Quality Control Procedures at Every Step of the Way
While quality control procedures are behind every product we use in our everyday lives, there is no area more important than when it comes to the food we eat. From the processed frozen pizza you can get at the grocery store to the local Mexican restaurant, it’s all around us.
There are many ways to document and manage the quality of the food, but let’s discuss how documenting and managing quality make a difference in the food industry.
Ingredients And Suppliers
The start of any good food product is the ingredients and suppliers of those ingredients. It makes sense to get the best ingredients for your product; however, you do not want to overpay and cut into the profit margins.
Documenting the quality assurance of the supplier of those ingredients is critical to making a difference. Making sure the supplier you have chosen, whether it be a local or national supplier, has a good reputation will start to make the difference in the customer base you have.
Receiving the ingredients is just as important as picking them and who drops them off.
You can create the assurance needed to make sure every batch of product comes out correctly by writing down when then shipments come in, how much came in, and the quality of the raw ingredients.
Documenting if there are bad or good quality raw supplies, if it’s a trend with that supplier, or just a supply chain issue can help you adjust your needs instantly.
The storage of raw food materials is also important. It can be totally different based on the product being delivered. Pickles need different storage than a bag of rice or even eggs.
Knowing how different food should be stored is controlled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These regulations are put in place to ensure the quality is always there. The regulations from the FDA can be complex. Those regulations are enforced by states’ Departments of Health in regular health inspections and are quality assurance for the public that consumes the food.
If storage of food is not kept up with the regulations set forth by the FDA, it can lead to sickness among customers who buy and consume products made in the food industry.
Also, when storing food, you need to watch for the ‘Best-By’ Date. Most places in the industry from large warehouses to restaurants used something called First In – First Out (FIFO).
This FIFO Process includes doing something called rotating the stock and making sure the product you just received is behind or under the same product you got at an earlier date. This makes sure that no raw ingredients go bad, which could make the consumer ill.
The recipe for certain foods can make or break it. Tracking how much flour gets used when baking is an example of documentation impacting end-product quality.
Documenting the right recipe and measurement of ingredients is a fine-tuned process and is always about the procedures put in place being tested. Ensuring that the measurements of ingredients are scaled for the amount you are making is key, especially when making something like soup in large quantities for restaurants.
Standard of Food
If you have followed quality control procedures up to now, then the standard of your food should also follow the same path. However, the procedures are still in place even in this step.
Big companies have big factories that mass produce food for the public. For a famous food like Oreos, watching the standard of food as it comes off the assembly line is very important.
At different steps in making a cookie like an Oreo, the employees’ who make it have to make sure they are following the recipe and ensuring that the ingredients are up to the standards. Something as little as letting the dough mixture sit at a higher temperature than normal will result in a more crumbly cookie and not the standard we have all come to know and love.
How Recipes Get Made: Quality Control Procedures in the Home
The trial and error process created all types of things we enjoy today. Think of your Grandma’s best recipe; she did not just figure it out in one try! Rather, she documented what she put into it and its taste until she found the perfect combination.
Managing the ever changing variables while cooking is an important part of the documenting process. This way, you can ensure end-product consistency. You do not want customers to not buy your product again because it changes from one day to the next.
Packing and Labeling
Quality control procedures for packing and labeling of products is another key part of how documenting quality can help.
Ensure your packaging is easy to read, helping customers just see your label and associate it with your brand. It is key to the long term success of the product you are selling.
Many companies such as Kellog have that well known packing look that your brain makes the connection with.
Sanitation might arguably be the most important part of the documenting and managing process. Customers want to know you are doing everything in your power to make sure that the process is clean.
Nothing is worse than knowing your food came from a dirty environment. Having a reputation of going above the industry standards for sanitation will leave a good impression on your customers.
Customer Support through Quality Control Procedures
There are always problems in every industry. However, if you document everything mentioned above, your customer support will also be exceptional.
You will be able to look back through extensive quality assurance and control records and be able to talk to customers when they are in all sorts of situations. It is good to have a record of the process just for this reason. The better customer support you have, the more likely someone is willing to do business with you again.
The ability to document and manage quality control will only help your business in the food industry. With the regulations set forth by the FDA and other government agencies, companies need records that are following rules. It is also important to have a great supplier for ingredients. This is critical to ensure you have a consistent product, boosting customer satisfaction.
There are many ways to document and manage quality control. These procedures will make a difference in the food industry.
Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. We guarantee the quality of our work at Essential Data Corporation. Contact us today to get started. (800) 221-0093 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Dylan Friebel