Image Credit: TreeHouse Foods[/caption]
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Explore This IssueOctober/November 2017
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Having more than 16,000 employees catapults the importance of training for TreeHouse to the stars and beyond. Perry emphasizes that training for all team members is ongoing at TreeHouse plants. Internal training includes documented programs for quality, sanitation, and food safety.
“Two of our staff members have become certified trainers,” he relates, “one for HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) training and one for Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) training. Our in-house HACCP trainer is certified by the International HACCP Alliance. Our in-house PCQI trainer is certified with the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) and conducts a 2.5-day course several times per year.”
“We invest in continuously educating our employees about HACCP and FSPCA Preventative Controls to ensure our employees are knowledgeable and capable of writing, reviewing, and implementing these plans,” Perry elaborates.
Annual employee food safety training is required for plant team members. “Through computer-based training, each employee has to successfully complete assigned modules for re-certification,” Bishop explains. “Topics covered include foamer use, sanitation chemical safety, sanitation overview, foodborne pathogens, basic Good Manufacturing Practices (personal hygiene), allergen control, facility security, microbiology, HACCP, and maintenance and sanitation.
“Our cleaning and sanitation company’s food safety and sanitation professionals provide in-house hands-on training for the TreeHouse sanitation employees across all production facilities,” Bishop continues. “This includes chemical safety, titration, pre-operational reviews, cleaning in-place systems, and adenosine triphosphate use. This training is customized for our specific plants and our chemical and pest control needs.”
Additional external training for TreeHouse personnel includes FSPCA-PCQI, HACCP, Lean- Greenbelt, Better Process Control School, food defense, risk assessment and food safety, Safe Quality Food auditor/systems, and sanitary design.
All of this training has impacted TreeHouse food safety initiatives in a positive and measurable way, Bishop says.
“Sanitation effectiveness and pathogen monitoring have improved overall in our facilities due to sanitation, sanitary design, and annual refresher training,” she relates. “Score-carding of sanitation effectiveness and environmental monitoring has demonstrated the concerted effort put forth by the plants to improve the cleanliness of our facilities. Many capital projects at our plants were driven by the results of scorecard meetings. Sanitary design changes and facility infrastructure upgrades to improve clean-ability led to these key improvements.”
52 GFSI Certifications
Each TreeHouse plant is GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) certified. “In addition, there are many customer food quality and safety audits routinely conducted at all 52 of our facilities that cover all areas of quality and food safety, and these audits help drive continuous improvement,” Perry points out. “This drives home the point that, in all of our facilities, we have strong HACCP and preventive control measures that are reviewed annually by a trained cross-functional team and are all verified by GFSI third-party certification.”
Without question, quality and food safety are core seeds firmly planted in the TreeHouse culture, Perry emphasizes. “This culture originates with a commitment from our executive team through monthly CEO food safety reviews, and it translates down to every employee on every line through weekly quality meetings,” he elaborates. “With quality as a strategic goal for the company, we have successfully made meaningful impact in driving down key consumer complaints, mitigating potential hazards, and minimizing quality incidents in our plants year over year though continuous training, technical research, and investments in capital and integrated quality systems. This enables us to meet and often exceed our customers’ expectations, while enabling top line growth for the company. Our TreeHouse promise fully embraces the importance of food safety and quality, as we work diligently to protect the TreeHouse legacy and all of our customers’ brands.”
According to Perry, the company’s vision, which one might say was developed by “TreeHouse masters,” says it all: