Food quality control is a critical process in the food industry. Problems involving quality can lead to dissatisfied customers, lost profits, and even product recalls. That’s why it’s important to know the essential food quality control procedures, as they guide your food business to food safety and quality.
This article will discuss six essential procedures that all food businesses should comply with. By following these procedures, you can ensure that your products meet or exceed the quality standards of your industry!
Goals of Food Quality Control
Quality control is an essential requirement in any business sector, but it is especially critical in the food industry. The goals of food quality control are to ensure that food products are safe and fit for human consumption, meet the requirements of customers or regulations, and are consistently high in quality.
Given that food products directly impact the health and wellness of consumers, companies must review and document the quality status of products throughout all stages of production.
Essential Characteristics of a Food Quality Control System
Ensuring quality isn’t a single step during production. Instead, it’s implanted into every step of the process, including development, production, and distribution.
High-quality products are created using carefully and meticulously designed procedures that considers potential problems to occur at any stage of production. There are both active and reactive methods to ensure the products meet certain quality standards.
Proactive Quality Control
Also known as ‘Preventive Quality Control,’ this food quality measure helps prevent any production anomalies. Its coverage can include anything from machine and equipment inspections, worker retraining, use of sign-off work instructions, and regular checking of tools and their condition.
While catching potential flaws is the goal of food quality control, reducing the number of defects and improving overall product quality starts with having proactive solutions.
Reactive Quality Control
Defects are bound to happen on any production line. That’s why businesses need to have a way to quickly identify and correct these issues before they result in customer complaints or cause long-term damage to the product.
This involves conducting regular audits, maintaining up-to-date customer feedback records, and having a system to track and correct defects. Data collected from these issues can then be used for future applications, which is a specific improvement on the proactive quality control systems.
Quality Control and Compliance in the Food Industry
Proactive and reactive measures are based on specific requirements of various regulatory bodies in the food industry. The two most common sets of requirements are the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) system and the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point).
The guidelines made by organizations such as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) serve as guidance for productions through how they should design their procedures and what data points they must gather and report.
Top 6 Food Quality Control Procedures
Now that we’ve discussed the goals and essential characteristics of a quality control system, let’s take a look at the top eight quality control procedures that are commonly used in the food industry:
Every production process starts with sourcing the right raw materials. The quality of the finished product is only as good as the ingredients that are used. That’s why it’s critical to have a set of specifications for each ingredient used in production.
These specifications should include purity, identity, moisture content, and more. Also, understanding where each ingredient batch was sourced and in what condition are also the right first steps to achieving good quality control.
Approved Supplier List
In addition to ingredient specifications, it’s also important that each raw material for producing food has an approved supplier list. This list should be reviewed and updated regularly.
The list should include information such as the ingredient name, supplier name, address, and code number. It’s the responsibility of the Procurement team to work with Quality Assurance to develop, review, and update this approved supplier list.
Incoming Goods Inspection
Once the raw materials are sourced and arrive at the manufacturing facility, they must undergo an inspection process. This helps to ensure that the materials meet the required specifications.
The inspection should include a visual examination of the goods and tests for things like moisture content, pH levels, and more. Any raw material that doesn’t meet the specification should be returned to the supplier or quarantined until a decision is made.
After the raw materials are approved, the Production team will formulate the finished product. This is done by following production instructions that include ingredients, recommended weights, batch size, and process time.
These instructions must be detailed and followed exactly to maintain product consistency. The Production team should also document everything they do during the manufacturing process.
Companies should have a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for each step of the manufacturing process. These SOPs should be followed exactly to ensure product quality.
The SOPs should include process flow diagrams, critical control points, and more. Also, companies must document every detail of how their product is made. These details should include:
- How to transport and store specific ingredients
- The ideal conditions the facility should maintain
- The correct order of adding ingredients
- The tools to use
- A list of each member in the production team and what their roles entail
In-process records are the most crucial procedure on this list. This is because it’s the only way to track and document what’s happening during production.
In-process records help to identify any issues that may arise during production. They also help to ensure that the finished product meets all the required specifications.
Some of the things that require documentation in in-process records include:
- Batch size
- Process time
- Incoming and outgoing product weights
- Product appearance
- pH levels
- Moisture content
- And more.
Other Food Quality Control Procedures
Other food quality control procedures include Label Specifications, Product Standards, Cleaning, Sanitizing Programs, CCP (Critical Control Point), Shipping and Warehousing, and Recall Programs.
Why Use DataMyte
DataMyte is the perfect food quality control software for your food business. Our all-in-one quality management platform offers various tools to help you manage and track all your food quality control procedures in one place. DataMyte’s software applications are easy to use and can improve product quality and consistency.
The DataMyte Digital Clipboard, in particular, helps you create custom workflows, checklists, apps, and other digital forms. Also, you can use this software for incoming goods inspection, production formulation, in-process records, and more.
Additionally, the DataMyte software offers a real-time view of your food quality data. That way, you can quickly identify and correct any issues during production.
Get started with DataMyte today to improve your food quality control procedures! Check out our website to learn more!
Quality is essential in the food industry. To produce high-quality products, food businesses must implement various quality control procedures. By following the six essential food quality control procedures listed in this article, you can ensure product excellence and consistency.
Additionally, using quality control software like DataMyte can help you manage and track all your food quality procedures in one place. So what are you waiting for? Implement these quality control procedures in your food business today!