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Bite Sized Insights for Food Industry Professionals

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

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

Four Key Stops on the Journey from HACCP to HARPC

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Oct 12 2015
Oct 12 2015

The Food Safety Modernization Act will soon have a dramatic impact on the food safety and regulatory landscape for facilities producing products regulated by the FDA. The Preventive Controls for Human Foods proposed rule, which is expected to be published as a final rule this month, will significantly change the way food manufacturing companies document their food safety systems.

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Topics: Consulting, Compliance

5 Steps for Effective HACCP Reassessments

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Jul 17 2015
Jul 17 2015

HACCP Plan reassessments are required to be performed at least once a year. It is not only mandated by USDA and FDA regulations, but also by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) for companies certified under SQF, BRC, FSSC 22000 or IFS. In short, your HACCP plan should be a living document that continually and accurately reflects current operations. It assures your food safety system is kept up-to-date throughout the year.

Reassessments are necessary whenever any changes occur that could affect your hazard analysis or alter any current HACCP plans.

Example circumstances for HACCP reassessment include:

  • Changes to or addition of new ingredients
  • Revised formulations 
  • New equipment 
  • New packaging
  • New production processes
  • Changes to the intended consumer population
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Topics: Consulting, Compliance

HACCP Validation - Are you doing it right?

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Jun 11 2015
Jun 11 2015

*Editor's note: this post is the first in an ongoing HACCP series. 

The concept of HACCP validation has long been a mysterious and confusing topic for many people. Since it is included as a part of HACCP principle number 6 for verification, the validation requirement is often misunderstood.

There are many advocates, myself included, that feel like the National Advisory Committee for Microbiological Criteria for Foods should revise the standards to clarify the topic and give it the attention it deserves. Until then, I hope to help you learn the elements of validation and how you can prepare for the new Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) requirements before enforcement begins in 2016. 

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Topics: Compliance, Consulting

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