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Managing corrective/preventive actions with a digital food safety system

September 11th , 2020 by

Establishing corrective and preventative actions is the fifth principle in the HACCP system for ensuring food safety. These actions are the proactive and reactive steps that you must take to keep people safe:

1. You must anticipate a potential breach or prevent a breach from re-occurring (preventative actions).
2. You must react quickly to make sure food that may be unsafe does not reach the customer (corrective actions).

Example corrective and preventive actions

Possible corrective actions include destroying the food, returning it to the supplier, using it within a safe timeframe, and moving it to a safe environment.

Possible preventative actions include scheduling routine repairs and maintenance of refrigeration and re-training staff on things like correct loading of fridges and instructions for re-heating food. 

These actions should be part of a continual process of recording, monitoring, reviewing and implementing. By making these actions clear and easy to implement, you are empowering your front line staff to be effective in their food safety responsibilities. Technology can be a very powerful tool for achieving this.

When do you implement corrective and preventive actions?

Corrective and preventive actions are taken when there is a deviation from acceptable limits in relation to food safety hazards such as:

  • Temperature deviations for foods at the point of delivery and during storage, preparation, cooking, plating and serving
  • Timeframes within which hygiene tasks are undertaken such as cleaning and sanitising of surfaces and equipment 
  • Quality issues, for example, those identified at the point of delivery or during food preparation such as cracked eggs, damaged food packaging, and so on. 

Corrective actions must be taken if your acceptable limits are exceeded at any stage during food production across your operation. Every food business is different, so the type of limits and corrective actions you set will depend upon your critical control points (CCP) and, in some cases, what you have deemed acceptable for managing risk. 

An example of a temperature-related CCP is the 2 hour / 4-hour rule, which identifies the maximum acceptable amount of time that food can be in the Temperature Danger Zone (5°C – 60°C) before it must be used or thrown out. 

How a digital food safety system can help

A digital food safety system can help you automate these checks and alerts, and ensure that the right corrective actions are taken at the right time, and are recorded for due diligence and compliance reporting. The reporting component of your digital food safety system is critical as it should help you identify recurring issues that could be putting customers at risk and contributing to costly stock losses.

Reports can show deviations from your acceptable limits and corrective actions taken

MonikaPrime is a complete digital food safety solution that prompts users to take appropriate corrective and preventative actions (as defined in your HACCP plan), capture what action was taken, when and by whom, and presents all of this information in an intuitive reporting interface.

Every unit connected to your Monika system can have a different set of corrective and preventative actions and can be escalated remotely by email/SMS based on a predetermined time schedule. Multiple escalation levels can be set so that different users are notified if there is an “unacknowledged” alarm. Escalation levels are time-based and can be set to trigger at any interval. 

Users are notified of required tasks and corrective actions via the on-site Smart PA and via email and/or SMS notifications. A task can be configured as ‘critical’, requiring approval sign off by a senior team member. If the task is not completed adequately or on time, then corrective actions will be applied to rectify the task.

Monika Smart PA

Staff are alerted to required corrective and preventative actions via the Monika Smart PA device

To find out more about Monika’s Corrective and Preventative Action (CAPA) capabilities, contact us for a free demonstration, where we will show you exactly how it can work for you.

Monika has provided digital food and clinical safety solutions to healthcare and foodservice institutions worldwide since the early 1990s. Our product simulation technology originated from research conducted in an accredited laboratory into 100+ different product types.

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