Pet food – flavour and aroma are just as important as in our food

dogsDid you know that there are an estimated 51 million pets in the UK? From Great Danes to Goldfish, we Brits truly are a nation of pet lovers. As any pet owner will know, certain animals – especially cats – can be quite fussy eaters. Getting the right texture, flavour, appearance and aroma is therefore as important to pet food manufacturers as it is for those producing food for humans.

Feeding fussy felines

The UK’s most popular pets are cats and dogs. Whilst there are some vegetarian foods available on the market, they are essentially carnivores. In addition, cats apparently aren’t considered to be able to taste sweetness in carbohydrates, so the focus on meat and savoury flavours  in pet foods is important. We’ve all seen cats take one sniff of some food, turn their noses up and walk away. So how can we encourage them to accept and enjoy the food we are offering?

cat eatingUnsurprisingly it’s all about taste. As humans there are certain foods that we consider delicious or ‘moreish’. More often than not it’s foods that are said to have the ‘umami’ taste. Umami is an invented word, created by Dr Kikunae Ikeda of Tokyo Imperial University in 1908. Its meaning, roughly translated from the Japanese, is ‘yummy deliciousness’ or ‘a pleasant savoury taste.’ It’s neither sweet, salt, sour or bitter.

 

Umami taste is pleasant to pets

pet foodFussy felines and other meat-eating pets are  also particularly attracted to the umami taste. It’s present in products like parmesan cheese, but can be created by cooking meat. The aroma of a steak frying or a burger being grilled might even make you salivate. This is because amino acids are released during the cooking process which makes it smell and taste great. It’s known as the Maillard reaction.

Of course, most pets aren’t fed on steak and burgers. Pet food is generally manufactured from surplus products from the human food chain. The bits we don’t fancy eating, such as chicken feet, udders, brains etc. are still very nutritious. However the challenge is to make these pieces of meat palatable. That’s the job of the flavourist.

Flavours course is  ideal for pet food manufacturers

One of the most well-known and respected flavour chemists is Professor David Baines. He has worked to develop flavours with food and ingredients companies all over the world. Together with flavour application specialist Mr Richard Seal, he tutors a specialist flavours course for us here at Verner Wheelock. Entitled Creating Thermal Process Flavours, it is the only course of its kind in the UK to focus mainly on savoury flavours, and this year runs from 29th October to 2nd November in Skipton, North Yorkshire.

The reason I’m mentioning Professor Baines in a blog post about pet food is that he has considerable knowledge in this area. In fact, one of his very first roles was developing savoury flavours in cat and dog foods. As well as attracting flavourists from snack foods, ingredients and convenience food companies, the course has also proved very beneficial to pet food manufacturers.

 

About Creating Thermal Process Flavours

Creating Thermal Process Flavours  gives flavourists a chance to step outside their normal daily activities and really focus on the components and construction of a savoury flavour, and now also covers sweet brown flavours such as caramel and chocolate. It’s lab-based, so delegates undertake experiments with process reaction flavours, enzyme modified flavours and topnotes. These are combined with in-depth lectures and application and evaluation of their creations. Delegates leave with a toolkit to enable them to recreate the flavours in their own working environment.

Food safety and HACCP applies to pet food manufacturers too

trainingPet food not only needs to be tasty, it also needs to be produced safely. You may not be aware of this, but there are more than 50 items of legislation covering pet food manufacture. There are strict rules governing the ingredients that can be used in pet food. For instance, the levels of pesticides in cereals and residue levels of veterinary products in animal products must be monitored. Also, the EU Feed Hygiene Regulations cover food safety and hygiene, HACCP, storage, personnel, facilities and record-keeping.

Since the methods by which pet food is produced are similar to other food manufacture many of the same rules apply. Personnel still require food safety and HACCP training and need to be ready for audits. Please see our latest training calendar for details of these and other courses we are running throughout the year. Alternatively, why not enquire about our in-house training courses?

