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.


Should You Renovate Your Food Plant or Build a New Facility?

5 key considerations to drive your decision

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Should you renovate your existing facility or build a new facility? This question isn’t an easy one to answer and is, of course, dependent on capital expenditure. However, your answer should also be driven by your company’s strategic plan to ensure that your decision aligns with your long-term needs and goals.


6 Food Safety Areas to Examine During Operational Facility Improvements

Ensure construction doesn’t put your food manufacturing plant at risk

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6 Key Areas to Maintain Food Safety During Facility Retrofits

Many food plants operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in some capacity. Without proper planning, quality control, good manufacturing practices (GMP) and sanitation procedures, an around-the-clock operation is a high-risk candidate for food safety dangers. In this type of environment, how are essential retrofits and renovations accomplished without compromising daily operations, food safety and personnel safety?


[Infographic] 5 Important Factors for Selecting a Site for Your New Food Plant

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[Infographic] 5 Important Factors for Selecting a Site for Your New Food Plant

When choosing the ideal site for your new food plant, your decision should always tie back to a single question: How will this site help my business thrive? Build a sound business plan around the type and quantity of goods your facility will produce, and use that plan to guide you through your site selection. You’ll need to address several factors throughout your search, most of important of which are the five core factors illustrated in the infographic below:


What Food Processors Should Know About the New Earthquake Building Rating System

USRC’s new rating system gives owners a consistent way to determine facility earthquake safety

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What Food Processors Should Know About the New Earthquake Building Rating System


In November 2015, the United States Resiliency Council (USRC) launched the USRC Earthquake Building Rating System, a first-of-its-kind performance rating system for seismic hazards. This system is the first reliable, consistent method to determine how susceptible buildings may be to earthquakes, providing facility owners, insurance providers, and engineers with a better understanding of how to prevent losses. The rating system assesses buildings on three important criteria, each of which is detailed later in this article.


Three Reasons to Consider a Behavior-based Approach to Worker Safety

Final part in our worker safety series

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Three Reasons to Consider a Behavior-based Approach to Worker Safety

In last week’s post, I introduced you to the behavior-based approach to worker safety. While ergonomic design and regulatory compliance remain critical to worker safety, behavior-based safety strategies incentivize employees to take ownership of their own safety. Employees proactively identify potential hazards, helping prevent them from ever happening in the first place.

Below, I outline in more detail three reasons you should integrate a behavior-based approach into your food plant’s worker safety practices.


How a Behavior-based Approach Can Enhance Your Worker Safety Culture

Make your 'recorded incidents per man hour' work for you

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How a Behavior-based Approach can Enhance Your Worker Safety Culture

Worker safety is a critical element in every food plant, regardless of the type of products manufactured. And while creating a safe, ergonomic work environment is a must, sometimes it’s not enough to ensure the safety of your most important asset—your employees.

In a recent Food Engineering article on ergonomic practices, I discussed how a behavior-based approach can enhance your plant’s worker safety. With behavior-based safety training, workers are incentivized to proactively look for potential hazards, creating a safety-oriented workforce.


5 Details to Give Your Design-Builder for a More Accurate Food Project Budget

Avoid discrepancies by providing details about utilities, food safety and more

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5 Details to Give Your Design-Builder for a More Accurate Food Project Budget

At this time of year, many food processors are planning next year’s capital expenditures, which often means piecing together budgets for upcoming food plant construction projects. It is important to create the most accurate budget possible: a tricky task. Frequently, food processors prepare budgets without the assistance of an experienced design-builder. By doing so, they make assumptions that can skew their entire budget.


Assessing Structural Damage: Your No. 1 Priority After Disaster Strikes

Emergency Response Preparedness Series

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The Most Important Thing Plant Owners Neglect After Disaster Strikes

After a disaster, your food processing plant must get up and running again as soon as possible. Making moves to clean up or sweep debris may be a tempting first response, but it could be deadly. Instead, you must assess for structural damage first.


How CALGreen is Impacting Design and Construction Practices

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How CALGreen is impacting design and construction practices

To incorporate sustainability into building construction and design, California established the California Green Building Standards Code—known as CALGreen for short. As the first statewide green building code in the United States, this code’s voluntary and mandatory measures aim to reduce environmental impact during and after construction while increasing buildings’ efficiency in materials and energy usage. As a food manufacturing and/or storage facility owner, you should understand that CALGreen is changing the way the building industry does business.