Insider Insights

Invaluable insight from industry experts for avid learners

Insider Insights is a wealth of expertise accrued over years of firsthand experience and consulting in the industry. We offer a bevy of information—from training enrichment to better prepare a new career in workplace safety to ideas for implementing solutions that will strengthen your knowledge and work performance. Gain understanding on how to apply workplace safety best practices to your entire organization. Explore articles created by trade experts on creation and implementation of food safety systems, management practices to reinforce the culture in your facility, and more.

Academy Live
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Introducing Academy Live: Alchemy’s New Virtual Roundtable

With face-to-face training and consulting harder than ever, we’re introducing a next-level Livestream to the market: Academy Live. Crafted with the new state of professional growth in mind, these 60-minute sessions allow participants located anywhere in the world direct and instant access to an industry expert and each other. The goal? To help food manufacturing […]



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COVID Safety Protocols
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COVID-19 Safety Protocols: Managing Hotel and Restaurant Suppliers

Your hospitality business is once again open. Are your pandemic safety protocols far-reaching and evolving? Just as the hospitality industry must successfully manage infection transmission amongst staff and guests, so too must they not forget managing risk associated with hotel and restaurant suppliers and third parties. These entities pose a threat to your business via […]



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PCQI Training
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Five Core Benefits of PCQI Training

The Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule requires every food manufacturing facility to employ a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual as part of their food safety team. This person is a key component to a company’s food safety program, carrying out specific, crucial responsibilities as dictated by the regulatory body. These […]



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kosher_beverage
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Easy As P.I.E: The Keys to Kosher Beverage Production

What makes a beverage kosher? The answer begins with a discussion of where and how kosher production impacts your beverage plant. It may sound complicated at first, but we can sum up the basics of kosher production with the acronym P.I.E.: Process, Ingredients, and Equipment. This blog touches on the processes, ingredients, and equipment particular […]



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HACCP
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How to Meet Regulatory Requirements for HACCP

HACCP plans are the backbone of your food safety system. Built from the seven HACCP principles, these plans are mandated by regulatory bodies for the meat industry, the juice industry, and the seafood industry. In order to ensure a safe food supply, safeguard your product, and protect your brand, you’ll need to be compliant with […]



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OHS Program
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Your Guide to Building an Effective OHS Program

Taking a proactive approach with an OHS program is crucial to the prevention of incidents in your facility. Not sure where to begin? By following OSHA recommended safety practices it’s easy to break down the process into manageable stages. Keep reading to discover 4 steps to planning and implementing your introductory OHS program. Identify Potential […]



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Tackle Internal Audit Checklists for Food Safety Audits

If it’s not written down, it didn’t happen. Performing your due diligence is vital to your food safety audit process’s success and, in turn, successful production or manufacturing. Different methods exist for documenting inspection results and crafting an effective internal audit checklist. By exploring each, you’ll understand how to approach and prepare the documentation that […]



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Food_Defense
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Food Defense 101: The Three Types of Food Defense Threat Motivations

Intentional adulteration is only carried out after careful study and preparation by an attacker – is your food defense program equally prepared to address such acts? Motivation, capability, and vulnerability come together to compose food defense threats. Motivation often determines the adulterant and tactics that a perpetrator chooses to use. In addition to the threat […]



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kosher production
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What to Expect from a Kosher Inspection

Whether you’ve weighed the benefits of product diversification and have already entered the kosher food industry or you’re just getting your feet wet, you may find yourself curious about the steps to kosher certification. What can you expect from a formal inspection of your kosher program, and what can you do to prepare? This blog […]



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infection control measures
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Six Types of Infection Control Measures for the Hospitality Industry

As COVID-19 changes the way we interact and travel, hospitality management must adopt new solutions and re-asses their existing practices to combat infection transmission. The average uncontrolled rate of infection is three people for every infected person. Yet even though this risk exists, infection control measures can help your team mitigate threats. Of course, not […]



