Clocks Help Result in Federal Regulatory Compliance at Food Manufacturing Plants

During a recent visit to a food processing plant in central Minnesota, I asked the Quality Assurance Manager the importance of accurate clocks.

“Time is critical throughout the entire process. The quality department certifies checks are done at proper intervals to comply with FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) regulations. We have batch processing with a coded timestamp on each can. After reviewing all records, the batch is either passed or held for investigation in the quality department. We verify that the battery wall clocks are synchronized to each other every week. The cooking equipment has an internal clock that is also synchronized to the wall clocks and the employee time clock. Accurate time is huge in food manufacturing. (Well, any manufacturing for that matter.) Timekeeping is all about being efficient and effective while producing a quality product.”

One suggestion I have would be to use a wireless clock system with buzzer clocks. Shift changes and breaks are indicated by a buzzer set to any schedule. This would solve their weekly manual synchronization, changing batteries and the twice yearly headache after the Daylight Saving Time change.

We have a buzzer clock in our lunchroom at American Time. Employees not only know the start and end of breaks, but we have it set up to countdown the break time in between buzzers.