Monday, May 21, 2018

FDA’s Data Dashboard Helps Companies Meet FSMA Supply Chain Requirements


FDA has launched a new section of its Data Dashboard to help food importers, manufacturers and processors meet supply chain requirements put forth by FSMA (specifically FSVP, and the PC rules). The dashboard provides ease in finding compliance and enforcement information related to companies.

“The Foreign Supplier Verification Programs rule requires importers to perform risk-based activities to verify that their suppliers are meeting applicable U.S. food safety standards. One such activity is an evaluation of a supplier’s performance and the risk associated with the food, a process that includes evaluating a supplier’s compliance with FDA regulations such as whether the supplier is subject to an FDA warning letter, import alert, or other FDA compliance action related to food safety. The Preventive Controls rules require manufacturers/processors to perform supplier approval if the ingredient supplied contains a hazard requiring a supply-chain applied control. Supplier approval includes consideration of the supplier’s compliance with food safety laws and regulations.” – FDA

The agency also made improvements to its supplier evaluation resources page and added it to the dashboard so that companies can simultaneously search several databases. Users can search for information about warning letters, import refusal and import alerts.

Article Source: https://foodsafetytech.com/news_article/fdas-data-dashboard-helps-companies-meet-fsma-supply-chain-requirements/

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Top 6 Benefits of On-Site Training


On-site training is becoming more and more of a necessity for organizations around the world, specialized training in accordance with the organization's needs helps teams become more productive and innovative. On-site training has also grown from just training employees in a specific location to training employees globally via online training which reduces cost and allows multiple branches of the organization to learn together.

1. Location
The biggest advantage of on-site training is the location. With the training done on the company's premises, employees save valuable time, which otherwise would have been lost on commuting from another location to the trainer. On-site training also allows the organisation to be free to make last minute changes and make additional changes to who might or might not be helpful to include into the training, for example an operations manager who could share a few experiences with the class or an up-and-coming executive who might be willing to sit in the next available training program

2. Privacy
Delicate organizational data can be shared by members and utilized as solid illustrations amid intuitive and confidential workshop sessions in complete confidence. Upper-management may train specific mid-leveled executives on the internal workings of the organization.

3. Tailored Program Content
Organizations have the ability to tailor each and every aspect of the training process as well as customize the lessons according to the company's own policies. Guiding employees on which area's the organization would like them to focus on for a specific time period or financial year.

4. Boosts employee productivity and profits
Employees are able to build new skills, develop existing skill sets, and gather new knowledge about products and services that will boost their on-the-job productivity. Given that most training programs from universities and training institutes are quite time consuming and expensive on individual based training. With on-site training employees do not have to time out of the office and instead clock back to work as soon as the training is complete and since they are based on group lessons, the cost for such training is significantly reduced.

5. Employees have access to training that work around their schedule
With on-site training, training can be scheduled to the organization's needs and learning and development professionals can plan training to suit their own employees rather than the usual classroom style of universities which have a specified schedules that often clash with work hours.

6. Keeps employees up to date on current company protocols
While many employees are offered entrance training when they first join an association, continuing onsite training offers them the capacity to further build up their aptitudes and extend their expert learning. Since company processes are constantly evolving, it's critical that representatives are offered access to new training and stay up-to-date. On-site training gives professionals the opportunity to grow their abilities or find out about new subjects inside of their specialty so as to stay competent and innovative with industry trends or new insights that may give them an advantage at work.

Article Source: https://www.findcourses.com/prof-dev/l-d-articles/top-6-benefits-of-onsite-training-9873

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

On-site PRIVATE Classes in English & Spanish and Consulting Services


Classes Available in English & Spanish and Consulting Services

WE OFFER PUBLIC AND ON-SITE TRAINING CLASSES:
  • 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

WE ALSO OFFER:

  • Food Safety Consulting Services

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

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Food Fraud Requires Companies to Think Like a Criminal

Mitigating the risk requires implementing control measures and establishing traceability systems.


