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Bite Sized Insights for Food Industry Professionals

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Food Industry Expectations for 2017

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Jan 16 2017
Jan 16 2017

2016 was certainly a busy year in food manufacturing and production, and 2017 promises to continue the tide of change as we contend with new regulatory requirements. Although the regulatory emphasis we've seen over the past decade or so may shift, food companies must keep food safety at the forefront of their priorities, because after all, food safety is about a whole lot more than just regulatory compliance.

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Topics: Food Safety

Looking Back on the Obama Administration Food Policies

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Jan 9 2017
Jan 9 2017

As the Obama administration winds down, it is worthwhile to look back at the administration’s food policies and their continuing impact on the food industry. The past eight years have seen a robust regulatory agenda, resulting in thousands of pages of new requirements for the food industry. Food safety initiatives generally receive good bi-partisan support, so the political environment has been ideal to move a broad agenda forward to advance food safety with the goal of safeguarding public health.

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Topics: Food Safety

4 Phases of Audit Readiness

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Jan 2 2017
Jan 2 2017

We all know the old saying, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” But in the fast-paced and high-pressure food industry, it can be difficult to find all the time you need to prepare for an audit. Resources are often tight and facilities have to focus on keeping up with daily output to protect their bottom line. However, in the current era of FSMA, GFSI, and increased liability exposure, it’s more important than ever to be prepared for the auditor’s knock. 

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Topics: Food Safety

3 Big Session Takeaways from the 2016 Food Safety Consortium

Posted by Kurt Bauer

Dec 28 2016
Dec 28 2016

At the 2016 Food Safety Consortium, food safety and quality assurance professionals and regulatory officials summited in Schaumberg, Illinois in early December for panel discussions, individual presentations, roundtables, workshops, and training programs to address a variety of food safety challenges. Laura Dunn Nelson, Kristin Kastrup, and Haley Riscen attended and exhibited for Alchemy and returned with three key takeaways from meeting sessions.

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Topics: Food Safety

Prevent Workplace Injuries: A Guide to Incident Investigations & Corrective Action

Posted by Tara Guthrie

Dec 15 2016
Dec 15 2016

What went wrong? That’s the first question that comes to mind when any incident occurs. If an incident happens in your facility, learning what went wrong is just the first step in preventing future accidents. Using best practices for incident investigation paired with root-cause analysis can provide a solid foundation for fine tuning your serious-injury prevention strategy.

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Topics: Workplace Safety

Reduce Lost Profit from Food Waste: Industry Tax Benefits of Food Donations

Posted by Tara Guthrie

Dec 13 2016
Dec 13 2016

Congress recently passed a permanent extension of their enhanced tax deductions for food donations  found in Section 170(e)(3) of the U.S. Tax Code. Per the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, the extension and modification of the charitable deduction for donated food inventory contains four significant changes that benefit companies who give back:

  1. Permanently extends the enhanced tax deduction for food donations
  2. Increases the deduction’s cap to 15% of the donor’s net income
  3. Provides certain taxpayers a new optional formula for calculating the enhanced deduction
  4. Provides a formula for determining the fair market value (FMV) of food inventory
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Topics: Operations

FSVP: 3 Key Requirements for FSMA Compliance

Nov 7 2016
Nov 7 2016

Importers, get ready: in May 2017, FDA will start enforcing its final rule for the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP). The FSVP rule, designed to ensure the safety and compliance of imported food from foreign suppliers, requires non-exempt importers to establish written procedures for evaluating the hazards and risks associated with each foreign supplier and imported food. The multi-step task of establishing an FSVP is daunting, but it’s not impossible for those who get started now. Here are some of the challenges importers will have to tackle.

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Topics: Food Safety

Key Insights from the 2016 SQF International Conference

Posted by Kurt Bauer

Nov 1 2016
Nov 1 2016

The 2016 edition of the SQF International Conference provided attendees with the opportunity to prepare for the upcoming SQF Code Edition 8 and collaborate with their food safety peers. Upwards of 800 food safety professionals attended 70+ sessions, workshops, and breakouts. Following are a handful of the most important insights from the conference.

