Should You Invest Time and Resources to Prequalify Food Plant Subcontractors?

Best practices for mitigating risk and protecting your food business

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Prequalifying subcontractors

This is a question we hear food plant owners asking themselves time and time again when embarking on new projects. Do I really need to invest in prequalifying subcontractors? I have relationships with other vendors—why pay someone else to hire subs when I can save money and just pick people myself? There are plenty of reasons that hiring subs must be taken very, very seriously. The wrong decision can result in risks ranging from project delays and unexpected expenses to safety threats. And with food manufacturing facilities in particular, you have the added layer of food safety risks. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re on the fence about investing time and resources into prequalifying food plant subcontractors for your project.

 

3 Benefits of a Food Plant Observation Deck

Design best practices to elevating your food manufacturing facility tours

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3 Benefits of a Food Plant Observation Deck

Food plant tours can serve as a valuable sales tool for your company. An observation deck, or viewing gallery, is a sanitary design solution that allows you to roll out the welcome mat to visitors. This moderate, added cost solution can be ground level or elevated, offering a behind-the-scenes look at your plant’s critical processes or packaging. Let’s review design best practices in addition to three benefits these structures can offer your food plant.

 

Can Compressed Air Systems be a Source of Contamination?

2 ways to prevent contaminated air in your food facility

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Can Compressed Air Systems be a Source of Contamination?

Did you know that compressed air systems can be a source of contamination in your food plant? Dangerous bacteria and pathogens can be difficult to spot in your facility—especially if they are airborne. It’s a common misperception that compressed air is considered as clean as the air from the outdoor environment that surrounds your facility—NOT true. Once in the compressor, the air outside of your facility (ambient air) mixes with other elements within your compressor (i.e., corrosion, worn seals). Whatever is not caught in your filtration system is then circulated throughout your plant.

 

An Overview of the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certification Audit Process

A comprehensive look at the time frame, scoring parameters and more

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An Overview of the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certification Audit Process

Last week, we outlined the basics of a Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification, examining the benefits, costs and the steps. However, the biggest piece of this food safety certification is passing the actual audit. Here, we provide a comprehensive look at the initial SQF certification audit process, including the time frame and scoring parameters.

 

What’s Involved in a Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certification?

A basic look at the benefits, steps associated with the food safety program

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What’s Involved in a Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certification?

Consumers’ increasing scrutiny of the food industry continues to crank up the hot seat for processors and manufacturers. Consumers not only want to ensure the food they’re putting into their bodies is safe, they want proof. This has led to a slew of third-party food safety certifications. The globally recognized Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification is one specific program gaining traction among food companies thanks to its comprehensiveness and consistency. Approved by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), the SQF program follows a “one world; one standard” vision, reducing the need for multiple food safety audits. So, what’s involved in a SQF certification? Let’s take a look at the basics of obtaining an SQF certification, from the fees to the steps involved.

 

7 Ways to Integrate Gluten-free Manufacturing Into Your Bakery Plant

An in-depth look at how to safely produce gluten-free products

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7 Ways to Integrate Gluten-free Manufacturing Into Your Bakery Plant

Stellar recently exhibited at the American Society of Baking’s (ASB) annual BakingTech conference in Chicago. “Gluten-free” continues to be a topic on the rise among the attendees. This isn’t surprising, as more and more companies are incorporating gluten-free products into their offering arsenals. However, a common challenge for food manufacturers going gluten-free is preventing cross-contamination, whether it’s modifying existing plants or embarking on greenfield projects. Gluten-free products also require specific distribution and processing considerations that may differ from what manufacturers are used to, from mixing methods to storage. So, how do you safely integrate gluten-free manufacturing into your bakery plant?

 

Food Safety: Biofilm Formation and Removal

An in-depth look at warning signs, proper sanitation procedures and prevention

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Food Safety: Biofilm Formation and Removal

Biofilm is not only difficult to detect, it can form just about anywhere in your food processing plant. Even clean-looking surfaces can be compromised by an invisible layer of biofilm harboring dangerous bacteria and pathogens. Ensuring your food plant’s processing equipment is unaffected by this tricky food safety culprit is critical to preventing contamination and costly recalls.

 

What You Need to Know About USDA’s New Poultry Safety Measures

Food Safety and Inspection Service will begin assessments in May 2016

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What You Need to Know About USDA’s New Poultry Safety Measures

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recently announced the finalization of new measurements to reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry and ground turkey products. Let’s review what you need to know as a poultry or turkey processor.

 

What Coffee Producers Can Learn From Starbucks’ Award-winning Coffee Plant

Lessons from Food Engineering's 2015 Fabulous Food Plant winner

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What coffee producers can learn from Starbucks’ award-winning coffee plant

As today’s home-brewing coffee drinkers continue to seek convenient alternatives to coffee shops, the demand for delicious instant coffee has risen. However, it’s not always easy for processors to produce high-quality instant coffee, as there are many moving parts that must come together to put a tasty cup of joe on the kitchen table.

 

What Food Processors Should Know About 2 New FSMA Final Rules

Reviewing the FDA's newest food safety rules for food processors

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What Food Processors Should Know About 2 New FSMA Final Rules

The FDA recently released new final Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules. These rules are the result of amendments made to the original proposals, based on comments and criticisms in public forums. Below are important details of two rules. You can find a full explanation of each new rule here.