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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Food manufacturers face unique challenges on a daily basis. In my 30+ years of food industry experience, I have seen these challenges first-hand. Based on my experience, I have identified 10 key challenges that food manufacturers face.
In this excerpt from his 2016 Alchemy Conference presentation, expert consultant Jeff Chilton discusses the Total Operational Performance System (TOPS), which he developed based on his 30+ years of experience in the food industry. TOPS is an integrated management system that helps food organizations optimize performance throughout the entire company, with the goal of achieving operational excellence.
Alchemy Systems and the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) recently announced a partnership enabling food companies of all sizes to more easily assess supply chain risk and build robust systems to mitigate food fraud. Food adulteration—food fraud—costs the industry billions of dollars every year and has been connected to hundreds of illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths. *
Topics: Alchemy News
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.
Topics: Food Safety
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.