A food compliance and risk management provider aims to help restaurants with the many requirements saddled on them by the Food Safety Modernization Act, which was signed into law by President Obama on January 4.

TraceGains Inc. will help operators specifically with the requirements outlined in Section 301 of the Act, which lays out a Foreign Supplier Verification Program that states that operators have the responsibility of verifying whether or not imported food is in compliance with U.S. safety laws.

Gary Nowacki, CEO of TraceGains, said in a webinar that this burden is especially difficult today as operators don’t have a system in place to track the many elements of food verification.

“As we all know, more and more food in the United States and food ingredients is being imported,” Nowacki said. “There are many different protocols and schemes for audit and compliance for these suppliers, but managing all of that can be a headache.”

Section 301 of the Food Safety Modernization requires that food manufacturers—including restaurants—monitor their foreign food shipments and keep a detailed record of lot-based certifications of compliance and presence of a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan.

TraceGains offers two programs, Supplier Compliance and Supplier Impact, that automate the verification process and help operators keep a keen eye on foreign food supplies. All of the certifications necessary from the suppliers are organized in a cloud-based model that does not require any software.

TraceGains helps operators put up a firewall that filters foreign food supplies to make sure they’re in complete compliance with the operation’s standards. It also tracks records of all suppliers for data analysis.

“Static information gets filed either in a physical file cabinet … or perhaps in an electronic file cabinet,” Nowacki said in the webinar. “It’s very difficult to analyze this information, search through it, and to take action.

“By digitizing this information and putting these other capabilities in play, it now becomes a continuous improvement circle … between you and your suppliers,” Nowacki said. “It really creates now a dialogue between you and your suppliers.”

By Sam Oches
Food Safety, Industry News, Technology