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5 Course Topics You’ll be Thankful Your Frontline Workers Took This Year

By Intertek Alchemy   |   

In just a few days, family and friends across the country will gather around the table to celebrate and give thanks for the people we hold dear. And in the Thanksgiving tradition, food will serve as the ultimate connection point.

What’s on the table will vary per family, whether it’s a turkey, honey-baked ham, or tofurky, with an equally diverse assortment of side dishes and desserts, including stuffing and gravy, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans, pies, cookies, brownies and more.  

The people most responsible for delivering an abundance of safe foods this Thanksgiving are the food industry’s frontline workers. They can take pride in knowing the foods they help manufacture are being served at Thanksgiving tables. But in order to do so, they must understand the safety implications of the products they produce.

To ensure your frontline workers have the tools and training they need to succeed, we’ve put together the top five courses topics you’ll be thankful your employees took this year.

1. Prevent Foreign Materials
Foreign material contamination is one of the leading causes of food recalls, and most are massive. Even with improved detection technology and processes, foreign material contamination remains a major concern, leading to increased scrutiny by regulators and customers. Frontline employees need all the help they can get to prevent foreign material contamination.

Intertek Alchemy recommends foreign materials prevention training that covers why foreign material is dangerous if it gets into a product and which actions employees can take to help prevent foreign material from getting into products.   

2. Protect Against Food Fraud
In an age of interrupted supply chains, food manufacturers sometimes have to quickly find new replacement vendors. This can expose you to food fraud as vendors purposely alter, misrepresent, mislabel, or tamper with food products. Fraud can take place with raw materials and ingredients during production or packaging.

Intertek Alchemy offers a course on food fraud that discusses what motivates fraudsters, provides examples of different types of food fraud, and helps frontline workers understand how they can prevent food fraud from occurring.

3. Stop Dangerous Microorganisms
Microorganisms are too small for our eyes to see. But their impact can be enormous.

Many of these can grow on food or inside our bodies. These pathogens can spread through contact with contaminated blood and body fluids. Frontline workers need to know the basic steps to take if exposed to a bloodborne pathogen and how exposures can occur.

Make sure your frontline workers are able to identify common types of microorganisms, where they can be found, the factors that affect the growth of bacteria, and best work practices that can help prevent them from growing.

4. Avoid Salmonella in Poultry
Salmonella and Campylobacter jejuni are two types of bacteria commonly present in the digestive tract of many animals that can end up in our foods. According to USDA data, salmonella infections cost the United States more than $4 billion a year. 

For poultry processors, it’s important that your frontline employees understand how bacteria can enter and spread around a facility and how to prevent contamination through proper sanitation and good manufacturing practices.

5. Maintain Proper Hygiene
It’s important to teach employees that good personal hygiene means maintaining cleanliness of the body and clothing before arriving to work. In addition, employees should know not to show up for work if they are displaying symptoms of communicable illnesses.

While at work, hand-washing is a critical part of proper hygiene, especially during the cold and flu season. Additionally, employers must provide and communicate the importance of clean and sanitized uniforms, smocks, coats, and aprons to minimize the risk of outside contamination.

These five course topics are essential for your frontline employees, as they have the biggest, most direct impact to keeping your products safe. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about our award-winning food safety courses and complete learning platform.

Intertek Alchemy wishes everyone a joyous Thanksgiving, and we thank our clients and partners for keeping our food supply safe.

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