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

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

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

The use of glyphosate, one of the most popular herbicides for agriculture, has become a hot topic in the press in both the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) over the past few years. Legislators, advocacy groups, food producers and scientists have been debating about the safety of glyphosate and on its usage on grain farms, in storage areas and even in our homes. To help food manufacturers understand how this affects their companies, we’ve answered five key questions about glyphosate below: 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