“We are very excited to announce the release of three new computer software tools that help food businesses establish quantitative risk management for food safety,” said Dr. Bart Michelson, FoodQuestTQ President.
The software manages threats and risks associated with the production, processing, transportation, distribution and retail sales of food. This software will be available for purchase at the National Food Protection Collaboratory Portal. The National Food Protection Collaboratory portal (NFPC) is a web-based, world-wide community of people dedicated to the goal of keeping the world’s food supply safe and abundant.
“Based on science and the core principles of risk management,” said Dr. John Hnatio, Chief Science Officer, “we’ve combined science and risk-based principles with intense computer analytics to quantitatively derive risk values that benchmark the performance of risk management programs at food operations, including food defense and food safety systems.”
The Tools: Food MapperTQ, Food Defense TQ, Food SafetyTQ
Food MapperTQTM is a searchable data repository of federal and state regulations and standards, covering 11 U.S. government agencies, with 30 divisions at the federal level, with statutory and regulatory authority over different aspects of the food industry.
All statutory and regulatory food mandates contained in the Code of Federal Regulations can be found in Food MapperTQ, including the individual food requirements for each of the 50 states. Food Mapper also contains food industry proven practices.
The database is continuously updated and can be searched by type of facility, food type, agent and many other categories. Food Mapper identifies USDA, FDA, EPA, OSHA, NMFS regulatory requirements including those found in Federal Statutes and Acts, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), USDA Directives, Federal Register (FR), General Accountability Office (GAO) Reports, Congressional Reports and other federal and state published documents.
Food DefenseTQTM is used to conduct assessments of all food defense areas of security concern. Automated assessment surveys look internally across all facility security and emergency management operations, providing real time alerts of changes in the strategic food protection threat environment.
Automated assessment questions are peer reviewed by subject matter experts and scientists. The questions are tailored to company size, type of food operation and minimum regulatory compliance and best practice levels.
Formulated with an ipsitive “yes” or “no” format, every “no” answer in Food DefenseTQ requires corrective action.
Food SafetyTQTM is used to conduct assessments of areas of food safety concern such as accidental food poisonings, equipment malfunction leading to the adulteration of food, food recalls and other food safety events. Automated assessment surveys look internally across all facility safety and emergency management operations providing real time alerts of changes in the strategic and operational food safety risk environment.
Food SafetyTQ’s automated assessment questions are peer reviewed by subject matter experts and scientists. The questions are tailored to company size, type of food operation and minimum regulatory compliance and best practice levels The Food SafetyTQ assessment tool uses an ipsitive “yes” or “no” format. Every “no” answer requires corrective action.
Each questionnaire also contains specific reference sources that outline the specific requirements that must be met to achieve compliance and best practice levels of performance for that area of concern.
FoodQuestTQ works with consulting partner, MRIGlobal (mriglobal.org), an organization that performs scientific research, advanced engineering, and program integration and management for government, industry and academia.
MRIGlobal’s subject matter experts and laboratory research teams assist FoodQuestTQ customers with meeting their business, safety, and security goals.
“MRIGlobal is excited to be working with FoodQuestTQ and the National Food Protection Collaboratory on these innovative tools that will help the food industry improve food safety and security, and comply with new federal requirements,” said Mike Ehret, Regional Vice President, MRIGlobal. “This collaboration is an important part of our expanding work in food safety and will help protect consumers worldwide.”
“The portfolio of FoodQuestTQ products are a series of tools that will make assessing and managing risk for food companies a whole lot more structured and accurate,” said Dr. David Acheson. Dr. Acheson oversees Leavitt Partners’ Food and Import Safety Practice and has more than 30 years of medical and food safety research and experience.
“The products are based on a very robust and ever expanding database that is built off exactly what has caused problems in the past,” adds Acheson, “and this is the fundamental component for risk-based approaches. I think the tools will be a big help for small and medium size businesses who don’t necessarily have the same resources as larger food companies.”