You might ask yourself “How does shipping play into Best Sample – Best Result”? Let me answer that for you… a lot! To be honest, shipping is one of the most important things to do correctly. It is where all of your testing starts (besides the initial sampling process).
During one of my first experiences being audited while working in the food manufacturing world I was asked by the auditor “Is your sanitation program controlling pathogens during the entire production run?”. I immediately responded with a boastful yes! The auditor of course followed up with “Please prove it.” Being relatively new, I temporarily froze as I knew our product results never yielded a positive in my time there but, was fairly certain that was not sufficient proof. Thankfully, I received a quick education as my supervisor presented the auditor with our environmental monitoring results which included pre-operational, operational, and post operational time points. Each sampling time verified something slightly different and was evidence our sanitation program did indeed control pathogens through the entirety of our production runs. The key take-away for me was that an environmental monitoring program must take into consideration when to sample and what each sampling time’s results mean within your Food Safety System.
Have you ever seen or added liquid in your environmental sampling devices and questioned what is it, why is it there, or if all the liquid is the same? I know when I began in food manufacturing and took my first samples, these were questions that arose for me and how these factors were impacting the results. The simple answer is that this liquid is called neutralizing broth and there are multiple types that act differently to protect the sample taken.
A while back as I talked with a manufacturer that was required by their customer to have an environmental monitoring program, they had expressed their confusion in their customer’s response when they shared their monitoring results. The manufacturer was proud to present 3 years’ (the entirety of their program) worth of data in which they never once had a positive result for the target bacteria. The manufacturer thought they had been doing an amazing job while their customer was less than confident with their results. The customer knew that given the manufacturers environment and required sanitation it was highly unlikely to never have a positive result, not because the manufacturer wasn’t taking care but, because of the ubiquitous nature of bacteria. Ultimately, the customer felt that the manufacturer was not sampling the most likely growth areas in their facility and was therefore missing the bacteria.
As stated earlier in the year - we’ve given Founder & CEO Debra Cherney the opportunity to share thoughts on any topic of her choice. While many of them will be related to food safety, the one below is of excitement so please, read on!
To our Cherney community consisting of customers, colleagues, and industry friends. It is my extreme pleasure to share with you the announcement of Cherney’s new Chief Operating Officer (COO), Steve Kuchenberg, who officially starts with our organization on Monday, September 25th. Steve's extensive experience within our industry brings a new level of competence and technical expertise to our organization and while I’m personally very excited for him to lead our organization into the future, our team at Cherney will soon see how his passion for doing the right thing for those around him will quickly pass onto you our valued customers. Steve and I are in lockstep agreement about what actions will be taken to achieve our strategic vision for Cherney. A very exciting time is ahead, welcome Steve! - Debra Cherney
In our first edition of our quarterly CEO Corner – we’ve given Founder & CEO the opportunity to share thoughts on any topic. While many of them will be related to food safety, the one below is the perfect piece to awareness to Cherney and just one of the many core values that drives our team day in and day out. Enjoy!
Providing an unmatched level of customer service is the foundation upon which my company was founded. It is one of the main core values we strive to achieve every single day. Recently, I experienced an incident personally that reminded me of the importance of this value and how it impacts our continued success.
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.
One of the many KEY responsibilities when working in Food Safety is to provide an accurate result. This ensures that our customers’ products going out to the public are safe from bacteria and pathogens; organisms that could cause contamination, launch a recall and ultimately be detrimental to the customer and consumer.
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!