Sunday, December 10, 2017

Shared Values Are The Foundation For A Culture Of Food Safety

To create a food safety culture in any organization, there first must be understanding of what this means.

I frequently discuss the importance of having a food safety culture with operators of a variety types of companies, and they all tell me the same thing: "my company has a great food safety culture." But when I ask what that means, their answers are not as confident.

So, how do you build a good food safety culture and make sure your employees embrace it? Understanding the value of food safety is where it begins. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 6 Americans contract a foodborne illness each year.

When food safety policies and procedures are created, correctly implemented, and instilled as part of a business culture, mistakes that can lead to foodborne illnesses are significantly reduced.

As a result, in addition to boosting food safety, profit increases, employee morale soars, employee turnover is reduced, absenteeism is minimized, and the company's reputation remains secure. If food safety is neglected, food contamination can cause outbreaks, which not only critically damage a company's reputation, but can also result in criminal negligence lawsuits and bankruptcy.

A food safety program that works for one organization may not work for another. It is necessary to find what works best for each organization, and then be committed to continuously reviewing the processes, evaluating them based on feedback and measurable results from team members and, when necessary, making changes.

If possible, company leaders should create a food safety team to collect data that can be used to analyze results. Use key performance indicators to study what is happening within your company - this is how you will determine what, where, and when changes need to be made.

Using feedback and data, a culture of food safety can be built on a set of shared values that management and employees follow to produce food in the safest manner. Establishing and maintaining a food safety culture means that management and employees recognize the risks linked with the products or meals they produce, understand why controlling the risks is important, and successfully manage those risks in an evident way.

In an organization with a good food safety culture, employees are expected to enact practices that represent the shared value system and point out where others may fail. By using a variety of tools, consequences and incentives, corporations can show their staff and customers that they are aware of current food safety concerns, that they can learn from others' mistakes, and that food safety is important within their organization.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were eating at a restaurant that is part of a large organization. I am certain this company would say they have a good food safety culture. Yet as we were eating in the dining room, I observed the cook eating food and drinking a beverage with her single use gloves on while preparing food for customers. She didn't wash her hands or change her gloves the entire time we were there!

Such behavior has the potential to cause a foodborne illness outbreak. Clearly, somewhere in the company there was a breakdown in the value system, and this employee wasn't following proper food safety protocols.

While there are many exceptional operations that have great food safety cultures, I have walked into establishments on many occasions to conduct health inspections or third-party inspections only to see employees and management tripping over each other to fill buckets of sanitizer, put on aprons, date product, etc., because they knew an inspector was in the building.

Building a food safety culture involves activities that go beyond grabbing a broom and sweeping up dirt.

When I see employees scrambling to "catch up" on the food safety protocols because I'm visiting and inspecting their facility, I know - and they know - that they have been neglecting tasks that they should have been doing on a regular basis. Witnessing them scramble indicates that these people do not take food safety seriously. In a company with a good food safety culture, the standards are the same every day, regardless of whether there is an executive or a health inspector visiting. Because the health of your customers and the reputation of your company are, ultimately, your biggest concerns.

As you are creating and implementing your food safety plan, some important items to remember are:

  • make training fun
  • lead by example
  • explain why
  • follow up
  • use job aids

Creating a food safety culture takes more than discussing it at an occasional staff meeting or industry conference. It takes commitment by every level of management and staff, every second of every day. And when you have that level of commitment, employees will be more inclined to take their jobs seriously and less likely to take chances that put the company at risk.

Article Source:

Thursday, December 7, 2017

2018 Classes Open For Registration

Current 2018 Classes

SQF Food Safety Code For Manufacturing Edition 8

GFSI Internal & External Audit Workshop

FSPCA Preventive Controls For Human Food

SQF 8 Quality Systems For Food Manufacturers

Monday, December 4, 2017

How To Implement An Effective Food Safety Program

Oscar Camacho with Superior Food Safety gives a brief description of how to implement an effective food safety program into your organization. See more at

Friday, December 1, 2017

5 Burning Questions About The Rise In Foodborne Illness

The food industry has been one of the most celebrated and fastest-growing industries over the last decade or so. Which is no surprise, considering how much food is now being consumed, or posted on Instagram, on a daily basis. Pop-up food carts and hole-in-the-wall food places have been a huge hit too and even inspired a number of Hollywood films about the tough competition and revolutionary marketing tactics that have taken over the food industry (see: Jon Favreau’s Chef and Bradley Cooper’s Burnt). It’s good times, for sure. Well, for the most part, I mean.

