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The Feed Alchemy Systems Blog

Driving a Culture of Operational Excellence

Posted by Tom Aniolowski

Jul 15 2019
Jul 15 2019

Operational Excellence is a common term that is used in a variety of manufacturing operations. OE has been employed for quite some time in the automotive and parts manufacturing industries and has recently been more of a focus in the food and beverage industries. Operational Excellence is a business methodology which involves making continuous improvements to a company and its processes to achieve a competitive advantage. Although it seems like a straightforward definition, implementing and sustaining continuous improvement is challenging.

 

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Topics: Safety Culture, Alchemy Academy

The Contrast Between Verification and Validation

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Jun 14 2019
Jun 14 2019

Verification and validation seem similar. Both are included as part of HACCP Principle Number 6 for verification. Both are talked about simultaneously. So, is there really a difference? Yes! A big difference!

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Topics: Food Safety, HACCP, USDA, Alchemy Academy

Environmental Monitoring – A Critical Component of Food Safety

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Apr 15 2019
Apr 15 2019

Environmental monitoring has become the center of attention for good reason lately. New requirements by FDA and GFSI standards have raised the importance of environmental monitoring programs (EMP’s).

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Topics: Alchemy Academy, Consulting

Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration

Posted by Jorge Acosta

Mar 27 2019
Mar 27 2019

Growing up, my grandfather used to tell us that we had to learn from the mistakes of others because we will not live long enough to make all the mistakes on our own. That said, US-based companies need to stay informed on what is going on around the world related to intentional adulteration.

 

 

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Topics: Alchemy Academy, Consulting

2018 in Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Dec 11 2018
Dec 11 2018

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.

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Topics: Food Safety, Alchemy Academy

How to Transform Frontline Workers into Leaders

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Nov 1 2018
Nov 1 2018

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? 

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Topics: Training, Alchemy Academy

Get Ready for SQF 2018

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Oct 10 2018
Oct 10 2018

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.

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Topics: Alchemy Academy, Industry Conferences

GFSI & Food Safety Culture: Industry Experts Q & A

Posted by Lone Jespersen

Aug 30 2018
Aug 30 2018

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.

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Topics: Food Safety, Alchemy Academy

Counting Down to FSMA’s Final PCQI Deadline

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Aug 7 2018
Aug 7 2018

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. 

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Topics: Alchemy Academy

BRC Issue 8 is Here!

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 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.

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Topics: Alchemy Academy

Workforce Training: Are You Doing These 5 Things?

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Jun 13 2018
Jun 13 2018

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.

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Topics: Training, Alchemy Academy

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, Alchemy Academy, 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: Alchemy Academy, 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: Alchemy Academy, Compliance, Consulting

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: Alchemy Academy, Compliance

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