It’s not a surprise to those that know me well that I enjoy playing in the outdoors in many ways. One of my favorite pastimes is spending time in the field with my “fur-babies”. My two dogs Reggie and Arlo, have fun but they also “work” hard pointing and retrieving birds in the field, they truly are athletes, and any serious athlete knows that a key to top performance is proper diet. As other avid pet lovers would agree, I would do mostly anything for them and when I see stories like this “Darwin’s Pet Food owner knew of pathogens in production plant” in my Social Media feed, it really makes me sad.
The new Safe Quality Food (SQF) Code Edition 8 became effective on January 2, 2018 and listed some significant changes, including new programs and revised requirements for existing programs. One notable change is that companies formerly SQF Level 2 and 3 are now REQUIRED to participate in an annual proficiency program.
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.
Our blog to kick of 2017 related to starting of the year on the right with FOCUS – focus for your company, focus for your food safety plan and focus for continuing education. We announced our 2017 Cherney College course listing for the year and talked high level about our strategic initiatives to increase our technical training opportunities outside of our building. With only a month under our belt, our first course – FSPCA Preventive Controls for Human Food class is complete and went off quite well.
If you have attended one of our classes or are considering it, know that everything we do it intentional. Our smaller class size – intentional. Customized material – intentional. Real life examples with an open forum - intentional. Believe us when we say “we’re not just an education provider; we want to be your partner!” I had to opportunity to talk with a few of our participants yesterday during lunch and here is what they had to say.
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!