This post was updated September 16, 2020.
Welcome to the Food Safety Audit – Weekend Edition – carefully curated food safety news and food safety information.
We strive to make it the easiest, most enjoyable and refreshing food safety audit you’ll ever experience! Holler if it’s not!
Food for Thought from the Food Safety Insider
Every time you allow someone to say “Food Safety is an expense” in your presence without confronting the faulty statement, you’re enabling the belief that Food Safety is an expense.
By not confronting the statement head on, we miss an opportunity to create a pattern interrupt and create a re-framing of the broader Food Safety conversation.
As Food Safety leaders, you are in the “reframing”, “rewiring” and “breaking old habits” business.
Every time a faulty statement like “food safety is a big expense” without it being challenged, reframed or dissected is a missed opportunity.
And because it’s such a pervasive and reflexive statement, it’s deeply held and believed.
When it’s not continually challenged, it grows stronger and more deeply embedded, harder and harder to unwind the more it’s left unchecked.
Next time, even in casual conversation, don’t let the statement go unchallenged.
Food Safety News
The beginning of September has had limited FDA recalls of food and beverage products; however two investigations are still ongoing that have had international implications.
Thomson International red onions – Salmonella outbreak
As of early September, over 1,000 cases and 130+ hospitalizations have occurred in the US(47 states at last count), not including cases and hospitalizations in Canada.
Canada’s Public Health Agency reported cases back in late-July which prompted Thomson International, FDA and partners to conduct traceback investigations which led back to Thomson International red onions.
You can read the full update HERE.
Wawona Packing & Prima Wawona peaches recall – Salmonella outbreak
Although the potentially affected peaches have since perished(say that 3x fast!), the FDA reports peaches were distributed internationally as well, outside the US.
The extent to which these peaches were distributed is still on-going, but in the US, the CDC still reports 78 cases across 12 states.
The enormity and scope of the distribution network is all the more reason for broad implementation of food traceability solutions that minimize time to report and recognize more quickly the full distribution of a potentially lethal ingredient or product.
Women of Food Safety – please help the Food Safety Consortium
I’m going to be part of a panel at the Food Safety Consortium in November discussing professional development, mentorship and career development as it relates to different stages of your career in Food Safety & Quality.
This panel event is a small part of a broader initiative taken up by Maria Fontanazza and Rick Biros – with the help of a highly talented group of female food safety professionals, Maria and Rick have developed a program designed for Women in Food Safety.
In the lead-up to the event in November, the team has asked for any women in Food Safety to participate in a survey.
The results from this survey will be used to customize the program and deliver rich, actionable content.
If you’ve ever attended a Food Safety Consortium event, you understand the diligent effort the team puts into each and every program.
This one is no different – please share the WOMEN IN FOOD SAFETY SURVEY with any fellow female professionals in Food Safety.
Food Safety Online Training Courses
We’ve updated upcoming food safety training, HACCP training, PCQI training and Covid-19 back to work training and certification online courses for you.
Most Food Safety certification and training is being conducted online right now – not necessarily a unique development, but it certainly has expanded and is the norm rather than the exception.
Here’s a list of upcoming certification and training opportunities with Alchemy Academy and Protek.
We are a partner and receive a commission if you click through on these links – some of our partner programs even have discounts built in(and more importantly, you never pay more through our partnership).
If you or someone on your team is looking to become a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual, this is the program for you.
Session 1 is self-study but you must register for one of 3 upcoming dates for the instructor-led portion of the PCQI training(Session 2 IS online as well).
- PCQI Certification – Session 1 now, Session 2 instructor-led starts October 2nd
- PCQI Certification – Session 1 now, Session 2 instructor-led starts November 6th
If your company needs a comprehensive or customized HACCP Certification program for different functional parts of your business, Alchemy’s Basic, Advanced and Bundled HACCP Certification program is all online.
Basic HACCP Certification – online HACCP certification and HACCP training for everyone and primer for Advanced HACCP certification
- Advanced HACCP Certification – online HACCP certification and HACCP training for advanced Food Safety, Operations Quality, QC and Quality Assurance leaders – requires Basic HACCP Certification
- Bundled Basic & Advanced HACCP Certification – discount pricing if you purchase Basic and Advanced HACCP Training courses together
In some companies with flat organizational structure(no EHS equivalent), a Food Safety and Quality leader can influence proper behavior beyond Food Safety protocols.
