Not everyone in the food industry works in communications. However, it's important and useful that everybody in your company has a clear understanding of all roles during a crisis — because crisis situations are not easy. Stress levels are high, and things are moving quickly, so the more clarity that we can bring in advance of a crisis, the better.
The key to high production and efficiency is automation. But did you know automation can also be used to optimize training in manufacturing? Many companies have seen success automating their training programs, but that doesn’t mean “set it and forget it.” Rather, using automation for training can enable continuous learning, where important safety and knowledge concepts get reinforced every shift, every day, to every worker, for a greater impact.
September is my favorite month in Austin. I know what you are thinking: I must be crazy because it can get a little warm! And you are right… September is HOT! But for me it’s not because of the weather. It’s because of the Alchemy Engage conference. I’ve been fortunate to help coordinate this event since 2008, and let me tell you, we are going to make our 10th anniversary extra special.
Topics: Alchemy Engage
Creating a strong culture of safety requires continual effort beyond onboarding. Several leading companies still rely on a “one and done” method of training, where the new hire receives a barrage of information during orientation, yet is expected to retain and correctly apply that information on the floor. Unfortunately, this method doesn’t always work. Just as college students are advised not to cram the night before tests, studies show people are more likely to retain information when they’re fed knowledge in short spurts over a longer period of time. Instead of showering new hires with information, training should be delivered in a slow drip. A continuous learning environment consistently leads to the best results.
Topics: Workplace Safety
The food industry has seen significant fallout amid recent widely publicized foodborne illness outbreaks and recalls related to romaine lettuce and shell eggs. In USDA regulated facilities, there have been 6 recalls in the past month. Four of these were related to foreign matter contamination, one for E. Coli O157:H7 contamination and one for processing deviations.
Workplace safety incidents cost American companies billions each year. Are you confident your employees have the knowledge and confidence required to prevent workplace injuries 100% of the time? If not, what are some effective ways to bolster their strength?
Studies show that while knowledge is important, confidence is also necessary to taking correct action. While knowledge depends on training, confidence depends on repetition and reinforcement. The more your workers know and understand workplace safety, the more likely they are to follow it.
As a member of the National Safety Council (NSC), I was excited to attend NSC’s annual Southern Safety Conference & Expo. We got to showcase our newest workplace safety products that feature what we’ve been working on — and where we’re headed in the future. It was a fun chance to catch up with industry partners and show Alchemy’s support to the safety industry!
Topics: Industry Conferences
Food safety training has made great strides in the last several years, especially in onboarding, as more companies recognize the role strong employee engagement plays in successful training programs. Yet, a big opportunity still exists to increase engagement and ensure initial training is applied long after onboarding is finished: refresher trainings. These reinforcements can be delivered in several ways, and should be designed to maximize effectiveness and minimize time off the floor.
Statistical Process Control (SPC) is top of mind for the food industry. The recent changes to the SQF Quality Code have prompted new interest, since additional requirements for SPC training and applications have been added to the code. In addition, progressive companies recognize the benefit of using SPC applications throughout the manufacturing process at key process control steps.
We saw a real revolution underway at this year’s GFSI’s Global Food Safety Conference in Tokyo. Recent innovations in data and technology are making it possible for food companies to create more effective methods of advancing food safety. Likewise, customers are using technology to their advantage. They’re no longer passive in their purchases, and have become more empowered to make informed buying decisions and influence others.
A solid HACCP plan protects your business, brand, and consumers. HACCP is a process control system designed to identify and document the right steps to protect food safety. From there, a hazard analysis is documented. Then critical control points, critical limits, monitoring, corrective action, verification, and recordkeeping procedures are identified. The HACCP system proves products are safe — from manufacturing to consumption.
Imagine three frontline workers: Jack, Mary, and Joe. It’s Jack's first week on the job. He goes through a day of intense onboarding training that includes everything from bathroom locations, to HR policies, to safety training. He is overwhelmed and really doesn't have all the knowledge or confidence he needs, and so he is uninformed. If a food safety decision comes up, he doesn’t know the right decision. He needs more training, experience and coaching to become a food safety expert for his job responsibilities.
Do you know the difference between a HACCP Plan and a Food Safety Plan? Do you know if your facility requires a designated Preventive Controls Qualified Individual or HACCP Trained Individual? Jeff Chilton, VP of Professional Services at Alchemy Systems answers frequently asked questions and more.
The GFSI conference is right around the corner — this March in Tokyo! This annual event draws over 1000 food safety professionals from over 60 countries. Participants discuss upcoming trends, scientific information, and new requirements for future GFSI benchmarking standards. This year’s conference will focus on successful implementation strategies for GFSI systems.
What do people mean by “clean label?” The industry refers to "clean label," but the reality is consumers don't often use that term. What consumers are looking for in food products is transparency, and that includes simple ingredient lists with recognizable ingredients. After all, how many of you have heard this advice in health magazines and lifestyle blogs: "Don't eat it if it has something in it that you can't pronounce."