Saturday, September 30, 2017

Register Now for 2017 Classes

Developing and Implementing SQF Systems - SQF Code, 8.0 Edition
October 11, 12, 2017 Santa Ana, CA (English)

GFSI Internal And External Audit Workshop 

SQF Quality Systems For Food Manufacturers 
October 26th,27th 2017 Napa, CA 

Gluten-Free Certification Program 
November 6th 2017 Dallas, TX

Our specialty is helping you have well-defined food safety programs that help you be more successful and effective, and we make that easy for you and your team.

For more Food Safety Training please visit our website:

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

October Internal and External GFSI Audit Workshop - Early Bird Registration Ends October 4th

October 20, 2017
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM (PDT)

Springhill Suites, 101 Gateway Rd E, Napa, CA 94558

1-2 Attendees Early Bird - Save $30 per person – $480.00 This registration is for 1-2 attendees. If you have 3 or more please select 3+ registration. Early bird ends October 4th.
3+ Attendees Early Bird- Save $70 per person – $440.00 This registration is for 3 or more attendees only. Savings based on single attendee after early bird time period. Early Bird ends October 4th.

The goals of the Internal and External GFSI Audits course are to:

- Provide and improve the knowledge, skills and abilities required by GSFI auditors, food industry professionals and internal auditors on:
  • Food Safety Management Systems
  • Good Manufacturing Practices and Good Agricultural Practices
  • HACCP Program
  • Review ISO-19011 Auditing Principles
  • Gain understanding of the GFSI schemes (SQF, BRC, FSSC2200, Global G.A.P.) from the auditor point of view

*This workshop complies with the training requirements for GFSI professionals and Internal auditors for GFSI approved schemes (SQF, BRC, FSSC22000, Global G.A.P. among others)

*This workshop has been designed by MSc. Oscar Camacho with more than 28 years of experience managing Food Safety and Quality Systems in the food industry, and based on the weaknesses found with his customers while providing auditing and consulting services.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Register Now for Developing and Implementing SQF Systems Version 8

11 Oct 2017 - 12 Oct 2017

11 Oct 2017, 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
12 Oct 2017, 8:00 AM 5:00 PM

Hampton Inn 2720 Hotel Terrace Dr, Santa Ana, CA 92705

1-2 Attendees – $790.00
Registration closes on October 9th.
3+ Attendees - Save $50 Per Attendee – $740.00
Attendees must be from same company. Registration closes on October 9th.

SQF Code, Edition 8. It 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.

- The most notable change to the structure of the program is the separation of the food safety and quality requirements into individual assessments, customized for each industry segment and covering more than 30 supplier and food sector categories: produce and livestock; manufacturing; distribution; manufacturer of food packaging and a new program specific to food retail.

Course Description:

- Promote an understanding of the SQF Code.

- Create a knowledge base to facilitate the successful implementation of an SQF System and understand the process for aligning with FSMA regulatory requirements.

- Show how a HACCP-based approach manages food safety and quality hazards in an operation.

- The SQF Food Safety Code for Manufacturing applies specifically to Food Sector Categories 7-22, 31-34 and includes Modules 2 (Systems Elements) and Module 11 (Food Safety Fundamentals for Food Manufacturing).

- 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

Who Should Attend?

SQFP, Food Safety Professionals, Sr. Management, Suppliers, Food Safety Auditors, Support Staff.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Superior Food Safety 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

Food Safety Consulting Services

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

Monday, September 18, 2017

FDA Commissioner Addresses State Agriculture Commissioners; Announces New Steps to Enhance Collaboration with States and Ensure Farmers Are Prepared for FSMA

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., today outlined a number of immediate next steps in a comprehensive approach to ensuring successful implementation of the Produce Safety Rule established by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

In a speech in New Orleans at the annual conference of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), Dr. Gottlieb announced that the agency has recognized a need for additional efforts to educate the produce industry and state regulatory partners on the new produce safety requirements, and will continue its focus on training, guidance development, and outreach over the next year. This is particularly important since the nation’s farming community has not previously been subject to this kind of oversight.

Dr. Gottlieb also announced steps the FDA will be taking to address concerns related to the complexity and feasibility of implementing standards for agricultural water.

The next steps include the following:

Agricultural Water Compliance Dates: The FDA today issued a proposed rule that, if finalized, would extend the compliance dates for the agricultural water requirements by an additional two to four years (for produce other than sprouts). The proposed extension will give the agency time to take another look at the water standards to ensure that they are feasible for farmers in all regions of the country, while protecting public health. The new agricultural water compliance date the FDA is proposing for the largest farms is January 26, 2022. Small farms and very small farms would have until January 26, 2023 and January 26, 2024, respectively. The proposed rule is open for public comment for 60 days.

(The proposed extension would also simplify the compliance framework to give all of the water requirements a four-year delay compared to farms’ primary compliance dates. The produce rule now includes a delay of two years in the compliance dates for certain agricultural water requirements, but for others there is no delay.)

