Refrigerated and Frozen Foods: Staying Cool, Calm, and Compliant
There’s a lot of cool things happening in refrigerated and frozen foods. Consumers are enjoying more diversified breakfasts and snacks, which means more options for frozen foods. Chips and dips are making a comeback, with refrigerated dips reigning as a number one snack. We’ve also seen more restaurants taking menu favorites to the frozen foods aisles of grocery stores. And don’t forget ice cream, America’s favorite treat. Both dairy and non-dairy ice cream are popular, thanks to organic and low fat products, and sales remain high year-round — not just during summer.
But not all industry news is sweet. You might be facing FSMA deadlines, additional compliance standards, or new program implementation. Refrigerated and frozen foods manufacturers must make sure the entire supply chain, including shippers and distribution centers, meets current federal regulations. No matter where you are in the process, having an educated and confident workforce remains a strong approach to meet rising regulations and consumer demands.
Here’s a look at some current challenges with resources for further reading:
Keeping Up with Compliance
It’s no secret compliance is stricter post-FMSA. New rules like the new SQF Quality code, the Sanitary Transport Rule, and FDA’s Preventive Controls Rule have gone or will go into effect soon. Safety is more important than ever and so is documentation. To stay current your training solution should reflect existing standards and regulations, and track training with consistent, easily accessible records. Watch this webinar to see why accurate documentation is key to ensuring compliance.
Stricter food and safety regulations means modifying, overhauling, or in some cases implementing new programs. New programs cost money — as does hiring and training a qualified workforce you can trust. The more you invest in a strong workforce and a solid safety program, the more likely you are to decrease turnover. And a more engaged workforce can actually lead to a greater ROI, as we discussed in this blog post.
With so many moving parts in your supply chains, microorganisms are a pervasive threat. Controlling condensation, temperature levels, cross-contamination, and proper packaging are all crucial to preventing dangerous outbreaks and costly recalls. Frontline workers who understand safety are more empowered to take smart actions before a situation arises. Read this study to see how a change in behavior can have a positive impact on food safety.
Your workforce is your first line of defense — so make it a strong one. Investing in your workforce is a great step toward improving operations. Today’s workforce spans generations, cultures, and even languages. This video offers more tips on reducing turnover.
Retaining a diverse team also requires a multi-channel approach. A training system that incorporates different instructional methods like digital interaction, posters and signage, and coordinated shift huddles is the best way to make sure compliance is understood and enforced by all members your team.
Interested in learning more? AFFI’s exclusive training partner, Alchemy Systems, delivers a multi-channel learning system on food and workplace safety that can be tailored to your company’s needs.