My previous post, “How Reliable is Your Supplier’s Non-GMO ‘Verified’ Claim?” raised the question of whether incorrect, unsubstantiated or fraudulent non-Genetically Modified Organism (non-GMO) claims would result in a recall, FDA warning or some other sanction. The answer is found in a greater discussion about accountability and liability within the food industry.

With summer fast approaching, let’s think of this in terms of a carnival metaphor. There’s potential for food manufacturers to get caught up in a non-GMO verification “shell game.” You might know the classic shell game, in which a pea is placed underneath three shells and then they are shuffled around to confuse the player. At the end, the player needs to guess which shell the pea is under. As you monitor your supply chain, “verified” non-GMO certificates from suppliers may be shuffled around in your supply chain and you may lose sight of the “pea,” or an ingredient that is not up to specification. Come one, come all – step on up and find the hot sample. Continue Reading

I’ll be honest – from time to time, I enjoy throwing on my teal yoga pants and visiting my favorite organic supermarket. I love perusing the endless rows of organic and otherwise non-Genetically Modified Organism (non-GMO) products adorning shelf upon shelf. With all of those “verified” and “certified” products smiling down at me, how can I not smile back? After all, like many shoppers, I place my trust in progressive statements on food labels, such as “Organic,” “non-GMO,” “Fair Trade,” “Hormone-Free,” “Allergen-Free,” and the list goes on. Before I leave the store, my cart is adorned with at least three or four items bearing one of these claims. 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