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Bite Sized Insights for Food Industry Professionals

Alchemy's Blog The Feed

Hygiene: Get Your Employees on Board

Posted by Holly Mockus

May 11 2017
May 11 2017

Although publicity around food safety incidents sometimes seems to show the food industry in a bad light, the ongoing prominence of food safety in the national news should be viewed positively by food processors if for no other reason than this: our employees—including our frontline food workers—pay attention to the news, too.

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Topics: Food Safety

Video: 3 Minutes, 3 Expert Positions on Training

Posted by Laura Dunn Nelson

May 4 2017
May 4 2017

In this excerpt from their 2016 Alchemy Conference presentation, three food safety experts—Doug Edmonson, Food Safety & Technology Consultant and Principal Owner at Edmonson & Associates Consulting, LeAnn Chuboff, Senior Technical Manager at SQFI, and Laura Dunn Nelson, VP Food Safety & Global Alliances at Alchemy—discuss the importance of communicating your food safety plan to employees and the need for refresher training.

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Topics: Food Safety

4 Ways to Prevent Undeclared Allergens

Posted by Holly Mockus

Apr 24 2017
Apr 24 2017

Navigating the grocery store aisles when you or a family member suffers from a food allergy can be a daunting task. Having to read the ingredient statement on every product you put in your basket when you shop takes an extraordinarily patient effort. No running in quickly to pick up a few things. You must be diligent in checking every ingredient every time you make a purchase.

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Topics: Food Safety

Sessions Gems from BRC’s Food Safety Americas 2017

Posted by Laura Dunn Nelson

Apr 17 2017
Apr 17 2017

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:

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Topics: Food Safety

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: Food Safety

Network with Peers, Employees, and Leaders at the Alchemy Engage Conference

Posted by Jeff Eastman

Mar 30 2017
Mar 30 2017

We’re excited to host our 9th annual conference – now called Alchemy Engage – September 18-20, 2017 in our hometown of Austin, Texas! This three-day forum is focused on helping food industry professionals improve engagement and productivity with their employees.

 

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Topics: Food Safety, Operations, Workplace Safety

Smart Action by Your Frontline Is Key to Effective Cleaning and Sanitation Operations

Posted by Laura Dunn Nelson

Mar 14 2017
Mar 14 2017

Food processing companies go to great lengths to clean and sanitize their facilities frequently. Many plants devote an entire shift with dedicated sanitation crews to accomplish this important task. Cleaning and sanitation crews must know how to dismantle equipment, which chemicals to apply, and when and how to apply those chemicals effectively—all within a specified schedule of frequency of cleaning and sanitation. So, what could go wrong with this routine task?

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Topics: Food Safety

Executive Leadership, Technology, and Frontline Worker Knowledge Loom Large at the Global Food Safety Conference 2017

Posted by Jeff Eastman

Mar 10 2017
Mar 10 2017

More than 1,000 attendees from 60 countries met in Houston at the Global Food Safety Conference to share ideas and insights regarding the need to embrace food safety culture from the very top of every food organization. C-suite executives were among the participants in sessions advocating leveraging the Global Food Safety Initiative for growth, regardless of a company’s position in the supply chain.

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Topics: Food Safety

Alchemy and USP Join Forces to Fight Food Fraud

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Mar 8 2017
Mar 8 2017

Alchemy Systems and the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) recently announced a partnership enabling food companies of all sizes to more easily assess supply chain risk and build robust systems to mitigate food fraud. Food adulteration—food fraud—costs the industry billions of dollars every year and has been connected to hundreds of illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths. *

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Topics: Food Safety

Why You Should Implement Your Own Integrated Food Safety System

Posted by Kurt Bauer

Mar 2 2017
Mar 2 2017

With the advent of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and its associated rule rollouts, the phrase “integrated food safety system” has sprung into common use. But what exactly does it mean? In a governmental context, the phrase refers to the coordination, and eventual integration, of the various advisory, regulatory, and enforcement components of a national effort to improve food safety and eliminate foodborne threats to consumer health.

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Topics: Food Safety

Food Fraud: 3 Keys to Your Protection

Posted by Jorge Acosta

Feb 9 2017
Feb 9 2017

In central Mexico, where I grew up, one very popular food is goat meat. Goat is generally more expensive than beef. The most popular eatery serving goat in my hometown was recently involved in a big scandal for publicly admitting that the meat they had been selling as goat for years was actually beef.

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Topics: Food Safety

Foster a Fantastic Food Safety Culture

Posted by Laura Dunn Nelson

Feb 2 2017
Feb 2 2017

Food safety culture has been a popular phrase lately. Most would agree that it’s an important concept, but how do we actually build one and strengthen it? A company’s food safety culture is determined in large part by the strength of its food safety program – one can’t prosper without the other. The critical cog between these two are people – their ability to consistently perform the necessary behaviors to execute a successful food safety program. 

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Topics: Food Safety

Supply Chain Verification: It Matters, So Mitigate Your Risk

Posted by Todd Konietzko

Jan 27 2017
Jan 27 2017

Supply chain verification failures are just as serious as main-line processing failures. They can lead to foodborne illness, death, and expensive litigation, which can seriously impede a company’s ability to do business. Companies should proactively and diligently manage their supply chain to decrease their risk of product recalls—and their accompanying, potentially catastrophic financial and brand damages.

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Topics: Food Safety

How to Incorporate Storytelling into Employee Training

Posted by Kristin Kastrup

Jan 20 2017
Jan 20 2017

There’s a growing trend in the training industry in which more and more companies are relying on storytelling to improve the level of employee engagement in their current programs. Storytelling is most effective when instructors personalize the message for their specific audience. When a personal connection is made, workers tend to remember well-thought-out stories much better than instruction alone.

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Topics: Food Safety, Workplace Safety

Food Industry Expectations for 2017

Posted by Jeff Chilton

Jan 16 2017
Jan 16 2017

2016 was certainly a busy year in food manufacturing and production, and 2017 promises to continue the tide of change as we contend with new regulatory requirements. Although the regulatory emphasis we've seen over the past decade or so may shift, food companies must keep food safety at the forefront of their priorities, because after all, food safety is about a whole lot more than just regulatory compliance.

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Topics: Food Safety