Food Quality News: Icicle Targets Faster Food Safety Compliance

by Joe Whitworth, Food Quality News

The food safety management system (FSMS), called Icicle, offers users algorithms that suggest processes and hazards when creating and managing food safety programs.

Such suggestions should always be verified by a food safety professional, said the firm.

The system does not suggest the likelihood or severity of a hazard but as the data set continues to grow, this will be possible, Icicle creator Steven Burton told FoodQualityNews.

“Icicle has direct applications that can help prevent food fraud, and this is related to inventory control, process modelling and the traceability function,” he said.

“By capturing the flow of ingredients, materials and packaging through the system and the product output, calculations can easily be done to determine if enough inventory has been received to account for the product output by capturing multiple steps within the supply chain.

“It will even become possible to verify or to reconcile receipts against shipments, and in some jurisdictions, especially China, this is a capability of critical importance.”

With the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and other regulations, achieving compliance is increasingly difficult for producers who must identify and control many processes and hazards under HACCP and HARPC requirements.

Icicle generates suggestions for ingredients, materials, packaging, and process steps, helping educate food safety professionals and saving industry time in achieving compliance.

The firm said previously companies had to sort through hundreds of hazards to try and identify the correct ones.

As the system grows, the suggestions will become more comprehensive and complete, said Icicle.

“The next step is to immediately choose whether the hazard is accepted and then to use Icicle’s hazard analysis workflow to allow the system to guide the user to determine how the hazard should be controlled,” said Burton.

When asked how it establishes ‘normality’, Burton said it has an ingredient database which it uses to data mine its database with proprietary algorithms that is has developed to provide guidance.

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