October 19, 2023 | Mark Paradies

How To Improve Food Safety (Advanced Root Cause Analysis)

First, Why Improve Food Safety

Before we explain how to improve food safety with advanced root cause analysis, let’s take a moment to explore why you should be interested in improving food safety.

First, you don’t want to poison your customers. This may sound to obvious to be mentioned but poisoning your customers usually leads to lawsuits and the potential for bankruptcy.

Second, you don’t want to pay potentially high fines to the FDA. You may remember the $25 million criminal fine that Chipotle paid as a result of food poisoning outbreaks across the USA. If you don’t remember, read about it HERE and HERE. Or you may remember Topps Meat’s bankruptcy.

Prison Jail

Or, you might want to avoid time in prison. That’s right, violations of food safety regulations might result in prosecution and maybe even prison time. Don’t believe this can happen? Read these articles:

That should convince you that you don’t want to wait for an outbreak to start improving your food safety program.

Improving Food Safety with Advanced Root Cause Analysis

Improving food safety isn’t a mystery. In 2019, the FDA investigated a number of E. coli outbreaks. They developed recommendations and published them in an online document:

New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint
(Modern Approaches for Modern Times).

In the section called “Smarter Tools and Approaches for Prevention and Outbreak Response,” they briefly discuss using root cause analysis for investigating food safety issues.

Implement Best Practices from Other High-Reliability Industries but Keep it Simple

What does the FDA recommend? Basically, they have taken techniques from other high-reliability industries and applied them to food safety. Industries like:

and applied them to food safety.

I think that the key to applying these technologies to food safety is to remember the KISS Principle:

Keep It Simple Stupid

You want to keep the good ideas from these industries without making things too complex.

When it comes to root cause analysis and food safety, you want an advanced tool that can discover the real root causes of human errors and equipment failures without getting too complex. A tool that covers the fundamentals of root cause analysis. A tool that helps you go beyond your current knowledge but doesn’t require any rocket science (or has advanced knowledge built into the system to keep it simple).

That’s Where TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Comes In

TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis is used in all the high-reliability industries listed above but is also simple to use. That’s why it is also used in less high-tech industries as well.

TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis is used to improve:

And it can be used to improve food safety as well. How? Read on…

Stopping Major Food Safety Incidents BEFORE They Happen

The FDA talks about using root cause analysis to investigate outbreaks. But you really can’t afford to wait for a major outbreak to learn to apply root cause analysis to improve your company’s food safety.

That’s why you need to learn to use TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis to investigate precursor incidents and audit findings to proactively improve food safety. What does that mean? You use TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis to prevent major food safety incidents (like those mentioned at the start of this article) by learning from smaller precursor incidents that help you improve performance and, by implementing effective corrective actions, prevent the major accidents.

We have learned about applying the concept of investigating precursor incidents to stop major accidents? Here are three articles about precursor incidents and how to learn from them…

Find Out More About TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis

Hopefully, after reading the information above, you want more information about TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis. Here are five additional sources for information about the TapRooT® System.

Root Cause Analysis
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