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.
Imagine this: your best frontline worker is promoted to floor supervisor. Yet, after weeks on the new job, juggling unfamiliar tasks such as managing former peers and dealing with compliance paperwork, they become overwhelmed. When frustration rises, they throw in the towel, leaving management scrambling to find a replacement. But what happens when the new supervisor is also underprepared?
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.
According to the Global Food Safety Initiative’s (GFSI)’s new guidance document, a strong food safety culture depends on five key dimensions. Our recent webinar covers these dimension in depth and gives strategies on how to align your food culture to GFSI’s goals. Below industry experts Laura Nelson of Alchemy, Dr. Lone Jespersen of Cultivate, and Andrew Clarke of Subway Sandwiches answers some of your additional questions regarding GFSI and food safety culture.
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
In the past, employee training mostly took place during onboarding. New hires got showered with information they were expected to retain well enough to apply correctly on the floor. Not surprisingly, this “spray and pray” method has proven less effective with time, as today’s learners experience the world visually and digitally, with one topic rapidly moving to the next.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.