150,000 Tons of Food is Wasted in the US: How Automation Can Help

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Jun 29, 2018 / by Emily Ysaguirre

Americans waste 150,000 tons of food each day, which is the equivalent to a pound per person, says the Guardian. According to the article, research shows that people with healthy diets that are rich in fruit and vegetables are in fact the most wasteful. The article states that, fruit and vegetables require less land to grow than other foods but in turn, require a large amount of water and pesticides. 

It explains, “This waste has an environmental toll, with the volume of discarded food equivalent to the yearly use of 30m acres of land, 780m pounds of pesticide and 4.2tn gallons of irrigated water. Rotting food also clogs up landfills and releases methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.”

Lisa Jahns, a nutritionist at USDA and co-author of the study, said, “we need a simultaneous effort to increase food quality as well as reduce food waste. We need to put both of those things out.” Further stating that food waste occurs from farm to plate in the US. A report by the Center for Biological Diversity states, only four out of the 10 largest grocery chains in the US have specific food waste reduction commitments and a further 10 don’t prevent the waste of food considered too cosmetically imperfect to sell.

Jahns also says that consumers in busy households do not prioritize the time and energy it takes to prepare food.

What can we do? I’m glad you asked!

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General Quality Food and Beverage

The FDA Issued Its First Mandatory Recall—What Does This Mean for Food & Beverage Organizations?

[fa icon="calendar'] Sat, May 12, 2018 / by Alexa Sussman

On April 3, 2018, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its first ever mandatory recall to Triangle Pharmanaturals for kratom that was contaminated with salmonella.

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Food and Beverage

Document Control for Food Safety: 7 Gaps to Watch Out For

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Mar 02, 2018 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Imagine the following situation: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is inspecting your facility, and regulators ask to see documentation for your Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan.

You spend 20 minutes trying to pick out the most recent documents, only to get hammered by regulators because only a few are actually dated. What’s more, most references to related documents are broken. After this impressive start, how well do you think the rest of the inspection will go?

Food manufacturers must keep track of numerous documents in order to ensure compliance and mitigate risks. This post looks at 7 of the most common document control gaps that companies should address to avoid regulatory citations and food safety issues.

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Quality Management Food and Beverage

Document Control for Food Safety: Common Mistakes and Best Practices

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Dec 19, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Ask the average food manufacturer today about their Document Control system, and more often than not they’ll likely start dragging out paperwork from some dusty file cabinet. Other companies might pull up a server drive or file sharing app where they keep electronic copies of key documents like manuals, specifications and job instructions.

And while electronic tracking is undoubtedly a step ahead of paper-based methods still prevalent at many food manufacturing facilities today, neither are any guarantee of effectiveness. Today, we’re looking at what food and beverage manufacturers need to know about document control, including the most common mistakes and how companies can get a better handle on this important process.

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Food and Beverage

4 Risk Management Gaps and Opportunities [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Dec 07, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

To achieve operational excellence, you need a comprehensive, forward-thinking approach to managing safety and quality risks.

This infographic identifies 4 of the most common risk management gaps and shows you how solutions like quality management software can help mitigate these risks.

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Risk Management Quality Management Food and Beverage Life Sciences EHS

4 Benefits of Using a Cloud-Based Quality Management System to Improve Traceability

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Nov 24, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

If you’ve seen The Secret Life of Pets, you probably remember the scene where dogs Max and Duke happen upon a sausage factory.

They ride a conveyor belt throughout the factory, gobbling up sausages as fast as they’re made. Soon, they’re in a dream sequence with thousands of singing and dancing sausages, until they’re swimming in a pool of them. By the time animal control discovers the dogs, fat and drunk on sausages, the dogs have presumably contaminated the entire production line.

Will food safety pros find out about the incident before products ship? What’s the plan if customers report dog hair (or worse) in their food? Obviously, this isn’t the movie’s focus, but if it were, traceability would certainly be an issue.

In today’s post, we examine how a cloud-based Quality Management System (QMS) improves traceability, helping protect both consumers and manufacturers.

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Food and Beverage

Operational Excellence in Food and Beverage: What Are Market Leaders Doing?

[fa icon="calendar'] Mon, Oct 02, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Research by the Aberdeen Group shows that operational excellence leaders in food and beverage outperform their profit margin goals by a full 9%, also spending one-third less on quality costs than their competitors

What are market leaders getting right about operational excellence that laggards are missing? These leaders maximize productivity and minimize costs by focusing on areas like data integration, standardization and performance management, all while keeping quality and safety at the forefront.

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Food and Beverage

Mapping Your Food Safety Management System to ISO 22000: Key Tools and Processes

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Sep 29, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is currently in the process of updating ISO 22000 for Food Safety Management. The revision is currently in the Draft International Standard (DIS) stage, with final publication expected in 2018.

One important change coming is that the new standard will follow the recently adopted Annex SL structure, a common high-level structure used to organize all new standards and revisions.  

Aligned with the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, this structure makes it easier to integrate ISO management with daily activities, also streamlining the process of earning multiple certificates.

Today’s post will help you map your Food Safety Management System (FSMS) to ISO 22000, so you can identify gaps and lay the foundation for a smooth transition.

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Food and Beverage

New Video: A Quality Management Platform for Businesses of Every Size

[fa icon="calendar'] Wed, Sep 20, 2017 / by Alexa Sussman

Humans are a progressive species, always looking to innovate and move forward. But with progress comes change, and change brings new risks.

That’s where EtQ comes in. For over 25 years, we’ve been the constant support businesses need to move forward. We’re with you every step of the way, growing and scaling as your business adapts in a fast-paced environment.

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Quality Management EHS Life Sciences Food and Beverage

4 Critical Components of the Food Safety Pyramid

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Jun 20, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Many of us grew up with the old-fashioned food pyramid: 6 servings of grains, 5 servings of fruits and veggies, 3 servings of dairy and so on. Today, we have MyPlate, where the basic concepts behind the old food pyramid still appear to hold sway.

That is, eat lots of fruits and veggies, moderate amounts of protein and dairy and limited amounts of salt and fat. Similarly, food safety in manufacturing can be viewed as a pyramid with 4 critical components: compliance, traceability and culture, all supported by a Food Safety Management System (FSMS).   

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Food and Beverage