• GUEST BLOG: The importance of CCTV in food factories

    By 2020 Vision

    Investigations have been carried out after the Food Standards Agency discovered that food factories across the UK are not complying with hygiene regulations regarding their produce.

    Because of these revelations, large food chains and supermarkets in the UK are currently thinking about who they are working with and are already prepared to draw a line in their contract to ensure they retain the trust of their customers.

    With this news, schools and colleges around the country are making changes to their suppliers as well as other businesses. For food production companies and food factories in general, this can either make or break your business — just look back to the horse meat scandal that took place in 2013.

    Of course, food factories are going to move forward with a business mindset — and 2020 Vision, an expert in IP CCTV systems,understands that. You need to withhold your brand image, and ensure that you’re the only food supplier big businesses turn to in their time of desperate need.

    We take a look at some of the security equipment your business needs and why.

    Must-havesecurity systems:

    To ensure customer satisfaction and present yourself as that food supplier who isn’t afraid of complying with the appropriate legislations and guidelines, there are a few actions you can take:

    • Access control systems —to protect all areas of your business, you must start with access control systems to ensure a barrier between the production and any potential threats from unauthorised characters. If access is gained through a staff card, management within the factory will be able to determine who can and can’t access specific areas on the operation site.
    • CCTV —if cameras have been put in place around your business premises, it will present a message that your factory is not afraid of recording footage and presenting it to the appropriate authorities if certain reports do arise about your production.

    It’s known that, by spring 2018, all slaughterhouses in England will be required to have CCTV installed around their premises. The purpose of this is that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) will gain unprecedented access to footage within a 90-day period after reports of the inhumane treatment of animals.

    If this is something being introduced in slaughterhouses, should the FSA implement the same ruling for food factories? This would mean they would be able to gain access at any point and could reduce the number of investigations.

    Why you need to make security changes:

    • 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 watch over 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.

    Is crime on the risein food factories?

    It’s been proven that installing a CCTV system will help deter crime. If you’re operating as a food factory in the UK, you’ll know that your industry discovers criminal activity of all kind. 2020 Vision, to back up the reasoning for security systems in food factories, has looked at the crime rates in this sector:

    Overall:

    • 89% of manufacturers around the world were impacted by fraud in 2016. This went up to 96% in 2017 showing that criminal activity is ever increasing in this industry.

    Type of crime:

    • Information theft and compliance breaches accounted for 30%.
    • Theft of intellectual property stood at 26%.

    Staff:

    • Junior employees were the most likely staff members to commit a crime — 39%.
    • Temporary manufacturing workers covered 37%.
    • Those in senior/middle management positions were at 33%.

    To uphold the expectations and safety of consumers around Britain, and with crime at a staggering rate in the industry, we should look to implement similar requirements that slaughterhouses have to better protect our food factories and what is produced onsite.

    Sources:

    AUTHOR

    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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