Monday, February 17, 2020

2020 Classes Available for Registration!

CLASSES AVAILABLE at Napa Valley College

March 18, 19, 20, 2020
FSPCA/PCQI Food Safety Preventive Controls for Human Foods
Regular Price $850, ETP Price $300

April 16, 17, 2020
Basic HACCP Workshop for Manufactures
Regular Price $725, ETP Price $250

May 13, 14, 2020
SQF Food Safety Code for Manufacturing Edition 8.1
Regular Price $725, ETP Price $250

May 15, 2020
Internal and External GFSI Audits Workshop
Regular Price $475, ETP Price $180

June 11, 12, 2020
SQF Advanced Practitioner (Registration will open in Spring 2020)
Regular Price $725, ETP Price $250

CLASSES AVAILABLE at Butte College Training Place

March 3, 4, 5, 2020
FSPCA Food Safety Preventive Controls for Manufacturers
For Price Email: The Training Place

March 27, 2020
PSA Produce Safety Rule
For Price Email: The Training Place

All SQF classes are official, advertised by SQF, and provided by Superior Food Safety a SQF Licensed Training Center. 

All Food Safety Preventive Controls for Human Food classes are authorized and posted by FSPCA, and provided by Oscar Camacho a FSPCA Lead Instructor.

The fees to attend these classes are subsidized through a joint venture between Napa Valley College-Superior Food Safety and funded by ETP-Employment Training Panel Program of California.

PRICE STARTS AT $180.00 + Administrative Fees PER CLASS (See each link below for details)

Please DOWNLOAD, COMPLETE and SUBMIT the forms below to before you begin the registration process.

Certification Application
Employment Training Panel

Friday, February 14, 2020

Why Icicle Is The Crucial Ingredient For Modern Quality Assurance

Superior Food Safety has partnered with Icicle Technologies Inc. to bring Icicle, a smart food manufacturing software, to the food & beverage and the growing industries.

In today’s commercial and regulatory environment, your QA department needs the power to be the backbone of your products’ success. Icicle provides a full suite of quality assurance tools that are integrated with production, procurement, logistics, laboratory management, and more so your QA Manager can always gather, analyze, and distribute information to auditors, inspectors, and customers with minimal effort.

Investing in your QA department isn’t just safer and better – it helps you achieve the level of quality you need to secure advanced certifications like SQF and the big customers who require them. Icicle is unparalleled in its ability to model the way your company actually works and adapt to your specific needs so that each individual process is successfully monitored, from farm to fork.

The Basics of Compliance: Automatically Generate Certificate of Analysis

Icicle helps you specify quality parameters for your products, measure them during production, and easily generate CoAs to confirm that quality standards are met.

  • Before Production: The first step to quality control and quality assurance is to set parameters for your products. Icicle allows you to create pass/fail (Boolean) quality, numeric specifications to ensure that measured values are within critical and operational ranges, and process specifications to handle specs that include subjective attributes such as “is the color between dark and medium blue?”
  • During Production: Icicle utilizes comprehensive automation to ensure that those parameters are met during production, alerting your QA and production managers if there is a problem before or as it occurs, rather than hours too late.
  • After Production: Certificates of analysis are automatically generated, confirming quality standards have been met. Proper documentation earns quality certifications, and Icicle documents it all for you.

5 Premium Features to Help You Control and Maintain Food Quality

"If you have a system [Icicle] that alerts you right away to quality concerns, you really can’t put a price tag on it because it makes all the difference for your company.”
–Christopher Foster, Food Safety and Quality Coordinator for Ontario Pride Eggs

Remaining competitive means improving quality, and improvement means change. Icicle makes quality changes painless with features that help test, monitor, and analyze quality measures so you can see what does and does not work.

#1: Automatic Mass Balance Calculations
Automatic mass balance calculations allow you to trace recalled products, ingredients, materials, and packaging throughout the production process, identifying every precursor and finished product that may be affected and showing exactly where each affected item is presently located along with the quantities that need to be retrieved for rework or disposal – all in just seconds. Want to wow your auditors? Give them the answers they need before they finish asking their question, like Paul from P&S Frozen Foods discovered.

