Advice for a great weekend
The last fews days I’ve had escape on my mind – in talking to other food industry leaders the last two weeks, I’ve heard the same from them.
“Overwhelmed”, “need to get away”, “decompress” – these are all mental states that are not sustainable or healthy.
A resource I’ve gravitated towards that guides how I’m managing Covid-19, leading several businesses through a pandemic, and my personal life is Cal Newport’s writings.
His most recent blog – Rediscover Depth post gives a prescription on dealing with overwhelm.
I think it’s topical for Food Safety & Quality leaders, especially those of you who inherently are detail-oriented, grew up and studied in research-intensive environments and work in one today that demands attention to detail AND being constantly on-call.
You can find his book about “deep work” here on Amazon as well – Cal Newport.
With the upcoming election and continued pandemic matters to sort through, finding quiet time to reflect, think and recover will be mission-critical for us, as well as those around us.
Food Safety News
Food Recalls – Salmonella and Cyclospora outbreaks and subsequent food recalls are in process right now with peaches, bagged salad and red onions.
Peaches recall – 78 cases in 12 states, distribution nationally
The CDC and the FDA, using rapid genome sequencing, were able to work in tandem with the likely source – Wawona Packing and Prima Wawona peaches to issue a recall of any and all peaches packed or supplied by Wawona back as far as June 1, 2020.
This includes loose peaches in grocery bins, which means consumers reference point is the PLU, shared by other producers and verifiable only by contacting the retailer or supplier.
Your best best if asked by a family member? Call the grocery store or throw them out.
Salad recall – 690 cases in 13 states distribution upper midwest & northeast
As of August 29th, the source of the Cyclospora has been tentatively narrowed to red cabbage and iceberg lettuce – carrots are not viewed as the source at this time.
The FDA’s traceback investigation is pointing at a water management canal in Port St Lucie, FL as the potential source – water samples have tested positive from the canal.
Red onions recall – 869 cases in 47 states – distribution in US and Canada
As of August 29th, the red onion salmonella outbreak continues to be investigated – the outbreak was acknowledged on August 1st and within a week, the investigation narrowed in on red onions from Thomson International as the likely source of the contamination.
Canada reported illnesses initially and the FDA partnered with the CDC and Canadian partners to zero in on Thomson International.
This recall has been extensive due to Thomson’s onions being used in ready to eat products and their large distribution network – the updated FDA product recall list is here and the FSIS list is here.
Food Safety Training
The show must go on despite Covid-19, and that includes Food Safety Training.
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 September 11th
- 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.
- 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.
Food Safety Culture
I’ve been on my soapbox recently about Food Safety Culture and the missing ingredient that we’re not focused on enough that impacts a company’s overall culture as well as the more narrowly defined Food Safety Culture.
And that is hiring and selection – you can read more about it here – Food Safety Culture – The Missing Ingredient.
And while I’m on the soapbox, consider for a moment that reducing your Cost of Quality from 20% to 3% can take 8 years which, in the eyes of a Board of Directors or executive team is unacceptable.
This to me is reason enough why a Food Safety leader has a massive opportunity to influence the company’s hiring and selection process and gain enormous amounts of respect and credibility in doing so – read how to do it here – A strong food safety culture starts with your next hire.
If you’ve got time, listen and/or watch this video from Lone Jespersen and Safety Chain Software – 5 Keys to Building a Better Food Safety Culture.
And for context, realize that as comprehensive and to the point Lone’s playbook is, the PEOPLE aspect only touches on your existing workforce, not those you are considering to hire. And now I’ll step off my soapbox.
Food Industry Job Board
We’ve just launched our food industry job board at Food Safety Insider – it’s designed specifically for Food Science, Food Safety and FSQA jobs and jobs that are centered around the technical functions of a food or beverage company.
Job openings with Food Safety Audit companies, testing labs, SaaS and PaaS companies that sell food safety software, QMS software, EHS software, PLM software and food-industry specific(foodtech) companies will get huge value from using our job board versus using LinkedIn, Indeed or other food industry job boards.
The narrow focus of this job board is purposeful.
We’ve incorporated job postings, our custom pre-employment assessment tests and our industry and domain expertise to help our small universe of people and companies make better, more informed hires.
We’ve created a special offer as well – you can post up to 3 positions right now for $99.00 each – check it out HERE.
We have some additional job posting packages that allow companies to post in multiple locations for remote roles and blend in our customized assessment tools – contact us and we’ll help you find the best solution for you.
Check our food industry job board out HERE.
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.
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Take care and be safe and have a great weekend.