Fact Food 2

Enhancing Compliance In The Food Industry Using FACT

Photo by Rachel Park

Many tons of food is produced and consumed each day, making the food industry one of the most important industries in the world. Of course, all of this food has to be safe to eat, so how do we ensure this is the case? And can this process be improved?

An introduction to HACCP

To ensure food safety, most countries require all food manufacturers and processors to use a food safety management system. Food safety management systems are useful tools to ensure safe practices are followed within a business.

One of these food safety systems is HACCP. It is a systematic approach to identifying the food storage and preparation processes and the potential risks and threats. HACCP is widely recognized as one of the most effective ways of controlling food safety. Compliance with HACCP is also a legal requirement in various countries, such as Ireland and the UK, meaning all food businesses must be managed under the principals of HACCP.

HACCP has the following 7 principles, which must be considered when developing a food safety management system: (from https://www.fsai.ie/food_businesses/haccp/principles_of_haccp.html)

  1. Identify the hazards
  2. Determine the critical control points (CCPs).
  3. Establish critical limits (e.g. cooking temperature/time)
  4. Establish a system to monitor control of the CCP
  5. Establish the corrective action to be taken when monitoring indicates that a particular CCP is not under control
  6. Establish procedures for verification to confirm the HACCP system is working effectively
  7. Establish documentation concerning all procedures and records appropriate to these principles and their application

The current struggles of being compliant with HACCP

While a proper implementation and preparation of a HACCP system, it can be difficult for food business to set up a system like this and to properly maintain it and keep it up to date. A lot of data needs to be measured and collected and has to be available to regulators, which has proven to be a challenge.

In a paper from 2013 about the barriers to compliance with international HACCP regulations, various other struggles of being compliant with HACCP regulations are listed. Some of the barriers the paper lists are a lack of awareness of HACCP regulations, a lack of adequate staff, a lack of self-efficacy and many more. What barriers food businesses face exactly depends on a lot of factors, such as their location, size and many more, but they often face the same core problems.

As HACCP is highly regarded in the food industry, not being compliant with HACCP regulations often results in a severe lack of customers and could even end up getting you banned from importing food products into various countries.

Would it be possible to ease the process of implementing a proper food safety management system and being compliant with HACCP regulations?

Photo by Brook Lark

How FACT can enhance the process of being compliant with HACCP

Currently, HACCP compliance can be rather cumbersome, with repetitive manual checks and repetitive tasks. Luckily new applications are being developed constantly, which aim to improve the HACCP compliance process for both food businesses and regulators. 

FACT is one of these applications. FACT is a powerful tool to capture events and evidence and record the data on the blockchain for audit and traceability purposes. It is flexible and fully customizable to work with existing processes in current food safety management systems. FACT is powered by Europechain and delivers a toolbox for the recording of events using a simple smart form. 

With FACT you build templates for each process, roll it out and start using it immediately. All data is secure, compliant and available when needed.

But how will this make HACCP compliance easier?

FACT can be configured to be aligned with the above principals to ensure realtime compliance and up-to-date referencing for HACCP compliance. FACT can integrate with existing IT infrastructure or can be run as a standalone application to ensure cooperation with legal requirements.

Furthermore, FACT is designed to be intuitive and easy to understand for everyone, making sure everyone who is part of the whole process is able to use FACT.

On top of that, actions and tasks can be distributed to team members ensuring multi-level verification and reporting insights to management and regulators. Questions and sections can be configured to provide comprehensive risk assessment and alert management in the event of a HACCP breach. This would ensure problems get taken care of immediately and efficiently.

Thanks to the transparency provided by FACT and Europechain regulators will also be able to actively monitor food businesses in an efficient and methodical manner.

About Us

Europechain is a GDPR supporting blockchain platform. Powered by the EOSIO protocol, it is managed and governed bt experienced block producers registered in the European Union. Europechain brings together an ecosystem of technology providers, system integrators and commercial partners enabling global enterprises to deploy scalable, resilient and EU regulation-compliant applications. Contact sales@europechain.io for more information. 

FACT Checklist Blog

Introducing FACT: The Future of Compliance Management

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters

Regardless of the industry or verticle, organizations have a huge amount of compliance obligations that must be followed to avoid penalties, closures and ensure continuity of service. How are these compliance obligations managed, and is there any room for improvement?

Traditional compliance management

Traditionally, observations and measurements have been captured using manual paper-based forms. These forms proved to be difficult and complex to use and often suffered from inaccuracies as a result of this.

 

Data collection and management with paper forms can be an inaccurate and labor-intensive process. Data are often key punched twice and then reviewed for missed, out-of-range, or erroneous responses — an inefficient validation process that can be time-consuming and inaccurate. — Handheld Computers, A Feasible Alternative to Paper Forms for Field Data Collection, University of Minnesota

Luckily, these paper-based forms quickly got replaced by their digital counterparts, as soon as these alternatives became available. This move to digital forms solved many of the problems paper-based forms suffered from and proved to be much easier to use. Better data entry, less use of paper and a reduced cost are only some of their features.

While digital forms revolutionized the process of being compliant, it did not come without a cost. The recorded data has to be stored and shared with the relevant regulatory bodies for review and sign off, which sounds simple in theory but has shown to be rather difficult in practice. Records can be erased, servers can become corrupted, data formats change and data loss can become a huge issue for businesses. Organizations are now beginning to harness new and emerging technologies to solve these issues and ensure transparency and compliance.

Enabling compliance using blockchain technology

 

Blockchain technology is said to be critical the future of data storage by some, and for good reason. It introduces features like immutability, security, and decentralization, allowing organizations to verify events, timestamp actions and ensure real-time compliance. 

