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

Supplier verification, as mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), evokes sentiments such as the Russian proverb “trust but verify” or the expression “don’t buy a pig in a poke.” Food manufacturers are now required to monitor the origins of their ingredients closer than ever before. The FSMA food supply chain program requirements expect food facilities and importers to understand the food compliance history of their suppliers. But should firms also be expected to verify the controls of their suppliers’ ingredient suppliers? 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

Imagine you purchase a new soup brand from the grocery store and end up really enjoying it. You tell your friends about this new favorite soup and then go back the next week to buy it again. However, after you try it the second time, you realize that the flavor and the ratio of veggies to broth aren’t the same as the first time. This may sound like a food manufacturer’s worst nightmare, but don’t stress, you can avoid this scenario by implementing physical testing into your food safety and quality monitoring. Continue Reading

The term “dioxins” refers to a group of toxic compounds formed as a result of human activity, such as waste incineration, backyard burning and industrial processes involving chlorine. Once produced, they continue to linger in the environment due to their strong chemical structure that is resistant to breakdown. Over time, they make their way into our rivers, lakes and soil, eventually landing up in our food supply. But should you be worried about dioxins in your supply chain?  And if these toxic compounds could be present in your supply chain, what actions should you take? Ask yourself the following three key questions to help manage potential dioxin contamination. 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