#2: QA Dashboard
Time is money, especially when it comes to your QA team. Icicle’s QA dashboard frees up QA time that would be spent compiling data from binders, spreadsheets, or disparate software programs into quality trend reports so that your team can focus on their true mission: improving quality.

Icicle’s QA dashboard is automatically populated with performance indicators including test results, corrective actions, root cause analysis, and preventative measures so that the QA team and company leadership can review a concise report as often as they want. QA can set quality control parameters and the QA dashboard will measure changes over time and clearly outline positive and negative trends. With Icicle crunching the data, your QA team can focus on real-time production and planning for the future, all without sacrificing valuable trending updates.

#3: Supplier Management (or Vendor Management)
Tracking supplier certifications (or vendor certifications) can be a complex and taxing business – and mistakes can cost you. Icicle’s supplier management feature tracks all your suppliers in one, simple location and updates you if your supplier’s certifications have expired, giving you the heads-up you need to pull their ingredients before they can ruin your product. Any changes that are made to any certification are automatically updated everywhere else, so you can provide up-to-date reports upon demand.

For companies looking to expand their business, automated supplier management is essential for any QA department. Food companies like FreeYumm, an allergen-free food processor, use Icicle’s supplier management to stay on top of supplier certification with less labour, more precision, and full confidence. With Icicle’s help, FreeYumm easily achieved their SQF certification and was able to leverage their high level of quality and safety to expand to new markets:

“Once we decided we wanted to expand out-of-province and into the US, we realized we needed a robust tracking system and that it just wasn’t going to be possible without software.”
–Terry Goulah, Vice President of Operations and co-founder of FreeYumm

#4: Smart Inventory Management
Icicle utilizes GS1 barcodes to track inventory, maximizing shelf life and minimizing waste by tracking expiration dates and supplier certifications with just a quick scan. Along with automatic mass balance calculations, Icicle’s inventory management is determined to help you get the most out of your inventory and save you money without compromising quality.

#5: Laboratory Management
Knowledgeable Icicle staff can help you build a customized Icicle’s laboratory management plan for your facility to make sure you don’t miss any tumors. Get way ahead of recalls: the testing lab can upload results into Icicle, providing you with the information you need to avoid dangerous recalls immediately. Results of tests automatically populate in the QA dashboard to show you trends over time, so you can see if the changes are working and tweak quality measures accordingly.

Icicle Improves Food Quality
With its holistic approach, utilizing real-time traceability to stay on top of problems rather than simply document them, Icicle is the answer to improving food quality. If your current food production management technology isn’t capable of setting detailed parameters, monitoring them via automation, testing for quality, and putting the data toward pain-free analysis of your product’s quality all in one central hub, it doesn’t have the legs to take you through the next decade. With all these capabilities and more, Icicle is the high-tech quality catapult your company needs.

Icicle’s award-winning food safety infrastructure has helped several companies earn globally recognized food quality certifications — its contribution to quality is proven.

“At the stage, we were at when we implemented Icicle, I don’t think we would have passed SQF audit with the score we did and that would have lost us millions of dollars in business.” 
 – Paul Tolnai, Operations Manager for P&S Frozen Foods

If you want your company to grow over the next ten years, you need a system that understands the challenges of quality and safety. The future of food is quality, and the future of quality is automation. The best automation for food production is Icicle. Consumers expect the best, why wouldn’t you choose the best automation to produce it?

Request A Demo Today>>

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

There's Still Time to Register for February's Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP)

February 20 & 21, 2020
Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP)
Regular Price $725, ETP Price $250

Course Description
The FSVP course curriculum was designed by regulatory, academic, and industry professionals and developed in consultation with FDA as part of the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA). This course will provide participants with the knowledge to implement the requirements of the "Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals" regulation of the U.S. FDA. By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the underlying purpose of FSVP rule
  • Identify what's needed to be included in your FSVP
  • Develop and implement your FSVP
  • Implement an FSVP recordkeeping system
  • Understand how FDA will oversee your FSVP

The course is taught by Lead Instructors trained and approved by the FSPCA. Upon attending the entire training program, you will receive an official certificate issued by the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO).

