This installment of the Icicle food production management platform’s new features focuses on compliance enhancements. We bring you Threat and Vulnerability Assessments, which then yield TACCP and VACCP plans – adding two major pieces that can help you achieve HARPC and FSVP compliance. And there are a few extras in here as well!
Threat and Vulnerability Assessments
When was it released? June 20 2018
What does it do? Icicle now enables you to create threat and vulnerability assessments on employees, ingredients, materials, packaging, and suppliers. This template-driven feature allows you to indicate the risk levels in terms of both threats (i.e. bioterrorism, where there may be intent to cause harm for religious or ideological reasons) and vulnerabilities (i.e. food fraud, cases when someone adulterates products for economic gain).
How does it work? Say you want to conduct a risk assessment on a high-value, higher risk product like honey so that you can purchase it from a supplier. You start by doing an assessment on both the ingredient and the supplier. One question on the supplier template would be, “Would it be relatively easy to substitute or adulterate the product with a cheaper alternative or filler?” Since honey is often diluted or substituted with corn-syrup derivatives, you would mark the risk high on the 1-5 scale, perhaps a 5. The next question might be, “Is there a history of food fraud for this product?” Since the answer for that would be yes, you would also rate that highly. To conduct a supplier risk assessment, you may also ask, “Have you had a long relationship with the supplier?” Each answer is weighed according to the significance of the answer. Icicle takes the information you’ve inputted and conducts a statistical analysis to assign a score to your honey ingredient for vulnerability to food fraud.
In an increasingly globalized world and a human tendency to try to capitalize on economic gain, food fraud has become a bigger problem. With this tool, you can identify the threats and vulnerabilities from the ingredient to the supplier you’re purchasing from and get a handle on the issue. You can also fulfill FMSA regulations, which require threat and vulnerability analyses. The best part is that the assessments you conduct in one part of Icicle can then be used to generate TACCP and VACCP plans, which is our next new feature.
Where did the idea come from? Thanks to Todd from BSI Global!
TACCP and VACCP Plans
When was it released? July 5 2018
What does it do? Our users know that Icicle’s HACCP Plan generation capabilities are unmatched in the industry. We’ve used that same time-tested and true methodology and tools to deliver TACCP and VACCP plans (which stand for Threat Assessment and Critical Control Points and Vulnerability Assessment and Critical Control Points, respectively) plans to take threat and vulnerability assessments one step further.
Your assessment of your honey product indicates a high vulnerability risk, but how are you going to control that risk? When you conduct a threat or vulnerability analysis on an ingredient, material, packing, or process step, Icicle can now walk you through a structured analysis workflow that helps you define how the risk will be controlled at each stage. You might define the controls for honey by using only a qualified vendor through your supplier program, or send out your honey for periodic testing – and those controls will be used to automatically generate your VACCP plan, just as you could previously do for HACCP. TACCP plans work the same way but deal with threat risks and protect the food supply against terrorist attacks.
These new features give you comprehensive TACCP and VACCP plans that define the risk profiles and clearly shows how everything is controlled, including an automatically generated diagram of threat and vulnerability control points.
Where did the idea come from? Thanks again to Todd from BSI Global!
Verification Feature for Inspections and Lab Tests
When was it released? June 27 2018
What does it do? Some savvy Icicle users noticed one way to make inspections carry even more weight with auditors. You used to be able to click a button to finalize inspections, which would then lock the file so that it can’t be changed. We have now added a verification button for both inspections and lab tests so that you have evidence of verification before you finalize, after which your electronic documentation is considered suitable as evidence of an establishment’s compliance when your next audit comes around.
This feature works in two steps. Once you fill out an inspection or lab test, you can use the first button to verify it. Once it’s been verified, someone with the appropriate permissions to finalize it will then lock it. No hassle!
Where did the idea come from? Thank you to Mandy from Aliya Foods for this suggestion!
Support for Tracking Items Individually
When was it released? July 11 2018
What does it do? Say you have a load of 100L of canola oil come in. Once it’s been received at your facility, Icicle’s inventory management will tell you that you have 100L of canola oil. As you use it, your inventory goes down. Previously, we didn’t differentiate between individual buckets of canola oil – we just looked at all of your canola oil. But when you need to track things like live cattle, you don’t just need to know that you have 400 head of cattle, you need to know how much each steer weighs and which serial number is associated with each one for traceability purposes. Or once cattle have been slaughtered, you need to know more than the fact that you have 4000 steaks in inventory. Since meat is generally sold by the pound, you need to keep track of the weight of each individual product in stock so that people can order by weight and you can see how much each item weighs in the truck.
As you can see, this is particularly useful for meat, fish, and poultry facilities, but also the growing cannabis industry – and now Icicle has your back.
Where did the idea come from? Thanks to Owen from KML Meat Processors for suggesting this feature!