged to provide expertise and guidance and conduct third-party food audits or certifications of the FSMS.
Food safety is a shared responsibility among all members of a food business. While each participant has their own responsibilities, collaboration and communication between them are key to ensuring successful implementation.
What are some important food safety system tools?
Every reliable Food Safety Management System revolves around monitoring whether preventive and control measures can address hazards or not. Monitoring procedures are used to assess whether hazards are controlled or not. The results are also used to decide if the product is ready to be released into the market.
It is critical for the logs to have important information regarding the product, such as the time of monitoring, the result of observation, the person in charge, and a section for remarks.
Despite being very tedious to make, monitoring is a must to address any concern about food safety. At FoodDocs, we understand how difficult it may be to build monitoring logs that are readily customizable to accommodate any changes or improvements. As such, we offer free tools that will help food businesses with monitoring tasks and more:
Use any free helpful tools mentioned above to build and customize any needed food safety logs. Download food safety documents for free anytime! In addition, use other free tools, such as our food safety quiz, to train food business operators on regulatory compliance topics or refresh their food safety knowledge.
What is an effective food safety management strategy?
The best food safety management system is one that comprehensively covers all areas of a food business and ensures that there are corrective measures in case of non-compliance.
Different restaurants and food businesses have different requirements for their food safety solutions. However, these businesses all share a common goal - food safety in the most efficient way.
Here are some core steps in choosing the best-fit food safety system for the business:
- Assess business needs. Understand what the industry requires the business to have and what is needed to achieve food safety. Consider factors such as the type of food products, regulatory requirements, customer expectations, and any unique challenges or potential food safety risks related to the business.
- Research available options. Understand the elements and standards of a good FSMS and determine which one aligns with the business needs. Some common ones include HACCP, ISO 22000, FSSC 22000, BRC Global Standard for Food Safety, and SQF (Safe Quality Food) Code.
- Evaluate implementation requirements. Determine the resources, time, and expertise required for implementing and maintaining the FSMS. In any business, the sooner the system is implemented, the faster results will be determined. As such, choose an FSMS that is comprehensive yet easy to implement.
- Consider applicability and certification. Consider the level of complexity, training needs, documentation requirements, and ongoing support or consultancy services that may be necessary. If the business requires certification, consider the availability and recognition of third-party certifications associated with the FSMS options being considered.
- Introduce to employees. Before, during, and after implementation, the involvement of employees is critical. Seek their input, address concerns, and ensure their commitment to the selected FSMS.
- Create a team for implementation. After the introduction, select dedicated individuals who will be responsible for implementing the system. Chosen members must be knowledgeable about food safety and the controls that will be established.
Establish a hazard preventive and control system. Once a proper working environment and conditions for food preparations are established, a hazard prevention and control plan can be operated. Most food safety regulations tailor the required structure of a preventive plan to the HACCP system.
Below are some of the critical areas of a HACCP plan:
- Hazard analysis (check our free Hazard Analysis tool also)
- Critical control points
- Critical limits
- Monitoring procedures
- Corrective actions
- Verification procedures
- Record-keeping and documentation
- Evaluate and verify the system. After establishing the hazard control system, the collected data from the monitoring forms must be evaluated for accuracy.
Regular system verification must be done to identify any areas that must be improved. In addition, the system will also require further evaluation when new laws and regulations are established.
Nowadays, there are several ways to streamline the entire selection process. The best example is FoodDocs' intuitive Food Safety Management System Software.1
Powered by AI and a machine learning program, our software can be implemented within just 15 minutes. Food safety experts have developed this system to make compliance more efficient.
8 Steps for a good food safety management system strategy
What are Food Safety Management Systems examples?
Through the extensive effort of food safety organizations and government agencies, suitable food safety management systems have been established and are made available for all businesses.
The established structures of different FSMS vary in complexity and scope of management.
Some systems are less stringent than others and focus on the food safety basics, whereas some require detailed documentation and higher food safety ratings and food standards.
Below are some of the most notable food safety systems in the industry:
- Prerequisite programs
Prerequisite programs are composed of a wide range of different plans that aim to establish safe and sanitized conditions for food businesses. These programs include basic food handling practices, such as basic food hygiene and minimum food operations.
Although voluntary and does not require stringent monitoring, prerequisite programs are essential for food businesses. Operations included in these programs are very simple and must be observed daily.
