2018 has been the year of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly in the food industry. The Ugly is still going on right now with the two major foodborne illness outbreaks and product recalls plaguing the industry. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) advises not to serve or sell any Romaine Lettuce contaminated with E. Coli O157:H7 from the Central Coastal growing regions of North and Central California. This outbreak has resulted in 52 cases in 15 states with 19 hospitalized and two of the 19 experiencing kidney failure. The CDC expects these numbers to rise as more cases are brought to light.
Imagine this: your best frontline worker is promoted to floor supervisor. Yet, after weeks on the new job, juggling unfamiliar tasks such as managing former peers and dealing with compliance paperwork, they become overwhelmed. When frustration rises, they throw in the towel, leaving management scrambling to find a replacement. But what happens when the new supervisor is also underprepared?
Have you ever heard these comments during an incident review?
“We have walked by that hazard hundreds of time and never saw it!”
“We can’t see the forest through the trees! We need fresh eyes on our facility to see the hazards we no longer see.”
Did you know new employees who have a good onboarding experience are 69% more likely to stay with the company? In fact, according to some research, up to 20% of employees will bail within the first 45 days if they don’t feel welcome and prepared.
At Clemens Food Group, a family-owned company that provides quality pork products for retail, foodservice, and manufacturing customers, we employ about 3,000 workers throughout the United States. Part of our training program focuses on a strong onboarding program because we believe solid orientation training sets employees up for success.
Did you know food safety regulations here on Earth were influenced by space travel? Vickie Kloeris, who has managed NASA’s Space Shuttle and International Space Station food systems since 1989, spoke at the 2018 Alchemy Engage Conference, and shared with us a few fun facts about food systems in space.
Topics: Alchemy Engage
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 here! The final Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 8 was published August 1st. 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.