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).
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.
The food industry has seen significant fallout amid recent widely publicized foodborne illness outbreaks and recalls related to romaine lettuce and shell eggs. In USDA regulated facilities, there have been 6 recalls in the past month. Four of these were related to foreign matter contamination, one for E. Coli O157:H7 contamination and one for processing deviations.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
New production processes
Changes to the intended consumer population
*Editor's note: this post is the first in an ongoing HACCP series.
The concept of HACCP validation has long been a mysterious and confusing topic for many people. Since it is included as a part of HACCP principle number 6 for verification, the validation requirement is often misunderstood.
There are many advocates, myself included, that feel like the National Advisory Committee for Microbiological Criteria for Foods should revise the standards to clarify the topic and give it the attention it deserves. Until then, I hope to help you learn the elements of validation and how you can prepare for the new Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) requirements before enforcement begins in 2016.