In a world where consumers have increasing desire to understand where their products are coming from, food safety and quality have never been more important. Having a strong Quality Management System allows commercial blending manufacturers the ability to ensure that the expectation of the consumer meets reality, and at the same time allows the manufacturer to resolve any deviation from those expectations quickly and efficiently. Constant improvements to communications technology have led to the need for rapid responses to quality defects to ensure ultimate customer satisfaction. It is vital that Quality Assurance departments are capable of quickly accessing quality assessments, defect trends, microbiological testing results, sanitation logs, and much more information to accurately assess a situation in order to make the best decision to resolve an issue.
All American Seasonings holds quality and safety in the highest regard, evaluating the organoleptic profile of every batch of product, as well as using state-of-the-art product testing for pathogens of concern using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) based DNA identification. Another important factor in ensuring product quality and safety is our validated sanitation program, which ensures that our equipment is not only visually clean, but also microscopically clean. ATP swabs (Adenosine Triphosphate) and Protein Swabs are used to rapidly identify whether any organic residues were left behind in the cleaning process not only to ensure that product flavors are protected, but also to ensure that any potentially hazardous proteins, such as allergens, have been successfully removed. Prevention of large foreign materials, such as metal, are equally important to quality and food safety. All American Seasonings utilizes screening processes as well as metal detection to prevent these product defects. It is important to remember that just performing these tasks is not enough to ensure a strong Food Safety and Quality program. It is vital that production employees and quality assurance employees record each step of the process, from receiving of raw materials to shipping of the final product and everything in between.
Quick access to these types of information is also necessary for effective partnerships with suppliers and customers. Each food processor is different, whether they are working with different product types, equipment, quality parameters, or food safety hazards. As a result, Food Regulations from government agencies, such as the FDA and USDA, are written in a way that allows manufacturers to customize their Food Safety and Quality Plans within the framework of the various regulations. As a result, you as a manufacturer will need to know how your raw material suppliers treat their products to reduce microbial counts and pathogens to ensure compliance with one of your customers requests. Perhaps your customer requires a validated microbial kill treatment done on their raw material, but your facility does not perform the treatment. The information recorded in your quality system will help you execute an efficient recall if necessary. The goal of every Quality System is to avoid having a recall, but, whether you do or not, you, your suppliers, and your customers will need to test the effectiveness of your individual systems. It is for this reason that not only do you need to have a strong Quality System within your own facility, but also within the facilities you depend on for your raw material needs
Third party inspections by an accredited auditing body are an excellent way of ensuring that your Food Safety and Quality Plan, as well of the plans of your suppliers, meet a rigorous standard that is shared across the industry. These audits, such as the Safe Quality Foods audit, verify that your programs meet the required standard and that they function as stated, including Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) for control of food safety hazards, management commitment, raw material supplier programs, product traceability, appropriate facility construction, adherence to Good Manufacturing Practices, employee trainings, and much more. At All American Seasonings, we are proud to be an SQF edition 8.1 certified, which allows our customers to have confidence in our Food Safety and Quality System. We hold our suppliers to this same standard, requiring them to be certified by an accredited certification body within the Global Food Safety Initiative standard. This standard allows for quick and reliable communication of information between us, our suppliers, and our customers to maintain and provide all required information at any given time.
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