Programs that help retailers and restaurateurs improve the quality of their products are worth their weight in gold, but who has the budget to support them? In this era of big data, it seems that insights and monitoring programs can equate to big money, but how can these insights help improve your operations as a food manufacturer? In particular, a program that tests products early in the supply chain gives your quality assurance (QA) team time to divert a substandard product from heading into the hands of consumers and creating a loss of brand equity. Continue Reading

An integral part of choosing your ingredient suppliers is verifying the safety and quality of the product they’re sending you. Perhaps you work in a quality assurance or food safety role at an FDA-registered facility. Perhaps your facility’s hazard analysis states the ingredient in question is associated with a hazard that requires a supply chain-applied control. Do you know what to do if you’re volunteered to conduct the onsite audit of a potential ingredient supplier? Maybe you’re an ASQ Certified Quality Auditor, but you’ve never actually audited a supplier before. You may be panicking a bit… wondering where to start, yes? Of course you are!

To help with this process, I’ve broken down the seven steps you can take to ensure the successful audit of an ingredient supplier: Continue Reading

Manufacturers in the food industry face a plethora of challenges today in managing their supply chain. Whether you’re running a global operation or working with local suppliers, you want to ensure a high level of quality for your finished product on a tight timeline. However, that task is easier said than done.

As the compliance dates for the Food Safety Modernization Act come into effect, the industry faces stricter regulatory standards than ever before. Manufacturers need to ensure that, not only do their own operations meet all regulatory requirements, but also that the ingredients from their suppliers are meeting safety requirements. If a manufacturer fails to comply, they could face legal action from the FDA or a product recall. Continue Reading

As a Food Safety and Quality Professional, you have made the important decision to move forward with a software solution to integrate and manage your suppliers’ data, including at-line production quality checks. But the question still looms, “how will my suppliers who need to use the system adapt?” Although the solution may provide you with valuable insights and brand protection by integrating data from multiple sources, introducing new software can be a burden to those who are required to upload their data into the system. This could strain your supplier relationships and ultimately leave you with ineffective data sets because of errors or lack of adoption. Continue Reading

How much time does your Food Safety & Quality team spend managing your food supply chain? What will happen if your team misses something – increased complaints, product withdrawal or even recalls? Consumers today are making more informed decisions about the brands they choose, the food they eat and where that food originated. How can a small FSQM team manage their suppliers and programs to avoid negative events and meet the consumer’s expectations of your brand? Continue Reading

When a large food service company approached Mérieux Nutrisciences in the summer of 2016 needing to improve their business processes by better understanding the data that was compromising their supply chain, Jennifer Derryberry, a Product Manager for the company, quickly stepped up to help the company find a solution.

Mérieux NutriSciences is a global food safety and quality staple that has been offering testing, labeling, auditing, consulting, sensory, training and research services to the food industry for over 50 years. Focused on customer satisfaction, the company aims to protect consumers’ health through nutritional research, scientific excellence and innovation. Continue Reading

All food safety and quality professionals would agree that using data is key to the success of their business. Data analysis and reporting can help companies reduce the risk of recalls, drive supply chain performance, improve product quality and protect brand integrity. However, data reporting needs vary by company and interpretation of that data can be a tedious, manual process with varying needs from the boardroom to the production floor.  Continue Reading

When mining for diamonds, one metric ton of rock must be scrutinized to turn up one gram of diamonds. Data mining in food manufacturing can be equally as tedious. Isolating critical pieces of information can be cumbersome, but when identified, it brings prominent value through insights and mitigating risk. Food quality and supply monitoring professionals are often focused on product performance trends over time. So even with a strategic food quality and safety monitoring program, critical values can get lost in the mean when trending big data. Finding the anomalies requires continuous monitoring and countless hours of research through thousands of data points daily.  Continue Reading