Blockchain has been around for over a decade and is now starting to gain adoption and momentum, as new high-powered protocols such as EOSIO have emerged. These protocols no longer have transaction fees and are capable of handling much more transactions per second than previous protocols, to support enterprise-grade applications. The potential of blockchain technology seems boundless, but organizations need to be practical in selecting a chain that meets both their compliance and regulatory obligations. 

Enabling compliance using blockchain technology

Europechain is a fit for businesses that have security, compliance, and performance on their requirements list. Europechain delivers trust by allowing organizations to harness the power and scalability of EOSIO while complying with EU legislation & regulation.

Europechain brings together an ecosystem of commercial partners, system integrators, developers and IT specialists with a focus on delivering high-standard solutions and applications to users and businesses around the globe. As the network grows, there will be an increasing amount of multi-industry, native and OEM product offerings to choose from. Additionally, Europechain will be delivering rapid proof of concept projects with teams around Europe and has deployed FACT, which allows the capturing and entry of events on the Europechain Public Blockchain.

Introducing FACT

 

FACT is a customizable mobile tool to manage your business processes and capture proof of compliance and procedure. Powered by Europechain, FACT delivers a toolbox for the recording of events from a wide range of pre-set smart form templates. 

The flexible template builder allows configuration of all types of compliance checklists, which are cryptographically hashed and timestamped on the Europechain public blockchain to increase security, visibility, and transparency. Roles and activities can be assigned to enable task distribution and increase management awareness of task completion.

FACT is a multi-industry application with an intuitive user interface that allows for fast and efficient onboarding and has customizable team settings to facilitate the segregation of duties. Below are just some of the use cases for FACT.

  • Real-estate technical inspections
  • Food safety and HACCP compliance
  • Equipment maintenance-checks
  • Asset tracking
  • Road-safety management programs
  • Lean-six-sigma routines
  • Supplier/contractor-performance management
  • Safety management

FACT provides businesses with the opportunity to minimize repetitive, paper-based tasks and maximize the efficiency of employees, with the added benefit of having all events timestamped and added to Europechain to ensure transparency and completion of time-sensitive tasks. The feature-rich system also allows for visibility through notifications and the reporting dashboard, which can aid in providing insight into team performance and task delivery.

About us

 

Europechain is a GDPR supporting blockchain platform. Powered by the EOSIO protocol, it is managed and governed by experienced block producers registered in the European Union. Europechain brings together an ecosystem of technology providers, system integrators and commercial partners enabling global enterprises to deploy scalable, resilient and EU compliant applications. Contact sales@europechain.io for more information.

Timestamp Blog image

WordProof & GDPR-Compliant Timestamps: Europechain Is WordProof’s First Reseller!

Image by Two Paddles Axe and Leatherwork

Europechain is the first reseller of WordProof, bringing the benefits of blockchain to the world of content! Together, Europechain and WordProof will be working towards a blockchain-powered GDPR-compliant future!

What is WordProof?

WordProof brings the benefits of blockchain to WordPress. WordPress is a textbook example of a community which is stronger than any other commercial company. With more than 100 million sites and thousands of Open Source developers, WordPress dominates 32.5% of the worldwide Content Management System market. WordPress is a textbook example of a community which is stronger than any commercial company.

The purpose of WordProof is to generate the go-to WordPress to blockchain bridge, bringing the benefits of blockchain to the WordPress community in a user-friendly way.

“In five years from now, if you don’t timestamp your articles on the blockchain, you’re going to be considered a fraud” – Brendan Bloomer, Co-founder & CEO, Block.one

WordProof Timestamp is the first product by the WordProof team and lets users timestamp their content on the blockchain, allowing them and others to verify the authenticity and integrity of the content. A full explanation can be seen in the video below.

A shared background in Open Source and GDPR

Both projects have a major focus on open source and GDPR, making this partnership an excellent match. Europechain is a GDPR-compliant blockchain platform powered by the open-source EOSIO protocol, on which WordProof has been built. Europechain is GDPR-compliant by design.

WordProof founder, Sebastiaan van der Lans, is also a familiar face in the open-source and GDPR space. In 2006, Sebastiaan founded the WordPress agency ‘Van Ons’, a leading WordPress agency in Amsterdam. His team created the WordPress plugin “WP GDPR Compliance” which has been downloaded 1.2M times and is active on more than 100,000 websites, protecting tens of millions of European website visitors in an open source way.

Europechain founder Rhett Oudkerk Pool and Sebastiaan have known each other since the beginning of 2018 and both have been active members of the EOSIO community since then. Having been at the inception of WordProof, Rhett and his team know the WordProof Timestamp product range inside out.

Blockchain and GDPR

Much has been made of the fundamental incompatibility of GDPR and blockchains, which are, after all, immutable database technology. However, a combination of carefully applied tools and methodologies preserves the benefits of blockchain while satisfying the need for privacy compliance. The responsibility is shared by the data processors and data controllers — by those running infrastructure, and those building and running applications on the blockchain. Blockchain can be a useful tool in assuring GDPR compliance. In the case of GDPR’s “right to be forgotten” blockchain can be used to verify, immutably, that a company has deleted an individual’s personal information, providing a digitally notarized reference for the deletion.

Contact sales@europechain.io for more information on time-stamping with WordProof on Europechain, the GDPR supporting EOSIO blockchain.

About Europechain

Europechain is a GDPR-supporting blockchain platform. Powered by the EOSIO protocol, it is managed and governed by experienced block producers registered in the European Union. Europechain brings together an ecosystem of technology providers, system integrators and commercial partners enabling global enterprises to deploy scalable, resilient and EU compliant applications. Visit www.europechain.io for more information.