When did foodborne illness become a major concern in the US?
Unfortunately, it’s not just the revenue that’s on the rise, because food borne illnesses too are making the headlines as of late. Talk about spoiling (no pun intended) the fun, eh? Well, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, the number of foodborne disease outbreaks resulting from imported foods increased during surveillance years 2005 to 2010.

Where are the numbers coming from?
Dr. L. Hannah Gould, Ph.D., a senior epidemiologist at the CDC, revealed those findings during an oral presentation here at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in 2012. According to the CDC, 39 foodborne disease outbreaks were reported in which the implicated food had been imported into the United States. These outbreaks resulted in 2348 illnesses, 434 hospitalizations and 3 deaths.

How many are affected?
Though foodborne illnesses are often never formally reported, about 48 million Americans, or one in six, get sick each year from food, the CDC estimates, with 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. In fact, in 2014, 19,542 cases of infection were traced from 15% of the US population being surveyed by CDC.

Why is it on the rise?
The culprits? Chances are, you’ve been storing them somewhere inside your establishment: packaged caramel-coated apples, frozen ice cream sandwiches, fresh peaches and nectarines, frozen meet, etc. Not exactly the answers you were expecting, perhaps?

According to experts, the growing popularity of packaged foods such as pre-cut fruit and prepared sandwiches has heightened the risk of spreading foodborne illnesses. Furthermore, they have identified that contamination can occur between preparation and packaging, or in high-tech processing plants, after heating to destroy harmful bacteria and before packaging. Which means, somewhere in the last decade, we lost our way (or something like that).

What can we do to stop foodborne disease from spreading?
The whole fiasco regarding foodborne illness is a public safety concern and must be addressed by everyone. However, while adjusting individually may not be a problem for most of us, the same cannot be said for food places and restaurants. Just imagine the public relations horror for restaurant managers if any of their customers get sick while dining at their place?

Restaurants must be more strict and thorough when addressing food safety concerns. The entire crew must be trained when it comes to food handling and a food safety manager must also take charge in overseeing procedures in the kitchen. In fact, proper storage and disposal must also be adequately done at all times. With those safety measures in play, establishments will be able to showcase their commitment to adhere with local food standards and basic food handling procedures. That’s a step in the right direction, for sure.

Summing up, foodborne illness is definitely a manageable concern and will likely not become a factor that will hinder the overall growth of the food industry. However, the fact that it can be controlled and yet still recurring means that there’s still a fair amount of work needed to be done to improve the industry in other aspects—and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing (at least not yet).

Article Source:

Monday, November 27, 2017

Open Position: Quality Assurance Coordinator

One of our clients is looking for a QA Coordinator for their Site in Atlanta area (Griffin, GA). If interested please send your resume in LinkedIn:

Position/ Job Title: Quality Assurance Coordinator

Department: Quality Assurance

Status: Non-Exempt, Hourly

Shift: 6:30 am – 3:30 pm

Immediate Supervisor: Plant Manager, FSQA Manager

Positions Supervise: Blending, Brewing, Filling, Packaging


  • The Quality Assurance Coordinator ensures that day to day production meets the established standards of quality and food safety. The position is responsible for monitoring and maintaining key indicators of product quality and safety through inspection, testing and communication.
  • The Quality Assurance Coordinator guarantees the operations and procedures on the plant floor meet and align with corporate quality policy. This includes maintenance of the SQF and quality programs, HACCP, allergen control, ingredient control, cGMP’s, document control, traceability, product quality reviews, and corrective/preventative action.

The Quality Assurance Coordinator is responsible for notifying any deviations in quality processes to personnel-in-charge in manufacturing assembly and responsible for reporting compliance and all deviations to the Plant Manager and FSQA Manager.

If this opening is of your interest, please submit your resume via LinkedIn or write an e-mail at subject: QA Coordinator – Atlanta Area

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Training in English and Spanish

Classes Available in English & Spanish and Consulting Services

  • HACCP Workshop
  • Implementing SQF Training - Version 8.0 - English and Spanish
  • FSMA Preventive Controls for Human Foods
  • FSPCA For Human Food Compliance
  • Produce Safety Rule Training Official Program
  • SQF Quality Systems For Food Manufacturers
  • Internal and External GFSI Audits
  • Crisis Management
  • Gluten Free Certification Program
  • SQF Advance Practitioner Course
  • Prerequisite Programs


  • Food Safety Consulting Services

Please visit our website or send us an email for more information!

Thursday, November 23, 2017