Human Error in Food and Beverage Industry
The food and beverage companies operate at multiple levels of society. Families can grow crops for home consumption. Moreover, communities can trade home-based and fresh produce. Multinational corporations can purchase products in various parts of the world. The Food and Beverage industry is under constant pressure to meet the ever-changing demands of consumers in contemporary society. The obligation to quickly adjust product lines to keep up with the pace of change, whilst making sure that there is quality and conformity calls for the boundless need for a fully trained and talented workforce. The industry employs numerous types of workers and the human errors between the different food and beverage industries vary. Human error is overlooked and generally not well understood but is an essential casual factor in many accidents and incidents. The main types of human error in the food and beverage industry are slips, lapses, mistakes, and violations. Slips are caused by actions not taken as planned. Slips occur because workers do the same task over and over again in the wrong way because it requires a little concentration. Lapses are caused by errors due to memory lapses. Mistakes are caused by incorrect actions individuals believe are correct. Violation is a deliberate deviation from the correct procedure.
Accidents that are caused by equipment failure in the food and beverage industry are due to human errors such as poor contractor control, lack of planning, failure to follow established procedures, poor management, and simple misjudgments. The accidents are can also be caused by corrosion, contamination, mechanical failures, and poor installation. Individuals employed in the process industries are required to play a key role in managing risks. Competence in process safety rests in the heart of chemical engineering skills. Poor design of the interface between equipment and human operators is the root cause of a number of high-profile accidents in the food and beverage industry. In essence, a poor design of the human interface leads operators to make errors. In addition, the poor design does not meet the expectations of users and places. This increases the possibility of human error in the industry.
In contemporary society, the food and beverage industry is striving to implement solutions that proactively encourage factor floor efficiency and productivity. By making use of equipment and technology that can advance with and foresee operational needs, operators are able to improve productivity. Manufacturers are working to obtain the precision necessary in dry processing operations specifically ingredient mixing in batching and unification applications.
Electronic scale systems that comprise weight sensors and indicators are designed in order to improve automation in dry processing applications. Advanced integration capacities allow automated electronic systems and other vital operating systems to offer automated weighing solutions. System automation is known to effectively decrease the dependence on manual monitoring, operation, and manipulation. More to the point, it can minimize human error in the industry. While automating weighing processes offers manufacturers greater control and visibility over the entire manufacturing enterprise. Besides, it offers benefits beyond measurements accuracy. When this technology is applied to complex blending and batching applications, users are going to experience improved quality control, reduced labor, and increased inventory management.
Food contamination can emanate from a number of various sources that comprise the inappropriate use of veterinary pesticides and drugs, the formation of marine toxins and phytotoxins, the creation of chemicals during processing techniques, and bacterial contamination. The analysis of food for contaminants aids the international trade process. Contaminants such as toxins, pathogens, veterinary drug residues, and pesticides can cause illness or limit the effectiveness of medicines through developed drug resistance. The use of biosensors in the analysis of food contaminants increases the efficiency of the process.
Biosensors methods can be used as rapid screening tools because they reduce the cost and time of contaminant analysis. A number of biosensors methods for food contaminant analysis are founded on concentration analysis and make use of report points for end-point measurements. Biosensors for bacteria toxins and plants will absolutely become more convenient in the future, because of contamination of food systems in the factories due to human errors. Multiplexing will be a necessity and sample preparations have to be simple and rapid.
A number of companies create strategic plans and roadmaps for future growth. Nonetheless, long-term planning in the food and beverage industry is hard due to the swiftly changing macroeconomic trends, public contentment for increased food security, and key shifts in the regulatory environment. Food and beverage companies have responded to the trend by focusing on immediate plans and the development of agile business models that can make it possible for the industry to respond to an environment that creates unexpected opportunities.
An agile business is a continuous state of planning, reviewing feedback, testing, and development. The process of an agile business is never complete. It constantly repeats itself as new information is received. An agile business model is built on integration, innovation, and automation. A model built on these pillars offers a renewed focus on IT innovation. The food and beverage industry needs to adopt cloud-based traceability applications because they can capture data from every source involved in the supply chain. Moreover, it can translate the entire process into common formats that can be read with ease. Cloud technology can break down barriers of sharing data to extended trading networks.
