Even with the continuous growth of globalization, food safety remains a top priority in the food industry. The inevitable changes in the focus of food agencies and innovations in food safety simultaneously aim to address prevailing concerns regarding foodborne illnesses. Consumers buy food to enjoy themselves and as a form of sustenance. Food business owners aim to provide this while keeping their consumers safe.
Every day, more and more innovative solutions are being applied in the food industry to increase the efficiency of production while maintaining compliance with food safety laws. The constant need to provide fast, quality, and safe products has pushed the food industry to explore more advanced technologies.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has gained popularity all across different industries and the food industry has seen unprecedented applications. AI does not only make the work faster, but it also contributes to operating a more precise fashion without the limitations of human food workers.
This innovation has been applied in food safety management systems (FSMS), operations, cleaning, inspections, and even building a comprehensive HACCP plan. AI is capable of conducting tasks and creating documents similar to the capacity of food safety experts but without getting tired or any occasional blunders.
Artificial intelligence and food safety management systems
In an attempt to consistently maintain compliance with the many food safety laws and regulations, AI such as machine learning programs has been applied in food management systems. Because food safety laws tend to vary from one location to another, keeping up with them and their documentation processes for food businesses that have multiple branches has been hard. Additionally, the demand for safer and more sustainable food safety operations has significantly risen over the years.
Innovations such as digital food safety management systems (FSMS) help maintain compliance in food establishments. Companies such as FoodDocs have developed a smart tool that automatically generates a digital FSMS for your business have started to dominate the industry.
At FoodDocs, food business owners can get a digital FSMS that is specifically tailored to their food operations. The decisions suggested operations, and documents generated by this system are all based on the information customers provide upon signing up. This information is then cross-referenced with existing food safety standards, laws, and regulations to come up with a comprehensive digital FSMS.
The machine-learning program used by this company automatically generates digital monitoring forms and checklists that are specifically based on the operations of a food business within only 15 minutes. These monitoring forms are even automatically filled based on previously logged data. Food workers are only left with the job of verifying if the information is correct and their task at hand.
This system also automatically generates a real-time report on the progress of food safety operations of the concerned food businesses. Breaches of critical limits and nonconformance are similarly translated and forwarded to food employees through smart notifications for immediate action. Food handlers can receive these alerts through a mobile application developed by FoodDocs.
What makes this type of technology even more appealing is that it significantly minimizes the use of paper-based monitoring forms as the food industry moves toward more sustainable operations. All information and documents such as monitoring forms, certificates, and reports are stored in cloud storage which allows easy access and saves up on physical space.
This type of AI-powered system makes complicated programs easier for anyone wanting to enter the food business and ensures that public health is safe. It also cuts the time needed to transition from a paper-based documentation system to an entirely digital FSMS.
FoodDocs considers compliance with food safety laws and regulations based on locations. It can cater to international and local food safety regulations and applies them on the forms and checklists they automatically generate for you.
Built-in HACCP plan builder
One of the hallmarks of food safety compliance is the existence of a HACCP plan or a risk-based preventive control plan in a food business. This type of food safety program was developed to identify and address hazards before they even occur. Additionally, HACCP programs contain steps on how to control hazards when they breach critical limits.
Creating a HACCP plan takes multiple layers of preparation, planning, revisions, and verifications. It takes a group of food safety professionals and representatives from the different concerned departments of a food business to come up with a comprehensive HACCP plan.
A breakthrough innovation built by FoodDocs shortens the HACCP-making process to just 1 hour. All it takes is just answering a few basic questions about the nature of the food business of the customer and FoodDoc’s built-in HACCP plan builder software can create a comprehensive HACCP plan tailored specifically to the operations of a food establishment.
This software uses a machine-learning program to collate information and use them to predict and suggest the necessary components of a HACCP plan for a particular food business. It promises 500x faster result while being 15x cheaper than hiring a food safety expert to guide you through the HACCP plan-making process.