Special HACCP course for pet food manufacturers

Did you know that there is an RSPH Level 3 HACCP qualification specifically for animal feed manufacture? If this is of interest to you, please get in touch by emailing claire.lennon@vwa.co.uk  

Excellence Awards winners announced

So, the time has finally come. After much ‘deliberating, cogitating and digesting’ (as Lloyd Grossman used to say on Masterchef), we have pleasure in revealing the winners of the 3rd Verner Wheelock Excellence Awards. They have been chosen from nominations by our course tutors and as ever it has been a very difficult decision to make.

Awards recognise excellence

trainingThe Awards recognise the hard work, enthusiasm and flair of our delegates and their respective companies. All individual winners attended our classroom-based courses here in Skipton during 2017. All have achieved outstanding grades in advanced level exams.

There were  5 awards up for grabs: HACCP, Food Safety, Auditing, Company Excellence and Individual Excellence.

So, without further ado, the winners of the 2017 Verner Wheelock Excellence Awards are:

Verner Wheelock Excellence AwardsHACCP Student of the Year – Nattakan Pinyopat, Warburtons

Food Safety Student of the Year – Kerrie Borthwick, Loch Fyne Oysters Ltd

Auditing Student of the Year – Julie Ryan, CSM Bakeries

Individual Excellence Award – Brandon Green, Ornua Ingredients

Company Excellence Award – Shepherds Purse Cheeses

 

As well as receiving a trophy, the winners also get a voucher for £250 against any future classroom or in-house training with Verner Wheelock. The winner of the Company Excellence Award receives a voucher for £500.

Previous  winners have included delegates from PAS Grantham, F Smales & Sons, Symingtons, pladis and Harper Green School. Also Bakkavor Desserts, Taylors of Harrogate, New Ivory and Sykes House Farm.

Verner Wheelock MD, Alison Wheelock said, “There are always certain people  attending our courses who stand out as being exceptional. The Verner Wheelock Excellence Awards are a great way of recognising these talents. Our delegates continue to achieve excellent examination results and we’re very fortunate that we have  longstanding relationships with so many companies within this industry. Huge congratulations to all our winners! “

We will be posting pictures of the winners with their awards in the next few weeks, so watch this space!

Need to get up to speed with VACCP and TACCP? #vernerwheelock

FB_HeaderAs food industry experts we have developed a range of courses to provide you with specialist knowledge relevant to your role within the food industry.

Following the publication of10% the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 7, we are running workshops to get you up to speed with some of the requirements such as VACCP and TACCP.

Book any Specialist course listed below by 31st March and receive 10% discount*

23 March Managing Food Allergens 
13 April BRC 7 Update 
13 April VACCP Workshop
14 April TACCP Workshop
18-19 & 25 April CIEH Training Principles and Practice *FULL*
7 June VACCP Workshop
8 June TACCP Workshop
23 June Root Cause Analysis 
13-14 & 20 July CIEH Training Principles and Practice
28 September Level 4 Food Safety Update 
24-28 October Creating Thermal Process Flavours *UPDATED COURSE*
21 November Training Skills Refresher

In House Training

For those wishing to train five or more staff at one time, our in-house courses that take place at your site can be the most cost effective and convenient option.

All you need to do is set the time and place, provide a suitable room and refreshments, and put together the delegate list and we do the rest!
Contact Claire and Karen for a quote 01756 700802.

*Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer and is for Skipton run courses only.

HACCP, TACCP, VACCP – what’s the difference?

HACCP TACCP VACCPHACCP, TACCP, VACCP

They all sound very similar and all are involved in the safety of the food we manufacture, but what exactly is the difference between HACCP, TACCP and VACCP?

HACCP – Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point

HACCP, as many of you will know, was initially developed in the 1960s by NASA to prevent astronauts from contracting food poisoning in space. It has since been refined and is now part of every major food manufacturer/supplier’s day-to-day routine. It stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points and can be approached either by product or process.

The HACCP team evaluates the entire production process step by step from delivery intake to packaging and transport of the completed product. During this process any stages where the product could be subject to physical, microbiological or chemical contamination are identified. Measures are put in place for those deemed critical (i.e. metal detectors, temperature controls, cleaning etc.) and these are regularly monitored to ensure that the end product is safe for human consumption.

Verner Wheelock offers a range of HACCP courses from Level 2 to advanced Level 4 – click here to find out more.

