Food manufacturers continue to combat daily challenges due to the ongoing global pandemic. Initially, business leaders were mainly concerned about the degree and length of the outbreak. The concerns were not limited to the private sector. By March 2020, the Department of Homeland Security identified food and agriculture production as one of 16 critical infrastructure sectors. The recognition was significant because it allowed manufacturers to continue production while adjusting to the new environment.

In a very short time, food manufacturers had to accommodate new safety requirements, while taking care of their staff and maintaining high standards at their facilities. Whereas most sectors continue to expand their remote capabilities and shift away from office buildings, food manufacturers have to deal with the pandemic in the physical world.

During these challenging times, food manufacturers, as well as any organization that wants to operate safely, should constantly evaluate their physical security. While the best way to evaluate your physical security is by conducting an assessment, there are basic steps you take to strengthen your facility’s security posture.

Security technology such as video surveillance, alarm systems and access control optimize manufacturing plants’ safety and productivity. Food manufacturers have used video surveillance to support their operations, reinforce health and safety, and comply with regulations.

Here are 3 benefits of video surveillance in food manufacturing that we can all learn from:

1. Support business operations

In food production, video surveillance plays an important role in daily business operations. The need to maintain high safety standards while keeping up with constant changes to production requires the use of innovative technology. High definition video that can be used both for internal training, as well as external evidence and the ability to view footage remotely, are just some of the appealing features of video surveillance.

Food manufacturers can not afford to simply trust that the highest level of food safety is being met. The average cost of a recall to a food company is $10M which does not include unforeseen damages to the brand and impact on sales. Video surveillance is a practical tool that food manufacturers use to enhance their security posture, monitor production, and manufacturing. Other practical applications of video surveillance that most manufacturers can incorporate into their everyday operations are:

  • Protect employees, facilities and materials
  • Supervise and secure the manufacturing plant
  • Monitor dangerous machines to detect and troubleshoot mechanical issues

2. Enforce health and safety in the age of COVID.

With an unprecedented pandemic still underway, it is no surprise that manufacturers have placed health and safety as their top priority. In response to the crisis, many have taken proactive steps at their plants to meet CDC and OSHA guidelines. Video surveillance supports these efforts by providing management with a tool that enables them to monitor and ensure that each location is consistently following procedures.

In an effort to protect the health of workers and customers, manufacturers are continuously reviewing ways to ensure safety at their facilities. Like most of America, food manufacturers have adopted flexible schedules and cloud base solutions in response to lockdowns and other logistical obstacles caused by the pandemic. An integrated video surveillance system supports these initiatives by empowering administrators with powerful tools to monitor operations remotely.

These features enable manufacturers to:

  • Maintain a high level of safety and security awareness
  • Supervise plant activities and make decisions in real-time
  • Enhance security, production visibility, and quality control

3. Document important activities

Even before the pandemic, managing regulatory compliance and documenting essential activities have always been a challenge for manufacturers due to the complexity of the sector. Food recalls, extended supply chains and the constant threat of disease outbreaks are enough to keep most up at night. While many agencies came out with helpful checklists for manufacturers to follow, they needed to find practical ways to stay compliant.

Many manufactures turned to security technologies to supplement their efforts. Video surveillance helped with everything from making sure that only authorized personnel had access to the plant to ensuring that frozen assets were secured. Integrated security solutions that combine video surveillance, access control, and remote capabilities enable organizations to:

  • Document essential operational activities.
  • Audit practices and save specific video clips of infractions for training purposes.
  • Ensure compliance and guidelines are being followed.

Looking Ahead

The pandemic presented major challenges to manufacturers across the country. For the most part, they responded well as evidenced by few disruptions or major recalls. Their ability to quickly implement additional safety measures and use innovative technology definitely played a role in their success

Moving forward, business owners can use these principles to improve their facility’s security posture. Video surveillance will continue to help facilities adapt to this new safety-first environment. While we are no longer in the early stages of the pandemic, it is safe to say that manufacturers will continue to supervise their health and safety initiatives with the help of video surveillance and other innovative technologies.

The security experts at Safe and Sound Security look forward to helping manufacturers evaluate their security and we will continue to provide the best-integrated solutions. If we learned one thing in 2020, it was that choosing the right security technology is critical for the safety and success of your facility.