Food Engineering Magazine is one of the most established publications for manufacturing and operations executives in the North American food and beverage industry. Wayne Labs, who writes for Food Engineering on technical, engineering, and R&D subjects, interviewed Icicle creator Steven Burton on “The Importance of Preventative Controls.” Labs has looked to Icicle before, writing about HACCP software and Icicle in Icicle’s earliest years.
Labs takes a deep dive into Preventative Controls, or what was often referred to as HARPC when FSMA was introduced in the United States. Preventative Controls build upon the HACCP standard, including additional hazards (such as intentional adulteration), and also diverging significantly in methodology. Where HACCP is process-centric, Burton explains, Preventative Controls are risk-based. As such, facilities are guided to focus on prevention as part of a more holistic approach to food safety.
One of the big advantages of adopting a Preventative Controls-based approach, according to Burton, is that food safety practices also become quality assurances by allowing facilities to focus on the bigger picture. It also underscores the advantage that sophisticated software can give food producers who prioritize compliance.
“The Preventive Controls’ preventative approach encourages food companies to adopt comprehensive monitoring during every step of the food production process, says Icicle’s Burton. When a company chooses to use a food safety system to comply with preventive control regulations, it can then use the same system to ensure high quality.”
“For example, adds Burton, undercooked poultry is a food safety issue. HACCP and Preventive Controls standards require that minimum internal temperatures are achieved during cooking. The same system can be used to ensure the poultry is not overcooked, which is a quality issue. Freezer burn, however, is a food quality issue rather than a food safety issue. With a comprehensive software system, it’s easy to control inventory, as well as temperature, to ensure that products don’t languish in the freezer, which causes freezer burn. Product and production parameters can be controlled in both directions to achieve excellence for both food safety and food quality, says Burton.”
Check out our detailed assessment of Preventative Controls in “Is HACCP Dead? FSMA Compliance and FSPCA” >>
Steven Burton is a technology expert who, in addition to being the CEO and President of Icicle Technologies Inc., developed and continues to build Icicle, a comprehensive food production management platform offering the food industry creative and dynamic solutions for better production, better business, and better public health. Follow him on LinkedIn to hear more about the future of tech, or check out his other articles in leading industry publications.