I returned late last night from a two day conference on food safety, and I was struck by how much of the conversation was about compliance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for compliance. But with modern SPC techniques we can do so much more.

So I’m flattered that Food Engineering magazine asked my opinion and quoted me in this article about using SPC to safeguard food quality. Here is an excerpt:

Hertzler’s Miller listed a few examples: data acquisition from any data source, dashboards for exception monitoring and statistical trend analysis for the early detection of process shifts. “Probably the most important tool to control a food/beverage process and demonstrate consistency and safety is the SPC chart,” says Miller. The chart, which tracks and manages food safety and quality, helps the user identify types of variation in the process (either common or special cause) so the user knows when to act, and when to leave the process alone.

Another tool is the quality/food safety line display dashboard, which can be tailored for a processor’s needs, says Miller. For example, one processor developed a color-coded display that informed the entire pack area when each machine was due for a metal detection test, and then verified the check was done.

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