In a two-question format, the authors discuss pressing issues in food fraud.

1. Where are the current hot spots for food fraud?

Food fraud activities have been known for centuries. For example, in ancient Rome and Athens, there were rules regarding the adulteration of wines with flavors and colors. In mid-13th century England, there were guidelines prescribing a certain size and weight for each type of bread, as well as required ingredients and how much it should cost. In the United States, back in 1906, Congress passed both the Meat Inspection Act and the original Food and Drugs Act, prohibiting the manufacture and interstate shipment of adulterated and misbranded foods and drugs. However, evidence and records of actions taken over those events were not officially collected.

It was not until 1985, when the presence of diethylene glycol (DEG) was identified in white wines from Austria, that authorities, retailers and consumers started to have serious concerns about the adulteration of food and the severity of its impact on consumers. In addition, there was increased interest to regulate, investigate and apply efforts to enforce requirements.

Other examples include the following:

  • 2005: Chili powder adulterated with Sudan (India)
  • 2008: Dairy products adulterated with melamine (China)
  • 2013: Beef substituted with horsemeat (UK)
  • 2013: Manuka honey where it was known that bees were not feeding from pollen of the Manuka bush (New Zealand)
  • 2016: Dried oregano adulterated with other dried plants (Australia)

This list can go on and on.

Lately there have been more cases of food fraud. Fortunately, even limited international databases are helping to identify the raw material origins of products in the supply chain that could be more exposed to adulteration. Also, food manufacturers, brokers and agents are conducting assessments to ensure that they are buying ingredients and products from sources, where food fraud could be prevented. The following products are identified as having more adulteration notifications:

  • Olive oil
  • Fish
  • Vegetable products with claims of “Organic”
  • Milk
  • Grains
  • Honey and maple syrup
  • Coffee and tea
  • Spices
  • Wine
  • Fruit Juices

2. What can companies do to mitigate the risk?

Control measures to prevent food fraud activities include the adequate evaluation and selection of suppliers, as well as the ‘suppliers of the suppliers’. Typical risk matrices of likelihood of occurrence versus consequence can be used to measure risk—and determine priorities for assessing and putting control measures in place. Assessments can be focused on points of vulnerabilities such as food substitution, mislabeling, adulterations and/or counterfeiting, usually due to economic advantages for one or more tiers in food chain production.

Other food fraud activities include effective traceability systems, monitoring current worldwide news and notifications on food fraud using international databases (EU-RASFF, USA- EMA NCFPD and USP, etc.), and product testing.

Product testing is becoming an important tool for the food industry to become confident in sourcing raw materials, ensuring the management of food fraud control measures, fulfilling applicable legal requirements, and ensuring the safety of consumers.

Product testing laboratories offer different kinds of testing methods depending on the required output; for example, if it is possible and requested, a targeted or non-targeted result.

Targeted analysis involves screening for pre-defined components in a sample:

  • Liquid chromatography
  • Gas chromatography
  • Mass spectrometry (LC-MS and GC-MS)
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR).
  • PCR technique

Non-targeted analysis aims to see any chemical present in the sample:

  • Isotopic measurement-determination of whether ethanol and vinegar and flavorings are natural or synthetic
  • Metabolomics: Maturation and shelf life
  • Proteomics: Testing for pork and beef additives in chicken, confectionery and desserts

Due to the importance of food fraud for a food safety management system, GFSI published Version 7.1 of Benchmarking Requirements, including subjects on food fraud, as vulnerability assessment. In 2018 all certification schemes have incorporated such requirements and started enforcing them.

Fraud cases threat consumer trust in products and services. Companies are learning to “think like a criminal” and put in place measures to prevent fraud and protect their products, their brands and their consumers.

Article Source: https://foodsafetytech.com/feature_article/food-fraud-requires-companies-to-think-like-a-criminal/

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

2 Seats Left in our May Classes - Register Today!!


SQF Food Safety Code For Manufacturing Edition 8 
($125 Special Price!)

