Archive for the ‘Sourcing Safe Foods’ Category

Summer is Here and Lobster Prices are High!  

Monday, June 21st, 2021

 

Today’s blog is by Gayl Southard, Vice President of Administrative at SafeSourcing Inc.

As the nation moves past the coronavirus pandemic, lobster is more expensive than usual.   Due to a limited supply, high demand and the reopening of the economy, tourists are headed back to seafood restaurants and lobster markets for the first time in months.  Some stores charged $17 or $18 per pound for live lobster in May, and that was about twice the price a year ago.  In June, pricing is $13 or $14 per pound.  The wholesale price for live, 1.25-pound lobsters in the New England market was $9.01 per pound on May 1, business publisher Urner Barry reported. That was about $2.70 per pound more than the previous May 1, and the highest price for that date in at least five years, the company reported.

Customers are looking to get back out to restaurants, and that high-end seafood is in high demand, said John Sackton, an industry analyst and founder of SeafoodNews.com.

Some factors influencing the high prices include a lack of available inventory and what appears to be a slow start to the fishing season. New England’s busiest lobster fishing season takes place in summer, and many harvesters are just starting to get their traps into the water.

U.S. lobster fishing is based primarily in Maine, though many lobsters also come ashore in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Fishermen managed to have a productive season in 2020 despite the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.  Fishermen in Maine brought more than 96 million pounds of lobsters to the docks, and while that was the lowest total since 2010, it was still much more than they typically caught in the 1990s.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help your procurement efforts, or on our Risk

Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service RepresentativeWe have an entire team ready to assist you today.

References

Patrick Whittle, Associated Press, June 8, 2021, 1:29

 

When Launching New Initiatives– let your sourcing partner do the work.

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

 

Todays post is by Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

When implementing a new program of any nature, your sourcing partner is a wealth of assistance; they can accomplish a majority of the legwork so you can concentrate on other priorities.  In the seafood category, how do companies begin their search for new reliably sustainable seafood partners?  How can they be certain that their new partner will adhere to the certifications required by the Global Aquaculture Alliance and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership?  Most importantly, once their new seafood partner is determined, how will they maintain a price that does not drastically damage their budget?

The answer is simple—Turn to your Sourcing Partner.

SafeSourcing can provide you with quality, vetted suppliers with the ability to fulfill all of your seafood and other category needs.  Even more, they can assist in certification identification of all suppliers, this way if you have partnerships , you can remain compliant with their practices.  Once certified suppliers are located, SafeSourcing can provide the opportunity for price compression making your new program financially attractive.

When implementing a new initiative or program, focus on the implementation and let your sourcing partner handle the rest.

For more information on SafeSourcing and how we can assist with this process, please contact a Customer Service Representative for more information.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Who Moved My Cheese?

Wednesday, January 20th, 2021

 

Today’s post is written by Ivy Ray, Senior Procurement Specialist at SafeSourcing Inc.

Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death for American woman, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Cheese has been implicated in the problem because a lot of commercial dairy milk comes from cows treated with hormones, which can end up in the milk. A group of doctors has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to add a warning to label cheese to caution to consumers that it contains hormones that may increase the risk of breast cancer.

The cheese making process can concentrate some of the growth hormones like IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1), which is naturally produced and helps key cells reproduce and survive, it also promotes growth and survival in unhealthy cells. Research has linked this to an increased risk of breast cancer. The saturated fat in most cheese has also been under scrutiny and believed to contribute to the issue, since studies have found that specifically high-fat dairy raises the risk of breast cancer mortality.

The research on the health impact of cheese is very mixed.  Other research has found that cheese is actually associated with health benefits, like lowering the risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes. Low-fat dairy products may actually have health benefits. The question is, if the hormones that are used in cattle are causing adverse effects in humans, why is there not a ban on the use of the hormones in question? Which hormones are being used, and under whose oversight does that fall?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) supports the American agricultural economy to provide a safe, sufficient, and nutritious food supply for the American people. The USDA mainly oversees meat, poultry, and eggs. The FDA is a division of the U.S. Department of Health, which regulates drugs, dietary supplements, and ensures that the foods people eat in the U.S. are safe, wholesome, sanitary, and properly labeled.  It is the FDA that approves and labels the steroid hormone drugs for use in beef cattle and sheep and determines that the drug is safe for the animals, the environment, and for humans to consume. No steroid hormone implants are approved for growth purposes in dairy cows, veal calves, pigs, or poultry. The hormone used in dairy cows is recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH).

The level of tolerance differs in each individual and there are many factors that determine who is susceptible to increased risk of cancer. We cannot blame any illness on one particular food. I love cheese and it is a good source of protein, but all cheese is not created equal. Choose your cheese wisely according to your particular tolerance and taste. Cheese can be a part of a healthy well-balanced diet and most people will be fine if consuming no more than two servings per day. As with everything else we consume, moderation is the key.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you in exploring your procurement

solutions for your business efforts, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service RepresentativeWe have an entire team ready to assist you today.

 

We’re All in This Together! But this could be YOU!

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

 

 

Today’s post is written by Ivy Ray, Senior Procurement Specialist at SafeSourcing Inc.

We are all trying our best to stay safe and healthy in this COVID-19 world by following all of the recommendations for proper distancing from others, wearing protective masks, and washing our hands so much that they have dried out. I even tune in to watch our governor’s daily updates which begin and end with the phrase “We’re all in this together”, and regularly check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for any new developments. That having been said, we are all basically on our own at this point, because the CDC can neither control nor prevent any of the issues related to COVID-19. Even the most well informed and well intentioned of us will have trouble navigating the system of ever changing guidelines.

According to the CDC, there are laboratory tests that can identify the virus that causes COVID-19 in respiratory specimens. State and local public health departments have received tests from CDC, whereas medical providers are getting tests developed by commercial manufacturers. They go on to say, not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19.

There are not nearly enough test kits available, so screenings are reserved for the frontline caregivers and the critically ill. For everyone else (celebrities excluded), if you have awareness of exposure or are experiencing symptoms, your only option is to shelter in place and hope for the best. Keeping in mind there is currently no treatment specifically approved for people who have COVID-19. You should seek medical attention immediately if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

It’s a fine line with no clear guidelines. COVID-19 testing differs by location. Call your doctor if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. No one wants to either expose others or be unnecessarily exposed to a deadly virus, so we sequester, listen, and wait. That brings me to where I currently find myself.

After experiencing symptoms for about 10 days, I decided to log in to confer with my healthcare provider through MyChart and request an eVisit to discuss my symptoms and ask for a consult. Twenty-four hours later I received a call from the office assistant to set up a call with my family physician for the next day. A day later, I finally engage in the physician consult and since they do not have access to testing supplies, I am treated as though I have Coronavirus and I am provided with prescription meds to alleviate symptoms and advised to self-quarantine which of course I was already doing. In light of the stories I have witnessed during the last couple of months, I am just happy to be still alive. This is us!

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you in exploring your procurement solutions for your business efforts, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

Where does your Thanksgiving turkey come from?

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

 

Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Inc. Archives

For as long as I can remember my family has bought their Thanksgiving turkey from Bowman & Landes Turkey Farm, located in New Carlisle, Ohio. As a family, we have bought from them because they are a local family run farm and business, they are healthy birds, and they are USDA inspected. Those are the things I knew growing up, however further research of their farm has taught me a lot more and makes me and my family all the more proud of this family run business. They have been running antibiotic free, free range, and not fed any animal by-products long before it was considered to be the “in thing” to do.  Please see the information below from their website.

Can you say any of these things about your turkey?

Turkeys have been raised on the Bowman & Landes turkey farm since 1948. We are proud to be in our fourth generation, with three generations actively involved.

The original mission to produce the highest quality free range turkeys’ using the most natural home grown grains has not changed and continues to drive our organization. Our commitment to quality and excellence includes the grain we grow, the turkeys we produce, and the customers we serve.

Nutrition is very important in producing the highest quality turkey possible. Our turkeys are grown antibiotic free and are not fed any animal by-products. We farm 2200 acres and consider ourselves to be good stewards of the land. Where possible, we use turkey compost to fertilize our fields. No till and minimum tillage practices are used in order to save our precious Miami County soil. We harvest and dry our own grain and store it on our farm. Our natural grains, consisting of wheat, corn, and soybeans are ground and mixed on the farm and fed fresh to the turkeys. Bowman & Landes was the proud recipient of the 2007  Ohio Environmental Stewardship award for poultry, and also the Miami County Soil and Water Cooperator of the year for 2006.

Baby turkeys, called poults, are started in climate controlled barns. As the turkeys mature, they are moved to an outdoor range where they are provided with feeders, waterers, and shelters. Heavy duty fencing is used for their protection from predators. Turkeys thrive on the open range, where they have plenty of room to roam in the fresh air and sunshine.

A male turkey, or tom, is raised to market age in 18-20 weeks. A female, or hen, is raised in 14-17 weeks of age. Our turkeys, whether tom or hen, all have the same tenderness, flavor, and texture.

Each turkey is U.S.D.A inspected by a government inspector to help ensure a wholesome product. Our unique feeding program causes Bowman & Landes turkeys to have a natural tenderness, which results in shorter cooking times and excellent flavor. Our turkeys are naturally self-basting and moist without additives.

Bowman & Landes offers fresh whole turkeys and turkey products during the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter seasons. Whole frozen turkeys, breasts, boneless roasts, and breast fillets are available throughout the year. Fresh cooked turkey breast, smoked turkey breast, turkey ham, and many more products are available year round in our retail store located on our farm, as well as in many quality restaurants and meat markets throughout Ohio. http://www.bowmanlandes.com/ 

Now I am sure my grandparents’ and parents’ could have gone to the local supermarket and bought their turkey for a cheap, cents per pound, but not knowing where those turkeys have come from or how they have been raised just didn’t make them feel comfortable feeding to our family. Sure they paid a little more back then, just as I do today, but I feel pride of buying local, supporting local business and now truly knowing that for years our turkey was raised in the best possible methods makes me feel so my safer and happier serving the best.

By researching your food source is truly the only way you know you are feeding yourself and your family the very best.

We at SafeSourcing wish you and your family the very best and happiest Thanksgivings.

Please feel free to contact us on how SafeSourcing can help you with your eProcurement needs, or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services account manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Great Companies use standards to support their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and drive towards Triple Bottom Line (TBL) accounting.

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

 

Todays post is from Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing.

I originally wrote this post eight years ago. However when earnings calls take place or some  recent factor like trade with China impact our markets, it is all that anyone reports on. I listen to lots of earnings calls. It is not very often that an analyst asks about progress in these areas. What are your TBL results and how do you report them?

Contributions to the welfare of society can come in many forms such as supporting the arts, further education, give to social welfare agencies, supporting community-building initiatives, reducing pollution, and the other charitable causes. Businesses that adopt socially responsible directives help to allow government agencies to minimize their involvement with the corporation. Reporting on these advances as well as their financial progress is TBL in its most pure form.

One way that  companies can add  to their  social consciousness is to try and use Certified Reference Materials or (CRM’s) which are ‘controls’ or standards used to check the quality and traceability of products. Requiring these standards prior to purchasing products indicates a lot about companies commitment to its stakeholders which includes its consumers and those associated with them. It also mitigates risk should recalls occur as a result of harm.

As an example, a reference standard for a unit of measurement is an artifact that embodies the quantity of interest in a way that ties its value to the reference base. At the highest level, a primary reference standard is assigned a value by direct comparison with the reference base.

A primary standard is usually under jurisdiction of a national standards body such as the ISO or The International Organization for Standardization which is an international standard -setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Relative to an example of a primary standard, you might refer to the Future ISO 26000 standard on social responsibility published as Draft International Standard which ties very nicely to this post.

If you’d like to learn more about our SafeSoureIt™  Global Supplier Database with over 427,000  suppliers and the certifications they support, please contact SafeSourcing.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Understanding the Technology of Traceability!

Friday, September 14th, 2018

 

Today?s post is?from our?SafeSourcing?Archives

GS1, the global standards body, the FDA, and the USDA are just a few of the organizations that are striving to increase the safety of the food we eat with new standards, processes and regulations.? With recent scares in several food items in the past few years it is no wonder that people are becoming extremely focused? on how to trace our food back to its original source.? In today?s blog we will look at some of the technologies that are helping with this process.

Enterprise Software ? There are many enterprise systems out there for warehouse management and enterprise resource management that can maintain the necessary data needed to meet traceability and recall requirements but the key to these programs working for your business is whether or not they have the additional features necessary to track category/industry specific details such as those faced by seafood and meat retailers, wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers.? Companies such as JustFoodERP specialize in tracking meat and seafood by-products during the course of their life, tracking not only down to individual cases, but also providing capabilities such as the Recipe Management module to help track the by-products of the meat and seafood into other products they sell.? By managing catch-weights with a serial number tracking system, solutions like these can ensure best practices for traceability throughout their organization.

RFID ? Radio Frequency Identification is not a new technology but continued development of the technology for use in traceability improves daily.? Like a barcode it can contain a unique identifier that will trace the product back to its source.? Unlike a barcode, RFID tags can be secured to be difficult to tamper with or damage, they can be placed in packaging as opposed to outside the packaging like barcodes that must be able to be seen, and unlike barcodes they can be written to and updated as the product travels through the supply chain.? With one scan an RFID tag can provide the appropriate user pages worth of information without having to be connected to an enterprise solution which can be critical when a recall is being tracked.

DNA Sampling ? During the major meat recalls in the early 2000?s, DNA sampling began to take shape and developed as an alternative to typical tracing methods at that time.? With a global database of animal DNA it is possible to trace every product and byproduct back the farm or processing point of origin.? Taking DNA samples from the each carcass at the farm or packaging plant, a profile is created and stored in the database.? At any point a new sample can be taken to verify the contents and origin of the meet.? The process is virtually tamper-proof and would eliminate costly barcodes and documents and would also allow retailers and distributors to know exactly which shipments to recall, saving millions of dollars.

For more information about how we can assist you in looking into these technologies for your business, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.? We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

More on E.coli and Food Safety

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

 

Today’s post is by Gayl Southard, Administrative Consultant for SafeSourcing.

I am as guilty as most people when it comes to eating raw cookie dough – especially chocolate chip dough! On May 31st, the FDA issued a warning not to eat raw cookie dough because of an outbreak of E. coli that has been linked to contaminated flour.  There have been 38 people in 20 states that have been infected and 10 of these people infected have been hospitalized.  The most vulnerable are children under 5, and older adults with a weakened immune system.

An investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA linked the outbreak to a General Mills facility in Kansas City, Missouri in November 2015. GM issued a voluntary recall of 10 million pounds of flour produced between November 14 and December 4, labeled under the brand names:  Gold Medal, Signature Kitchens and Gold Medal Wondra.  Flour that is part of this recall should be thrown out.

Unlike raw foods such as eggs or meat, flour is not commonly thought of as a concern for E. coli. “E. coli is a gut bug that can spread from a cow doings its business in the field, or it could live in the soil for a  period of time; and if you think about it, flour comes from the ground, so it could be a risk,”1 reported Adam Karcz, an infection preventionist at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis. Flour is normally cooked before being consumed, destroying pathogens.  This is commonly referred to as a ’kill step’

SafeSourcing publishes a monthly newsletter that contains trending information on a variety of subjects. The July SafeSourcing Newsletter highlighted information on the FDA.  If you haven’t already subscribed to this free Newsletter, you may want to consider doing so.  Please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative or ask about our Risk Free trial program. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

1Laura Rutherford-Morrison, Bustle, 6/2016

Major Egg Recall Due to Salmonella

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

 

Today’s post is by Gayl Southard, Administrative Consultant, SafeSourcing.

Salmonella, a type of bacteria that causes serious illnesses and deaths, particularly among children and elderly people has caused Rose Acre Farms to recall their eggs after federal officials tied illnesses to the company’s facility in North Carolina. Twenty-two people on the East Coast have been sickened by Salmonella braenderup, however, no one has died.

The Food and Drug Administration conducted an investigation of the farm, which is located in Hyde County, N.C., and produces 2.3 million eggs a day from 3 million hens. Eggs produced at the farm are distributed to retail stores and restaurants in Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the Carolinas.

The contaminated eggs were sold under brand names such as Great Value, Country Daybreak, Glenview and Food Lion. They were also sold to Waffle House restaurants. Rose Acre Farms, a family-owned company headquartered in Seymour, Indiana, and has 17 facilities in eight states. This is the largest recall since 2010, when a major salmonella outbreak tied to Iowa egg farms sickened more than 1,500 people, said Bill Marler a Seattle-based personal injury attorney who focuses on food-borne illness litigation.

“More than 500 eggs from two Iowa farms owned and controlled by Austin J. DeCoster were recalled that year. DeCoster and his son, Peter DeCoster, each pleaded guilty to one count of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. Authorities said the DeCosters’ company, Quality Egg, Marler said this most recent outbreak involving Salmonella braenderup, unlike the one in 2010, was detected far more quickly, preventing dozens more from being sick. That’s partly because the type of salmonella bacteria is less common, so investigators were able to isolate it quicker, he said.”1

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths every year in the United States.

Allow SafeSourcing to help your business be more competitive with your sourcing needs. For more information on SafeSourcing, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you.

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1 Kristine Phillips, Business, 4/15/2018

 

 

 

Who is MakeOurFoodSafe.org? What do they do?

Friday, October 27th, 2017

 

Todays post is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

Our regular readers are certainly aware that we have challenged the government for years to take the necessary steps to make measureable progress on food safety. In fact here is a link to our Sourcing Safe Foods blog category where you will find 100’s of posts covering everything from BPA to Foodborne illness posts.

However, let’s get back to our original subject. I was reading of USA TODAY and came across a great advertisement on page 5A that was paid for by the Pew Charitable Trusts in support of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. And by the way; the current administration has not yet managed to get enacted. The advertisement recommends that readers go to MakeOurFoodSafe.org to urge the current administration to take action to enact this legislation. SafeSourcing completely supports this message.

The Make Our Food Safe coalition includes public health and consumer advocacy organizations, as well as groups representing the families of victims of foodborne illness. The coalition pressed for enactment of historic food safety legislation that provides the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with improved authorities to oversee the safety of the nation’s food supply, and will advocate for full implementation and funding of the law.

If you’d like to learn more as to how SafeSourcing supports food safety in our sourcing initiatives, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.