One opportunity that’s affecting all of us is back to work and workplace training – Protek and Alchemy Academy developed a program centered around behaviors that reduce and mitigate Covid-19 spread.
The program may have a secondary benefit – improved employee engagement and production across the entire company.
Imagine anxiety-prone employees at corporate afraid to leave their cubicle(or enter the building!) – a program like this may not solve every issue with return to work, but it can certainly be part of the solution.
At $15.00 per person, it’s content-rich, interactive and well put-together – if your internal HR, Training or even you are splicing together programs, this may be a better option for you. Check it out here – Covid-19 Return to Work.
If you’re sure about introducing this program to your HR team, consider purchasing the program yourself, then making the determination – you’ll have a better grasp of the content and whether it’s applicable.
Right now, HR, Organizational Development and Training teams are either overwhelmed with creating their own programs or are affected by downsizing or budget restraints – a cost-effective off the shelf solution can be a huge weight of their shoulders. You might end up being their hero!
Food Safety Culture
We’re continuing to get lots of feedback on our Food Safety Culture articles – I appreciate the feedback, insights and personal anecdotes that everyone has been sharing. Please keep it coming.
Food Safety Culture – The Missing Ingredient
In our most recent post this week on Food Safety Culture, I took on a slightly different angle and one no less important – it’s from the perspective of a job seeker.
It helps answer the question – How do I assess a company’s Food Safety Culture during the interview process?
I constantly get this question from job seekers in Quality and Food Safety.
Let me know your thoughts – even if you’re not a job seeker, the questions, word tracks and suggestions I offer are ones to prepare for.
If your non-food safety partners underestimate the importance of Food Safety Culture, they may be or have been turned off in the past by candidates who asked such pointed questions.
You can use this as an example of what job seekers EXPECT when it comes to your food company’s employment brand.
It’s helpful to hear it from a 3rd party sometimes, especially on such an important theme as Food Safety Culture.
Kinda like how your spouse doesn’t listen to you about this or that, but if Oprah or Sanjay Gupta says so, they listen?
The next time you overhear a conversation about why your company can’t attract the best candidates or wonder why the company doesn’t have the best reputation, you can use this post and some of the questions as examples.
I’ll continue to break this down in future posts.
Hope it’s helpful and please do share with any job seekers.
I believe and have been told the tips are valuable, refreshing and effective at helping food safety and quality professionals make better job search decisions.
If you know anything about me, I am a HUGE fan of pre-employment assessment tests, personality tests and generally any tool that helps us be a better version of ourselves, whether in our personal or professional life.
One tool that we’re experimenting with right now is Crystal – Crystal allows you to generate your own personality assessment across several different industry leading personality tests AND it can generate predictions of co-workers, suppliers, sales prospects or that Plant Manager you’re trying to develop a stronger work relationship with.
It has a number of ways it can be applied, whether on an individual basis or with teams; we are experimenting with the platform and I would be very interested to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Here’s the link – you can create your own profile and view a limited number of profiles for free through this link – CRYSTAL KNOWS – there is a paid version as well which you can explore here.
Food Industry Job Board
We’ve launched two industry-specific job boards for companies in the food industry – our Food Safety Insider job board is specifically for roles in food safety, food defense, microbiology, etc. as well as for roles with food safety solution providers.
Please share it with your HR partner – a narrowly focused job board will pay higher dividends than posting to broader job board sites like LinkedIn or Indeed.
For September we’re extending our introductory 3 posting package and as always, food safety internships and co-ops are free to post.
Food Tech Insider
We just did a soft launch of our second job board at Food Tech Insider which is geared towards the broader food and beverage industry. We’ll post your food safety postings on the Food Tech Insider site at no additional cost.
We’ve taken on quite a bit of work here to provide a holistic service offering for our food and beverage industry partners.
Each unbundled service offering is meant to help everyone we work with achieve their own individual potential, at each stage of their career.
We’ve looked at each step of the hiring, selection and career development process and tweaked it to align specifically to your unique, nuanced needs.
And if you’d like to receive email alerts for job openings that match for you personally, subscribe at the bottom of this page HERE.
Food Safety Insider
For Food Safety news, updates on Food Safety training, Food Safety jobs and Food recalls, subscribe below with your preferred email.
If you and your team need help with some particularly hard to fill roles that require search and staffing expertise, you can call me directly or email me HERE or call me directly at the number on the page.
Take care and be safe and have a great rest of your weekend.