It’s time to get excited about the SQF Conference in Atlanta on October 23-25. This conference is an industry leading event with great educational programs by talented speakers. You will also learn more about the updated SQF Code requirements and have a great opportunity to network with your peers. I will be presenting with Frank Schreurs of SQFI on the new SQF Quality Code and hope to see you there! Read further for more on the new SQF Food Safety Fundamentals Course, SQF Edition 8 status, and the SQF Quality Code.
Wow – we had such an amazing time at our 10th Annual Engage Conference this year! Over the week, we were excited to welcome more than 350 food industry professionals representing over 150 companies from the U.S. and Canada to our hometown of Austin, Texas.
Topics: Alchemy Engage
Proper animal welfare and handing is critical to operations in the poultry and beef industries. However, many of the rules and guidelines aren’t intuitive for employees. I’ve spent many years developing and teaching animal welfare and handling practices that I’ve shared in this free webinar.
Protein processing may face more challenges than any other food sector. Meat and poultry account for the largest segment of U.S. agriculture, according to NAMI. With more pressures on the meat industry, it can feel like a juggling act keeping up with competing interests – animal welfare, dangerous micro-organisms, sustainability, and safety – while still meeting production goals. While it may present a challenge, it’s not impossible.
According to the Global Food Safety Initiative’s (GFSI)’s new guidance document, a strong food safety culture depends on five key dimensions. Our recent webinar covers these dimension in depth and gives strategies on how to align your food culture to GFSI’s goals. Below industry experts Laura Nelson of Alchemy, Dr. Lone Jespersen of Cultivate, and Andrew Clarke of Subway Sandwiches answers some of your additional questions regarding GFSI and food safety culture.
Topics: Food Safety
Food companies, take note of an important deadline: September 17th is the final date for all facilities to meet PCQI requirements.
As a refresher, FSMA’s Final Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food requires every food facility to have competent Preventive Controls Qualified Individuals (PCQIs) write or perform reanalysis on their Food Safety Plan. While the PCQI requirement isn’t exactly “new,” (the bill was signed into law in 2015 and rollouts have been happening for the past two years, according to company size), the upcoming September date is the final deadline for all businesses to comply, including small businesses with fewer than 500 full-time employees.
Topics: Alchemy Academy
Are you ready for BRC Issue 8? The new BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 8 is coming soon! A draft of the updated BRC standard has already been published for public comment. The final Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 8 was published August 1st. BRC Approved Training Partners (ATP’s) will be trained by BRC in September 2018, then Auditor and Site Training on the new standard will begin in October 2018. All GFSI standards are required to be updated at least every three years for the benchmarking process. These updates provide the GFSI Program Owners the opportunity to continually improve their standards and meet updated benchmarking requirements.
Topics: Alchemy Academy
The National Safety Council's Campbell Award recognizes leading companies in safety that share the NSC’s mission and vision of eliminating all preventable death in our lifetime. We believe safety starts with every individual, every work team, and every organization — and cascades from there into homes, communities, the road, and the workplace.
In the past, employee training mostly took place during onboarding. New hires got showered with information they were expected to retain well enough to apply correctly on the floor. Not surprisingly, this “spray and pray” method has proven less effective with time, as today’s learners experience the world visually and digitally, with one topic rapidly moving to the next.
The Food Safety Summit celebrated its 20th anniversary this year in Chicago, with a focus on food safety in the supply chain. From growers all the way to retailers, a common thread across the “chain” was the importance of employee engagement at all levels to ensure food safety.
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.