The food and beverage industry is focusing on Electronic Laboratory Notebook. The implementation of ELN consists of the capacity to free information paper laboratory notebooks. This promotes the integration of experimental design. In addition, it assists in making sure that industry outcome is shareable and searchable. In the end, it will increase innovation in the industry. The use of ELN can automate data collection from laboratory instruments. Additionally, it allows scientists to focus on discovery and analysis instead of documentation.
Chemical Management System is another essential component in the agile business model that facilitates understanding of the chemical supply chain. CMS centralizes information on an accessible database that can help companies to understand where chemicals are stored. The system produces automatic reports automatically thus reducing the time that staff spends on such tasks.
Actionable insights are essential for the success of the food and beverage industry. In the contemporary consumer-driven environment, analytics and data are increasingly becoming valuable in understanding customers better. Furthermore, it allows companies to leverage data and analytics to support product and brand pricing, management when optimizing operations. The success of the food and beverage industry depends on leveraging the cloud. As the cloud starts to be more mainstream in the business environment, organizations need to change how they conduct their business activities. Cloud computing brings significant advantages such as lowering costs and more efficient use of resources to high scale.
In order to minimize human errors in the food and beverage industry, foodservice and grocery distributors have adopted voice-directed warehouse applications. It is a highly efficient, accurate, and ergonomic means for order selection and other warehouse activities. Most companies in the food and beverage industry consider traceability as an additional cost. The adoption of DNA-based diagnostic methodologies. This technology increases the confidence of consumers and allows companies to make profits. DNA technology does not depend on external conditions. This makes it very reliable. In the future, the adoption of DNA-based technologies will detect several targets simultaneously (Lachenman, 2013).
The adoption of CobiT will minimize management errors in the food and beverage industry. It is the best structure that supports IT governance in the industry. CobiT is founded on the best practices that put more concentration on the process of IT in the organization. In addition, it improves how performance is monitored and assessed. This framework offers the best practices in different domains. It can also present activities in a logical structure and manageable manner. CobiT defines actions in a standard process model that has four domains and 34 standard control processes. The manufacturing industries are in need of objective measures to assess where they are and identify where improvements are necessary. The answers to these problems are offered by CobiT by means of scaling IT process capability and performance expressed as maturity models. The most common dimensions of process maturity are coverage, capability, and control. The model acts as a means of measuring how well-organized management processes are. The extent to which controls have to be applied in manufacturing processes is driven by enterprise’ risk craving and appropriate compliance requirements. By adopting CobiT, companies will be able to benchmark and identify that are necessary capacity improvements (Tugas 52).
Food and beverage companies are increasingly serving a high number of niche markets. This means that they have hundreds of diverse labels to make. Besides, they are needed to make sure that correct labels are affixed to every product on the right location and orientation to evade considerable expenses that are involved in reshipping and remaking the product. The increasing levels of automation and complexities are further increasing the issues that divert packages to the location in the processing plant (Lewis 46).
Machine vision can aid food and beverage manufacturers to improve manufacturing equality and performance by getting rid of defects. It can also verify assembling and tracking at each stage of the production process. In order to show that it is the real technology that can minimize human errors in the industry, the system ensures that products match their labels. It also ensures that labels are in the right position and oriented in the correct way. More to the point, it ensures that the safety ring is present and caps are correctly tightened and positioned on the labels (Lewis 46).
Machine vision can allow food and beverage companies to track product quality by making sure that components are homogeneously dispersed. In addition, it makes sure that liquids in bottles are steady with color and check fills level. Machine visions help to redirect products to the right area of the plant for processing. It can also redirect blemished products off the production line prior to the addition of value. Machine visions trace products in the manufacturing process. They also do so in the supply chain. The future success of the manufacturing industry is guaranteed by the use of image-based cipher reading technology. The basic idea behind this technology is that the reader incarcerates images uses sequences of algorithms to process images, and makes them easier to read. A characteristic algorithm will search the entire image for the code. Furthermore, it identifies the orientation and position of the code for easy reading. Some algorithms can hold degradations in code quality because of disparities of forms of materials and surfaces (Lewis 46).
