Thursday, August 25, 2016

Upcoming Classes


October 24th 
(Orlando Florida)
Gluten-free Certification Program Industry Professionals & Auditor Training
CLICK HERE For More Information 
 
November 8th, 9th, 10th:
Implementing SQF - SQF Code, 7.2 Edition and 
Internal and External GFSI Audits
CLICK HERE For More Information

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Winery Events In Napa for October 2016


Paraduxx Winery: X2 Release Harvest Celebration
Saturday, October 1, 2016
2-5pm
Cost: $75-$115
Join us as we celebrate another remarkable harvest season at Paraduxx. Be among the first to taste the new release of our pinnacle 2013 Paraduxx X2 Napa Valley Red Wine along with other exclusive, small production wines. Spend the afternoon aside our Rector Creek Vineyard to...
full details

Bluegrass-fed Concert Series: LMR All-Star Big Band
Sunday, October 2, 2016
3:30 p.m. door/ 4:30 p.m. show
Cost: $65 advance/ $75 door
The LMR All-Star Big Band is a 20-player big band drawn from an internationally accomplished group of musicians that has played jazz across the world. This truly all-star ensemble is once again being assembled for the Third Annual Timothy Hall Foundation Benefit Concert at Farmstead...
full details

Priest Ranch Wines: Coach Gun Release Party
Saturday, October 15, 2016
5-9 p.m.
Cost: Early bird tickets $65 ($55 for club members). Purchase your tickets before Aug 15th for early bird pricing.
Let's celebrate together with the release our 2013 Priest Ranch Coach Gun! Be among the first to try our 2013 Coach Gun and its components. Enjoy live music and delicious bites that evening with our winemaker, Craig Becker.
full details

Viader Vineyards & Winery: Harvest Party & Wine Club Pick-Up
Saturday, October 15, 2016
12 - 4pm
Cost: $75/person (2 complimentary for Wine Club members)
The Fall season in Napa Valley is absolutely beautiful. We new and current VIADER Wine Club members to enjoy a mid-day party featuring special library and current release wines. Enjoy delicious pizza created by a local chef who will bring a wood-burning oven onsite for this memorable...
full details

Live Fire Series- Chef Seamus Mullen
Friday, October 21, 2016
6 p.m. Reception/ 7 p.m. Dinner
Cost: $135 per ticket (includes tax and service)
Seamus Mullen is an award-winning New York chef, restaurateur and cookbook author known for his inventive yet approachable Spanish cuisine, and a leading authority on health and wellness. Seamus opened his first solo restaurant Tertulia in Manhattan in 2011, which was awarded...
full details

Cornerstone Cellars: Harvest Party
Sunday, October 23, 2016
2-5:00 p.m.
Cost: Available Soon
Harvest Party Sunday, October 23rd, 2-5pm Live music, new releases and special offers
full details

Thursday, August 18, 2016

FSPCA Preventive Controls for Human Food Industry Training - Early Bird Ends September 2nd!


FSPCA Preventive Controls For Human Food
October 5, 2016 - October 7, 2016

Register HERE
Download Flyer HERE

Schedule 
3 sessions 
1. October 5, 2016
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (PDT) 
2. October 6, 2016 
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (PDT) 
3. October 7, 2016 
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM (PDT)

Location 
Spring Hills Suites Napa Valley, 101 Gateway Rd East
Napa, CA 94558 

Registration

1-4 Attendees - Early Bird Ends Sep 2nd - Save $60 per attendee – $1,035.00 (USD) Registration is for 1 attendee, additional guests/attendees can be added during the registration process.

5+ Attendees - Early Bird Ends Sep 2nd - Save $110 per attendee – $985.00 (USD) Early Bird discount for 5+ only available for attendees from same company.

The FSPCA training materials are designed to meet the requirements for training under Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations Part 117.155 for the Preventive Controls “Qualified Individual” who conducts Food Safety Plan activities such as developing and reviewing a food safety plan, validating preventive controls, verifying and validating process controls among others. Attending an FSPCA course will provide assurances that the course content and resulting knowledge is consistent with regulatory expectations. Each facility registered with the FDA is required to have a Preventive Control Qualified Individual PCQI.