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Topics: Food Safety

6 Steps to a Sustainable GFSI System

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Oct 27 2016
Oct 27 2016

A sustainable management system is essential to meeting the requirements of any audit. With so much at stake and so many competing demands from regulators, customers, and consumers, securing a sustainable GFSI system can be a challenge. It’s safe to say that most companies have a goal to remain audit-ready all the time, but in reality many find themselves playing catch-up and conducting ‘fire drills’ just prior to re-certification. So, how do leading food companies stay audit-ready 24/7?

 

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Topics: Food Safety

Closing the Gaps: Global Food Safety Training Survey Results

Posted by Raj Shah

Sep 28 2016
Sep 28 2016

Across the global supply chain, the frontline workers who handle our food play a direct and critical role in food safety. With increasing pressure from customers, regulators, and consumers, food companies must ensure their workers are trained, monitored, and coached on proper food handling techniques and practices.

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Topics: Food Safety

Food Defense: Q&A with Food Safety Experts

Posted by Tara Guthrie

Sep 21 2016
Sep 21 2016

FSMA’s Intentional Adulteration Rule, also referred to as the “food defense rule,” is intended to protect the food supply from potential large-scale harm that could threaten consumers and put food companies' bottom line at risk. The rule requires facilities to create a written food defense plan in which they must identify areas of their operation vulnerable to intentional adulteration and devise strategies to mitigate that risk.

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Topics: Food Safety

Top 5 HACCP Reassessment Mistakes

Posted by Tom Aniolowski

Sep 6 2016
Sep 6 2016

Whether your USDA plant operates under HACCP principles or you’re an FDA plant preparing to implement a food safety plan under FSMA, avoiding food safety pitfalls should always be a top priority. By maintaining control over major food risks, the industry assures consumers that food products are as safe as current science, technology, and regulatory environments allow.

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Topics: Food Safety

How to Prevent Food Fraud: Q&A with Industry Experts

Posted by Tara Guthrie

Aug 15 2016
Aug 15 2016

Horse meat in hamburgers, fillers in Parmesan, Italian olive oil that isn’t authentic — these are all prime examples of food fraud. Food fraud is an issue that threatens the viability of food companies and the safety of consumers. Now, suppliers who fraudulently manufacture, label, or sell their product face potential regulatory and legal consequences under FSMA standards. That’s why two experts in food fraud mitigation, Jorge Acosta and Karen Everstine, took the time to answer some very pointed questions about what food manufacturers can do to help them minimize their risk while keeping up with the evolving regulatory landscape.

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Topics: Food Safety

Setting Passing Rates for Food Industry Training Courses

Aug 4 2016
Aug 4 2016

By design, training courses should be created to focus on critical learning objectives that are foundational across the broad food industry to reduce a plant’s risks. Typically, many of these courses are needed for compliance to GFSI schemes such as SQF, BRC, IFS, FSSC 22,000; regulatory requirements including those from USDA-FSIS, FDA, and OSHA; and EPA and NLRB requirements. Specific courses can be created to achieve a variety of goals, such as compliance to internal standards, proficiency in job tasks, increased productivity, general awareness and communication, culture-building, etc., so score achievements in these areas are obviously discretionary.  

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How Does Food Fraud Put Public Health at Risk?

Aug 2 2016
Aug 2 2016

Saffron, pomegranate juice, extra virgin olive oil, Parmigiano Reggiano, honey—we all have heard how expensive or “luxury” food items can be adulterated to generate extra profit for suppliers and manufacturers. Consumers pay top price for a food product that, in reality, is lower quality. This is called food fraud, or “economically motivated adulteration” (EMA), and it has been happening for centuries ever since food items were first traded in village markets.

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Topics: Food Safety

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