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HACCP Certification
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Your Guide to the Seven HACCP Principles

What is HACCP and where did it come from? HACCP, which stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point is a system that prioritizes and controls potential hazards in food production and its supply chain, which arose around the 1960s. At this time, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) needed a way to ensure […]



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PCQI Certification
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The Who, What, When and Why of PCQIs

The Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule ensures safe manufacturing, processing, packing, and holding of foods meant for human consumption in the US. Under this regulation, FSMA requires that a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual, or PCQI, develop and implement a site’s food safety plan. But what exactly is a PCQI, […]



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produce sanitation
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Sanitation Program Best Practices for the Produce Industry

These days, knowledge of foodborne illnesses extends far beyond the food industry professionals. Consumers are more informed and cautious than ever before, with outbreaks sickening millions each year. Cross-contamination caused by food safety and sanitation deficiencies is often the culprit. By implementing produce sanitation and sanitary design practices via well-thought-out sanitation programs, we can eliminate […]



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CAPA
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Corrective Action Plans: Step Up Your Environmental Monitoring Program

Sound the alarm – your facility received a positive pathogen result, like listeria or salmonella. How can you address the issue? Are you prepared to eliminate the source and not just the symptoms? A corrective action plan allows you to detect and fix a problem that occurred during food production, including actions associated with a […]



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food safety
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Recognize the Difference Between Food Defense and Food Safety

Can you spot the difference between food safety and food defense? While both have an important place in your facility, each presents distinct characteristics and consequences. Knowing the difference helps your team better protect the food and strengthens their contributions to your Food Defense Plan. Let’s take a closer look at food safety vs. food […]



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hospitality management
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What Safety and Hygiene in the Hospitality Industry Means For You

Increased hotel hygiene is the order of the day. Your guests’ expectations for safety in the hospitality industry are more stringent than ever, but are you ready to address a broad spectrum of infections beyond coronavirus? An enhanced hotel sanitation program is a crucial piece of the puzzle to protecting your consumers and employees. Keep […]



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osha program
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10 Steps to Jumpstart Your Occupational Health and Safety Program

Building an effective occupational health and safety program can sound intimidating at the start. Without it, you run the risk of illness, injury, and even death in your facility. With it, you help ensure the safety of both your employees and your financial assets. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, you can set […]



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laptop sqf
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How to Impress a Buyer with your Food Safety Plan

After long months, you have carefully crafted a product you are certain customers will love; next is the ultimate goal: to see your product on store shelves or better yet featured on a menu. But how do you catch the eye of a buyer? A buyer’s concern beyond taste, appeal and marketability is the safety […]



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VIDEO

Building Your Produce Safety Program: Focus on Agriculture Water

A careful examination of the potential hazards and the contamination risks they might represent to your agricultural water is a critical step to avoiding a foodborne illness incident associated with your company’s products. Certainly, USDA’s Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and FDA’s Produce Safety Rule provide a blueprint for the types of hazards you might look […]



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VIDEO

Use OSHA Best Practices to Prevent Chemical Catastrophe

Cue the stereotypical crime scene music. The toxicology is in. Oh, wait, the wrong kind? The National Institute of Environmental Health Services defines toxicology as a field of science that helps us understand the harmful effects that chemicals, substances, or situations, can have on people, animals, and the environment. In the workplace, toxicology relates to […]



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Root Cause Analysis
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How Root Cause Analysis Strengthens Your Production

Root Cause Analysis is a method used to find the source of a problem once a problem has already occurred. By identifying the underlying cause of any incident, you can further prevent future incidents from happening. Within Root Cause Analysis, two of the more common methods are the “5 Whys” method and the Ishikawa, or […]



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food-safety
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Addressing the 5 Dimensions of Food Safety Culture