A preventive controls qualified individual is a person who has successfully completed training in the development and application of risk-based preventive controls at least equivalent to that received under the standardized curriculum from FSPCA.

The FSPCA program is based on collaboration among federal and state regulatory officials (FDA), academic food safety researchers and educators, and U.S. food industry representatives. This program is delivered by a FSPCA Lead Instructor.

This course meets the Preventive Controls Qualified Individual Training requirements. The participants will receive FSPCA Preventive Controls Qualified Individual certificate issued by AFDO.

Includes: Morning and afternoon snack breaks, Lunch, Course Materials and Certificate of Attendance.

Parking – Free parking

Hotel Booking - Spring Hill Suites 707-253-1900

REGISTRATION CLOSES ON September 30th, 2016, no refunds will be given after that date. Registrations may be transferred to another person from the same organization for the scheduled class. Cancellation fee before September 30th, 2016: $250.00

Monday, August 15, 2016

FSMA: Designing and Implementing the Food Safety Plan


A few weeks ago, TraceGains held its third annual customer conference in beautiful Colorado. We were privileged to hear from so many great presenters, one of which was Nancy Sharlach, Lead Instructor for FSPCA/HACCP and Registered SQF Consultant/President of Soterian Systems, who discussed the importance of a well-designed and well-implemented Food Safety Plan. 
One of the main components to the Food Safety Modernization Act's (FSMA) Preventive Controls rule is the Food Safety Plan(s) required. Nancy emphasized the fact that it's not just called HARPC as so many people refer to it as, but rather the Food Safety Plan because of the fact that these plans encompass so much more. In essence, the industry is going from HACCP to preventive controls. 
During her presentation, Nancy asked the attendees in the room to raise their hands if their company had already developed a food safety plan to meet FSMA requirements. With looming deadlines for a majority of companies approaching in September, it was interesting to see that only about one third of the audience shot their hands in the air. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Register for the October FSPCA Preventive Controls for Human Food Industry Training - Early Bird Ends September 2nd!


FSPCA Preventive Controls For Human Food
October 5, 2016 - October 7, 2016

Register HERE
Download Flyer HERE

Schedule 
3 sessions 
1. October 5, 2016
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (PDT) 
2. October 6, 2016 
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (PDT) 
3. October 7, 2016 
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM (PDT)

Location 
Spring Hills Suites Napa Valley, 101 Gateway Rd East
Napa, CA 94558 

Registration

1-4 Attendees - Early Bird Ends Sep 2nd - Save $60 per attendee – $1,035.00 (USD) Registration is for 1 attendee, additional guests/attendees can be added during the registration process.

5+ Attendees - Early Bird Ends Sep 2nd - Save $110 per attendee – $985.00 (USD) Early Bird discount for 5+ only available for attendees from same company.

The FSPCA training materials are designed to meet the requirements for training under Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations Part 117.155 for the Preventive Controls “Qualified Individual” who conducts Food Safety Plan activities such as developing and reviewing a food safety plan, validating preventive controls, verifying and validating process controls among others. Attending an FSPCA course will provide assurances that the course content and resulting knowledge is consistent with regulatory expectations. Each facility registered with the FDA is required to have a Preventive Control Qualified Individual PCQI.

A preventive controls qualified individual is a person who has successfully completed training in the development and application of risk-based preventive controls at least equivalent to that received under the standardized curriculum from FSPCA.

The FSPCA program is based on collaboration among federal and state regulatory officials (FDA), academic food safety researchers and educators, and U.S. food industry representatives. This program is delivered by a FSPCA Lead Instructor.

This course meets the Preventive Controls Qualified Individual Training requirements. The participants will receive FSPCA Preventive Controls Qualified Individual certificate issued by AFDO.

Includes: Morning and afternoon snack breaks, Lunch, Course Materials and Certificate of Attendance.

