In our first two articles in this series, we focused on maintaining C-TPAT compliance and adhering to TAPA security standards. In this post, we’ll discuss the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and how best to protect food from contamination, and the consumer from foodborne illnesses.

Signed into law in 2011 and enacted in 2015, the Food Safety Modernization Act laid the foundation for safety by setting general standards for the food industry. Among these is the  Intentional Adulterations Rule, encompassing a new set of standards for physical security and safety technologies, processes, and procedures targeted at protecting against both unintentional and intentional acts of contamination.

PROTECT YOUR FOOD PROCESSING FACILITY NOW

Per this rule, food-related facilities must prepare and implement a food defense plan that identifies vulnerabilities, mitigation strategies, and procedures for food defense monitoring, along with corrective actions and verification. Further, “a reanalysis is required every three years or when certain criteria are met, including mitigation strategies that are determined to be improperly implemented1.”

To ensure adherence to the FSMA, food companies should focus on solutions that can help secure critical areas and deliver intelligent, real-time awareness to build a proactive food defense program.

According to FDA guidance “…a facility may use a single mitigation strategy to significantly reduce vulnerabilities, but facilities may want to consider layering mitigation strategies together to achieve protection rather than focusing only on single mitigation strategies to protect actionable process steps.”

To achieve FSMA compliance, proactive video monitoring (PVM) can play an important role. Here is how PVM contributes to each layer of an effective mitigation strategy to meet FSMA security standards.

A Layered Mitigation Strategy for Food Safety

  1. Perimeter Protection

The perimeter is the first line of defense for food-related facilities. By securing the perimeter, you can help ensure intentional bad actors do not have opportunities to contaminate food. It is imperative to keep these individuals off the property. The most effective solution is to proactively monitor the perimeter and all external areas so that potential threats can be identified immediately.

Netwatch Proactive Video Monitoring is the proven combination of purpose-built video surveillance technology with the human eye element to protect your facility’s entire perimeter cost-effectively and efficiently.

Our highly trained intervention specialists have specialized skillsets to detect, analyze and address potential threats as they are unfolding in real-time. If they identify a threat, they can take action immediately with a loud announcement directed at the individual. These effective interventions have a 98% effectiveness rate in chasing off criminals.

  1. Exterior Areas and Egress Video Surveillance

Your food facility should also monitor all sensitive exterior zones such as exit/entry points for workers and visitors, loading docks, and truck parking areas. Should there be any criminal activity detected in these areas, Netwatch intervention specialists will deliver live audio warnings, speaking directly to intruders to leave the premises and letting them know they are being watched and recorded.

Netwatch also offers Flexible Zoning, which enables you to group cameras into zones for independent arming or disarming by group.

  1. Video Monitoring

Our PVM Communication Monitoring Centers employ cutting-edge surveillance and communication technologies, including the latest advancements in AI-driven analytics, to ensure the highest levels of proactive situational awareness.

The Netwatch Platform performs automated site health monitoring, where we proactively monitor equipment and connectivity issues to ensure camera systems remain operational.

Equipment and connectivity status is monitored and flagged when issues are detected and provided as alerts through the Dashboard.

  1. Incident Reporting

Should an incident occur, within 24 hours a report is generated, emailed, and posted to the Web App. This enables easy access to critical reports needed for forensics, investigations, and insurance purposes.

Conclusion

To achieve compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act, it is critical to ensure your food security practices are as strong as possible. To best way to accomplish this is by employing Netwatch proactive video monitoring. Find out how Netwatch can help you – contact us today.

1 https://www.fda.gov/media/98085/download