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Coronavirus Pandemic Turns U.S. Food and Beverage Supply Chains on Their Heads

By 24/7 Staff / www.supplychain247.com / March 20th, 2020

Current U.S. food supply chains are facing a severe emergency due to the current health situation, so how can these companies meet crisis-level fulfillment goals while avoiding introducing pathogens into an already stressed food supply chain?        

Food and Beverage Supply Chains

Our current coronavirus-world has turned food and beverage supply chains on their heads, highlighting the importance of supply chain visibility and meeting U.S. FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) guidance.

FSMA aims to prevent and mitigate food-borne illnesses, which, according to the FDA website, under “normal” conditions, sicken about 48 million Americans annually – a significant public health burden.

But current U.S. food supply chains are facing a severe emergency due to the current health situation – store closings, social distancing, self-isolation, and panic grocery buying.

Food and beverage manufacturers are scrambling to fulfill orders.

How can these companies meet crisis-level fulfillment goals while avoiding introducing pathogens into an already stressed food supply chain?

FMSA Guidelines for Short- and Long-Term Food Safety

If your company is responsible for manufacturing, processing, packing, transporting or storing raw or finished food products or beverages and must comply with food-borne pathogen reduction requirements, consider the following steps.

They’ll ensure your customers receive non-damaged, top-quality foods:

  • Familiarize or refamiliarize your personnel with existingFSMAguidelines that define safe food management criteria.
  • Explore the recent FSMA draft guidance, “Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration: Guidance for Industry” to ensure your food materials remain in compliance with government guidance. This newest guidance covers necessary written actions, training, procedures, and steps to take if mitigation strategies have been incorrectly implemented–including corrective steps to identify and correct a problem that has occurred and measures to reduce its recurrence. Corrective actions must be documented and are subject to verification.
  • Employ tools that ensure you bypass common food contamination problems by providing overarching supply chain visibility and optimal shipping and handling decisions, so you can deliver the highest-quality food products as soon as possible while remaining compliant.

Food Logistics Providers Deserve a Break during COVID-19 Crisis

COVID-19’s economic impact on the foodservice distribution industry is dire and requires immediate attention from the Trump Administration

Arguably, no other sector of our industry's arena has been harder hit than food logistics providers. Now, and important shipper's alliance is asking Washington for some help.

The International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) sent a letter to President Donald Trump, regarding the dire scope of financial hardship prompted by COVID-19 which has negatively impacted restaurants, schools, hotels and the distributors who supply them.

IFDA CEO, Mark Allen

According to IFDA CEO, Mark Allen, COVID-19’s economic impact on the foodservice distribution industry is dire and requires immediate attention from the Trump Administration.

"Foodservice distributors deliver to professional kitchens across America by supplying food and related products to restaurants, colleges and universities, hospitals and care facilities, hotels and resorts, and other foodservice operations."

With many institutions closed and restaurant sales limited to carry-out and drive-throughs, distributor sales have declined rapidly and substantially.

Yet distributors and their restaurant customers still incur significant day to day expenses such as rent payments and they must continue to make payments on any loans they may have incurred.

In his letter to President Trump, he noted thatThe $280 billion foodservice distribution industry and the 350,000 Americans it employs desperately needs to be included in the economic stimulus package:

"These are the people who under normal conditions keep the supply chain flowing, they help feed America - and now we are asking that the federal government help them feed their families.”

Patrick Burnson, Logistics Management Executive Editor

 

COVID-19 Cases per Million Inhabitants: A Comparison

Although the situation is fluid, the countries worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic are by now well known. In Asia, China and Iran have so far recorded the most cases. In Europe, Italy is at the center of the outbreak. How does this look though when accounting for population size?

Using Johns Hopkins University and World Bank figures, this infographic takes the ten most-affected countries in terms of total cases and calculates the rate per one million inhabitants. Using this measure, Italy has by far the most severe rate with 591 cases. China, the country with the most cases, has a relatively low figure per million inhabitants, 58, thanks to its massive population and apparent containment for the time being.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases per one million population of countries with highest totals*

Source: Martin Armstrong

Enterprise-Wide Quality and Compliance Solution

Get more information on the enterprise-wide quality and compliance solution Elemica Quality Management Suite, which streamlines communication among suppliers, customers, and manufacturing sites to minimize product quality issues brought about by contamination due to causes like faulty cold storage and over-ordering.

Explore how Elemica’s Eyefreight TMS provides access to thousands of carriers offering best-in-class transportation services, complementing Elemica’s Digital Supply Network (DSN) for total supply chain visibility.

Elemica’s DSN lets food and beverage companies collaborate, communicate, and interact with supply chain partners, monitor supplier quality compliance, reduce risk via out-of-compliance alerts, identify broad supplier corrective action trends, and update supplier policies.


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