Tag Archives: best practices

3M Food Safety

Industry Experts Discuss FSMA Supply Chain Challenges

By Food Safety Tech Staff
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3M Food Safety

Last week a panel of industry authorities gathered to share their perspectives on the importance of transparency in the supply chain and the challenges that food companies experience in managing different aspects, from their suppliers to once product reaches retailers.

“Understand that food safety today has changed significantly and will continue to change. It’s a dynamic field and regulations have only accelerated,” said Jorge Hernandez, chief food safety officer at The Wholesome Company. “You need to be more proactive internally and externally.”

Moderated by John Wadie, U.S. marketing operations manager for 3M Food Safety, the other panelists were Melanie Neumann, president of Neuman Risk Services, LLC and Terry Levee, Senior Director, Giant Eagle.

The panel is being rebroadcast as a free webinar, “Challenges Seen in Implementing and Executing Supply Chain Management”, on Tuesday, June 20 at 1 pm CT. It is part two of the 3M Food Safety FSMA Webinar Series: From Rules to Tools. Register here


Three Practices for Supply Chain Management in the Food Industry

By Kevin Hill
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While building an effective logistics strategy, the end goal of supply chain management (SCM) needs to be kept in mind (i.e., allowing each member of the supply chain to achieve efficient inventory management as well as reach its customer service goals). To this end, it’s important to share information that will help each member achieve success. This includes data relating to demand forecasts, anticipated lead times and safety stock quantities. Let’s look at SCM best practices for food manufacturing and supply, and how this information plays a role.

Effective SCM: Best Practices for the Food Industry

Here’s an overview of SCM best practices in food supply and manufacturing:

Learn more about managing your supply chain at the Best Practices in Food Safety Supply Chain conference | June 5–6, 2017 | LEARN MOREDemand Forecasts. This is generally based on demand, sales or usage patterns in the past. However, future demand can be affected by changing situations such as:

  • Gaining/losing customers
  • Increased/decreased product popularity
  • Introduction of new products
  • Short-term increase in demand through promotions, etc.

Better estimates can be achieved with an effective derived demand or a CPFR (collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment) system. This can be done through automated data collection, or by the following process:

  • Identifying customers who can predict future demand (i.e., what they may use or sell in the future)
  • Collecting demand forecasts about specific products from them
  • Comparing these forecasts against their actual purchases on a monthly basis
  • Helping them improve future predictions by sharing this data with them

Customers may overestimate demand, but you might consider offering a discount based on accurate forecasts to encourage better results. In addition, you should also consider these five elements:

  • Usage patterns in the past, not including CPFR data
  • Increasing/decreasing product popularity trends
  • Higher/lower seasonal usage or demand
  • Events/promotions in the near future
  • Market and industry data from sources such as management, sales, etc.

USDA Releases Strategies to Reduce E. coli Levels at Beef Slaughterhouses

A special Working Group has determined that a reduction in O157 could be achieved in two ways: one, by the Agency improving how FSIS inspection personnel verify plant performance of sanitary dressing procedures, and two, by improving the information available to industry on how sanitary dressing should be performed.

Reduction of E. coli O157 illnesses since the mid-1990’s has been one of the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s greatest public health successes, with illnesses having dropped by over 50 percent since 1998. While overall illnesses are down significantly, the most recently available outbreak data shows a slight increase in illnesses from this dangerous pathogen. FSIS’ Strategic Performance Working Group (SPWG) has released a six-point strategy to turn the trend back in the right direction.

The SPWG includes professionals from across FSIS, including field personnel, microbiologists, and policymakers who come together periodically to tackle serious and stubborn challenges that limit the Agency’s successful performance of its mission. The SPWG previously developed the Salmonella Action Plan, which has been the agency’s blueprint for tackling Salmonella since December 2013. Now the SPWG is also recommending a multipronged approach to address pathogenic E. coli in beef slaughterhouses.

The SPWG determined that a reduction in O157 could be achieved in two ways. First, the Agency needs to improve how FSIS inspection personnel verify plant performance of sanitary dressing procedures through better training, more correlations, and developing a standard to assess industry’s performance of sanitary dressing. Drawing on the experience of its members, the SPWG also stated that the training would be most effective if it included photographs and real-world scenarios to effectively illustrate the issues discussed in the documents.

Second, the SPWG recommended improving the information available to industry on how sanitary dressing should be performed. The SPWG said the Agency could do so by publishing a guide containing suggestions for best practices.

More detailed information about the SPWG’s findings and recommendations mentioned here can be found on the FSIS website at Strategic Performance Working Group: Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli Findings. We are confident in this approach and look forward to being able to report lower illness numbers as a result of this report and future issues that the SPWG will work to address.

This blog was originally posted on USDA.gov, by Philip Bronstein, FSIS Senior Microbiologist

NYC Food Vendors Don’t Change Gloves Enough

A recent study noted that 57 percent of 1,804 customer transactions observed did not involve the vendor changing gloves in between handling money and the next person’s order.