Safety culture, more specifically food safety culture, has been a focus more and more in the workplace as a key factor in providing the best possible product for your consumers. The Global Food Safety Initiative, GFSI, wanted to develop a concrete definition for this term so they could have a clearer outline of what to […]



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EMP_5_Steps
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The 5 Essential Steps to Creating Your EMP

You don’t have to be in the food industry to be aware of recalls that happen, seemingly more and more. Every day people are aware of listeria and E. coli that might have never heard of it forty years ago. How do we protect our products and keep from having to recall? Environmental monitoring (EM) […]



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osha_protects
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Your 5 Workers’ Rights Through OSHA

Even though worker injuries and fatalities have decreased, the food industry is statistically more likely to experience either of these. As a leader in your company, you can directly affect the safety of everyone in your facility. Keeping your employees safe and helping them be aware of their rights can help you build a stronger […]



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adulteration
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Your Defense Against Intentional Adulteration

The idea of contaminated food brings up images of court jesters doing taste tests to make sure that kings and queens aren’t poisoned. Stories of intentional adulteration go back hundreds of years. People have to eat, and some people have hateful intentions. So, what can we do to keep these people from succeeding? It’s no […]



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sanitation
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7 Steps to Effective Sanitation

As human beings, we all feel a need for cleanliness, hygiene, and sanitation when it comes to our food preparation. That’s all sanitation is, right? Just a large-scale version of what we do to keep a tidy kitchen. In fact, sanitation is much more involved than scrubbing dishes in the sink or wiping down a […]



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effective internal audits
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The 5 Factors That Guide Effective Internal and External Audits

Using Internal Audits for External Audit Excellence Audits play an integral role in the successful production or manufacturing of food and beverages at a fundamental level. Both internal and external audits serve as documented evidence that companies are performing due diligence to adequately protect their food from unsafe or unsecured practices, thereby safeguarding their consumers […]



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Produce Safety Rule
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Getting Guidance on the Produce Safety Rule

This rule is the first mandatory federal law requiring growers to adhere to specific science-based standards to grow and pack products for human consumption.



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Managing Kosher Production
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What Kosher Means to Your Food Facility

While the word “kosher” has entered mainstream culture references, kosher food production demands strict adherence to a set of religious rules. You may have a general awareness of some of the requirements for what makes something kosher, but kosher certification requirements are rigorously detailed. Kosher manufacturing may seem intimidating, but this unique market has multiple […]



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How to Avoid Top Audit Non-Conformances

In the food production industry, the Global Food Safety Initiative, or GFSI, performs audits that act as unbiased, independent evaluations of food safety and quality systems. This reassures the public that the source of their food is looking out for their best interests and trying to avoid product recalls. Audits provide brief snapshots in time […]



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Taking Control of Your HACCP System

Implementing a HACCP System requires that both Prerequisite Programs and HACCP Plans are implemented.  Prerequisite programs are programs that are put in place in the facility to control hazards in the environment, preventing contamination of the product. Many factors are taken into account to successfully produce safe and wholesome food. Governmental regulations guide implementation of […]



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Label Transparency: Protecting Your Consumers from Allergens

Governmental regulations, such as the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), have drastically impacted how food producers perform allergen control. Activities that were formerly merely suggestions are now compulsory in order to minimize the risk of allergens in food products. Food allergen preventive controls are both essential and beneficial to your bottom line. With increased allergen […]



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Internal Audits: The “Write” Stuff

The “Write” Way to Document Internal Audits Preventing Audit Non-Conformances with Good Documentation When preparing for external audits, the best preparation is your internal audit system. While many non-conformances may seem out of your control, you can easily manage the documentation behind your internal audit system and strengthen your results. Of course, your process is […]



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5 Ways to Support Your Employees

With the continual increase of handheld technology, it’s only natural to assume that there would be a similar increase in communication ability between people. Time and again, however, we’re reminded that even with an influx of input, that’s not always the case. Tools that were built to improve our capacity to communicate have seemingly decreased […]



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