Category: Education

Reaching Your Goals in 2020

As we progress into the new year, have you set any goals? Perhaps you would like to increase safety measures in your plant. Maybe you want to implement a color-coding system. Or possibly, your 2020 objective is to enhance organization. Organizing, identifying, and labeling your storage and inventory areas will help your plant to operate more efficiently. 

Regardless of the goal, Nelson-Jameson is here to help you succeed in the new year. We offer a wealth of products and solutions that can help your facility to reach your objectives. Our Storeroom Solutions Guide features shelving units, storage bins, labeling systems, and more to help your plant with easier reordering, management, and fulfillment. Our food safety programs– Safety & PPE, Color-Coded, Metal Detectable, and Hand Hygienewill help to ensure that you continue to provide safe, quality food to all, in 2020 and for years to come

Take a closer look at our food safety programs or talk to one of our product specialists today to get started! 


When it Comes to Food Safety, You Can Never Have Too Much Class…

During our conversations with regulatory folks, a common theme has developed.   Overwhelmingly, regulators have stressed the importance of a “culture of food safety”.   This means that food safety isn’t relegated to only a few individuals in a plant. Instead, a culture of food safety is one where a business has inclusively brought in ALL stakeholders, from CEOs to part-time employees to learn, practice, and respect food safety standards.   Instead of viewing food safety as only rules that have to be followed or marks to simply check off on a sheet, food safety becomes a mindset and unifying goal across the plant and across the company.

We’ve also noticed that the most effective method to create this culture is through education and practice. The more employees learn about food safety, its importance to their customers’ safety, its importance to the financial well-being of the company, etc. the more people pay attention and invest in food safety concerns.   

With all that in mind, Nelson-Jameson aims to keep our customers informed through educational opportunities to help create that culture of food safety.   Such opportunities/workshops pay off directly not only in the immediate experience of the students attending them, but also to the companies sending them when that knowledge is brought back, shared, and applied in the facility.   Here are a few of the upcoming opportunities to learn more:

University of Wisconsin-River Falls will offer a “HAACP Workshop” that is open to “all food processors, suppliers, and regulators who wish to learn or review the basics of HACCP in a food facility” March 18-20th.   The workshop will cover “ food safety hazards, prerequisites, validation of HACCP plans, implementing HACCP, and regulation” via hands-on experiences. To find out more, click here for information on the program, fees, etc.   

On May 6th, the Center for Dairy Research will host a day-long “Food Safety Workshop (HACCP)” in Madison, WI.   Also, open to a spectrum of attendees, the class is a hands-on “introduction to HACCP in a plant setting” where students will learn about topics from environmental monitoring to GMPs.   Further information is available on the CDR website.  

Keep an eye out for further food safety opportunities here on our blog.   In the meantime, we are here as well to help provide you with the products and programs that can help you reach and maintain quality and food safety standards.   


Craft on the Cayuga: Cornell Focuses on the Brewing Industry

New York State, like many other areas in the US is firmly entrenched in the craft beer revolution. As Niall McCarthy chronicled on Forbes.com in April of 2019: “Back in 2008, small and independent brewers produced 8.5 million barrels of lager, stout, pale ale, India pale ale, porter and countless other varieties. By 2018, output climbed steeply to 25,917,766 barrels.” From Buffalo to Brooklyn, New York State’s craft industry continues to significantly contribute to that rise in production, from brewpub favorites to nationally-consumed brands.

Cornell University, a key resource in numerous areas of food science research, has developed resources to connect brewers from NY and beyond with educational opportunities, guidance, and analysis. Recently, the Cornell Craft Beverage Institute was launched, including the Brewing Extension Program. Housed under the Department of Food Science, the Institute focuses on actively engaging the brewing industry as a resource and providing space for experimentation and innovation.

Key resources of the Extension program include the pilot research-scale brewery as well as a hops testing lab. The pilot plant allows the industry access to hands on experience, research, and the ability to run trials. In the hops lab, growers, producers and brewers have the ability to test and analyze the quality of hops. To learn more about the Institute, email Kaylyn Kirkpatrick, manager of the Cornell Brewing Extension.

In addition to the Institute, Cornell also offers a “Beer Essentials Certificate Program” through eCornell.  The course is intended for anyone that works with beer (bartenders, restaurant managers, servers) to brewery professionals, or even just beer enthusiasts.  The course covers: “… ingredients and process to sensory analysis, to serving, training, and sales” Successful completion of the course will earn students a Beer Essentials Certificate from Cornell Hotel School, and 40 Professional Development Hours (4 CEUs). To learn more about the program click here.

Nelson-Jameson appreciates our brewery customers and programs/courses like Cornell’s to educate and innovate.  Check out our website for products and programs to help you safely run your operation more efficiently.  From hoses and lab supplies to color-coded and metal detectable programs, we’re here to help keep the beer flowing!

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Nelson-Jameson Lab Training Workshop

Nelson-Jameson is proud to announce that we will be holding “A ‘Calibration’ of Lab Testing” this October 17th at the University of Wisconsin-Richland. The seminar will be lead by two Nelson-Jameson Lab Team members in our Technical Services area: Steve Zdun and Dayton Bruha. Best practices in pH, microbiology, and salt will all be featured in the workshop. Perfect for food and beverage lab personnel, participants will get a hands-on approach to tackling these core areas.

Registration before October 1st, will guarantee an early bird rate of $150 ($175 after). Call one of our customer service representatives and mention item #333-3333 for more information!

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FDA’s Food Safety Plan Builder Software

In the demanding everyday life of a food manufacturer it can be hard to slow down and think about the safety of the products being manufactured. Everything from the ingredients that come in the door to the way the product is shipped out to the customer, all have to be monitored for safety. That is what the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is all about, making sure the ingredients, the process, and how the end product is shipped out reduces the level of risk to the consumer. The manufacturing facility has to ask, what can be done to prevent the various risks in the plant from happening and causing a recall?

A Food Safety Plan is a robust, detailed plan that is meant to anticipate and meet these challenges. A cohesive plan is based on food safety principles which include: hazard analysis, preventative controls, supply-chain programs, and a recall plan. For smaller businesses, putting a Food Safety Plan in place and maintaining that Plan can be daunting. Where do you start? Making sense of the regulatory language can be difficult, making it hard to determine what the FDA is going to be looking for if you were to receive an audit.

After some feedback from the food industry, the FDA created a free software tool, called the Food Safety Plan Builder. It is a tool designed to assist owners/operators of food facilities with the development of food safety plans that are specific to their facilities, and to assist them in meeting the requirements of the current regulations. Using this software is not required by the FDA, but facilities may find it of use as they continue to critically engage their Food Safety Plans.

Filling out all the information that the software requests can be labor intensive but with some effort and investment though, the Builder can act as a great framework to build upon.  According to Eric Edmunds, food safety director with The Acheson Group, “as with any other electronic tool, the product that you get out of it is as good as the information you put into it!”

If you are interested in using this tool here is the website:
https://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/ucm539791.htm

The bottom line is that there are no shortcuts in creating a culture of food safety. Tools like the Builder are excellent resources to engage and assist in implementing comprehensive programs, but don’t make a complete toolbox in themselves. While food law and requirements can be laborious to understand and read they are important to get right. FSMA was created so that food facilities are held responsible for every bit of food safety including the supply chain from one facility to another. The FDA wants food facilities to know that when guidelines are followed and a good a Food Safety Plan is in place they are setting themselves up for success.

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