Parking – Free parking

Hotel Booking - Spring Hill Suites 707-253-1900

REGISTRATION CLOSES ON September 30th, 2016, no refunds will be given after that date. Registrations may be transferred to another person from the same organization for the scheduled class. Cancellation fee before September 30th, 2016: $250.00

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Continuous Improvement: Avoid Standing Still

By Holly Mockus



Change and continuous improvement go hand in hand. Any continuous improvement journey is just that—a journey, not an endpoint; it’s a process to get to a better place. Successful operations constantly change to meet the evolving needs of the business and its stakeholders. But change can provide lots of speed bumps, roadblocks and yield signs if not managed from a positive perspective. Consider that faster is not always better—simplicity is usually the best way to get from point A to point B. Here are a few helpful hints to help you manage the change that accompanies continuous improvement.
  • Realize that all things can be improved upon. Whether the improvement is a minor tweak or a major overhaul, objective vision is a must to maintain momentum.
  • Collection of baseline data is important. Data-driven decisions will provide a road map for improvement with the right direction, use of good data and careful interpretation.
  • Measuring the result of any change will either validate your assumptions or provide a pivot point for moving in a new direction.
  • Failure to continually improve is the same as standing still. Don’t let road blocks stop your progress.
  • Sometimes the smallest improvements yield the best results. Fine tuning doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking. Don’t be afraid to keep it simple.
  • Change is inevitable, so embrace it. Become an advocate for change through leadership and a positive attitude. Others will follow.
  • Programs that are improved over time will not be taken for granted. Antiquated processes provide diminishing returns, grow stale, and become extinct quickly.
  • Involve all stakeholders in continuous improvement efforts. Getting upfront buy-in instills pride of ownership and helps to ensure success.
  • Train for all changes—whether on the plant floor or an office business process. Up-to-date training is imperative, because adults are creatures of habit. Set your continuous improvement efforts up for success by ensuring that changes have been communicated and reinforced.
Just as in life, effective programs, procedures, and policies are journeys, not destinations. Keeping the journey from becoming an uphill struggle requires a culture of continuous improvement—and a company-wide willingness to embrace change.

Article Source: FoodSafetyTech.com

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Specific Training Required Under FSMA: A Look at Each Rule


All seven core rules of FSMA require general training of individuals or employees and qualified individuals requiring education, training or experience to perform specific tasks. By including training in these regulations, the FDA has made specific training mandatory.

Training Required by FSMA Final Rules 

In the current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) and preventive control rules, as per 21 CFR 117.4 and 507.4, all individuals engaged in the manufacturing, processing, packing and holding of food must have the education, training or experience to perform assigned duties and must be trained in the principles of food hygiene and food safety. However, the preventive controls qualified individual (PCQI) and qualified auditor, to rules 21 CFR 117.180 and 507.53, can be an individual who has successfully completed a class equivalent in curriculum to that recognized by the FDA, or have the necessary job experience. In both cases, the training must be documented, including the date of training, type of training and those personnel trained.

This means that all employees are to be trained in food hygiene and food safety to at least the standard presented in the regulations and more specifically as per the cGMP requirements. Additionally, individuals who are responsible for a specific critical control point will still need to be trained in HACCP. However, this will probably not be sufficient for an employee responsible for preventive control, as he or she may require training in Hazard Analysis Risk-Based Preventive Control (HARPC), or training specific to the area in which the employee is involved (e.g., allergens, sanitation, supply chain or recall programs, or preventive controls).

For the preventive control qualified individual and qualified auditor, the training needed may be that of the approved FDA curriculum, as developed by the Food Safety Preventive Control Alliance (FSPCA). Although this training course is not a regulatory requirement, FDA inspectors and other regulatory personnel who are auditing facilities will have completed this training, meaning qualified auditors will be expected to have this training, and eventually preventive controls qualified individuals (PCQIs) will be expected to do so too. The qualified auditor and a PCQI will still require the education, experience and other training to perform the specific job duties as listed in the regulations. Unfortunately, it is likely that neither the industry nor the government will have enough lead instructors ready to train everyone who would want or need to be trained before the compliance dates become effective. Additionally, this training course is not yet available for animal food, and the industry has been informed by FSPCA that a Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) training module will be added to the training course. The FSVP is discussed in the Supply-Chain Preventive Control module, and the fact that there are some similarities between these regulations helps individuals involved in the FSVP program, or in auditing it.

