August 16, 2013
Statistical Process Control Software: Protecting Consumers as well as Manufacturers
Your UK- based food plant produces several varieties of soups—many of which contain meat products. But since you have neither a farm nor a slaughterhouse, you outsource your company’s meat production to a third party that provides your company with the beef and chicken that you need.
But when a customer discovers that the “beef” inside of a can of your company’s stew is actually horse meat, how will you respond? A recall is probably going to be necessary. You will lose many customers, and will have to deal with a major financial loss that will probably extend for years to come.
Europe, as of late, has been rocked by several counterfeit food scandals as the economy has forced some vendors to find cheap alternatives to brand name items. Chocolate, olive oil, wine and champagne have all recently been discovered to harbor false ingredients meant to color, shape and flavor products. Most disturbingly, a report recently surfaced that certain shops in Britain were selling fake bottles of Glen’s vodka that had been spiked with bleach and methanol, which can cause blindness. It has been reported that 165,000 thousand bottles are in circulation.
Recently, much has been debated about the importance of traceability in the food industry. Accordingly, food manufacturers are well advised to use statistical process control to ensure the quality of the products they release and to protect consumers from this type of dangerous fraud.
Statistical process control software provides real-time manufacturing data for the ability to not only judge the overall quality of a product, but also the ability to trace it back through the supply chain. For example, if horsemeat winds up in a can of stew, it can be traced back to where and when it was purchased.
As a manufacturing executive, you deserve complete oversight over exactly what goes into the products that you create and sell. There should be absolutely no question that what you are producing is what you claim it to be.