- Sanitation standard operating procedures
- Sanitation design principles
- Allergen control
- Proper layout of the food business (e.g., one-direction flow, easy-to-clean walls, and availability of handwashing facilities)
- Food safety posters and reminders
- Air and water controls
- Employee training on food hygiene
- An effective pest control process
- Proper waste management
The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point system or HACCP is a systematic food management system that aims to analyze hazards and establish control measures to minimize them to acceptable levels. The HACCP program is the most widely known food safety plan worldwide.
It is a standard for higher food safety systems as it includes all essential tasks to control hazards and keep customers safe from potential food risks. Establishing a HACCP plan in a food business depends on the requirement of the concerned government agency regarding the nature of the business.
Build your own HACCP plan in just 1 hour using FoodDocs' built-in digital HACCP plan template builder. Get a complete HACCP plan based on your unique operations and customize it further to fit your routines.
Under the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 (FSMA), food production facilities in the U.S. food industry were mandated to establish a risk-based preventive control program in place of a HACCP plan. This food safety program is called the Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls System or HARPC.
The HARPC system is a proactive approach to food safety. It aims to address food safety hazards before they even occur. The scope of the HARPC system is broader than other food safety management systems and uses risk-based data to establish preventive controls.
The International Organization for Standardization, also known as ISO, is a non-governmental organization that establishes food quality and safety standards and management systems for the food industry. This organization has established several different requirements and standards for complete food safety management systems.
One of the most notable requirements published by the organization is ISO 22000. This international standard lays out the most critical food safety standards a food business must have. It incorporates elements of the HACCP system and other versions of ISO standards, such as ISO9001.
Food Safety System examples
4 Tips for choosing the right food management software
Some things can go wrong when choosing food safety software in a hurry.
It is important to note that the systems may be tailored for specific sectors, like retail or large-scale food manufacturers. Food safety is a highly specialized and multi-faceted field.
Here are our 4 tips to consider when choosing the food safety software that bests suits a food business:
4 Tips for choosing the right food safety software
1. Choose an applicable system. Checklists and types of audit software designed for a very wide audience are often not comprehensive enough for food businesses.
Ensuring food safety is usually a very long and complex process and requires software built by industry experts and adapted specifically to food businesses.
2. Consider necessary integrations. Consider how well the food safety software integrates with existing systems and technologies. Determine if it can seamlessly connect with inventory management systems, point-of-sale systems, or other relevant platforms. Integration capabilities can streamline data sharing, reduce duplication of efforts, and enhance overall efficiency.
3. Pick a system with traceability functions. In most cases, the food safety software either takes care of traceability or monitoring, but not both. A traceability system promotes accountability and helps keep track of product movement along the food supply chain. Choose software that covers both for more efficient handling of information.
4. Consider a user-friendly interface. Switching from a paper-based system to a digital platform can be a difficult task for some employees. As such, choose a platform that features an intuitive and user-friendly interface. It should be easy for staff to navigate and use effectively.
Here is a quick comparison of digital platforms available today:
|Food safety management system
|Digital checklist apps
|Best suited to new food services or retail businesses
|Best suited to franchises with up to 100 venues
|Best suited to small-scale producers
|Best suited to large-scale producers
Our system ticks all of the tips mentioned, so business operators can rest easy that our smart software is the perfect one.
How to implement smart FSMS in just 15 minutes?
Establishing a strong food safety management system takes time. All steps and components we mentioned must be considered and assembled into a cohesive system.
Every monitoring process will require much attention and customization, and the improvements will keep coming with time.
To help solve this problem, use a smart, digital solution to produce a food safety management system in just minutes.
Using our digital Food Safety System Software, you will gain access to the following benefits:
- Task notifications to never miss a task
- Detailed instructions on monitoring logs to ensure compliance
- Customizable features to fit business operations
- Real-time overview to save time on supervision
Task notifications to never miss a task
One of the essential features of our software is a smart notification system that will help remind employees of tasks that need to be done.
The system will send intuitive alerts through our Food Safety App, reminding employees of a particular food safety task. With this feature, you can ensure that all controls in the food safety system will be followed efficiently.
The notification system can also help remind managers whenever certifications or training programs require renewal based on their effectivity dates.
Task notifications from FoodDocs software
Detailed instructions on monitoring logs to ensure compliance
Obtain a digital FSMS powered by AI and a machine-learning program, which generates monitoring logs automatically. All logs and checklists have step-by-step instructions to help the team perform tasks correctly and ensure compliance.