This program creates a comprehensive HACCP plan that is legally compliant with the most relevant food safety laws and requirements internationally and locally. The smart technology by FoodDocs simplifies one of the most complex processes in the pursuit of attaining compliance to the highest food safety standards.
New food businesses and those that are having a hard time complying with the requirements of HACCP completion can greatly benefit from this expert and AI-guided program. This HACCP plan builder generates a plan with the following components:
- A customizable flowchart of the food business operations.
- Identified and analyzed food safety hazards particular to the food business.
- Established critical control points (CCP) in food operations.
- Established critical limit for all CCPs.
- Appropriate digital monitoring forms, checklists, and related documents.
- Verification program for the whole food operations.
FoodDoc’s HACCP plan builder uses information provided by the customer concerning the nature of their business to create a tailored HACCP plan. These questions include the business type, raw materials used, kinds of food served, the volume of production, and particular duties in the business.
Through systems like this, food safety becomes easily attainable for all food businesses and ensures a higher standard in the community.
Other applications of AI in food safety
AI in visual inspections
In addition to food safety management, a widely and commonly utilized operation in the food industry is a visual inspection. This operation occurs before, during, and after manufacturing. Visual inspections aim to detect any potential defects or breach in standard parameters which could affect the quality and safety of food products.
AI has been worked into this operation by using machine-learning programs to automate visual inspections. This system reduces the risk of missed diagnosis of false-positive reactions. Studies have shown that manual inspection is only about 80% correct which gives plenty of space for errors. It is physically impossible to inspect all food products rushing down a high-speed production line with just a pair of eyes. As such, manual inspections are limited to only evaluating samples from batches.
Visual inspections have been improved by applying precise and accurate detection of defects in products, equipment, and even manufacturing behavior through AI. Computer systems are fed with thousands of information on the characteristics of the many potential defects of the products.
Using advanced surveillance technology, the information downloaded in machine learning programs is translated and used to detect defects. This operation is done for all products up to the smallest details ensuring food safety within every product.
AI in cleaning and sanitizing food facilities
Automating operations and using AI in food safety aims to perform important operations at the right time and, if possible, with minimal interventions. This is the guiding principle for using AI in cleaning and sanitizing in the food industry. AI systems have been applied to clean-in-place programs to minimize human intervention, thereby minimizing the risk of cross-contamination on equipment and products.
The concept of cleaning in place was made to reduce the need to disassemble equipment due to cleaning. Dismantling equipment increases the risk of altering settings and the need for recalibration and maintenance. To take this innovation further, AI systems have been used to detect the cleanliness of equipment such as large tanks and schedule the need for a clean-in-place operation automatically.
Clean-in-place regimes have been equipped with ultrasonic sensing and optical fluorescence imaging to evaluate the cleanliness of equipment. These operations are capable of quantifying the amount of food residue and signs of any microbial build-up in equipment including their pipes and significantly increasing the efficiency of cleaning. AI-powered clean-in-place systems use less water as well as energy in completing the task. This contributes to sustainability in food industry operations.
Food safety is made easy with AI
Food safety is everyone’s concern. Food agencies create standards and laws in the best interest of the public. Despite this, differences in regulations from one location to another and the abundance of information and their application tip out the limitations of food handlers.
The application of AI in the food industry to maintain food safety has seen a remarkable turnout over the years. Errors from human limitations have been reduced which has contributed to lowering food wastes. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have predicted that food wastages would be reduced by 30% by 2030 through the help of AI.
Machine-learning systems and AI-powered programs help food businesses achieve and maintain compliance to protect consumers. Innovations in the food safety sector such as the digital food safety management system of FoodDocs and their built-in HACCP plan builder help address hazards and concerns even before they happen. They also minimize the need for training variable behaviors of employees and applies precise commands straight into operations.
With more AI-related innovations ahead, the food industry continuously moves forward to a more secure and safe tomorrow.