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Bite Sized Insights for Manufacturing Professionals

The Feed Alchemy Systems Blog

Exploring the Value of Quality Management System Training: Q&A with Industry Experts

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Nov 6 2017
Nov 6 2017

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.

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Topics: Compliance Matters

FDA Implementing FSMA: Program Realignment Building a Firm Foundation

Jul 14 2017
Jul 14 2017

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).

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Topics: Compliance Matters

FSMA’s Sanitary Transportation Rule: Q&A with Industry Experts

Jul 5 2017
Jul 5 2017

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.

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Topics: Compliance Matters

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: Compliance Matters

Looking Back on the Obama Administration Food Policies

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Jan 9 2017
Jan 9 2017

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.

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Topics: Compliance Matters

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: Compliance Matters

FSVP: 3 Key Requirements for FSMA Compliance

Nov 7 2016
Nov 7 2016

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.

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Topics: Compliance Matters

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 Insights, Compliance Matters

Top 5 HACCP Reassessment Mistakes

Posted by Tom Aniolowski

Sep 6 2016
Sep 6 2016

Whether your USDA plant operates under HACCP principles or you’re an FDA plant preparing to implement a food safety plan under FSMA, avoiding food safety pitfalls should always be a top priority. By maintaining control over major food risks, the industry assures consumers that food products are as safe as current science, technology, and regulatory environments allow.

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Topics: Compliance Matters

Brexit and the Food Industry: A Perspective from UK's Campden BRI

Jul 28 2016
Jul 28 2016

A month ago, something extraordinary happened in the United Kingdom – an event that is projected to have an enormous impact on both European and global trade. It is fair to say that the Brexit result came as a shock to all, including its supporters! Nobody seemed to have actually planned for it. The UK has been a member of the European Union (EU) since 1973, and now longstanding business arrangements will be disrupted, the food industry being no exception. There are many issues for the food industry to consider as we wait to see how the dust settles.

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Topics: Food Safety Insights, Compliance Matters

Keep Cool or OSHA Will Bring the Heat: Summertime Tips for Food Workers

Jul 26 2016
Jul 26 2016

Summer is here, and for some it’s a time of rest and relaxation, but for food workers it can be the most physically taxing time of the year. The thousands of workers who make their living while exposed to the heat—indoors or out—are at an increased risk during the dog days of summer. In the food industry, heat illness is an often overlooked occupational injury, but the good news is that heat-related hazards can be prevented or minimized.

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Topics: Workplace Safety Tips, Compliance Matters

How to Be Audit Ready All the Time – Q&A with Experts

Posted by Tara Guthrie

Jul 7 2016
Jul 7 2016

The food industry’s dense regulatory landscape has evolved significantly in the era of FSMA, the “new” FDA investigator, GFSI, and increased liability exposure. With new regulations launched this year, increased inspection mandates, and looming deadlines for compliance, how can you set a “new normal” of being audit ready all the time? Take this advice from food policy experts.


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Topics: Compliance Matters

FDA Labeling Changes: A Survival Guide

Posted by Holly Mockus

Jun 14 2016
Jun 14 2016

Labeling changes can keep you awake at night—literally. Whether it’s an update to a company logo or a minor change to an ingredient statement, changing labels will raise your stress level. Using labels out of sequence, obsolete labels, or just plain wrong labels can be costly. Labeling mistakes will take a chunk out of your bottom line, lead to loss of customer and consumer confidence, or trigger a recall.  

Recently, the FDA published a large change to the requirements for nutritional labeling that is now open for comment. A change like this will affect every package that currently has a nutritional panel. Although it may seem like this change is off in the distant future, it’s never too soon to start preparing for a change of this magnitude. Survival requires a keen awareness of common pitfalls so you can come out on the other end unscathed.

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Topics: Compliance Matters

3 Most Common OSHA Recordkeeping Mistakes

Jun 2 2016
Jun 2 2016

When organizations within the food industry attempt to comply with OSHA standards and regulations, there are three common compliance mistakes that I routinely observe as an auditor. Each could easily trigger an OSHA enforcement action. First, employers often fail to review relevant OSHA interpretation letters, directives, or the OSHA Field Operations Manual for guidance. Second, employers do not document non-recordable cases and reasons why they are not considered recordable. Finally, employers are not specific in the details when documenting a recordable event. To address these mistakes, I’ve outlined more specific information below on each to help you mitigate the risk of non-compliance – or worse, an enforcement action.

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Topics: Workplace Safety Tips, Compliance Matters

Top 5 BRC 7 Non-Conformances

Posted by Tara Guthrie

Apr 18 2016
Apr 18 2016

 

Learn about updates to BRC 8.

Alchemy recently attended the BRC Food Safety America’s Conference in Tampa, Florida. Throughout the conference, ensuring compliance with BRC, amongst other regulatory and industry standards, was a top priority.

Our partners at BRC explained to attendees that conforming to BRC 7 standards should help food companies bridge any gaps in their current plan that could prevent them from meeting the much anticipated FSMA final rules. Furthermore, BRC’s Technical Director for Food Schemes David Brackston discussed the top 5 non-conformances from BRC Issue 7 to help attendees prepare for their next audit.

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Topics: Compliance Matters

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