TACCP – Threat Assessment Critical Control Point

Relatively new, TACCP, by comparison stands for Threat Assessment Critical Control Point. An essential part of food safety management and required under the latest BRC version 7 Global Standard, it was developed in reaction to the increase in food fraud detected in recent years. The most widely reported was, of course, the horsemeat scandal but food fraud manifests itself in a variety of different ways.

Whereas HACCP is concerned with the prevention of food-borne illnesses and the prevention of unintentional or accidental hazards/threats to food safety, TACCP is concerned with the prevention of deliberate and intentional food fraud. This can take the form of substitution of ingredients, passing off of one foodstuff for another, false or misleading statements  for economic gain that could impact public health, product tampering, fake or incorrect labelling etc. Product traceability throughout the supply chain is hence of vital importance.

Since we began running our TACCP workshops last year, they have become incredibly popular. To find out more details including forthcoming dates and prices, please click here.

VACCP – Vulnerability Assessment and Critical Control Points

TACCP and VACCP go hand in hand in the quest to demonstrate product authenticity. Both are designed to prevent the intentional adulteration of food. TACCP identifies the threat of behaviourally or economically-motivated adulteration; VACCP identifies how vulnerable various points in the supply chain are to the threat of economically-motivated adulteration. Again, the assessment of vulnerability is required to satisfy requirements of BRCv7.

We have already run some in-house VACCP courses for manufacturers and this April sees the first of our open courses on the subject.  You can find out more about the course content here, but essentially it has been designed to give learners the knowledge and skills to conduct a Raw Material Vulnerability Assessment on their supply chain to protect against the risk of fraud. The course will take you through methodology to achieve this, to identify types of fraud that might occur in the supply chain, assess vulnerabilities and establish appropriate preventative measures.

The next VACCP course takes place on 13th April 2016. Places are being filled quickly, so book early to avoid disappointment. Don’t forget that if you have 5 or more people to train, it’s often economical and more convenient to book an in-house course at your own premises – call Claire or Karen to find our more on 01756 700802.

Vulnerability Assessment and Critical Control Points Workshop (VACCP)

Course Summary
The issue of food fraud in the supply chain is becoming increasingly important in the food industry. Hence the need for a systematic approach to identify the threat of economically motivated adulteration and assess the vulnerable points within the supply chain to satisfy the requirements of Clause 5.4 in the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 7.

This course has been designed to give learners the knowledge and skills to conduct a Raw Material Vulnerability Assessment on their supply chain to protect against the risk of fraud. The course will take you through methodology to achieve this, to identify types of fraud that may occur in the supply chain, assess vulnerabilities and establish appropriate preventative measures.

Entry Requirements
No formal qualifications are required but an understanding of food safety and HACCP management systems would be beneficial

The course will cover the following subjects:
• Introduction to food defence
• Food fraud
• Understanding the attacker
• VACCP Process and how to conduct a VACCP study

  • Team
  • Threats
  • Vulnerabilities

• VACCP Process
• Vulnerability Risk Assessment Process
• Protection Measures to Reduce Risk
• Contingency planning for recovery from attack
• Auditing and review food defence procedures
• Horizon Scanning

Assessment
There is no formal assessment on this course.

Course Fee
£340 +VAT

Course fee includes:
• Course binder and notes
• Lunch and refreshments
• Certificate of attendance

For More info and to book visit the website 

The VACCP Workshop will be taking place on the 13th April 2016. Please contact the office for more information. 01756 700802.

Flavours course saves time and money #CreatingSavouryFlavours

I read an article recently about learning to play the guitar. In it ex-Smiths guitarist and songwriter, Johnny Marr, said “If you’ve got a mate who’s better, play with them as much as you can, because you learn more in playing with someone else in half an hour than you do playing guitar on your own for five hours.”

Why am I mentioning this in a blog post relating to food? Because this is true about practically any skill you’re trying to perfect. Teamwork works! It saves time and in the commercial arena it can certainly save money. That’s why our Creating Savoury Flavours course has such value to delegates and their respective companies.