The introduction of active and intelligent packaging can make longer the shelf life of food. It can also enhance organoleptic properties thus preventing losses. This packaging technique can change the composition and characteristics of food as long as the changes are consistent with the provisions for food and drinks. The rationale behind active packing is based on the introduction of specific substances inside the polymer and the inherent properties of the polymer used as packaging material itself. The development of a host of active packaging systems has created applications in both the new and existing food products. Active packaging comprises additives that can participate in packaging applications. This can enhance the preservation function of the primary packaging system (Dobrucka 104).
Oxygen scavengers can be used in combination with MAP or alone. When used alone, it eliminates the need for MAP machinery. It can also increase packaging speeds. Moisture absorbers can be used for active packaging. A number of companies can manufacture moisture absorbers in the form of pads, sachets, blankets, or sheets. For packaged dried food applications, desiccants like calcium oxide, silica gel, and activated clays and minerals can be used to tear-resistant permeable plastic sachets. Intelligent packaging is an efficient technology in the food and beverage industry. Its devices are able to sense and provide information regarding packaged food and offer assurances of pack integrity, product safety, and tamper evidence. Intelligent packaging devices comprise gas sensing dyes, time-temperature indicators, physical shock indicators, and microbial growth indicators (Dobrucka 106).
In the manufacturing process, there are analytical sensors that can help to make sure the batch is within specified parameters. The sensors that are being used are not able to notify key personnel when a parameter is not within the specification. Food preparation calls for sanitary designs that ensure undesirable microorganisms are prevented and controlled. The use of sensors can help to record pH and other conditions accurately. Beverages usually contain water as their largest ingredient. The success of beverage processing depends on the adoption of emerging technologies. Liquid analytical sensors play an essential role in the production of consistently high quality.
The use of purification systems with pH sensors is gaining popularity; it is believed that it be the next big thing in the manufacturing industry. Ozone sanitation has several benefits. It comes with exceptional cleaning characteristics. Furthermore, it disinfects more than other chemical disinfectants. In food, processing, it can be applied in water treatment, barrel washing, and mold control.
The food and beverage industry is growing at an average rate of 4.5 percent per annum and yet the majority of the existing facilities are not in a position to accommodate the growth of inventory. This can be addressed by facility expansion, utilization of technologies of already available facilities, and adoption of third-party warehousing. Most of the problems in the manufacturing industry stem from two main sources: mistakes that arise from the human elements and unexpected outcomes as a result of a lack of process understanding. Food and beverage manufacturers face mounting challenges in their attempts to produce high-quality products to more sensitive consumers. High production and automation rates create more challenges in assemblage confirmation and packaging inspection. Mislabeled allergens injure customers leading to expensive product recalls.
The food and beverage industry is one of the heavily regulated industries. In recent years, high profile food scares such as from horsemeat controversy and Salmonella in eggs has created a strict legislative environment. Amended controls are now governing the production and marketing of drinks and food. Applying the new controls in the industry has proved to be challenging for the food industry. Getting it wrong is very costly players directly through product recalls and write-offs and indirectly through reputational damage with customers and supply chain partners.
Labeling overhaul is a big challenge in the food and beverage industry. For instance, the new piece of European legislation that came into force on 13 December 2011 require a total overhaul in labeling before the end of 2014. In the meat industry, it is required that naming minced meat is compulsory. The rules require labeling on foreign primary ingredients and country of origin. The regulations for compulsory nutritional labeling of pre-packed foods with energy, fat, carbohydrates, saturates, proteins, and sugars along with the levels of any nutrients mentioned in claims (Price 14).
In all corners of the world, product recalls are becoming a common occurrence in the food and beverage industry. In the years 2011 and 2012, over 388 Class I and Class II recalls were reported by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The recalls caused public harm. In the United States, over 1276 Class I and Class II recalls were reported in 2012 alone. Other than a product recall, product contamination is another challenge for the food and beverage industry. This can cause business interruption, loss of earnings, and loss of reputation. As the global supply chains are expanding, risk exposure is also increasing raising the possibility of product contamination (Alexandru 20).
The reputation to offer safe food is an essential asset for the food and beverage industry. Recalls can damage reputation. The cost of contamination is many times more than the costs associated with an actual product recall. The major consequences of contamination evolve around financial vulnerability. Companies that purchase an insufficient amount of product contamination insurance are exposed to a potential financial shock. Nonetheless, companies do not get the chance to bounce back to business because product contamination puts them off business (Alexandru 20).
