Ready to venture out now that spring is (hopefully) just around the corner? Join us in March for our first 2018 Cherney College course, Preventive Controls for Animal Food. This course is the FDA-recognized training for pet food and animal feed companies that will comply with new FSMA regulations this year. We have been actively involved in FSMA training since 2016, training over 125 Preventive Controls Qualified Individuals or PCQIs. In our experience, FSMA for human food is a matter of tweaking and adjusting programs that are already in place. The experience for those in the animal food industry is a whole other beast (see what I did there?). For years, regulation at the state and federal level covered medicated feed, labeling and adulteration but now the industry will have to create programs to comply with current Good Manufacturing Programs (CGMPs) AND preventive controls. This is a lot to tackle in a short time!
In the past few years, we have seen an increase in customers asking for an onsite audit of their internal labs. These requests may occur when new tests are brought online or in-house, when there are questionable results or as a routine activity in the company’s food safety program. Not surprisingly, members of our technical team love doing these audits! We get to share our lab experience, technical microbiology knowledge and best practices to help our customers improve the quality of testing they perform. We always learn after an audit, seeing different operations and processes from the customer perspective.
FOCUS. A simple word and concept, right? Although an easy idea, I find staying in a state of focus to be quite difficult. With demands of the modern workplace like multi-tasking, wearing many hats and shifting priorities, focus is vital to making progress and ultimately meeting objectives. One of Cherney’s strategic objectives for 2017 is to provide more technical training opportunities to our team, which supports the bigger goal of increasing employee engagement. Yesterday, in between preparing for our 2017 public training courses, we mapped out topics and a schedule to make that happen. Of course this is just a start, but the plan sets the stage for all the steps to follow.
With the holidays just around the corner, it signifies that another year is quickly approaching and with 2017 less than 60 days away, like you we are busy planning for the New Year. Therefore, we are popping the champagne and rolling out the 2017 training schedule earlier than previous years for a simple reason - because you asked for it! Check out our 2017 Cherney College course catalog and make your training budget request before the end of the year. This helps make training a priority for you and your company in 2017. Whether your focus is related to FSMA or improving your laboratory and food safety programs, we’ve got you covered!
The terms “tools” and “toolbox” have become common terminology in the workplace – regardless of industry. They refer to the collection of techniques and strategies used to aid in operation of a process or business. Below are three tools that every food laboratory should have in their toolbox and use on a regular basis.
1. Proficiency Testing
2. Data Analysis/Trending
3. Metrics & Visual Management
At Cherney College, we’re catching our breath after a busy few months of training activities! We launched our 2016 training courses in a BIG way, holding five courses in five weeks. Three of the courses were brand new for this year, including Plate Interpretation, Food Safety for Suppliers and FSPCA Preventive Controls for Human Food course, which certifies Preventive Controls Qualified Individuals for FSMA. These courses were a lot of fun, and here’s a sample of what attendees are saying about our 2016 courses.
"Life’s a journey, not a destination” is a cliché that is frequently heard in various contexts. From Cherney’s perspective, this cliché is also very fitting to describe accreditation. Cherney has been n ISO 17025 accredited testing laboratory since early 2010 and we continue to march on our accreditation journey each and every day.
In 2014, Cherney’s in-house training center was opened to customers and industry partners to fulfill founder Debra Cherney’s dream of providing answers and improvements to laboratories through information transfer and technical training. Following this vision of “Culturing Solutions with Knowledge”, the Introduction to Food Microbiology – The Basics, a hands-on practical workshop that incorporated lectures, demonstrations and lab activities, was created. We are excited to announce the launch of additional workshops for the 2015 calendar year and scheduled training dates for two workshops.Introduction to Food Microbiology – The Basics: Designed for personnel with little to no microbiology background or experience and is ideal for laboratory, quality or non-technical staff. Participants will spend 2-days on-site in an interactive environment learning microbiology principles, food safety concepts, and key laboratory techniques and test methods.