Learn from others’ experiments into flavour

IMG_0082The course combines a series of lectures on the science and technology of savoury flavours with lab-based practical elements to put the theory into practice. Most importantly flavourists from different countries and different types of food companies work together in groups to create their own savoury flavours. These are then applied to relevant foods and evaluated by the tutors and the entire class.

In practical terms this means that not only do delegates gain valuable insights from their own experiments with process reaction flavours, enzyme modified flavours and topnotes, but also from the work of all the others on the course. They will learn how to fine-tune the flavours they create in the laboratory and the ones they are developing for use in their company’s products.

It takes the trial and error element out of creating savoury flavours, as the delegates are taught the science behind it, and also share their group findings to speed up the process, when compared with working alone.

 

IMG_0104Recreate flavours with your own savoury flavours toolkit

In attending the course, listening to the lectures by internationally-renowned flavour experts Dr David Baines and Richard Seal, and having the opportunity to go right back to basics and develop new flavours from scratch, flavourists and their companies are potentially saving hundreds of man-hours in order to get to the same point. Moreover, every delegate leaves the course armed with a savoury flavours toolkit, so that they can recreate the flavours on their return to work.

More detailed information about the intensive five-day Creating Savoury Flavours course can be found on our website, but in a nutshell this unique course provides delegates with the following:IMG_1682

  • An understanding of the principles governing the science, creation and application of savoury flavours.
  • Techniques of using raw materials and process conditions to generate flavour notes in thermal process flavours such as beef, chicken, pork, lamb, roast, boiled, bouillon, etc.
  • An understanding of the creation of vegetarian meat flavours.
  • How to combine reaction flavours with other savoury ingredients including topnote flavours and non-volatile tastants in finished food products.
  • An insight into the use of enzymes to generate natural flavour precursors for use in reaction flavours, to create dairy flavours and to enhance the flavour impact of natural foodstuffs.
  • An understanding of the legislation affecting savoury flavours on a global basis.
  • An appreciation of techniques used to fine-tune the creative process.

A unique course attracting international delegates

Now in its eighth year, Creating Savoury Flavours is unique. It is the only course in the UK to focus solely on savoury flavours, which is why in past years it has attracted delegates from companies all over the world – all of whom have benefited greatly from the experience. previous delegates from the following companies have attended – to name a just a few:

  • Butteressence B.V.
  • DSM Food Specialties
  • Firmenich
  • Golden Frog
  • International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF)
  • Frutarom
  • Kerry Ingredients & Flavours
  • Matrix Flavors & Fragrances
  • Nestle Product Technology Centre
  • Pepsico International
  • Sensient Flavors Ltd
  • Takasago Europe
  • Taste Connection
  • Ungerer
  • Unilever Deutschland

The next Creating Savoury Flavours Course runs from Monday October 26th to Friday October 30th 2015.  Places are strictly limited, so to book your place please call Graham Lund or Carole Dickason today on 01756 700802.

“The lecture on ‘The Formation of Flavour Precursors in Meat’ was excellent. This is what I came to the course for and it didn’t disappoint.”

Creating Savoury Flavours 2014

What is umami?

You could be forgiven for thinking that ‘umami’ is the name of a hurricane or word concocted by comic Vic Reeves for use on his TV show Shooting Stars. That simply isn’t true. What is true, though, is that ‘umami’ is an invented word, created by Dr Kikunae Ikeda of Tokyo Imperial University in 1908. Its meaning, roughly translated from the Japanese, is ‘yummy deliciousness’ or ‘a pleasant savoury taste.’

Umami – the fifth taste sensation

Up until 1908 we all thought that we experienced four main taste sensations: salt, sweet, sour and bitter. However Dr Ikeda discovered that the traditional Japanese soup, dashi, tasted neither salt, sweet, sour nor bitter – it had a different taste. After several experiments he isolated the taste and found that it was glutamate. Glutamate is an amino acid released in certain savoury foods, often through cooking or fermentation, which makes them taste so delicious. When combined with a group of chemicals called ribonucleotides which also occur naturally in many foods, the taste buds can’t get enough of it creating the ‘moreish’ umami taste.

