You must ensure that everything is in excellent condition when you sell food products. You don’t want to put anyone in harm’s way because you didn’t do your part. It could ruin the company’s reputation. You might also lose a lot of money due to liability claims. Here are some tips to ensure your food products are safe.
Transfer risk to suppliers
The problems with your food products might not necessarily be your fault. It could be due to your suppliers. Make sure you have a written agreement allowing suppliers to take full responsibility should something wrong happen. This written document will hold up in court and free your company of the potential financial loss. You should also check if your suppliers have insurance. Their chosen insurance company will bear the responsibility too. You can also consider getting product liability insurance coverage for your company to help with potential expenses once things don’t go your way. It will protect your business from paying legal fees if a customer claims that your product caused them injury.
Follow government rules
Be familiar with all the rules regarding food handling and management. You can’t commit even the slightest errors. Remember that you’re dealing with food products; some people can develop health issues. From the way you handle food to the labels, everything needs to follow the protocols. If unsure, contact the responsible government agencies.
Keep in mind that compliance is at the very foundation of your business. Food handling and management are not to be taken lightly, and if you don’t follow the necessary protocols, you could be hit with hefty fines and liability claims. Fortunately, there are software platforms available that can help automate the compliance processes to ensure your business can efficiently follow the rules without issues.
Build safety in the design
You can also eliminate risks by reviewing product design. Ensure the labels are correct and there are warnings if necessary. There must also be instructions for using some products. If the customers suffer from an injury or a health issue because they did not follow these instructions, it’s on them. Regularly review the safety protocols with the design to prevent problems. Improve these labels after thorough reviews.
Even if you feel like your products are designed in a way that achieves your goals, the food industry is not static — there are always newer and better ways to package and design products. If you don’t take the time to update old designs, your business could eventually suffer from stagnancy. Fortunately, you also have customer feedback to help you with the overall direction of your packaging. It’s never a bad idea to study your product’s reviews to figure out what needs to change.
Ensure you record applicable requirements related to the design specifications and product orders. If you find issues during the process, you must also record them. The people working with your company must have the means of documenting everything. It prevents the issues from worsening since early measures are in place. The good thing is everything is now digital. Keeping track of all the records is a lot easier than it used to be.
Check the contracts
If you have suppliers, make sure everything is in black and white. It extends to any other business or organization your company has activities with. You can refer to this detailed document should anything wrong happen. You may also include the potential consequences on both sides for failing to hold the end of the deal.
Keep in mind that checking the contracts for any potential discrepancies is mandatory if you want to keep your business out of trouble. It’s something that every company has to deal with, and it’s a good idea to keep up the habit of studying your contracts. That way, if there’s anything that doesn’t line up, you can immediately point it out and have things clarified. It won’t always be due to shady dealing, but it’s undoubtedly better to be safe than sorry.
Prepare for another potential health crisis
There could be another crisis on the horizon. No one expected COVID to be a pandemic, but it did. It adversely impacted several companies, and another one might be crippling. Of course, your experience in handling the pandemic in the past is an excellent guide into facing another one in the future. You can’t let the mistakes happen again. There might also be additional protocols to observe and the changes will be regular just like how it was during the pandemic.
It’s crucial to note that COVID is only one of many potential health crises that can blindside the world. While it’s not necessarily a good idea to keep a pessimistic mindset, taking the time to prepare for the worst is a great way to ensure you always end up on top. Prepare for these changes and always be on your toes.
Listen to your customers
You must also listen to the people who support your products. They might have comments worth listening to. They also have specific experiences that might change the way you do things. You can avoid future incidents if you allow your customers to have a voice. It also empowers them. They will feel good about patronizing what you have and even inspire others to do the same. You may do an online survey or host focus groups. Evaluate the responses and consider changes depending on what you believe is appropriate.
You never know when you might find surprisingly easy and effective solutions based on customer feedback. There are a few diamonds in the rough out there!
The last thing you want is to have liability issues. You don’t want your business to get dragged out to court. You also don’t want to pay penalties and end up closing the company. You worked hard to build everything from scratch, so take care of what you have and follow the rules. Liability claims can be challenging, and you want to do the right thing from the start.