The FDA does not intend to take action to enforce the agricultural water requirements for produce other than sprouts while the rulemaking to extend the compliance dates is underway. Sprouts, because of their unique vulnerability to contamination, remain subject to applicable agricultural water requirements in the final rule and their original compliance dates.

Stakeholder Engagement on Agricultural Water Standards: During the additional time that would be afforded by the extended compliance dates, the FDA plans to engage with stakeholders to learn more from farmers, state regulatory partners and other stakeholders about the diverse ways water is used and ensure that the standards will be as practical and effective as possible for all farming operations. This will include a summit on agricultural water early next year -- we will have more information on this later in the year.

Water Testing Methods: In a recent letter to Western Growers, the FDA listed eight additional testing methods from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other public health entities that it has determined are equivalent to the method incorporated by reference (Method 1603) in the Produce Safety Rule. Numerous stakeholders have asked for the FDA to recognize other methods that are appropriate for use in agricultural water testing. The FDA has posted the list of methods it has determined to be equivalent on its website, and intends to add other methods to the list as they are identified.

Produce Farm Inspections: Large farming operations will still be expected to meet all produce safety requirements set by the rule for produce other than sprouts, except those related to agricultural water, by the original January 26, 2018 compliance date. However, Dr. Gottlieb announced that inspections to assess compliance with the non-water requirements of the Produce Safety Rule for produce other than sprouts will not begin until 2019. The FDA and its state partners will use this time to provide more education, training and outreach on the new requirements. In particular, states -- in conjunction with NASDA and the FDA -- will expand On-Farm Readiness Reviews, already piloted in six states, in which a team of state officials, cooperative extension agents, and FDA produce experts provide farmers with an assessment of their “readiness” to meet the new requirements. State points of contact will receive further information on the change this week in the form of letters from the FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs and calls are being scheduled to answer any questions.

Earlier this year, the FDA awarded more than $30 million to support 43 states in their development of produce safety programs. This builds on the nearly $22 million that the FDA awarded last year to 42 states. States will receive information from the FDA this week on how existing cooperative agreement funding can be reallocated to provide for additional focus on educational and outreach activities in lieu of inspections.

Training Opportunities for Producers and Regulators: The FDA remains committed to ensuring that produce farmers and state regulators have the training needed to implement the Produce Safety Rule. Training of state regulators will be a top priority for the FDA in 2018, and additional details on training opportunities and other FSMA related training courses will be provided at a webinar being scheduled for October. The agency is committed to working in partnership with farmers and the states, particularly over the next year, to ensure that the fruits and vegetables we serve our families are safe and that consumers have the greatest possible confidence in the produce they consume.

Article Source:

Friday, September 15, 2017

Register NOW for Superior Food Safety's Upcoming Classes!

Developing and Implementing SQF Systems - SQF Code, 8.0 Edition

SQF Quality Systems For Food Manufacturers 
October 26th,27th 2017 Napa, CA 
December 6th,7th 2017 Santa Ana, CA 

Gluten-Free Certification Program 
November 6th 2017 Dallas, TX

 GFSI Internal And External Audit Workshop 
December 8th 2017 Santa Ana, CA

Our specialty is helping you have well-defined food safety programs that help you be more successful and effective, and we make that easy for you and your team.

For more Food Safety Training please visit our website:

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

3 Ways to Ensure Food Safety for Packaged Foods

Critical factors that affect the safety, shelf life and hygiene of products.

Food safety and hygiene are very important aspects of food production, processing and consumption. In the absence of proper hygiene and safety protocols, the entire food chain right from the farmer who grows the food till the consumer who eats it is compromised. Food safety lapses like contamination and spoiling of food pose major health risks.

There are many ways in which a perfectly safe food product can turn hazardous. Cross contamination from animal matter, lack of hygiene among workers in processing plants, poor sanitation procedures, inadequate preservation techniques and low-quality packaging can all adversely affect the shelf life of a food product. Raw food spoils much faster than processed food, so fresh vegetables and fruits used in food processing must be washed properly and stored at optimal temperatures before they are processed.

The following are a few critical factors that affect the safety, shelf life and hygiene of food products.

1. Hygiene in Processing Plants
Personal hygiene and excellent sanitation policies are essential to maintaining food safety. Processing facilities potentially have several points of food contact equipment and food contact surfaces. There must be well developed and written standard cleaning practices or sanitation procedures for all such high-touch areas in a food processing plant. All equipment, vessels and surfaces must be monitored for bioburden or presence of microbial matter.

The workers must also be aware of good personal hygiene practices. This will help prevent cross contamination and possible spread of foodborne diseases from humans. Workers suffering from contagious diseases should refrain from coming to work and regular employee health checkups must be carried out by doctors. All staff must be trained in food and personal hygiene, and strictly follow recommended methods of hand washing and drying. Proper usage of hygiene gear including masks, caps, gloves, overalls and footwear must be ensured.

