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My name is Jean-Guy Cormier, P. Eng. Lead Auditor. I am a professional engineer providing consulting and auditing services for almost 30 years. As a professional auditor, I have done over a thousand audits against food safety, quality management, environmental and health and safety management systems. In the past 10 years, I have done over 250 FSSC audits in the food and packaging industry. I have been working as Lead Auditor for DNV GL - Business Assurance, one of the leading global certification bodies, for 10 years.
After so many years, one observation that continues to linger is ineffective internal audit process. Almost every audit that I have participated in, there have been findings against requirements of internal audits. Arguably, some of the underlying causes, why internal audit process is ineffective are:
- inadequate training and ongoing professional development;
- poor preparation;
- poor utilization of adequate tools;
- not having the abilities to communicate in writing and/or verbally;
- Poor skill sets to collect samples of observations and supporting evidences.
Organizations spend a fortune on employee training.
Organizations spent an additional fortune on quality failure: customer complaints, loss of business, destruction of goods, retesting, repacking, reworking, returns, recall, etc. In most cases the loss is attributed to “the human factor”.
If both of the above paragraphs are true, then something very strange is going on in our workplaces. This article introduces an alternative to traditional training methods to which we have become accustomed to over the years: an effective and enjoyable alternative with measurable results.
Twenty percent of the world’s food supply is believed to be contaminated by rodents. These pests can carry various pathogens around facilities and can even transmit harmful diseases. Rodents are known to cause severe property damage with their strong jaws and burrowing skills. Unfortunately, food processing facilities offer the ideal habitat for rodents with access to food and water sources, potential entry points and hiding places.
Compressed air and gases are common in beverage manufacturing from the initial stages of production through bottling. Given the importance of compressed air and gases to beverage manufacturing, the quality and safety of this utility should be regularly monitored for contaminants. Combined with proper maintenance, adequate piping, and proper dryers and filtration, compressed air testing can help beverage manufacturers ensure the quality of their end-products.
Compressed air contaminated with oil in the food manufacturing process can be costly and dangerous. Recognizing the common sources of contamination, reducing the risks associated, and working with an accredited testing laboratory can help to ensure safety of the end-product as well as continued system health.
This article will describe the sources of oil contamination, associated risks, the regulation specifications regarding oil, and the optimal ways to test for oil contamination in compressed air systems.
The long awaited second edition of International ISO Standard 22000 Food safety management systems — Requirements for any organization in the food chain has just been published (June 2018). Not surprisingly, there are a number of changes, there is much closer alignment with other ISO management standards, additional strategic requirements to address organizational risks and opportunities and more detailed food safety requirements.
International standards and internal facility health and safety regulations exist to improve and protect the health and welfare of consumers and facility employees respectively. Some regulations directly impact the product being manufactured, while others have roles in the daily function of the overall facility. In either case, when compressed or environmental air meets food, regulations must be in place to deem that food or beverage safe for consumption.
In 2014, Parker Hannifin Corporation released a case study about a bakery in Illinois that recognized its need to test the compressed air in direct and indirect contact with their food products. During testing, the bakery mixed ambient air with their compressed air resulting in false positive microbial contamination. After several months of retesting, they evaluated their sampling procedure and discovered it to be the issue.1 In this instance, understanding the standard for testing compressed air for microbial contamination (ISO 8573-7) would have aided in the resolution of the issue in a more timely manner.
This article will focus on testing within ISO 8573-7 guidelines for quantitative methods regardless of air type and how qualitative methods, while useful for some reports, may not be applicable to others.
To follow the necessary regulations and ensure the safety of an end product, companies should always employ a compressed air monitoring plan. Though the goal of any monitoring plan is ultimately safety, there are varying ways to ensure product safety and each manufacturer must set their goals according to their specific circumstances and needs. To determine the appropriate goal of an individual’s monitoring plan, companies should assess their risks and understand the regulations in place.
Manufacturers may have varying compressed air testing goals that are quite unique to their industry, end product, or even, location. This article will help to determine those goals by outlining the risks that compressed air systems face, the options that users have when it comes to monitoring, and the best ways to ensure the quality of the compressed air system.
If there’s one thing your employees and customers rely on, it is this: “Consistency.” Your customers want consistency because they need to interact with your products and services and for them to work in a predictable way. Your employees want consistency because it makes their jobs easier and drives efficiency. Your business wants consistency because managing the unexpected can be both timely and costly.
One of the best ways to ensure consistency and predictability throughout your organization is through “Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).”
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) represents a significant shift in the approach to managing food-borne illness. According to the CDC, approximately 48 million people are affected by foodborne illness every year, leading to 128,000 hospitalizations and 3000 deaths. This represents a largely preventable public health burden. The FSMA addresses this by shifting the focus from one of reaction and response to one of prevention. The new rules created under this mandate apply to manufacturers and packagers of food and beverage for human consumption, as well as manufacturers of animal feeds.