New Features: HARPC Compliance, Recall Identification, & Quantity Definition
We launched three new exciting Icicle features in November. Check them out below.
#1: Control Radiological and Intentionally-Introduced Hazards for HARPC Compliance
What’s the difference between HARCP and HACCP? While HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) is an international standard, HARPC (Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls) is the legislative FDA requirement brought forward under the U.S. FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and applies to all food facilities under U.S. FDA jurisdiction. But HARPC shouldn’t only concern American food producers since the Food Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) under FSMA extends FSMA requirements to international companies exporting to the United States as well.
Traditionally, food producers only had to identify and control biological, chemical, and physical hazards. Two of the newly introduced requirements for food producers under HARPC is an expansion of the definition of “hazard” to include radiological and intentionally-introduced hazards as part of the “Food Defence” portion of FSMA that addresses risks related to sabotage, terrorism, counterfeiting, and more. It also addresses the risk of intentional adulterants in food for economic gain.
Food producers must take note that food safety programs that were previously compliant do not meet HARPC requirements if they do not identify and control radiological hazards and intentional adulterants as well. This poses a serious challenge as many facilities do not have the necessary expertise to identify and control hazards of this nature. Under HARPC, a “qualified individual” must go through all ingredients, materials, and packaging in a facility (usually anything coming from outside), identify places where radiological hazards are likely to occur, and implement controls to mitigate the risk.
Icicle now streamlines radiological and intentionally-introduced hazards into the same workflow as other hazards. Users can select the hazards that apply from Icicle’s on-board database and are subsequently walked through the steps required to determine how to control them. Icicle seamlessly integrates HARPC requirements with your existing food safety program with minimal time and effort.
#2: Automatically Identify Products to Recall
As traceability becomes more prevalent and entrenched in food safety regulations around the world, it’s more critical than ever to make sure you can track one step forward and one step back. Icicle users can now identify the lot numbers of specific products that need to be recalled as a result of ingredient recalls from suppliers.
If an Icicle user receives a recall notification from a supplier, they can now scan the ingredient using a laser scanner and the system automatically generates a list of all product lot codes that contain that ingredient in the Icicle system. Users are then able to select the product lots that need to be recalled and Icicle will automatically compile an electronic list of customers that have received those product lots and who must be notified. The information required by regulatory authorities is instantly available in digital form.
#3: Define Quantity and Units of Quantities
A new, much-anticipated feature proposed by Icicle community users has been released. Users now have the ability to define quantities and units of quantity for formulations.
Previously, Icicle allowed you to create formulas where you could identify the ingredients, materials, and process steps required to manufacture a product. Initial versions did not allow you to record quantities or units as our early beta clients had expressed concerns about protection of proprietary recipes. However, in response to overwhelming requests as our users began to use the system and become more comfortable with it, the original concerns were alleviated for the benefit of merging food safety and process control into a single unified operation.
Why not make your food safety program do double the work? Icicle users can now generate formulation sheets for production personnel that can be followed like a recipe. Quantity values can be defined by ratio, pound, cup, litre, etc. according to user preference.
First, this feature will save facilities an enormous amount of time by unifying previously disconnected processes and automating a portion of the work related to production and food safety. Second, it can also be used in combination with the product run feature that allows users to track the quantities of ingredients that go into products. Third, it improves product quality by mitigating the risk of error, thereby reducing shrinkage. Fourth, this information is now available to the food safety coordinator to ensure conformity with regulatory traceability requirements.
The ability to define quantities and units of quantities adds value for our users and adapts to their needs. It demonstrates that Icicle is much more than a document management system ‐ it is a dynamic and intelligent system that truly reflects how food companies work. We are excited to continue to build a community of food safety excellence with our innovative solutions.