Floors, walls, drainage facilities, narrow cat-walks and all surfaces in the processing area must be cleaned thoroughly using high quality cleaning materials. The standard cleaning practices must be diligently met each time and the supervisors should ensure that the crew is doing their job properly. Quality and consistent employee training, and effective instant monitoring methods like ATP testing will help achieve these goals.

2. Good Packaging Is Crucial
The quality and suitability of packaging are also very important in determining the safety, longevity and hygiene of food products.

Evolving consumer habits, growth of online marketplaces, increased consumption of high-protein foods, popular demand for smaller portions due to shrinking family size and the rise in new global distribution channels have all impacted packaging requirements.

Sustainable and responsibly sourced packaging materials are the hallmark of advanced packaging technology. They are environmentally friendly and do not deplete natural resources. Clean label packaging focuses on using recycled materials, high-pressure packaging technology, digital packaging and 3-D printing techniques, and outsourcing of more activities to save money, time and resources.

The need for reducing food waste has been an important objective of all recent packaging innovations. According to a recent report by The Guardian, almost half of all U.S. food produce is thrown away. Global food waste can be reduced by extending the shelf life of packaged foods, thereby avoiding early disposal and excessive purchasing. Latest innovations include in-built freshness sensors in packaging that alert customers when food goes bad, vacuum skin innovations, barrier bags and modified-atmosphere packaging.

3. Consumer Awareness Is Key
The end user or the customer who buys the food product for consumption also needs to be aware of good food use, preparation and storage methods.

Fresh veggies and fruits should be washed thoroughly, chopped, diced, and sliced, and stored in clear, airtight containers in the fridge. Prepare and cook raw foods like fish, poultry and meat to extend their storage life. Cooked food can be safely frozen for a long time. In addition, many food items like casseroles, soups, sauces, stir-fries and baked foods stay safe for cooking and consumption even beyond their typically assumed use-by date.

As responsible consumers, we must be aware of the difference between use-by, sell-by, best-before and expiration dates. This will prevent us from throwing away a whole lot of perfectly edible food items from our pantries.

Food safety is a matter of global concern and affects the well being of billions of people all over the world. Ensuring safety, hygiene, freshness and long shelf life of food items will help reduce food waste, hunger and starvation in the world. It will also reduce the burden on limited natural resources and will help ensure a sustainable and efficient food chain.

Article Source:

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

FDA Begins Winery Inspections

Wine-production facilities must have current registration, comply with Food Safety Modernization Act

San Rafael, Calif.—Wine law specialists have warned since 2011 that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) would eventually start inspecting wineries for compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act. This spring those inspections started in earnest.

According to Barbara Snider, senior counsel for the California-based Hinman & Carmichael law firm, wineries from Washington state to Napa and California’s San Joaquin Valley have reported unplanned visits from the FDA. Snider told Wines & Vines that industry members expected the FDA to start inspections with the largest wineries, but that has not been the case.

U.S. wineries are required to register with the FDA as food-production facilities and renew their registration every two years under the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act. Wineries that have neglected to register with the FDA are particularly prone to receiving surprise visits, according to Snider, who recommends making sure all paperwork is current in case an inspector drops by.

She also suggested wineries appoint two staff members who know where to find the key documents in case of an inspection.

What are agents looking for? 
While consumers gobble up calendars, books and other merchandise dedicated to winery dogs, having animals in a food-production area is a no-no as far as the FDA is concerned. Inspectors also will be on the lookout for pests such as rodents and insects, and for wineries with outdoor crush pads, inspectors will want to know how they keep birds away from the harvested grapes.

“They’re going to inspect it as if it’s a food manufacturer, because they are food manufacturers,” Snider said.

Bottling lines are of particular interest because they are common spots for contamination, and as in the rest of the winery, sanitation is key. Inspectors aren’t expecting small wineries to have ozone on hand, but they will want to know the facility’s process for cleaning and sanitizing wine-processing equipment, and they’ll want to see the products used during the process. Everything should be clearly labeled.

Pesticides and other toxins should be kept in an area separate from yeast, amendments and anything else that comes in contact with grape juice or wine.

When inspectors come knocking 
The FDA is working with state health and agriculture departments, so Food Safety Modernization Act inspections might be conducted by state inspectors rather than FDA agents. Regardless, inspectors don’t have to provide notice prior to a visit, and according to Snider, “They usually won’t because they want to see you as you really are, for better or for worse.”

Employee hygiene is another topic of concern to inspectors. Cellar workers must have access to hot water to properly wash their hands, and all employees should have documented education in food hygiene.

Inspectors may also ask for records of food products received by the facility (grapes in the case of wineries, along with yeast and fining agents), so make sure weigh tags are available to the staff member appointed to represent the winery to the FDA. Records of where wine was sent after leaving the winery also need to be available for inspectors. Agents may not ask for Certificates of Label Approval, but they should also be available at a moment’s notice. Read more at:

Article Source: Copyright © Wines & Vines