Umami ingredients

Parmesan being gratedPerhaps the finest example of an umami ingredient is parmesan cheese. Others include cherry tomatoes, soy, mushrooms, cured meats, dried fish, other cheeses, cured meats, slow cooked meats and vegetables, such as soups or broth. It is the cooking of the meat which releases the amino acids (the Maillard reaction) and makes it so tasty. Take a burger, for example. Distinctly unappetising in its raw state, as soon as we start to grill or fry it, it releases a delicious aroma which might make us salivate. Put the cooked burger in a bun with a slice of cheddar and sliced tomato or ketchup and the taste gets even better. The same goes for pizza. This is because cooked meat, cheese and tomatoes all contain different umami-giving compounds. So, to paraphrase a famous Dean Martin song: when the food you desire is a big pizza pie – that’s umami.

Pepping up low-salt meals

Since certain medical conditions have historically been linked to a high intake of salt e.g. high blood pressure and its associated risks, hospitals have cut down on the amount of salt in their cooking. The outcome: the food tastes even blander than before. The good news is that studies have shown that increasing the use of umami substances in salt-reduced food can improve the taste. In fact taste sensation expert Heston Blumenthal worked to create umami-rich dishes to encourage elderly hospital patients to eat more – and they worked on the sample tested.

Create your own delicious savoury flavours

For flavourists looking to create and improve new delicious umami flavours, why not check out our specialist Creating Savoury Flavours lab-based course, tutored by internationally-renowned flavourists Dr David Baines and Richard Seal. Click here for information.

Make your own dashi

Creating dashi (the dish from which Dr Ikeda isolated the umami taste) is easy. Although the ingredients are not run-of the-mill, you can find them in specialist shops or online. Here’s how to make it:

Dashi  (Japanese broth)

4cm x 4cm dried kombu (kelp)

600ml water

8g bonito flakes (dried, fermented fish flakes)

Make a few slits in the kombu and cook it in the water in a medium heat. Remove the kelp just before it boils and add the bonito flakes. Bring to the boil and strain.

Vegetarian dashi

2-3 dried shiitake mushrooms

600ml water

Place the mushrooms in the water. Leave for at least 1 hour, then strain. The mushrooms from the stock can be used as a cooking ingredient.

Two easy umami recipes

The first one is really quick and easy – it’s cheese on toast with a twist. Instead of using just cheddar cheese, use equal parts grated cheddar and grated parmesan. The splash on some Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce and grill until brown.

For the second recipe season some pork rib meat, cover it with sea kelp and cook sous vide for 24 hours. Remove the meat from the pouch, cut into 8mm wide pieces and sauté in a frying pan. Whilst the meat is still hot, brush with Marmite on one side.

Monthly News Review from Verner Wheelock – April 2015

Welcome to the April 2015 news review from Verner Wheelock

specialistIt’s been a busy month at Verner Wheelock, now we’re at the end of April the Easter holidays already seem a distant memory. Our specialist training courses including the BRC Issue 7 Update courses continue to prove very popular, as does our new TACCP workshop.

 

Course News – Flavour of the Month

Interest in our flavour training courses has been building this month with a number of enquiries regarding our 2-day Understanding Flavours course. This course can be run in-house with the 2-day programme being tailored to include lectures and practicals relating to the use of raw materials applied in specific sweet and savoury flavours for the development of new products.

The course has been designed so that lectures are interwoven with practical tasks, giving delegates the chance to create their own flavours and to learn by tasting.

Subjects covered include:

  • Human physiology and flavour perception
  • The importance of flavour balance
  • Flavour raw materials from natural extracts to chemical synthesis
  • Natural flavours and their definition (including flavours produced by enzymes)
  • Flavouring substances
  • Flavours formed as a result of cooking
  • Flavour enhancers and natural alternatives to MSG
  • New developments including salt replacement technologies
  • Techniques used to maintain the impact of flavours over shelf life
  • Legislation surrounding the manufacture and use of flavour

Meanwhile, we are now taking bookings for the 5-day Creating Savoury Flavours course which takes place in October. Course tutor Dr David Baines is currently in Singapore for the Flavourtalk Raw Materials Round Table and Exhibition. Dr Baines is speaking at the Conference, and it’s great to see that a former Savoury Flavours delegate, Tina Tan from Matrix Flavours and Fragrances, is also a speaker at the conference.

