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#1 Gbolade

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 09:17 AM

Hi all

My name is Lade, a food science and technology graduate of cardiff metropolitan university.
I was recently offered a role as Hygiene Manager in a ready to eat food manufacturing company. My only experience in the food industry was as Laboratory assistant/Quality control and also as a QA Technician.
Is there any advice you can pass on to get a better picture on how to manage this role?. Any training or association that might benefit me and the company on a long term.
Your advice will surely help as always, thanks.

Kind regards
Lade



#2 Scampi

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 01:12 PM

I suggest a full 2-3 day HACCP course, so that you can get a better handle on how the process works (if you haven't already), RTE can be fairly risky so also spend some time understanding the microbial risks

 

Single BEST piece of advice , go on the production floor  WATCH WATCH WATCH   You will quickly see problems (and solutions) that need addressed and where things are working well

 

Ask the employees on the floor for suggestions, particularly long standing ones, they've seen it all and are usually really glad to be asked their opinion. Then you have started a rapport with them and they will be much more receptive of you and your changes and/or enforcement

 

AND you'll need to develop alligator like skin to be able to allow the mud slinging to rinse right off


Because we always have is never an appropriate response!


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#3 MsMars

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 03:35 PM

I have a similar background as you - moving from laboratory/QA to more of a food safety/quality management role.  Fortunately I was given the opportunity to learn other food safety/quality-related duties outside of the lab when I was in my laboratory role due to short staffing, and I spent a lot of time on the production floor and with upper level FSQA and plant management.  I also pursued and finished graduate education in food safety while in my laboratory role, which helped tremendously with the transition between the two roles.  But just like Scampi said - spending time on the production floor is important.  I'm sure you did a lot of watching in your QA role, but getting experience in communication with all levels of personnel within the company (including upper level management without having your supervisor as a buffer) is almost invaluable.  That's probably the hardest part (communication and maintaining management commitment), but having that experience and a little educational background to back yourself up doesn't hurt. Sounds like you already have the laboratory/micro knowledge you need; a HACCP course and any other relevant food safety certification courses (GFSI schemes, auditing, etc.) would help you understand the "whys and hows" regarding the food safety program as a whole.  Read up on your plant's environmental monitoring program and visit with the food safety manager regarding any sanitation/microbial issues they may have or have had in the past as well.  Familiarize yourself with the microbial risks associated with the specific RTE products produced in your facility and how to avoid them. The facility's HACCP plan would be a good place to start on your first day. 

 

Congrats! 



#4 Gerard H.

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 08:35 AM

Dear Lade,

 

In a ready to eat food manufacturing company, the cleaning process is of huge importance. Any contamination* of the lines, prior to the start of the operation, leads to contaminated products. It's the task of the cleaning manager that the food producing areas are well prepared.

 

* Contamination sources:

  • Foreign bodies (plastic, machine parts, glass, wood)
  • Allergens (Due to insufficient cleaning)
  • Micro-organisms (Due to insufficient cleaning & ineffective disinfection)
  • Chemical residues (from the Cleaning & disinfection or lubricating agents)

You can take the advices from the other members to the heart. Everything you can learn about hygiene is welcome.

 

You need to have a hygiene plan and stick to it. Do a right calculation of the time you need for every task. You need to be prepared to receive comments from other departments and to translate these into constructive actions and feedback. Look to the whole company and production area environment as well, meaning not only to the machinery. It can be practical to develop an objective vision of the cleanliness of your company.

 

A good thing to develop your skills is to exchange your vision with persons in similar funtions in other companies.

 

I wish you good luck with your new job!

 

Kind regards,

 

Gerard Heerkens



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#5 Gbolade

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 11:02 AM

Dear Lade,
 
In a ready to eat food manufacturing company, the cleaning process is of huge importance. Any contamination* of the lines, prior to the start of the operation, leads to contaminated products. It's the task of the cleaning manager that the food producing areas are well prepared.
 
* Contamination sources:

  • Foreign bodies (plastic, machine parts, glass, wood)
  • Allergens (Due to insufficient cleaning)
  • Micro-organisms (Due to insufficient cleaning & ineffective disinfection)
  • Chemical residues (from the Cleaning & disinfection or lubricating agents)
You can take the advices from the other members to the heart. Everything you can learn about hygiene is welcome.
 
You need to have a hygiene plan and stick to it. Do a right calculation of the time you need for every task. You need to be prepared to receive comments from other departments and to translate these into constructive actions and feedback. Look to the whole company and production area environment as well, meaning not only to the machinery. It can be practical to develop an objective vision of the cleanliness of your company.
 
A good thing to develop your skills is to exchange your vision with persons in similar funtions in other companies.
 
I wish you good luck with your new job!
 
Kind regards,
 
Gerard Heerkens



Hi Gerard

Thanks for all your advice, it is really helpful. I have a level 3 and 4 in food safety and HACCP.
All you've said has been noted and I hope it works out well, thanks for your time.

Kind regards
Lade

#6 Gbolade

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 11:06 AM

I suggest a full 2-3 day HACCP course, so that you can get a better handle on how the process works (if you haven't already), RTE can be fairly risky so also spend some time understanding the microbial risks
 
Single BEST piece of advice , go on the production floor  WATCH WATCH WATCH   You will quickly see problems (and solutions) that need addressed and where things are working well
 
Ask the employees on the floor for suggestions, particularly long standing ones, they've seen it all and are usually really glad to be asked their opinion. Then you have started a rapport with them and they will be much more receptive of you and your changes and/or enforcement
 
AND you'll need to develop alligator like skin to be able to allow the mud slinging to rinse right off


Hi scampi

Thanks a million for replying, I will 5 a keto it nd I will keep in touch, 4 hanks

Regards
Lade

#7 Gbolade

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 11:08 AM

I have a similar background as you - moving from laboratory/QA to more of a food safety/quality management role.  Fortunately I was given the opportunity to learn other food safety/quality-related duties outside of the lab when I was in my laboratory role due to short staffing, and I spent a lot of time on the production floor and with upper level FSQA and plant management.  I also pursued and finished graduate education in food safety while in my laboratory role, which helped tremendously with the transition between the two roles.  But just like Scampi said - spending time on the production floor is important.  I'm sure you did a lot of watching in your QA role, but getting experience in communication with all levels of personnel within the company (including upper level management without having your supervisor as a buffer) is almost invaluable.  That's probably the hardest part (communication and maintaining management commitment), but having that experience and a little educational background to back yourself up doesn't hurt. Sounds like you already have the laboratory/micro knowledge you need; a HACCP course and any other relevant food safety certification courses (GFSI schemes, auditing, etc.) would help you understand the "whys and hows" regarding the food safety program as a whole.  Read up on your plant's environmental monitoring program and visit with the food safety manager regarding any sanitation/microbial issues they may have or have had in the past as well.  Familiarize yourself with the microbial risks associated with the specific RTE products produced in your facility and how to avoid them. The facility's HACCP plan would be a good place to start on your first day. 
 
Congrats!


Hi MsMars

Thanks for your reply and advice, I will make good use of it and hopefully all goes well.

Kind regards
Lade




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