In the produce safety rule, training requirements are listed in subpart C 21 CFR 112.21, 112.22, 112.23 and 112.30. Personnel who require training are those handling covered produce and their supervisors. As with the cGMP and preventive control rules, the principles of food hygiene and food safety must be taught to these personnel. More specifically they must learn how to identify an ill or infected person, and be taught about microorganisms of public health significance, such as Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli O157 on food contact surfaces. Additionally, personnel who harvest covered produce must be trained in recognizing produce that is contaminated with known or reasonably foreseeable hazards to ensure it isn’t harvested. These personnel must be trained in the use of harvest containers and equipment to ensure that they are functioning properly, clean and maintained, and to identify when they are not. At the same time, employees must be trained in correcting any issues or in reporting them to a supervisor in order to have them corrected. All this training must be documented in the same way as the cGMP and preventive control programs.

Unlike the cGMP and preventive control rules, the produce safety rule’s requirement to have a qualified individual, supervisor or responsible party on each farm that has completed a recognized FDA course, or equivalent, is not optional. This course will be available through the Produce Safety Alliance and is anticipated to start in September 2016. The grower food safety course required for supervisors will include an introduction to produce safety, worker health and hygiene training, soil amendments, wildlife, domestic animals and land use, agricultural water, post-harvest handling and sanitation, as well as how to develop a food safety plan.

The training for produce, conducted by the Produce Safety Alliance and/or trained trainers, does not cover training for sprouts; training for sprouts is being developed by the Sprout Safety Alliance and will include topics specifically for sprouts, such as antimicrobial treatment of sprouting seeds.

In the FSVP, the qualified individuals must have the education, training or experience necessary to perform activities as per 21 CFR 1.503. These qualified individuals will develop the FSVP and those activities such as hazard analysis, supplier approval, determining verification activities and frequency, corrective actions and other activities for the FSVP. These personnel must be able to read and understand the records to be reviewed for this program. This means they must know English and may also need to know the local language at point of product manufacture or farming.

At this time there is no structured training program for these individuals, but the FSPCA training program, alongside education and experience can provide the training necessary for these people to perform the job activities. A PCQI would be qualified for the role of a FSVP qualified individual, but the FSVP probably would not be qualified for the PCQI role. This is because the activities in the FSVP are not as complicated as those required by the cGMP and preventive controls rules, and therefore the FSVP qualifications would not need to be as stringent.

Training Under Proposed Rules 

In the proposal for Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Foods, 21 CFR 1.910, the FDA requires carriers of these products to train personnel who are engaged in transportation operations. This should include awareness of potential food safety problems that may occur to food during transport, basic sanitary practices that would address those problems and the responsibilities of the carriers in the regulation. As with all training in these regulations, the type of training, who was trained and when they were trained must be documented.

Since this is a proposal, the training for teaching the carrier’s responsibility is not yet finalized but will require nothing more than explaining that section of the regulation. The training of potential food safety issues and the problems that might occur during transport are handled during standard cGMP and food safety training.

For the proposed Intentional Adulteration rule, per 21 CFR 121.160, the personnel and supervisors assigned to the actionable process steps must receive training in food defense awareness and their responsibilities in implementing the migration strategies. Also, as per 21 CFR 121.130, the vulnerability assessment is to be performed by a qualified individual, and this individual is to be qualified through experience and/or appropriate training.

For basic food defense, the FDA offers various courses and information, such as Food Defense 101, on their food defense webpage. An online course is offered in English and Spanish and covers the awareness training and the regulations for employees. Upon course completion, a certificate is provided. The agency also has a downloadable food defense plan builder that can be used to develop a food defense program. The agency also provides vulnerability assessment software, but additional training in PAS 96 or ISO/TS 22000 food defense would aid qualified personnel in making sure that this vulnerability assessment is correct and that the strategies to reduce risks are appropriate and not excessive.

There is an abundance of training courses and materials available from the FDA, USDA FSIS, associations and industry. FSMA employee training requires having personnel with the proscribed education and experience to perform specific tasks, and that they be trained as soon as possible in order for them to develop the programs. Additionally, all personnel should be trained at least annually in food hygiene, food safety and food defense.

Article Source: foodsafetytech.com