GFSI Internal & External Audit Workshop
($125 Special Price!)

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Three Ways Sanitation Automation Helps Food Processors Reduce Costs

Sanitation is a major undertaking for food processors. Automating certain tasks, however, can help facilities overcome common challenges, including labor, safety and sustainability, leading to significant savings and increased productivity.

Butcher cleaning the floor at meat factory. Image courtesy of Birko.

Sanitation in a food processing plant is a large-scale effort that many organizations see as an added cost of doing business. Yet, it’s essential and can have costly consequences if done improperly.

Because time is money and facilities want to avoid any necessary downtime, the window for completing proper sanitation procedures is small. Many food processors simply put more people on the job while requiring them to work third shift, hoping to get things done faster.

Automating certain sanitation procedures in your plant can provide real benefits, many of which will help reduce the costs associated with food safety and keeping your facility clean. Here’s a look at the three main ways food plants can save by implementing automated sanitation solutions.

1. Resource Management

When you invest in sanitation automation, one of the biggest advantages is the increased understanding of how resources are being used. This knowledge and improved visibility gives you control of how resources such as water and chemicals are used during sanitation.

Perhaps the most significant area in which facilities experience savings is through reduction of water usage. Automated solutions improve the efficiency of rinse cycles while ensuring appropriate water pressure is being used. Every plant has unique water needs, but you should expect water savings between 30% and 50%, depending on the solutions that are applied.

Sanitation automation will also lead to a reduction in energy costs. Using less water means less energy is required to heat that water. Advancements in sanitation technology have made certain solutions more energy efficient. Features such as multi-stage pumps for full alternation, motors that allow pumps to ramp up and down as needed, and flow switches that send pumps into “hibernate” mode help reduce electricity usage.

Waste water from food processing also needs to be treated before it goes down the drain. Less water treatment means fewer chemicals are needed.

Food processors that introduce automated sanitation solutions will use cleaning chemicals more efficiently. Automation ensures chemicals are dispensed precisely where they are needed at the correct concentration, without any over spray. Again, while every situation is unique, most facilities can expect a 20–30% reduction in chemistry costs.

In the end, you will have a very clear picture of the amount of water and chemistry needed to complete sanitation, and you’ll know the amount of time it should take. That means you can plan for more uptime.

Overall, not only can automation help food processors make efficient use of resources, it also makes them more sustainable.

2. Labor Costs

Labor is yet another resource that can be more effectively managed when there’s an investment in sanitation automation. The labor market is tight, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to hire the people needed to carry out sanitation work.

Sanitation often involves menial and tedious tasks that also require attention to detail. It usually entails working overnight when production stops, and certain responsibilities can be dangerous. At the same time, minimum wage is rising, and many organizations are looking to reduce labor costs.

Introducing sanitation automation can certainly cut labor expenses and remove the need to hire more people, but more importantly, it can make the workers you do have more productive. Automation should be used to eliminate menial tasks from sanitation workers. For example, instead of a person standing in front of a conveyor belt and spraying it down with a hose for hours on end, the job could be easily automated.

We worked with a brewer who was having two employees take as long as three hours to clean a filler. By automating that task, they turned it into a 45-minute job and allowed those employees to refocus their efforts. Plus, the before and after pictures of the equipment show a visible difference in cleanliness.

You can trust an automation solution to do a consistent job, and it will never call in sick. Still, you’ll always need to have “boots on the ground” and human eyes evaluating sanitation. Automating certain sanitation practices will free up employees to work on more important duties that add value and keep them engaged in their work.

3. Mitigating Safety Risks

The most important thing sanitation automation provides is more peace of mind. No one wants to lose sleep worrying about a failed inspection or the potential for a worker injury. Automation reduces the risk of product contamination and lessens potentially dangerous situations for employees.

For instance, spiral freezers are particularly precarious areas to clean. Automating its cleaning process eliminates the need for a worker to maneuver through an unsafe space, reducing the likelihood of a workplace injury.