Results

Congratulations to Chris Peace for achieving a strong pass in his RSPH Level 4 Award in HACCP for Food Manufacturing. Chris achieved over 80 % on Paper 2 (the case study) and his hard work and revision clearly paid off! Chris is pictured below receiving his RSPH certificate from Alison Wheelock.

Chris Peace

Also, well done to all those delegates who have taken the FDQ Lead Auditor course recently.  All our students have achieved excellent results in the written exam, but Angela Gage from Unibake Lantmannen who attended the March course in Skipton and achieved a fantastic 98%!

We have just received an excellent set of results for the RSPH Level 3 Award  in HACCP for Food Manufacturing that took place this month, where our delegates not only achieved a 100% pass rate, but all 9 students achieved Distinctions! Great result!

Staff news

We would like to give a warm welcome to our newly appointed Sales Administrator, Gill Thornton, who will be working alongside Carole and Graham to help process bookings for both in-house and open courses. We are sure she will be a great asset to the Verner Wheelock team and look forward to working with her!

Forthcoming courses in 2015

May

11 – 14 RSPH Level 4 Award in HACCP Management
18 Root Cause Analysis

June

8 – 12 RSPH Level 4 Award in Managing Food Safety
15  RSPH Level 2 Foundation Certificate in HACCP
15-16 RSPH Level 3 Award in HACCP for Food Manufacturing
1
7 – 18 FDQ Auditing Skills Certificate
19 FDQ Supplier Auditing Certificate
22 – 25 FDQ Lead Auditor Certificate
29 June – 1 July RSPH Level 3 Award in Supervising Food Safety

Download our 2015 training calendar and prices here. Contact Carole Dickason or Graham Lund on 01756 700802 or email to book.

How to recognise anaphylactic shock and how the food industry can help to prevent it #LivingInFear #AllergyAwarenessWeek

Living in FearSeveral people in the UK have allergies – to dust mites, to animal hair, to certain medicines, to insect stings or bites etc. and, of course, to certain foods. In fact, according to NHS statistics, over 20,000 patients are treated in English hospitals for allergic reactions every year. Sadly some severe reactions can prove fatal if medical intervention does not occur in time.

We, the public, could help to save the life of somebody having an anaphylactic shock by being able to recognise the symptoms and knowing how to give an injection of adrenaline. Unfortunately a survey by Allergy UK found that out of over 2000 people surveyed, 44% didn’t know what anaphylaxis is and 60% didn’t know how to use an EpiPen.

Last week was Allergy Awareness Week and the main point on the agenda is to education. Rather like the highly successful ‘FACE’ TV campaign telling people how to recognise symptoms of a stroke, Allergy UK wants us all to ‘Recognise the symptoms. Recognise the FEAR’ of anaphylaxis. Here’s how:

F    FACE – is their face/are their lips swollen? Have they gone pale? Are they lightheaded?

E    EYES – is there a look of fear in their eyes? Are they red, watery and puffy?

A    AIRWAVES – are they wheezing/uncontrollably coughing? Do they have a shortness of breath? Are they unable to talk? Are they making a strange sound?

R    RASH – is there a red, raised, itchy rash anywhere on their body, especially their face or neck?

What to do?

If you can see a combination of the above symptoms, then you need to administer adrenaline. People at risk of anaphylaxis will carry a couple of EpiPens (adrenaline shots) on their person. You need to give them adrenaline by jabbing the EpiPen directly into their outer upper thigh and depressing the syringe. There is no need to try to locate a vein.

The next thing you should do is call 999. If the symptoms haven’t improved after 5 minutes, administer a second dose of adrenaline to the other outer thigh. Being able to do this could mean the difference between life and death for some allergy sufferers.

 How getting labelling right can help save lives

Of course, the most effective way of preventing anaphylactic shock is to avoid any triggers. This means that as a food or drink provider we need to let consumers know exactly what our products contain, whether it is pre-packaged, sold loose, served in a restaurant, cafe, canteen, fast food outlet, from a stall or anywhere else. This became mandatory in December 2014 under the EU Food Information to Consumers Regulation and failure to comply can lead to action being taken by enforcement officers.

