National Cortina Sails Through FDA Inspection by Streamlining Supplier Compliance
National Cortina is a growing food importer and the go-to source for high quality food ingredients for over 50 years. Headquartered outside of New York City in New Jersey, they provide both imported and domestic ingredients to industrial, private label, and foodservice customers. After the rolling out and implementation of the FDA’s most sweeping reform to the food safety supply chain, known as the Food Safety and Modernization Act or FSMA for short, National Cortina was succumbed to abide by a new set of regulations that was set forth by FSMA.
Being a high-volume importer of food ingredients from over 40 different foreign manufacturing suppliers, National Cortina recognized the need for a supplier management platform to centralize their documents, audits and certificates. They also needed to communicate with trading partners regarding important data that importers must have on-site. Because of this, Breanna Neff, Food Scientist and QA Director, was on the hunt for a comprehensible and easy-to-use documentation portal in order to meet the new requirements proposed by FSMA and to better enhance the management of all foreign suppliers and their ingredients.
After exploring many software options focused particularly on food safety and/or supply chain management, National Cortina selected FoodLogiQ due to its extremely user-friendly interface that is easily configurable to their specific FSMA and FDA compliance needs.
As QA Director, Breanna Neff has the flexibility to manage the National Cortina portal by inviting both foreign and domestic suppliers to upload their documents or she has the option to add documents on behalf of the supplier. The FoodLogiQ Connect dashboard unifies the data and alerts her to expiring documents, GFSI-accredited audits, and certificates. Centralizing supplier communications within Connect saves Neff time searching for disparate emails and provides an efficient method to immediately alert suppliers to provide important updated documents and/or certificates that have recently expired.
“I travel to my importers’ locations frequently and the fact that FoodLogiQ Connect is also tablet and mobile-friendly allows me to work with them on the go,” said Neff. “Because FoodLogiQ is internationalized to support different languages, this helps my foreign suppliers use the system easily by setting this interface in their local language.”
When the FDA communicated that National Cortina would be subject to an onsite Foreign Supplier Verification Program (also known as FSVP, one of the seven pillars under FSMA) record review of one of their foreign suppliers, Neff was ready.
“The FDA inspector asked me to show her specific required documentation and I was able to easily provide by navigating through the FoodLogiQ portal,” said Neff. “Because of the categories and the titles I was able to create for each type of document stored on this portal, the requested documents were easy to find on demand and I was easily able to present them to her. The FDA Inspector noted her impressiveness with this record keeping.”
Neff continues, “The FDA Inspector had never seen such an easy and interactive portal. It was one of the fastest on-site FSVP inspections the FDA Inspector had experienced! National Cortina just received the FDA’s official response letter confirming our facility passed the inspection, is not subject to any further actions, and is FSVP-compliant. Being a small family-owned business, this was very important for us to pass.”
“With the next FSMA compliance date in March 2018, we expect that there will be additional on-site inspection requests,” said Breanna Neff. “FoodLogiQ provides me the confidence that we’ll be ready for all future FDA inspections."