Use the instructions to train new employees or remind the team to monitor every control procedure.
By providing the team with accurate instructions, you can ensure consistent compliance with food safety regulations.
Monitoring log with detailed instructions from FoodDocs software
Customizable features to fit business operations
To accommodate the unique operations of every food business, our smart FSMS features customizable selections. Tailor the generated monitoring logs and checks to fit operations. Set any preferred standards and parameters to control. You can even build new detailed forms from scratch.
Add the option to upload your own educative instructions as photos or videos for a better understanding of the tasks. Make every control measure the best fit for operations with our customizable features.
Our software's monitoring system can be easily customized and improved to fit audit findings or when changes in food safety legislation are announced.
Real-time overview to save time on supervision
Save at least 20% of the time dedicated to supervising using our real-time dashboard. Using the instant overview, you can get a clear picture of your entire operations and easily perform evaluations and verifications of your FSMS. Monitor the company's food safety compliance and immediately address any concerns about food safety operations.
This overview shows the status of all your food company branches and gives you the necessary information to make informed decisions.
Real-time dashboard from the FoodDocs software
When you use our digital FSMS, you not only become more efficient, but you also become more sustainable. With our food safety software, you can ditch the pen-and-paper system and use a completely digital food safety system. No more piles of papers for your team while your business is contributing to saving trees.
Using a digital platform can sometimes be overwhelming. That is why at FoodDocs, we made everything easier for managers and employees alike. We've set up our system with multiple guides, and easy-to-understand instructions to help food workers become more adept with the digital FSMS.
Experience the benefits of our digital Food Safety Management System first-hand by using our free 14-day trial.
Our impressive system does not only create a digital FSMS monitoring program for you. We also feature a built-in HACCP plan template builder that can create a complete HACCP plan within 1 hour. Get a comprehensive HACCP plan based on the key principles of the food safety program.
Want to experience the benefits of our software and get compliant now? Use our free 14-day trial and build your Food Safety Management System today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need more information on the Food Safety Management Systems topic, or do you have any particular questions? Here are a few frequently asked questions to help you.
What does FSMS stand for food safety?
FSMS stands for Food Safety Management System.
What is the definition of food safety management system?
A food safety management system, or FSMS, is a collection of operations for food companies to control potential food hazards and ensure the safety of public health. This program consists of different preventive and control measures with appropriate monitoring procedures as compliance with food safety rules.
How does FSMS work?
FSMS implements processes and controls to identify, assess, and manage food safety hazards and risks throughout the food production and supply chain
What are the key elements of a food safety management system?
The key elements of a food safety management system include hazard analysis, critical control points, monitoring procedures, corrective actions, verification activities, and documentation.
What is the summary of safety management system?
The Food Safety Management System is a comprehensive framework of food safety processes designed to evaluate and control hazards in a food business.
What is the importance of food safety management system?
The main importance of a food safety management system is its ability to ensure food safety and protect public health from potential foodborne illnesses with adverse health risks. An FSMS can also help food companies control the quality of their products and boost customer loyalty and customer confidence.
What are the key elements of a food safety management system?
The key elements of a reliable food safety management system include the following:
- Interactive communication
- System management
- Prerequisite programs
- HACCP principles
What are some examples of food safety management programs?
Some of the most widely known examples of food safety management programs include the following:
- Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP)
- Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls (HARPC)
- ISO method compliance
- Prerequisite programs
Is HACCP a food safety management system?
HACCP is regarded as one of the most useful and comprehensive food safety management systems.
Is ISO 22000 a FSMS?
Yes, ISO 22000 is an FSMS standard. This standard focuses on principles of hazard analysis, communication, and continual improvement to ensure food safety.
What are the 5 food safety principles?
The key food safety principles include the following food safety management practices: keep clean, segregate raw materials and cooked foods, store foods in safe temperatures, cook foods thoroughly, and practice personal hygiene.
Why is food safety management important?
Food safety management is important to protect consumer health, prevent foodborne illnesses, comply with regulations, maintain reputation, and ensure the quality of food products.
What is the purpose of a food safety management system in a place that orders, prepares, and serves foods for others to consume?
A food safety system aims to ensure the safety and quality of the food served, protect consumer health, and comply with food safety regulations.
What is the difference between a food safety management system and HACCP?
Food safety management systems refer to a general framework that aims to control food safety hazards. On the other hand, HACCP is a type of food safety system that covers all essential food safety practices.