THE QA CHAIN
Follow the Ingredient
Like millions of people around the world, I enjoy having dinner at a traditional sit-down restaurant. Or, when time permits, I LOVE Chinese fast food. What can I say? It’s a guilty pleasure.
Just the other day I was in my favorite Chinese fast food place in Los Angeles, and as I was eating I thought about what kind of life this little piece of breaded, orange chicken had before it came to my table.
Those of us who work in the Food Safety field are inspired and energized by the fact that we know that what we do helps to keep people healthy, and indeed even saves lives.
But what if I were to tell you that most of us are missing a point of focus that has the potential to save a million lives a year and result in a huge reduction in human suffering?
These are not my statistics; these come from reputable scientists. If you don’t believe me, go take a look at all the data on the CDC web site.
What if you were given two options for your QA Team?
An advanced quality and food safety management system, operated by a group of people who don’t understand and don’t care.
A group of highly motivated people who know what they are doing, but are working with a very basic quality and food safety management system.
AQA is proud to announce that we are a Sweet 16 Finalist for the 7th Annual Cade Museum Prize for Innovation.
Let’s start with the basics: If you are in the food manufacturing industry you should know what the letters GFSI stand for by heart. If not, I would suggest strolling by the QA/QC office and grabbing a cup of coffee with your site QA Manager. You’d might be surprised by what else you may learn.
All jokes aside, GFSI or Global Food Safety Initiative is an international benchmark for food safety. GFSI scores are used primarily for food manufacturers, retailers, and restaurant food suppliers. It is the globally recognized standard for food safety. However, that’s all it is, a standard. It is up to the GFSI recognized/licensed audit companies to implement the standard into their own food safety audits. Consider the GFSI an umbrella under which there are numerous food safety audits that differ in levels of audit requirements, and in their own levels of intensity.
WORKING IN QA
Friends constantly ask me, “What do you actually do for a living?”
It’s not a career most kids grew up fantasizing about. I know this because once in a while I guest teach elementary and middle school science classes, and one of the questions I ask the class is what everyone wants to “be when they grow up.”
Remember your college years? I sure do. Chances are that if you went to college or university you had an after school job if you wanted to make a little extra money to offset the outrageous book costs (or maybe just your night life costs). And luckily, restaurants are always willing to hire college kids.
Why We Love Food QA’s Future (And You Should, Too)
I love food, and I really mean it. I was fortunate enough to be born and raised in Europe to a mother who was a trained chef, and grandmother who had her own wonderful garden full of fresh vegetables and fruits. So, maybe I was a chubby kid, but at least I stuffed my face with French croissants and an assortment of amuse-bouches.
Why NOT to label GMO’s… Yet
So, I know that I won’t win Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Popularity Contest” regarding her stance on GMO’s. C’est la vie! However, I am happy to see that because of celebrity activists petitioning their local politicians, they are keeping the spirit of this debate alive and well.
Since we are on the topic of debate, I do want us to give good thought as to why we should NOT label GMO’s…right now.