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Bite Sized Insights for Food Industry Professionals

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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

FSMA Implementation Challenges, Illness Investigation Logistics Feature at the Food Safety Summit

Posted by Holly Mockus

May 19 2017
May 19 2017

1,700 attendees and nearly 200 exhibitors converged on suburban Chicago’s Stevens Convention Center May 8–11 for the 2017 Food Safety Summit. Alchemy participated in force, meeting with fellow food safety advocates to emphasize the need for food companies to provide their employees with the knowledge and confidence to take smart action and prevent food safety incidents.

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Topics: Food Safety

Hygiene: Get Your Employees on Board

Posted by Holly Mockus

May 11 2017
May 11 2017

Although publicity around food safety incidents sometimes seems to show the food industry in a bad light, the ongoing prominence of food safety in the national news should be viewed positively by food processors if for no other reason than this: our employees—including our frontline food workers—pay attention to the news, too.

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Topics: Food Safety

Video: 3 Minutes, 3 Expert Positions on Training

Posted by Laura Dunn Nelson

May 4 2017
May 4 2017

In this excerpt from their 2016 Alchemy Conference presentation, three food safety experts—Doug Edmonson, Food Safety & Technology Consultant and Principal Owner at Edmonson & Associates Consulting, LeAnn Chuboff, Senior Technical Manager at SQFI, and Laura Dunn Nelson, VP Food Safety & Global Alliances at Alchemy—discuss the importance of communicating your food safety plan to employees and the need for refresher training.

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Topics: Food Safety

4 Ways to Prevent Undeclared Allergens

Posted by Holly Mockus

Apr 24 2017
Apr 24 2017

Navigating the grocery store aisles when you or a family member suffers from a food allergy can be a daunting task. Having to read the ingredient statement on every product you put in your basket when you shop takes an extraordinarily patient effort. No running in quickly to pick up a few things. You must be diligent in checking every ingredient every time you make a purchase.

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Topics: Food Safety

Training Beyond Onboarding: Fostering a Culture of Continuous Learning

Posted by Holly Mockus

Apr 20 2017
Apr 20 2017

When new hires walk through the door, you want them on the plant floor as soon as possible. Many food companies have some sort of formal onboarding process, which may or may not include a few days of classroom training, after which they expect new employees to hit the ground running.

Let’s think about this for a minute.

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Topics: Workplace Safety

Sessions Gems from BRC’s Food Safety Americas 2017

Posted by Laura Dunn Nelson

Apr 17 2017
Apr 17 2017

Alchemy headed to the British Retail Consortium’s Food Safety Americas conference April 4-5 in Orlando to network and learn more about the ongoing challenges and emerging opportunities in the fight for food safety. The conference agenda was packed with excellent presentations as usual. Here are some of the highlights:

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Topics: Food Safety

Mobile Coaching Technology Buttresses Food Safety Efforts

Posted by Holly Mockus

Apr 6 2017
Apr 6 2017

It’s a truism in the food industry that one of the keys to ensuring food safety is a focused, well-trained frontline workforce. And employee training in the food industry generally adheres to the following model: workers receive classroom instruction via slide presentation or, if they’re lucky, interactive technology, followed by quizzes or tests to confirm that the desired information has stuck.

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Topics: Operations

Internal Auditing: What You Need to Know

Posted by Jorge Acosta

Apr 3 2017
Apr 3 2017

“No one has ever asked for that document!” is a comment I have heard far too many times over the past decade. There are many reasons for facilities not to be prepared for internal audits, and subsequently being forced to correct non-conformances that may lead to more serious issues such as recalls or legal implications. Here are several common issues I find when examining internal audit programs, with suggestions on how to avoid them:

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Topics: Food Safety

Network with Peers, Employees, and Leaders at the Alchemy Engage Conference

Posted by Jeff Eastman

Mar 30 2017
Mar 30 2017

We’re excited to host our 9th annual conference – now called Alchemy Engage – September 18-20, 2017 in our hometown of Austin, Texas! This three-day forum is focused on helping food industry professionals improve engagement and productivity with their employees.

 

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Topics: Food Safety, Operations, Workplace Safety

Can Your Restaurant’s Team Members Keep Up with Your LTOs?

Posted by Michael Holland

Mar 28 2017
Mar 28 2017

Limited time offers (LTOs) are a tried and true method for increasing restaurant traffic. A recent survey showed that 20% of diners seek out LTOs with some frequency, citing new flavors and new packaging as the main attractions. But these numbers also point to a challenge that restaurant operators face when using LTOs for raising brand awareness and boosting sales.

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Topics: Restaurant

3 Key Training Elements That Motivate Restaurant Employees

Posted by Michael Holland

Mar 23 2017
Mar 23 2017

Interactivity, gamification, and competition engage Millennials and Gen Z.

All restaurant operators face the challenge of sufficiently engaging their employees, particularly during training. New employees might show up on Day One bright-eyed and ready to go, but in the restaurant world, the job is often more complicated than many people believe.

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Topics: Restaurant

7 Ways to Win the Hearts & Minds of Your Millennial Retail Workers

Posted by Ric Agostini

Mar 17 2017
Mar 17 2017

Retail operations are increasingly filling job openings with workers from the generation born between 1981 and 2000 (aka, millennials). Baby boomers have aged and are retiring. Generation X, the group falling between boomers and millennials, is smaller in population—only about 40 million compared to 80 million millennials. So millennials will constitute the main source of workers for some time.

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Topics: Retail

Smart Action by Your Frontline Is Key to Effective Cleaning and Sanitation Operations

Posted by Laura Dunn Nelson

Mar 14 2017
Mar 14 2017

Food processing companies go to great lengths to clean and sanitize their facilities frequently. Many plants devote an entire shift with dedicated sanitation crews to accomplish this important task. Cleaning and sanitation crews must know how to dismantle equipment, which chemicals to apply, and when and how to apply those chemicals effectively—all within a specified schedule of frequency of cleaning and sanitation. So, what could go wrong with this routine task?

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Topics: Food Safety

Command and Control vs Collaborative Engagement: Is It an Either/Or Proposition?

Posted by Ric Agostini

Mar 10 2017
Mar 10 2017
There are different ways to lead teams—perhaps as many ways as there are leaders. And a given leader might manage with a different style in a different set of circumstances. While there isn’t a single accepted way to lead or manage, the “right” way should be defined as the one that works to achieve the goals of the organization.
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Topics: Retail