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.
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!
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.