affect profit. There can also be training on specific functions,
such as packing or mixing to further develop employee skills.
The employees will also be given tools to help avoid errors.
An example of this would be placing a paper sheet between
every three layers when counting cookies into the cases. There
will be a formal program instituted covering the procurement
of supplies that will ensure that quality supplies are always
ordered and delivered, and the schedule will be adjusted to
reflect the true capacity of the production employees. As an
example of the improvements made after these measures are
all in place, a new assessment is made and the severity score
for the amount of cookies over or undercounted into a case
is now found to be 4 and the frequency-of-occurrence score
is now 2. These improved numbers now give the counting
acceptable range. This root-cause analysis process is repeated
for the temperature problems that are causing many instances,
or symptoms, of poor quality throughout the process. The
underlying causes of temperature problems are found to be the
tools needed for work with freezers and coolers
maintenance of the refrigeration systems (i.e., budgeting for
maintenance, training and unit replacement)
As a result of the identification of these problems, the
group decides to contract with an outside firm that will manage
the maintenance and repair of the refrigeration systems. This
firm is also willing to install remote monitoring sensors in the
refrigeration units that will alert them to problems with the
systems. This worked very well for the cookie producing plant
and their freezers and coolers are performing significantly
associated with temperature problems such as “ingredient
storage too warm” and “cookies not frozen” are cut almost in
half. One particular symptom that was evident in many parts of
the process, the cookies deforming or “mashing” because they
were not frozen, has been practically eliminated.
Additional Uses for HACCP-FMEA
The knowledge gained through the integrated HACCP-FMEA process can then be applied to other products
and processes to improve their design. This will build
understanding of the CCP methodology, which can be applied
to quality risks in the process, allowing the principle of using
CCPs to ensure that the safety of the product is continuously
under control. CCP methodology can then be applied to the
quality components of the cookie line that were enhanced with
the FMEA program. These CCPs prevent the gains made with
FMEA from being lost to complacency over time. Quality
CCPs can be established within employee training and the
refrigeration maintenance programs, and new programs put
thoroughly documented and critical limits, such as temperature
fluctuations in the freezers, instituted. The combination
of the analysis techniques of FMEA and the control point
methodology of HACCP helps create a system where the
quality, and safety, of the product is being monitored and
ensured by CCPs. One CCP, the temperature-monitoring
program, serves as a control for both cookie quality and
food safety. Thus, the institution of an ongoing continuous
improvement effort that integrates FMEA and HACCP can
help foodservice employees pinpoint and control for an ever-narrowing set of parameters, thus continuously controlling and
improving quality and safety simultaneously. n
Steven Atkins, M.B.A., works in both quality assurance and quality control
with a major U.S. food manufacturer. He received his M.B.A. from Metropolitan
State University in Minneapolis, MN. He can be contacted at stevenatkins@
Marcia Hagen, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at Metropolitan State
University. Her research interests include organizational behavior and quality
management. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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