The majority of New York City mobile food vendors don’t change their gloves after exchanging money and before serving the next customer, as required by law, a new study has found.

Researchers from William Paterson University in New Jersey studied 10 food carts within 10 densely populated areas of Manhattan, a total of 100 carts. They found that 57 percent of 1,804 customer transactions observed did not involve the vendor changing gloves in between handling money and the next person’s order.

Study author Corey Basch describes the results as “eye-opening from a public health perspective” because of foodborne illness risk. “Being observant to the glove-changing behaviors of the vendors as well as overall hygiene is prudent and can reveal a great deal in a short time,” she said.

The New York City Health Code 81.13 requires that food vendors change gloves “after handling raw foods, performing tasks that do not involve food preparation or processing, handling garbage, or any other work where the gloves may have become soiled or contaminated.”

Sangita Viswanathan, Former Editor-in-Chief, FoodSafetyTech

How a Global Snack Powerhouse Follows Supply Chain Best Practices

By Sangita Viswanathan
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Sangita Viswanathan, Former Editor-in-Chief, FoodSafetyTech

Known for its global brands such as Oreo, Ritz, Cadbury, Toblerone, Trident and Tang, Mondelēz International is a global snacks powerhouse, with products marketed in 165 countries. 

The company, which was created in October 2012 with spin-off of Kraft Foods Group, earned net revenues of $35 billion in 2012, and is the No. 1 in biscuits, chocolate, candy and powdered beverages; and No. 2 in gum and coffee. Mondelēz also employs approximately 110,000 people and works with nearly 3000 raw material suppliers. 

Against this background, the primary goal for the company is to provide Food that is Safe to Eat, described Peter Begg, Sr. Director, Global Quality Programs, Mondelēz International. 

Talking about Global Supply Chain Best practices at the recent Global Food Safety Conference, Begg described that his company ensures that its consumers and customers can trust the products that they manufacture and provide by: 

  1. “Having a comprehensive Food Safety program that meets or exceeds regulatory requirements and ensures global consistency; 
  2. Benchmarking annually to ensure the robustness of our food safety program including 3rd party audits (GFSI);  
  3. Continuously evolving our global strategies on Food Safety, with goals to drive further progress; and 
  4. Leveraging Supply Chain initiatives to support the Food Safety program.” 

At Mondelēz, food safety management occurs at multiple levels, said Begg: “The International Board of Directors Level reviews food safety management; the Executive Team level assesses company risk profile and management programs; food safety and quality senior management establishes food safety policy, control programs, and compliance mechanisms; business units implement company food safety policies and programs, and ensure regulatory compliance; and the Special Situations management team assesses and proactively manages issues, issues prevention, and communication of lessons learned.” 

Begg stressed that “companies need to make food safety culture personal, so people don’t bypass it. Mondelēz has had 0 incidents, 0 defects and 0 losses – and this will not be possible without 100 percent employee involvement.” 

He described an Integrated Quality Management Approach that focuses on systems across key factors in the supply chain: “Risk categories (covering chemical, microbiology and physical risks) are addressed along several steps (Design, Procure, Covert, Distribute, Trade and Consumer) using various quality risk prevention programs such as design safety analysis; HACCP; allergen management; supplier QA; material monitoring; continuous improvement; traceability, complaint management, process capability/ Six Sigma; warehouse controls and labeling.” 

Begg described Mondelēz’ quality and food safety programs that help assess, manage, and mitigate risk: 

Risk Assessment:

  • Supplier approval and management: determines suppliers risk profile and ability to meet MDLZ standards before use and on an ongoing basis;
  • Design Safety Analysis: new/changed product concepts are evaluated to design out potential physical hazards;
  • Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) – focused on prevention, identifies conversion risks, controls, and monitoring compliance; and
  • Third Party Validation – validation of key systems; Design, HACCP, Micro, Allergen, Supplier, Auditing. 

Risk Management:

  • Auditing – risk based approach to assesses compliance to policy and execution of programs leading to corrective/ preventive actions;
  • Material Monitoring – incoming material testing program to verify the effectiveness of preventative programs;
  • Training – drives awareness of policies, programs, roles & responsibilities and enhances organizational competency;
  • Traceability – programs to manage and trace materials thru finished goods; 
  • Spec Management – specification development and change management process for materials, processes, and finished goods; and
  • Contingency Planning for single/ sole source and regionally isolated ingredients. 

Risk Mitigation:

  • Special Situations Management – defined company-wide process for proactive and effective management of issues minimizing potential impact to the business. 

Mondelēz has made a strong commitment to the Global Food Safety Initiative. According to Begg, the company has asked its nearly 3000 raw material suppliers globally to get certified under a GFSI benchmarked standard by 2015. All internal manufacturing facilities will have a GFSI certification (FSSC 22000) by the end of 2015 as well (currently 80 percent of facilities are certified). The company is also promoting GFSI to its external partners including joint ventures and external manufacturers.