The Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK has begun investigations into meat wholesalers after a raise in concern for food hygiene. This investigation has impacted businesses such as Wetherspoons, as well as schools and care homes up and down the country.
Consumers are beginning to lose trust in businesses that are supplied by untrustworthy production companies and it seems to be becoming more common, if we are to look back to the horse meat scandal in 2013.
But what are the benefits of having security systems within these types of production facilities? From ensuring consumer confidence, to maintaining quality control within products, what does it achieve? Finally, what crime exists surrounding the industry and how can the implementation of protective systems boost satisfaction?
Instant barriers for unwanted people
The world is becoming more advanced and revolutionary technology is allowing us to make the necessary changes to ensure ethical working practices — whether this is protecting people from a physical threat or a threat that is much more devious within our foods.
Food factories should start with access control systems. This will put an instant barrier between operations and any entry attempts by unauthorised personnel. Whether this a swiped identification card, biometrics or a passcode way of entry, only authorised personnel will be granted access.
Revolutionary technology is allowing us to make the necessary changes to ensure ethical working practices
Another security system that could be put in place to help food factories and encourage them to work more efficiently is CCTV. By spring 2018, all slaughterhouses within England are required to have CCTV systems in place that can be reviewed by the FSA who have unprecedented access to footage within a 90-day period — is this something we should be looking to do in food factories to ensure safety for the British people?
CCTV is a worthwhile investment for production companies who want to gain visibility of their entire operation and gain the respect from consumers across the country.
The benefits for CCTV
- Customer reassurance — as food factories don’t operate openly and everything is hidden away, this instantly creates suspicion from a consumer’s perspective as they will be the ones buying the final product once distributed to stores around the country. CCTV will counter this issue as it shows that operation centres have nothing to hide — giving them the ability to publish any footage if accused of misconduct.
- Maintaining quality — using more advanced CCTV within food factories will enable production companies to monitor the production line and maintain the standards that they sell themselves on. Sometimes, a human error is unavoidable on a production line after several hours of non-stop work — being able to detect it instantly is essential.
Criminal activity across food factories
89% of manufacturers on a global scale were impacted by fraud in 2015 — 2017 saw a 7% rise on this result.
It has been proven that CCTV can deter criminals. By installing these systems, food factories can protect themselves from threats that are external and internal as well as being able to support themselves in any claims of violation.
Although produced goods have been at the centre of news stories regarding the integrity and containments of what is being delivered, another common crime within this industry is fraud. 89% of manufacturers on a global scale were impacted by fraud in 2015 — 2017 saw a 7% rise on this result.
Common perpetrators in fraud
When it comes to the most common types of fraud, information theft stood at 30%, compliance breach at 30% and intellectual property theft standing at 26% of the respondents who were asked — all of which could cause great impacts to production lines.
It was also found that those who had recently started working for the company, such as junior employees, were the most common preparators when it came to fraud within a manufacturing factory (39%). Temporary manufacturing workers came in at second place with 37%, while those in senior or middle management positions were at 33% — the same as ex-staff members. However, vendors/suppliers who do not have as much access to your business accounted for 33% too. This clarifies that anyone has the potential to commit a crime within a factory.
To ensure protection for the British consumer, food production factories should seriously consider implementing similar systems to UK slaughterhouses.
This article was contributed by IP security provider 2020Vision.