Who should attend?

  • Importers of human and animal food in the U.S.
  • Brokers/Import Agents
  • Facilities that directly import food to the U.S
  • Personnel responsible for the development and implementation of FSVP
  • Food Safety Personnel/Consultant/Auditors
  • Foreign suppliers of food that will be exported to the U.S.

The course fee listed includes Participant Manual, Exercise Workbook, and an official FSVP certificate recognized by U.S. FDA.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

FEATURED: Napa Valley's Best Taco Joints

Sometimes, even if you’re surrounded by Michelin three-star restaurants, you just want a good taco. And, this being the Napa Valley, we have everything from authentic, traditional Mexican food to slightly chi-chi’d-up interpretations. Here’s a list of some local favorites — except where noted, all venues are located in Napa.

See the list

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

FDA Sends Warning Letters About Foreign Supplier Verification Program Violations

By News Desk on January 27, 2020

As part of its enforcement activities, the Food and Drug Administration sends warning letters to entities under its jurisdiction. Some letters are not posted for public view until weeks or months after they are sent.

Business owners have 15 days to respond to FDA warning letters. Warning letters often are not issued until a company has been given months to years to correct problems.

Both of the following warning letters address violations of the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP). FSVP regulation requires that importers perform certain risk-based activities to verify that human and/or animal food they import into the United States has been produced in a manner that meets applicable U.S. food safety standards.

Dinamix Distribution LLC — McAllen, TX
The Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter dated Dec. 12, 2019, to the owner of Dinamix Distribution LLC, Rodulfo Suarez.

During a Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) inspection at Dinamix Distribution LLC on June 28, 2019, FDA investigators found that the company was not in compliance with federal law for the following products imported from the companies foreign suppliers: mayonnaise; tomatoes-spice flavored drink; and punch flavored soft drinks imported from (redacted). The company also did not have FSVPs for these products.

The FDA received a company response dated Aug. 8, 2019, regarding the FDA 483a FSVP observations form issued June 28, 2019. But, it did not address the lack of FSVPs for the imported products’ according to the FDA warning letter.

In response to these deviations, the FDA issued an FDA 483 Inspectional Observations form that lists deviations observed at the facility.

The violations noted by the FDA:

“You did not develop an FSVP as required by section 805 of the FD&C Act and 21 CFR part I subpart L. Specifically, your firm did not develop an FSVP for each of the following foods:”

  • “mayonnaise manufactured by (redacted)
  • “tomatoes-spice flavored drink (redacted) manufactured by (redacted)
  • “punch flavored soft drinks manufactured by (redacted)

A complete list of the violations can be found in the FDA’s warning letter.

Swagath Home Foods LLC — Redmond, WA
The Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter dated Jan. 7, 2019, to the Managing Partner of Swagath Home Foods LLC, Ravi Modalavalasa.

During a Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) inspection at Swagath Home Foods LLC, FDA investigators found that the company was not in compliance with the requirements of federal law for their black pepper powder imported from Subhash Masala Co. Pvt. Ltd., spiced chutney powder imported from MTR Foods Pvt. Ltd., and potato chips imported from Pepsico India Holding Pvt. The company did not have FSVPs for the products.

In response to these deviations, the FDA issued an FDA 483 Inspectional Observations form that lists deviations observed at the facility.

The violations noted by the FDA:

  • The FDA received a response dated Sept. 28, 2019, which included a document entitled “Swagath Foreign Supplier Verification Program Guidelines.” The document stated that the company intends to undertake certain verification-related steps, such as: verifying FDA’s website for any known banned products for import hazard, “enforc[ing] hazard analysis for each and every product imported,” and “not importing products that are flagged for risk.” However, this response was deemed inadequate because the company did not demonstrate that they have performed any FSVP requirements for particular products.
  • We also note that the guidelines the company provided were very general and do not reflect all of the requirements in the FSVP rule.

