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#1 MmeMuffin

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 12:05 AM

I work for a very small company that, previous to my involvement, had very little done in terms of food safety. I have a Bachelor's degree in Dietetics, and my initial interest in this company was in product development from a nutritional perspective. 

After working in the company for a few months, I realized our food safety system was SERIOUSLY lacking. Nothing major that would result in being shut down (we pass health department inspections just fine), but just a general lack of policies and training that puts a lot of trust in "common sense"..  I am wanting to get us SQF certified so that we can meet the needs of some larger clients. 

Because I took several food science classes, a safety and sanitation class that taught HACCP principles, and have Servsafe food safety manager certification (all other management just has a food handler's certification), I've been unofficially dubbed the food safety lady of the company and am now taking on a complete makeover of the company to reflect SQF standards.

I attended an introductory course about SQF to get a general understanding of everything... but I want to know what certifications I should aim for, and if I should pursue a second degree in order to really establish myself as a "Food Safety Coordinator"?? 

 



#2 Snookie

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 12:34 AM

:welcome:  :welcome:  and congratulations on your new position. 

 

There are many good food safety people who have no or only 1 degree.  A secondary degree is not necessary.  There are many good webinars including this on this site where you can start getting a wide range of knowledge to help fill in the gaps.  Also just hanging around and reading the discussions will teach you a lot.  Searching the forum will most likely answer many of your questions as we have probably discussed it at some point, if it doesn't fire away, we love a good discussion. 


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#3 RG3

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 06:29 AM

I work for a very small company that, previous to my involvement, had very little done in terms of food safety. I have a Bachelor's degree in Dietetics, and my initial interest in this company was in product development from a nutritional perspective. 

After working in the company for a few months, I realized our food safety system was SERIOUSLY lacking. Nothing major that would result in being shut down (we pass health department inspections just fine), but just a general lack of policies and training that puts a lot of trust in "common sense"..  I am wanting to get us SQF certified so that we can meet the needs of some larger clients. 

Because I took several food science classes, a safety and sanitation class that taught HACCP principles, and have Servsafe food safety manager certification (all other management just has a food handler's certification), I've been unofficially dubbed the food safety lady of the company and am now taking on a complete makeover of the company to reflect SQF standards.

I attended an introductory course about SQF to get a general understanding of everything... but I want to know what certifications I should aim for, and if I should pursue a second degree in order to really establish myself as a "Food Safety Coordinator"?? 

 

 

  • Implementation of SQF systems
  • Advanced SQF Practitioner
  • HACCP certification
  • Advanced HACCP
  • Internal Auditing of a GFSI scheme
  • SQFi post farm gate
  • GMP training
  • Recall Training
  • Webinars
  • Workshops
  • IFSQN Live
  • Secondary Degree - Food Science


#4 Tony-C

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 06:34 AM

Hi Mel,

 

:welcome:

 

Here a few examples of courses you may find useful:

 

Agenda for Management Development for Food Safety/Sanitation Professional

Food Safety and Sanitation Distance Learning Course

Lead Auditor Training

Advanced HACCP Course

Food & Drink Microbiology Online Training Course

 

If you are ambitious and want to be more qualified then maybe you could consider something like:

 

Online Master of Science in Food Safety program

Regards,

 

Tony



#5 MmeMuffin

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 03:53 PM

Thank you! All very helpful information-- I definitely want to learn as much as I can!



#6 MmeMuffin

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 04:13 PM

Side note- is there an issue with some certifications not being recognized or anything like that? I come from a field where there are many certifications, but many of them are viewed as "quacks" and hold no water.. what should I look for with a HACCP certification to make sure it is sufficient? Or will any do?



#7 Snookie

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 04:32 PM

Organizations offering HACCP training and/or certifications should be recognized by the International HACCP alliance. 


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#8 it_rains_inside

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 04:33 PM

International HACCP Alliance is pretty well recognized, Randolphs and Assoc. provided ours, they are very good and widely respected. 


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#9 it_rains_inside

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 04:34 PM

Organizations offering HACCP training and/or certifications should be recognized by the International HACCP alliance. 

"Jinx" 


"Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be"

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#10 sqflady

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 10:50 PM

I'm also a registered dietitian who is fairly new to food safety.  Previously I worked in food service management.  I've been working in quality/food safety for 6 months now.  Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions I'd be happy to help. 


