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

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Date Submitted:

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

Title of Success Story:
Quality Control: Traceability and Carbon Footprint 
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.

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.

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
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