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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While food safety is paramount, it alone will not ensure continued sales and overall business success. The new SQF Quality Code, developed by the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) includes system elements defined in the various SQF Food Safety Codes. LeAnn Chuboff, Vice President of Technical Affairs at SQFI and Bill McBride, SQFI Regional Representative, explain the value of educating food safety professionals to ensure consistent quality standards.
FDA is full-speed ahead with rolling out the Food Safety Modernization Act (commonly referred to as “FSMA”). With FSMA, FDA seeks to overhaul the U.S. regime for food safety – from a regime that reacted to safety outbreaks to one that seeks to prevent them. A key pillar in this preventive model is the Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls Rule (HARPC or PCR).
Companies with more than $500,000 in annual revenue must now comply with FSMA’s Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food Rule. Samantha Cooper, Senior Manager of Food Safety and Quality Assurance at the Grocery Manufacturers Association and Laura Dunn Nelson, Alchemy’s Vice President of Food Safety & Global Alliances, explained the rule’s requirements on Alchemy’s recent webinar.
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.
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:
“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:
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.
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.
Importers, get ready: in May 2017, FDA will start enforcing its final rule for the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP). The FSVP rule, designed to ensure the safety and compliance of imported food from foreign suppliers, requires non-exempt importers to establish written procedures for evaluating the hazards and risks associated with each foreign supplier and imported food. The multi-step task of establishing an FSVP is daunting, but it’s not impossible for those who get started now. Here are some of the challenges importers will have to tackle.
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?