The new labelling regulation stipulates that any of the main allergens contained in your product or used as a processing aid or enzyme during the production process must be declared. For pre-packaged goods the allergens must appear separately within the ingredients list and be highlighted in bold lettering, even if the same allergen appears more than once. E.g. Skimmed milk concentrate, sunflower oil, whey powder (milk).

There are 14 main allergens which have been identified as likely to cause a severe allergic reaction if ingested by susceptible persons. These are cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, eggs, fish, peanuts, soybeans, milk, nuts, celery, mustard, sesame, sulphur dioxides or sulphites, molluscs and lupin.  In instances where the allergen isn’t used in a particular product, but there is a risk of cross-contamination from other allergen-containing products, you may still highlight this fact on the labelling with messages such as ‘may contain nuts.’

Make sure your labelling’s legal – ask Gill

Verner Wheelock’s can provide training or consultancy that will guide you through the new legislation, including what you can and can’t say, how claims can be substantiated, what you must declare, nutritional and allergy information, ingredients and how and where information must be presented. For information, please visit our ‘Specialist Training Courses’ section on the Verner Wheelock website, where you’ll also find our popular ‘Managing Food Allergens’ course.

Additonally, if you happen to live close to Yorkshire, why not pop along and see one of our Labelling experts, Gill Eames, at the Deliciouslyorkshire @Fine Food Harrogate event on 21st – 22nd June at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate? Gill will be there on 21st June and will be able to help you with any queries you might have and can check your own labels to ensure they are compliant with the new ways in which allergen information needs to be presented.

Are you ready to be audited against BRC Issue 7? #BRCaudit #foodsafety #BRC7

Any company undergoing a third party British Retail Consortium audit from 1st July onwards will be assessed against the latest updates to the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety, Issue 7. If you haven’t had the chance to read the new version of the publication, we recommend that you do so soon, as there are several changes which could affect the way that your production facility operates.

New section on product authenticity, claims and chain of custody

The most significant changes to the BRC Standard include a brand new section entitled ‘Product authenticity, claims and chain of custody.’ Unsurprisingly this has been introduced following the ‘horsegate’ scandal and various reports of other types of food fraud and adulteration. In addition to the requirement to demonstrate authenticity, suppliers are also required to be vigilant and have measures in place to guard against deliberate attack – an element covered in our new TACCP course.

The changes don’t just concern the raw ingredients and food/drink themselves. There is also a new clause which aims to reduce product recalls on account of incorrect labelling; as well as an increased emphasis on root cause analysis in the context of corrective actions. It is no longer enough to simply fix the problem – suppliers also need to drill down to the reasons why an event occurred.

BRC 7

Verner Wheelock has done most of the hard work for you

Identifying all the changes between BRC Issue 6 and BRC Issue 7 can be a laborious process, so several companies are opting to attend our BRC Issue 7 Update course. Led by trainer Peter Clarke, the one-day course addresses the new elements in BRC Issue 7 section by section.  Peter encourages questions and discussion throughout and uses examples to explain how the changes are likely to affect your company, as well as offering practical solutions for compliance.  Three practical workshop sessions are also part of the programme.

Managing Director, Alison Wheelock, says “The aim of the course is to help our customers prepare for audits against BRC Issue 7. The documentation relating to the Standard is considerable and our course aims to summarise the changes and promote discussion and sharing of ideas. After the day’s training delegates will be more aware of how the new clauses will impact on their own companies, and will be able to start formulating plans on how to comply with the latest Standard.”

The new additions to the Standard include a greater focus on traceability and authenticity, new requirements relating to High Risk/High Care areas, new rules regarding product labelling and changeovers, factored goods, modular approach grading, earned recognition and audit style.

As well as running this specialist update course Verner Wheelock has reviewed all its other courses to ensure that they are in line with BRC Issue 7.

specialistBook your place today

The next BRC Issue 7 Update course takes place on Thursday 2nd July. To book your place, please click here or call 01756 700802 and speak to one of the team. Alternatively, ask for a quote for an in-house course at your own premises.