You know the routine. You’re sitting at your desk trying to catch up on paperwork when you receive the notice: “Important Meeting in 30 Minutes in the Conference Room. Topic – Last Month’s Butterfat Losses.”

It seems every month you have the same issue – unaccounted losses in your dairy operation. How does it happen?

Losses of product or butterfat can be complicated in today’s dairy operations. There can be physical losses, in the form of leaks and spillage, and losses due to non-conforming products and damaged goods, or there can simply be the lack of properly accounting for the use of ingredients, milk solids, of butterfat.

These losses can be multiplied by improper testing and standardization or by inaccurate accounting of the products. Through overfills and delivery errors, you could have losses of monumental portions before you realize it.

If this sounds familiar to you join us in November for our one-day Dairy Shrink and Loss Course which examines the key attributes that can lead to uncontrolled and unaccounted for losses. In addition to a practical look at how to reduce losses, the course includes a primer on understanding and utilizing the Federal Market Order.

Our dairy shrink and loss course examines the key attributes that can lead to uncontrolled, and even worse, unaccounted for losses. Join Andy Novakovic, Ph.D., of Cornell University, and myself as we take you through Dairy Shrink and Loss.


Date: Wednesday, November 7th, 2018
Time: 8 am – 5 pm
Location: Regus, 5600 North River Road, Suite 800, Rosemont, IL, 60018


Learning Objectives:

  • Understand Milk Composition and how it affects loss control
  • Identify Loss Hot Spots found in dairies
  • Discover how to put together a Fill Control that meets Regulatory requirements but does not promote excessive product giveaway
  • Understand how Formulation and Standardization effects product loss
  • Explore the basics of The Federal Market Order


Meet the Author

Tedd Wittenbrink
Technical Consultant, Mérieux NutriSciences

Tedd Wittenbrink has more than 30 years of management experience in the food industry. He is an American Society for Quality Certified Quality Auditor and has a proven track record in developing and implementing Food Safety / Quality Assurance Programs. His employment history includes tenures with Beatrice Foods, Hawthorn Mellody Farms Dairy, and Borden Inc. During his career, he has held positions of QC Manager, Director of Quality, and Corporate Quality Assurance Manager.

Although it initially felt like the date may never come, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  compliance date for the menu labeling regulation went into effect on May 7, 2018. Hooray! Restaurants and food service establishments are now required to add calorie counts to their menus and menu boards. Nutrition information can be found both on the restaurant’s website and within the establishment to provide customers with more transparency on the nutrition information for the menu items they love to eat.

While the regulation only requires restaurants with 20 or more locations to provide nutrition information, that doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels if you only have 17 locations.  Remember that if you’re close to having 20 locations, it is best to start calculating your nutrition information months before your 20th location opens. The menu labeling process can take anywhere from six to eight weeks, on average. If your menu contains more dishes than average, it may take even longer. As you are planning for the future of your business, this is important to consider because you will need to be in compliance with menu labeling regulations once your 20th location opens.

Now that the compliance date for menu labeling has come and gone, the restaurant industry still has questions left unanswered. Am I required to post allergen information? How is the FDA going to enforce menu labeling? Do I need to update my nutrition information? Mérieux NutriSciences reached out to restaurants and food service establishments to gather your burning questions. We selected some of the more popular questions to discuss in our latest vlog, which you can watch below!



Do you still have questions about menu labeling? Join the discussion by leaving a comment below with your question, and a member of our labeling compliance team will respond to you. If you need help complying with menu labeling regulations, Merieux NutriSciences’ Labeling Compliance & Nutrition Services department can help. Our team is dedicated to working with restaurants and food service establishments to comply with menu labeling regulations and meet other needs, such as developing menu items for special diets. Contact us today to get started!

Meet the Author

Sophie Lauer, RD
Associate Nutrition Program Manager, Mérieux NutriSciences

Sophie Lauer is the Associate Nutrition Program Manager at Mérieux NutriSciences. She received her Bachelor of Sciences in Applied Health Science, Dietetics from Indiana University. Sophie received her MBA from Dominican University. In her free time, she enjoys cooking for friends and family as well as playing with her goldendoodle.

Understanding the shelf life of your product plays a critical role in protecting your brand, but the way a food’s “best by” date is determined depends highly on the attributes of your individual product. When a food manufacturer contacts me about running a shelf life study, I typically ask a series of questions to help determine which methods are the most relevant – what is the pH and water activity? How is the product processed and packaged? Is it stored ambient, refrigerated or frozen? If you don’t have answers yet, don’t sweat it! We can walk you through what we need to know.

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It’s no secret that Americans are incorporating more plant-based foods into their diet. When you’re grocery shopping, you may notice new plant-based alternatives filling the shelves next to many of the foods or beverages you have commonly purchased over the years. A Nielsen Homescan survey last year found that 39% of Americans are actively trying to eat more plant-based foods while the number of vegans in the U.S. is also growing. Additionally, Mintel found that U.S. consumers are actually choosing plant-based proteins primarily because of taste. Continue Reading

In a previous blog post, we detailed the regulation for the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and bioengineered (BE) foods under the new National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS) in the United States. You may think that the terms of the law are black and white – if a GMO is present in your product, you need to declare its presence on your food label under new regulations. However, as with most things in life, there is a distinct grey area. To uncomplicate the regulations, we put together a guide to understanding the GMO labeling guidelines and the exemptions that may apply to your products. Continue Reading

The potential risk of unsafe chemicals in foods has generated significant attention on social media in recent years due to growing consumer demands for “clean food” and food safety. Within the United States, the infamous Proposition 65 law in California is responsible for the majority of warning labeling requirements for chemical contaminants, but there has been an upward trend in state legislative proposals related to the risk of certain chemicals in consumer products. In response to this trend, several major food industry associations have joined forces to support a new federal bill titled the Accurate Labels Act, which seeks to impose more stringent scientific criteria for warning labels related to chemicals. If the bill becomes law, it could supersede or undermine the various state labeling requirements for chemical contaminants if the state rules are not grounded in the “best available science.” Continue Reading

The summer season in the United States results in lots of time spent outdoors and on-the-go, with no shortage of snack foods in tow. However, unlike the snacks from past decades and all other prepared foods on the market, today’s products likely lack the artificial trans fats known as partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs). PHOs have been a subject of controversy and confusion among consumers for the past several decades since their commercialization in the mid-twentieth century. Let’s briefly examine their sudden rise in the marketplace followed by their dramatic decline, resulting in the current regulatory ban on PHOs. Continue Reading

Over the last 30 years, the debate over bioengineered foods – specifically, the boom in Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) has grown from a quiet dialogue to a wide-spread, boisterous debate. Most recently, issues around disclosure and forthcoming U.S. regulations have taken center stage.

In order to leverage burgeoning new markets in what I call the “progressive food movement,” an increasing number of companies are accessorizing their food labels with new non-GMO claims. Now, a new federal law, called the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS), will require food manufacturers to disclose the use of GMO ingredients in their products. Of course, the current draft of the regulations can be a bit confusing, often vague and have wide-ranging implications that vary from business to business. Continue Reading