Getting to "Win-Win" - Creating a Food Safety Plan that Works for YOUR organization!

In my travels as Sales Manager for Cherney Microbiological Services, it is my pleasure to speak with food safety professionals from companies of varying sizes and industries.  In the last few years, FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) has taken a prominent role in our discussions of what is coming down the pipeline.  Many large companies have established food safety plans and follow SQF, HACCP (or HARPC) or other programs of which regular product and environmental testing is already an integral component.  This blog is not for those companies.  This blog is for companies whose food safety programs haven’t caught up to the regulatory environment we find ourselves in. 

If you are a Quality Manager who feels that your department is viewed by top management at your company as little more than an expense or if you are new to your position and looking for help, then I’m talking to you, too! 

It's here... Announcing our 2017 Cherney College Course Schedule!

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 Power of Giving Back - Building Community Involvement for Any Company

Does your workplace encourage employee engagement? If not, it should! Engaged employees are more productive, customer-focused, and profit-generating.  Outside of the workplace, engaged employees become part of a bigger community – one that gives back to those around them.   

Community involvement from the business’s perspective is beneficial and, in many cases, an essential practice in today’s society for companies of all types and sizes. Many businesses include community involvement, or corporate social responsibility, in their marketing plans.  With this in mind, community initiatives (or community giving) should be chosen strategically, both to help strengthen your business, as well as reflect what is important to you and your team.

Environmental Sampling Sponges – Are the Right Tools in YOUR Toolbox?

Being in the industry for more than 35 years – I’ve experienced significant changes in technology and testing; we are getting as close to instantaneous analysis as the bacteria will allow it.  But I have always felt very strongly that a test can only be as good as the quality and integrity of the sample being analyzed.   The devices we use to collect environmental samples have also evolved and changed. 

Keeping & Encouraging Employee Engagement

"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." Those are words by Henry Ford; they still have meaning today for all of us.

Engagement and Empowerment are part of today’s culture.  Giving employee’s the opportunity to provide input on decisions and work processes within the company not only engages and empowers the employee, but also gives them a sense of worth and contribution. It instills confidence to think outside of the box and offer up their ideas.
There are so many things that can be said about keeping employees and engaging them. Involvement by everyone in Lean efforts helps support our foundational vision of a High Performance Team Based Culture.  It creates the environment where everyone has input in what we do and we takes great pride in celebrating successes together as a team.

Staying Ahead of the Game through Continuous Improvement

Change. 

One of the few constants in the world. 

It has never been more evident than now in Food Safety.  With the implementation of FSMA requirements comes new challenges; and the need to manage change becomes even more critical.  How are you managing this demand?

Keeping Our Children's Lunches Safe

It’s back to school season and my family is excited to share with our daughter the start of Kindergarten. This is also the perfect time to highlight something that many children take for granted – Lunch Box and Lunchtime Food Safety!

Working in the food industry makes childcare even more challenging. We are more aware of the numerous recalls and hidden microbial challenges that surround us.  The “hot” or even “stinky” lunchbox that returns home after an 8 hour day at school screams to be cleaned!   Recently – the USDA and FoodSafety.gov have highlighted some quick reminders to ensure our kids are eating safe lunches and help PARENTS feel more comfortable.

The "411" on the NEW Nutrition Facts Label

While members of our Cherney team attended the IAFP (International Association for Food Protection) conference in St. Louis last week, one of the most common questions that we answered was regarding the update to the FDA’s requirements for the new Nutrition Facts Label.  These changes – made final on May 27th, 2016 - will require that manufacturers with more than $10M in annual food sales are compliant and utilize the new label by July 26, 2018. Smaller manufacturers with less than $10M in sales have an additional year to comply.

Being a hot topic right now – here’s a quick 411 to help you get ready!


Meet us in St. Louis...IAFP 2016 is here!


Each year - we anxiously await the end of the school year so that summer fun can officially begin.  Sadly, in the midst of family vacations, camping excursions and garden harvesting, we realize that it is quickly flying by and fall is just around the corner.
 
With the end of July upon us, our Cherney team is headed to the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) conference in St. Louis, MO.  A standard stop in our trade show itinerary, this conference is like coming home!  We rekindle friendships, grow current relationships, meet new partners and take in four days of food safety-focused seminars and meetings.  Attending the conference supports our commitment to stay current in industry knowledge and trends and keeps us at the forefront of new developments in lab testing and food safety.

How to Build and Maintain Customer Relationships

Customer service, like everything else, has had to change and adapt to the fast pace of today’s world. It seems as if the days of personal service have gone by the wayside. In most businesses, we interact with the Customer Service department more than any other group. As a Customer Service Specialist (as they are at Cherney), the experience you create for your customers can play a key role in their decision to do business with you.  Here are a few items we at Cherney feel are important to building and maintaining customer relationships: