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 is expected to be published on August 1, 2018. 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.
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.
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.
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?
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the most sweeping reform of food safety laws in over seven decades. Almost four years after it was signed into law, the final rules governing preventive control for human and animal foods were finally published this September. Now, most FDA regulated companies must prepare for compliance by September 2016.
Compliance dates for the new requirements are defined and more flexible to assist industry compliance while still advancing FDA’s food safety goals. Even with that flexibility, it is important for companies to fully understand five key points regarding the final rule:
- Food Safety Plan v HACCP Plan
- Risk Based Preventative Controls
- Qualified Individual & Auditor
- Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP's)
- Supply Chain Program