Worst-case scenarios are reported frequently in the food and beverage industry thus making them difficult to model. It is difficult to identify product contamination with ease. These forces manufacturers to cease production, sanitize production equipment, destroy all recovered products, and retest the presence of contaminants. The expenses that are incurred by manufacturers swiftly spiral beyond recall costs. This is because of the costs to provide replacement products to consumers and the loss of contracts with customers (Alexandru 20).
Retailer consolidations are a threat to manufacturers in most markets. A number of governments are imposing retailer consolidations. This means that there are few decision-makers with a lot of power in the industry. Evert control has control over a greater volume of the market. The move eliminates manufacturers from large segments of the business. Tighter shipping schedules are also affecting manufacturing processes. Retailers are continuing to push business practices that can cut costs and raise product availability. These objectives create tighter shipping schedules. The move yields fewer inventories in the entire supply chain. Many manufacturers are not able to operate the tighter shipping schedules.
Waste disposal is a key issue in the food and beverage industry. Every year, the industry produces more waste and it is becoming increasingly hard to find solutions for handling waste. These wastes consume a lot of space and create severe environmental/public health concerns. The biggest waste offender for the food and beverage industry is the packaging used to store and transport their products. There is high concern regarding the advertisements made by the food and beverage industry. It is believed that the industry is encouraging improper consumption of alcoholic beverages and soft drinks. There is mounting public pressure on the food and beverage industry to increase the severity of measures that are taken to regulate soft drinks consumption.
Food supply chains are very complex due to the ever-increasingly global sourcing of materials and ingredients. A number of processes are involved while handling the materials and ingredients. Processed foods present greater complications in traceability because each ingredient has to be tracked. This is so because the ingredients do come from various suppliers with diverse practices. Moreover, there is a disparity in protocols, disparate systems, coding structures, and data formats in countries with diverse regulatory requirements.
Food and beverage companies are practiced at levels of society. It is a unique sector of the economy in the sense that it involves many production sectors and the consumption sector directly. Today, the food and beverage industry is relying on automated controls. The most important goal of the industry is to produce high-quality products. Safety standards and traceability of products are the major issues in the food and food industry. Contaminated food and beverages are the major cause of public health problems such as the spread of bacteria and viruses. Human errors are common in the food and beverage industry. Most of them happen due to negligence and others are purely accidents. Many companies in the industry consider traceability as an additional cost to the normal costs. Nevertheless, if the right technologies for traceability are employed, it will reduce the number of products is recalled. This means that the company will not incur losses and suffer from reputation damage. Once a reputation of a company is damaged in such a competitive industry, it becomes extremely hard to rise up. Food contamination can come from various sources that comprise the unfortunate use of veterinary pesticides and drugs, the formation of marine toxins and phytotoxins, the creation of chemicals during processing techniques, and bacterial contamination. These issues can be thwarted easily with the adoption of new technologies. Biosensors can be used as quick screening tools since they reduce the cost and time of contaminant analysis. CobiT can be used to minimize management errors in the food and beverage industry. It is the most renowned framework for support of IT governance in the industry. The manufacturing industry is facing unrelenting pressure to meet the ever-changing consumer demands. Technologies can be used to reduce human error and improve performance in the industry.
Alexandru, Nicky. “Costly Recalls.” Canadian Underwriter 80.12 (2013): 20-21.
Dobrucka, Renata. “The Future of Active and Intelligent Packaging Industry.” Logforum 9.2 (2013): 103-110.
Lachenman, J. (2013). Multi-Modal Voice Applications in the Food & Beverage DC. Food Logistics, (149), 52-54.
Lewis, John. “Machine Vision Improves Safety, Productivity In Food And Beverage.” Plant Engineering 67.7 (2013): 46-51.
Price, Ruth. “Product Labelling – All Change.” Food & Drink Technology 13.2 (2013): 14-15.
Tugas, Florenz. “Assessing the Level of Information Technology (It) Processes Performance and Capability Maturity in the Philippine Food, Beverage, and Tobacco (Fbt) Industry Using the CobiT Framework.” Academy of Information & Management Sciences Journal 13.1 (2010): 45-68