A complete list of the violations can be found in the FDA’s warning letter.

Article Source:

Sunday, February 2, 2020

On-Site Private Classes in English & Spanish and Consulting Services

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 Advanced Practitioner Course
  • Prerequisite Programs

Food Safety Consulting Services

We offer On-Site private classes in English and Spanish. Please email us for a quote:

Thursday, January 30, 2020

How Plant-Based Foods Are Changing the Supply Chain

Meat-alternatives are bringing new food safety concerns to the already complex supply chain.

The plant-based meat market is anticipated to be worth more than $320 million in the next five years, according to a report released last summer by Global Market Insights. As the popularity of meat-alternative products continues to rise, new challenges are being introduced to supply chain management. Joe Scioscia, vice president of sales at VAI explains some of these hurdles and proposes how technology can help.

Food Safety Tech: Is the growing popularity of plant-based foods introducing hazards or challenges to the supply chain?

Joe Scioscia: The growing popularity of plant-based foods has presented a new set of challenges for the supply chain, especially considering many of these organic items are being introduced by traditionally non-organic retailers. Impossible Foods received FDA approval for its plant-based burger in 2019, showing just how new the plant-based movement is to the industry.

Obviously, the organic supply chain and produce suppliers have long followed regulations for handling produce, such as temperature controls, cargo tracking, and supply and demand planning software, so the produce could be tracked from farm to table and in the case of a recall, be traced back to the source. But for meat alternatives that are combining multiple plant-based ingredients, organizations in the supply chain who are handling these products have new food safety concerns. Considerations on how to store and process meat alternatives, how to treat each ingredient in the product and, most importantly, how to determine temperature controls or the source of contamination are all discussions the food industry is currently having.

FST: How are plant-based foods changing the dynamic of the supply chain from a food safety perspective?

Scioscia: The food supply chain has changed dramatically in recent years to become more complex, with food items traveling farther than ever before, containing more ingredients and required to follow stricter regulations. Many of the changes to the supply chain are for the better—organic and plant-based alternatives offer health benefits for consumers and are a move towards a more sustainable future. But the reality is that the supply chain isn’t quite there yet. Suppliers, retailers and producers at every part of the supply chain need to work together to ensure transparency and food safety compliance—including for plant-based products. Foodborne illnesses are still a real threat to the safety of consumers, and these same consumers are demanding transparency into the source of their food and sustainable practices from brands. All of these considerations are what’s making this next era of the food industry more complicated than ever before.

Because food safety compliance is always top of mind in the food industry to keep consumers safe, this new and complex supply chain has required companies to rely heavily on technology solutions to ensure plant-based products are equally as safe to consume as non-organic alternatives. These same solutions are also helping supply chains become more transparent for customers and streamline food processes to build a more sustainable future.

FST: What technologies can food companies and retailers use to better manage the supply chain risk while supporting the increased consumer demand for meat alternatives?

Scioscia: Utilizing a centralized software system is one tool many food suppliers and distributors can use to better visualize, trace and process products in the supply chain—including for plant-based alternatives. Having access to a central platform for business data to track assets and ensure food safety regulations are being met allows for companies to optimize processes and cut unnecessary costs along the way.

Heading into 2020, many organizations in the food supply chain are also looking at new applications like IoT, automation, and blockchain as ways to curb food safety issues. The FDA has taken steps to pilot blockchain and AI programs to better track drugs and food products, in conjunction with major food brands and technology companies. Other organizations are following suit with their own programs and many are looking at these solutions to improve their food tracking efforts. It’s clear technology has the most potential to make it easier on the industry to comply with food safety regulations while meeting customer demands for plant-based alternatives and organic options—all the while building a sustainable supply chain for the future.

Article Source: