Monthly Archives: May 2012

Lean Times: The 5S Program – First in Series

5s System

5S System - source: EPA

This is the first article in a series of three articles focusing on 5S methods.

“Seiri,” “Seiton,” “Seiso,” “Seiketsu,” “Shitsuke”:  are a few terms not commonly thrown around the American food industry. Commonly known in American workplaces as the 5S methodology, these concepts, however, have become a dominant force in the food industry and elsewhere. Respectively, the terms can be roughly translated as: “sorting,” “straightening,” “shining,” “standardizing,” and “sustaining.”

Meant to maximize space, increase efficiency, assure quality, and increase safety, the 5S program can become part of a larger program of efficiency for all kinds of organizations. It has been implemented in factories, farms, offices, governmental settings, etc., and has become a standard operating procedure for an array of businesses.

5S asks its participants to perpetually critically look into their daily operations. For instance, in the “sorting” phase, there is a challenge placed before those taking part to look at all present materials and tools, and to eliminate any unnecessary materials or tools not needed for standard operations. This is all done before negotiating the “straightening” phase. As one makes their way through the process all the way to sustaining these best practices, new levels of understanding are reached not only about the physical space people are occupying, but also about the very nature and identity of the business. In the end, the 5S method is meant to create standardized, efficient, clean, and safe working environments, as well as acting as a part of a larger continuous, analytical search for means of improving any business.

In the next two weeks, we’ll be taking a closer look at Nelson-Jameson products that can assist you in the process of beginning or maintaining an already active 5S program.
In the meantime, to learn more about the general process you can link to the following federal resources: for information on 5S click here and for information on “Lean” programs and their relation to 5S click here.

WAFP Program Offers Valuable Information About Water To Wisconsin’s Food Industry

A basic understanding of water chemistry is essential for operating an efficient and profitable food production operation.  Nelson-Jameson, Inc. is a sustaining member of the International Association of Food Protection (IAFP) and supports the educational programs of the Wisconsin affiliate.  Given the critical role of water in a successful food production operation, this program warrants special consideration among our industry customers.

What is the water activity of your finished products?  Is it in the “safe zone” below levels which support growth of pathogens? Is the maximum legal amount of water incorporated into your products without affecting safety, quality or shelf life?  How is this accomplished? Does water wet surfaces during cleaning or does it bead up? Is milk stone appearing as sanitized equipment surfaces dry, providing harborages for bio-films? How safe is reclaimed condensate water being used for rinses? What is the BOD load of effluent? How can this be monitored and reduced to avoid sewer surcharges?

These are just some of the topics to be covered during the Wisconsin Association of Food Protection (WAFP) program at this year’s Joint Education Conference on September 19 & 20 in Madison, Wisconsin.  If you are a plant manager, sanitation or quality control supervisor, you will want to learn how to optimize the use of water for these and other critical plant applications.  Register now at the JEC website and gain practical knowledge about how to use water to maintain a competitive edge for you and your company.

Food Defense – Who You Gonna Call?

The idea of food defense has been on the minds of many of us at Nelson-Jameson, Inc., especially since September 11, 2001. The actions of terrorists in this country have brought a wide variety of changes and improvements to the food business, including everyone involved from farm to fork. We are proud to be an important link in the food industry chain.

As a distribution warehouse for a large variety of food ingredients and food grade chemicals, we have implemented policies and procedures to protect our products and the process of getting them to customers. Annually, Nelson-Jameson, Inc. undergoes vigorous inspections by third-party auditing firms such as American Institute of Baking (AIB). Currently, we are working on our SQF 2000 (Safe Quality Food) certification to become one of the newest members of this globally-recognized food safety alliance.

With SQF certification we are required to have intensive food safety programs in place. We have been working on these programs for many years, and finally, we are getting a chance to show you what we are doing to protect our products, personnel and customers. In addition to third-party audits, Nelson- Jameson, Inc. is inspected by the USDA and FDA. We are registered with the FDA for the Bioterrorism Preparedness & Response Act 2002 as well as having our site security plan filed with The Department of Homeland Security.

Food safety and security requires the utmost diligence. Although all acts of terrorism can’t be foretold, we feel confident that we are validating each threat brought to our attention. Verification procedures we carry out “behind the scenes” allow us to help keep products and consumers safe.

Food Engineering Magazine  recently published an article about processors protecting their products from intentional criminal acts, you can read the article here.