Quality Control: Traceability of Bulk Commodities

Name and Position/Title: 
Charles R. Hurburgh, Professor, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering; Professor in Charge, Iowa Grain Quality Initiative

Department:
Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Date Submitted:
1/03/2011

POW Number and Title:
106 - Crop processing, quality and distribution

Title of Success Story:
Quality Control: Traceability and Carbon Footprint 
Situation:
Several food safety recall events stemming from bulk food products have demonstrated the need for more precise food safety management and for a better ability to trace products through a supply chain.  Other procedures-based activities require the same documentation and tracking skills; such as environmental footprinting, worker safety, biosecurity. Agricultural operations will become increasingly monitored and precise for safety precautions.

Objective:
Improve food safety management through education by the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative (IGQI) on integrated systems for food safety/quality management to reduce the carbon footprint of food supply chain participants.

Activities/Output: 
Systems were developed for process mapping, geolocation of traceable units, bulk grain tracking, and cost-benefit analysis that simplified quality or food safety/quality (QMS or FS/QMS) management systems. This allowed collaborating grain firms to report significant economic benefits for operational improvements/efficiencies. Enhanced public health through compliance to new food safety legislation results from organized QMS or FS/QMS management systems. 

Findings were published and presented in relevant professional venues.  The end of project conference proceedings, and the end of project report were released and web-published (www.iowagrain.org). 

IGQI partnered with a company to submit a grant for the development of a web-based electronic quality manual/compliance program to simplify and automate supply chain firms’ ability to apply FS/QMS management systems.

ISU staff is participating in the AACC/Food Industry Task Force on Food Safety Audit to develop a uniform audit schema around the ISO22000 Standard. 

A study of the connection between quality climate and occupational safety climate in a company was initiated. 

Outcome Statement:   
Food safety, quality management, and occupational safety compliance support each other at significant cost savings to the organization. Savings in the $ billions from reduced redundant audits could result through development of a uniform audit schema around the ISO22000 Standard. 

Food chain organizations facing global customer pressures and national regulatory scrutiny show benefit cost ratios of 2:1 because of the economic sustainability of QMS and FS/QMS management systems.  Closer contact, communication and trust among supervisors and employees appear to have simultaneous benefits in worker safety and product quality.

 

Page last updated: March 2, 2011
Page maintained by Julie Honeick, jhoneick@iastate.edu