Edited by Tony-C, 26 November 2014 - 04:40 AM.
Removed email address to save poster from getting spam, please send PM


#11 fgjuadi

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 12:05 PM

I was in training last week with this (attractive, young) guy who had a PhD....he was lab director, and he had an MS and GC and HPLC in his lab.  I was SO JEALOUS. I miss having a lab - a lot.  I thought for a while after that about going back to school and getting a better degree (I have a bachelor's)...but he mentioned the degree was somewhat limiting (you have to get a job that pays enough to be worth it, can't take anything).  Also, the cost...It's easy to live poor when you're young, but it's not that easy when you get older.   But it'd be worth it to run a  lab again.

 

I petition my boss for the training I need - Anything and everything!  At the "big boys" we had two trainings a year, but at this tiny factory, it's like "We have to do internal audits, go get your internal auditing training"  or "FDA/Department of Health/Pesticide Office is having free training next week, I should go that".  I have email subscriptions to a ton of food safety websites.  For the most part, I get advertising to use them as CBs or go to the training and I've been working my way through the classes.  But they also offer free webinars.  Again, many of these webinars are advertising, but maybe half are helpful, and they sometimes have certs at the end of the presentation, or will email you the slides to save as proof/reference.

 

Not only do I get better at my job, I always learn some thing, add value to the company, and pad my own resume.  Just like successful lawyers become judges, some day I want to be able to become an auditor or consultant (tragically, I'm terrified of heights and I look weird).  Remember to keep copies of all of your certs in personal (off site) records as well. 


Edited by magenta_majors, 26 November 2014 - 12:06 PM.

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#12 cazyncymru

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 12:33 PM

I can only applaud that you want to get yourself trained!

 

When I started out in my youth, I worked in a chemistry based QC lab. over a couple of years I progressed to doing stuff such as HPLC & reference testing. In those days, in the UK at least, you weren't allowed to report official milk quality results without being examined annually by the liaison chemist. I worked at the time for a large dairy company, who prided itself in ensuring that its lab staff were trained to a specific level; and everyone had to go through the Analyst Assessment programme. You couldn't go up the technical / quality career ladder without doing this and it gave you a good grounding in chemistry & microbiological techniques. (remember those days Tony-C?)

 

Over the years I've been very fortunate in that I've been allowed to participate in the majority of courses that have been mentioned above. I had been in industry, and in a management role for a number of years, before I was sponsored to do a food degree, on a part time basis, which I completed in 2008. In the last couple of years, I have embarked on a distance learning MSc in Food Technology in Industry. Yes it is a struggle, time being my biggest constraint ( I'm now in a position where I can afford to pay for courses) and maybe it won't be something I use to get another job. But it is kudos. And I want to do it. I enjoy the learning process; it keeps me abreast with what is going on.

 

There are a number of free courses available; they are good starting blocks for some subjects. I remember a few years back (2008) the IFSQN endorsed a free course held by F4st on "Farm to Fork"; a HACCP course that ran over 100 hours. I have that cert in my HACCP file now. At the moment, apart from my MSc, I am doing a range of food safety based course with Queen's University Belfast (free courses - at the moment the one running is on Food Fraud).

 

 

As Magenta says, register for all sorts of stuff; some companies are brilliant with training materials such as white papers ( I love the ones by Safefood360 - brilliant work boys!)

 

So yes, it can cost you (time & money), but boy, it can be worth it!

 

Good Luck

 

Caz X



#13 Tony-C

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 01:18 PM

I can only applaud that you want to get yourself trained!

 

When I started out in my youth, I worked in a chemistry based QC lab. over a couple of years I progressed to doing stuff such as HPLC & reference testing. In those days, in the UK at least, you weren't allowed to report official milk quality results without being examined annually by the liaison chemist. I worked at the time for a large dairy company, who prided itself in ensuring that its lab staff were trained to a specific level; and everyone had to go through the Analyst Assessment programme. You couldn't go up the technical / quality career ladder without doing this and it gave you a good grounding in chemistry & microbiological techniques. (remember those days Tony-C?)

 

So yes, it can cost you (time & money), but boy, it can be worth it!

 

Good Luck

 

Caz X

 

I was fortunate to be promoted to Lab Manager 9 months after starting. There was a good structure and training in place and a reward for those acquired skills. I had a degree and some more technical Lab experience, DNA sequencing, which helped bump me up the ladder. It was always reassuring to know that the analysts carrying out the testing were well trained.

 

After a year I switched to production which I found thoroughly enjoyable and extremely useful especially in improving my 'man management' skills plus there was general management training before I returned to the 'dark side' (technical) :smile: a few years later.

 

If possible I would recommend working in a variety of roles, it gives a better perspective of the business and understanding the view point of the 'other side' enables you to be more persuasive when the inevitable debates arise.

 

Regards,

 

Tony






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