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Bite Sized Insights for Food Industry Professionals

Alchemy's Blog The Feed

GFSI Drives Food Safety Improvements Trends

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Feb 23 2018
Feb 23 2018

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.

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Topics: Food Safety, Safety Culture, Alchemy Academy

Get the Dirt on Clean Labels

Posted by Holly Mockus

Feb 21 2018
Feb 21 2018

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."

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Topics: Bakery and Snacks, FDA, USDA

Why You Need an Enterprise Risk Assessment

Posted by Bryan Armentrout

Feb 9 2018
Feb 9 2018
The call came from the Florida State Department of Health. They had gone into a Publix supermarket and pulled some of my products from store shelves for analysis. The product was a Brie cheese and they had tested it for Listeria … and they said it was positive. 

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Topics: Food Safety, Dairy, FDA, Compliance

Emergency Action Plans: Preparation is Your Best Defense

Posted by Mark Lies

Jan 31 2018
Jan 31 2018

With significant environmental impacts in the last year made from hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and problematic weather ahead, it’s imperative to have an emergency action plan in place. In fact, OSHA requires all workplaces with more than 10 employees to develop a written Emergency Action Plan (EAP) that identifies and coordinates necessary employer and employee actions during an emergency.

Emergencies have been happening for centuries. Here’s a brief look at a few incidents from history, reasons why companies need emergency action plans, and how to train your frontline workforce to take smart action in the face of danger.

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Topics: Workplace Safety, OSHA

SQF Code Edition 8: Ready or Not, Here It Comes!

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Jan 3 2018
Jan 3 2018
The new SQF Codes for Edition 8 become effective on January 2, 2018, when SQF certified suppliers are expected to comply with these new requirements. There are some significant changes, including new required programs, and revised requirements for existing programs and plant conditions.
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Topics: Food Safety, SQF Code, Alchemy Academy

The Rise of Variety Bread and How to Meet Consumer Expectations: Q&A with Baking Industry Expert

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Dec 18 2017
Dec 18 2017

The popularity of variety and artisan bread has been on a steady rise for the past several years, due to consumer expectations and their growing interest in health trends. Because the process of producing variety and artisan bread differs from pan bread, training for baking professionals is paramount. David Bauman, Baking Professional for AIB International who specializes in bread and rolls, explains how learning the art of popular variety and artisan bread will help companies capture a valuable market.

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Topics: Baking Industry, Bakery and Snacks, AIB

Don't Let Milling Challenges Grind You Down

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Dec 13 2017
Dec 13 2017

Food manufacturing can be a grind… especially in milling. Yet recent wins in the industry make it all worth it. Consumers are snack-happy, so demand for savory treats, sweets, and baked goods is on the rise. Alternative flours are also ubiquitous. Thanks to the gluten-free craze, nut flours and non-traditional flours like sorghum and spelt are working their way into foods worldwide. And we can finally kiss the low-carb craze goodbye. These days, whole grains are considered essential to a healthy diet, including rice and corn, with more emphasis on nutrition rather than elimination. With the new nutritional focus comes the opportunity to add fortifications to flours and grains, which proves successful in differentiation, as well as in marketing.

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Topics: Food Safety, Workplace Safety, FSMA, Allergens, Milling industry

10 Training Tips to Lay a Foundation for Employee Success

Posted by Holly Mockus

Dec 11 2017
Dec 11 2017

An effective food industry training program is the cornerstone of a high performing food production or manufacturing facility. Providing the basic knowledge and reinforcing concepts for frontline workers are just two critically important facets of a well-thought-out training system. Here are ten ideas to round out an integrated training program and fully engage your workforce:

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Topics: Food Safety, Workplace Safety

Putting a Lid on Beverage Industry Concerns

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Dec 6 2017
Dec 6 2017

Some interesting news is brewing in the beverage industry. It’s hip to be healthy, and beverage companies are rushing to add nutrition-forward options to their portfolios. Whether it’s adding value to bottled water through sparkle, flavor, or “enhancements," creating old favorites with organic ingredients, offering smaller portions, or jumping on the energy drink bandwagon — all while reducing added sugar, of course — it’s clear good health has a hold on the market.

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Topics: FSMA, Beverage industry

Ergonomics: What Works When it Comes to Workplace Safety

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Nov 29 2017
Nov 29 2017

Workplace injuries are common in manufacturing jobs that depend on manual labor, and they cost the food industry billions of dollars each year. Risk factors of workplace injury include exerting excessive force, performing the same tasks repetitively, and working in awkward postures — all conditions present on the floor in food manufacturing. Damage can range in scope, from minor sprains and strains, to more serious musculo-skeletal disorders (MSDs) like tendinitis or sciatica. 

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Topics: Workplace Safety, Ergonomics

Packaging is Part of Food Safety, Too

Posted by Holly Mockus

Nov 17 2017
Nov 17 2017

It may not be edible, but packaging has a major impact on keeping food safe and displaying to customers the care with which your product is produced. Comprehensive food safety training is just as important for employees in the packaging industry as it is for those in food manufacturing facilities.

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Topics: Food Safety

Safety is Always in Season for Crop Production

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Nov 10 2017
Nov 10 2017

With foreign markets expanding, unpredictable weather patterns, and rising regulations, finding innovative ways to succeed in agriculture is more important than ever. With science of crop production becoming more sophisticated, farmers have more access to data, where they used to rely more heavily on history and intuition.

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Topics: OSHA, Crop production

Exploring the Value of Quality Management System Training: Q&A with Industry Experts

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Nov 6 2017
Nov 6 2017

While food safety is paramount, it alone will not ensure continued sales and overall business success. The new SQF Quality Code, developed by the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) includes system elements defined in the various SQF Food Safety Codes. LeAnn Chuboff, Vice President of Technical Affairs at SQFI and Bill McBride, SQFI Regional Representative, explain the value of educating food safety professionals to ensure consistent quality standards.

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Topics: SQF Quality Code

Alchemy Earns Top Workplace Honor 4th Year in a Row

Posted by Wes Burke

Nov 5 2017
Nov 5 2017

We’re excited to announce that Alchemy has won a spot on the highly coveted Austin American-Statesman Top Workplaces list for the fourth year in a row! The Statesman chooses the best places to work in Austin based on data from anonymous surveys sent to current employees at eligible companies. With 140 Alchemists at our Austin headquarters (and 300 total across U.S. and Canada), Alchemy competed in the medium-sized company category.

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Topics: Austin Headquarters, Awards

Unpacking Potential Problems: Are Packaging Employees Prepared?

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Nov 3 2017
Nov 3 2017

The packaging industry faces unique safety and operational challenges. Between the threat of physical injury, safety hazards, sanitation issues, and expanding regulations, your frontline employees have a lot to manage. Addressing these concerns while maintaining high production levels will continue to test package manufacturing companies.

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Topics: Food Safety, Workplace Safety, Packaging