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Bite Sized Insights for Food Industry Professionals

The Feed Alchemy Systems Blog

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, Consulting

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

Posted by Bertrand Edmond

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, Compliance

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, Compliance

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

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

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, Compliance

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

The Distribution Chain – The Upside to the Sanitary Transport Rule

Posted by Holly Mockus

Apr 8 2016
Apr 8 2016


The final FSMA Sanitary Transportation Rule will be changing the supply chain as we now know it.  With increasing responsibility being placed on the business relationships between shippers, loaders, carriers, and receivers, we will be seeing contracts rewritten to spell out responsibilities for things like trailer and tanker cleanliness, temperature control and monitoring, and required documentation.

The transportation industry will be getting a taste of regulatory food safety requirements that will reverberate throughout the supply chain. The upside for the food industry is plentiful and includes:

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Topics: Compliance

An Auditor’s Perspective: Top 3 Things That Will Impact Food Manufacturers in 2016

Posted by Jorge Acosta

Feb 25 2016
Feb 25 2016

Looking back at the audits I completed in 2015, I have encountered several locations that canceled upcoming audits due to issues found during their site inspection. Some lost their GFSI certification due to non-compliances noted during audits. However, the good news is that most locations, regardless of their audit status, demonstrated a dedication to continuous improvement. 

You’ve probably heard a lot recently about how all GFSI or non-GFSI certified sites are now faced with a new challenge - to comply with new FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations.

The FSMA finalized rules result in three key things that will impact the food industry in 2016.  I’ve listed them below and have included a few specifics you will want to keep in mind.

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Topics: Compliance

FSMA Final Rules: What’s New and How to Comply

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Dec 2 2015
Dec 2 2015

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
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Topics: Food Safety, Compliance

How to plan for USDA HACCP validation: Q&A with food safety consultants

Posted by Tara Guthrie

Nov 10 2015
Nov 10 2015

Earlier this year, the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) released the final requirements for Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) systems validations. The new HACCP regulations go into effect January 4 for large establishments (500+ employees), then in April for smaller (<500 employees). Will your company be ready in time to avoid non-compliance and enforcement actions?

Alchemy asked two food industry consultants to address a few questions from food industry professionals like you. 

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Topics: Compliance, Consulting

Four Key Stops on the Journey from HACCP to HARPC

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Oct 12 2015
Oct 12 2015

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.

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Topics: Compliance, Consulting

Guide to Key Changes in BRC 7 Global Food Safety Standards

Posted by John Kukoly

Sep 29 2015
Sep 29 2015

Learn about updates for BRC 8.

BRC Global Standards recognize that the food standard is used as the basis for a quality management system. In reviewing and rewriting the standard we have tried to concentrate on a few major areas where the standard needed to be revised to reflect the changing food safety landscape. The vast majority of the requirements of the standard are unchanged or with slight edits to the wording to aid clarity.

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Topics: Food Safety, Compliance

5 Steps for Effective HACCP Reassessments

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Jul 17 2015
Jul 17 2015

HACCP Plan reassessments are required to be performed at least once a year. It is not only mandated by USDA and FDA regulations, but also by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) for companies certified under SQF, BRC, FSSC 22000 or IFS. In short, your HACCP plan should be a living document that continually and accurately reflects current operations. It assures your food safety system is kept up-to-date throughout the year.

Reassessments are necessary whenever any changes occur that could affect your hazard analysis or alter any current HACCP plans.

Example circumstances for HACCP reassessment include:

  • Changes to or addition of new ingredients
  • Revised formulations 
  • New equipment 
  • New packaging
  • New production processes
  • Changes to the intended consumer population
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Topics: Compliance, Consulting

How To Protect Your Brand From Food Fraud with BRC 7

Posted by Jorge Acosta

Jun 25 2015
Jun 25 2015
 
 
Learn more about BRC 8.
 
During our recent vacation trip through Europe, it was very common to see designer brand handbags for about 100 dollars, I tried convincing my wife to let me buy her the Prada bag she desires, but she would not let me off that easy. While most astute shoppers would quickly identify these products as counterfeits, most consumers would not suspect a thing. What is troubling is that counterfeiting isn’t exclusive to fashion – it also happens with food.

While a counterfeit designer bag may be easy to spot, an Angus beef burger that’s actually horse or pig meat is not. Arguably, the impact on the consumer is far greater when it comes to the food we eat.

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Topics: Food Safety, Compliance

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