Human labor can also lead to human error. But, when sanitation tasks are automated, they become more consistent and easily repeatable. This is especially important for cleaning hard-to-reach problem spots that become harborage areas for bacteria. There may be a tendency among human workers to skip areas they can’t reach, or fail to clean them properly, but a machine cleans everything the same every time.

The monetary risk of contamination inside your facility is significant. For example, if Listeria were to take up residence in a plant, it could cost your business millions of dollars.

According to a study from the Food Marketing Institute and Grocery Manufacturers Association, the average food product recall will have direct costs of $10 million while indirect costs could reach into the hundreds of millions. That’s because you also need to consider the ongoing cost of a damaged brand reputation, not to mention lost productivity from business interruptions and lost profits from disposing of potentially contaminated product.

Sanitation Automation: The Future is Now

There are many reasons to start implementing automation into your food and beverage plant’s sanitation practices. Food processors in Europe have been quicker to adopt these solutions because many of the same issues U.S. manufacturers face, such as wages and resource scarcity, can be even more pronounced overseas.

As the labor market in the United States presents challenges for hiring managers, and drought conditions in some regions make water a scarce commodity, automation presents an opportunity to bring your facility into the future. Add to those concerns the increased regulations from FSMA, and there is even more reason to invest in dependable sanitation solutions.

Food processors need to find trusted advisors who can evaluate operations inside the plant and look for ways to implement automation in ways that make the largest impact.

While there is certainly an upfront cost in automating sanitation, the potential savings and added visibility these solutions provide won’t take long to pay for themselves. In most cases, facilities that invest in sanitation automation will see a return within a year to 18 months. If done properly, you can achieve impressive cost-saving results through automation.

Article Source: https://foodsafetytech.com/feature_article/three-ways-sanitation-automation-helps-food-processors-reduce-costs/

Thursday, May 3, 2018

SQF Food Safety Code for Food Manufacturing - 2 day course - Special $125 Pricing!!


Wed, May 9, 2018, - Thu, May 10, 2018
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Napa Valley College 
2277 Napa Vallejo Highway Bldg 3000, Rm 3004 
Napa, CA 94558 


DESCRIPTION

Attention food manufacturing professionals!

SQF Code, Edition 8 introduces a new approach for assessing individual food industry sectors with customized requirements in separate, stand-alone codes: Food Safety Fundamentals, Primary Production (Produce), Manufacturing, Distribution, Food Packaging, Retail, and Quality.

Attend this two-day course offered by Napa Valley College.

Course Description - What You'll Learn:

  • The updates and implications of the updates in Edition 8 of the SQF Code from the former Edition 7.2.
  • Implementing and maintaining an SQF system and its mandatory elements.
  • Validating and verifying your food safety plan within the SQF system and meeting FSMA requirements.
  • Undertanding the process for aligning with FSMA regulatory requirements.
  • Overview of the SQF certification process.
  • How a HACCP-based approach manages food safety and quality hazards in an operation.
  • The SQF Food Safety Code for Manufacturing as it applies specifically to Food Sector Categories 7-22, 31-34. This includes Modules 2 (Systems Elements) and Module 11 (Food Safety Fundamentals for Food Manufacturing).

Who Should Attend?

SQFP, Food Safety Professionals, Sr. Management, Suppliers, Food Safety Auditors, Support Staff. This course is designed to provide current and new SQF Practitioners, Sr. Management, Production Personnel, and their team members with the tools and knowledge to develop and maintain their SQF food safety management system and understand the process for aligning with FSMA regulatory requirements.

Two Day Course: May 9 to May 10, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM each day.

Price: Only $125 for an entire 2-day course thanks to special grant funding.

Price Includes: Event registration, morning and afternoon snack breaks, lunch for both days, course materials and certificate of attendance.

Questions? Contact Charlie Monahan at 707-256-7254 or cmonahan@napavalley.edu.