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The Feed Alchemy Systems Blog

Jeff Chilton

Jeff Chilton currently serves as VP of Professional Services at Alchemy Systems. For over 18 years, Chilton has consulted with hundreds of food manufacturing firms to develop and enhance their food safety and quality programs. Prior to consulting, Jeff worked in the food industry for 15 years as plant manager of two large food processing companies, as well as a director of quality assurance earlier in his career. Jeff is a contributing writer for Meat and Poultry Magazine and has spoken on food safety and quality topics for numerous trade associations. Jeff is a Certified Lead instructor for HACCP workshops and teaches Basic and Advanced HACCP Workshops for client companies and public courses.
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Recent Posts

BRC Issue 8 is Coming Soon!

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Jul 10 2018
Jul 10 2018

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.

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Topics: Alchemy Academy

Avoid Fallout from Foodborne –Related Outbreaks and Recalls

Posted by Jeff Chilton

May 8 2018
May 8 2018

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.

 

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Topics: Consulting

Improving Operations with Statistical Process Control

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Apr 10 2018
Apr 10 2018

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.

 

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Topics: Food Safety, Compliance, Consulting

How to Build a HACCP Plan for Compliance

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Mar 23 2018
Mar 23 2018

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.

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Topics: Compliance, Consulting

HACCP and Preventive Controls Comparisons: Q&A with Industry Expert

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Mar 7 2018
Mar 7 2018

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.

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Topics: Compliance, Consulting

GFSI Drives Food Safety Improvements Trends

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Feb 23 2018
Feb 23 2018

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.

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Topics: Food Safety, Compliance, Consulting

SQF Code Edition 8: Ready or Not, Here It Comes!

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Jan 3 2018
Jan 3 2018
The new SQF Codes for Edition 8 become effective on January 2, 2018, when SQF certified suppliers are expected to comply with these new requirements. There are some significant changes, including new required programs, and revised requirements for existing programs and plant conditions.
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Topics: Compliance, Consulting

Top 10 Challenges for Food Manufacturers

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Aug 31 2017
Aug 31 2017

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.

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Topics: Operations

Video: Total Operational Performance

Posted by Jeff Chilton

May 25 2017
May 25 2017

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.

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Topics: Operations

Alchemy and USP Join Forces to Fight Food Fraud

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Mar 8 2017
Mar 8 2017

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. *

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Topics: Alchemy News

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: Compliance

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: Compliance

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, Compliance, Consulting

FSMA Final Rules: What’s New and How to Comply

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Dec 2 2015
Dec 2 2015

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
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Topics: Food Safety, Compliance

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