Birko’s Consultancy Teams
Food processors today face a number of challenges in balancing effective cleaning and sanitizing with efficient production, all while maintaining food safety. To meet these challenges, Birko has developed a consultancy team approach for our customers in meat, further processing and produce.
Birko’s consultancy teams help processors identify best practices for both food safety and operational efficiency. These include opportunities for savings in chemistry, utilities, labor and logistics costs, food safety solutions and yield enhancements.
We concentrate on helping customers meet the unique challenges of their industry. To that end, Birko’s teams are customized to include professionals with specific industry expertise. A typical team includes:
- HACCP-certified technical representative
- Industry specialist
- Chad equipment specialist
Birko is an original member of the International HACCP Alliance and the only specialty chemical manufacturer with all field sales/service team members HACCP certified. HACCP standards address all aspects of food safety including the control of biological, chemical and physical hazards at all stages of the production, manufacturing and distribution process. Birko is well qualified to help customers meet these guidelines in protein, further processing and produce. We follow industry best practices in advocating science-based pathogen intervention strategies to enhance sanitary processes. This includes effective and microbiologically verifiable HACCP procedures.
Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures
In addition, Birko’s technical reps are extensively trained in meeting Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP) compliance standards. SSOPs are the foundation of a food safety program and are required to be documented in all meat and poultry processing plants. SSOP procedures must be appropriately documented and validated. Birko’s reps are familiar with the requirements for pre-operational SSOPs, including the cleaning and sanitation of all equipment facilities and utensils before processing. For operational SSOPs, we help processors establish procedures for cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting during production, plus procedures for employee hygiene and product handling. We also provide insight into appropriate chemical formulations for pre-operational and operational cleaning and sanitizing.
Safe Quality Food Institute Practitioners
Many of Birko’s technical reps are certified Safe Quality Food Institute (SQF) Practitioners. The SQF Program is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and links primary production certification to food manufacturing, distribution and agent/broker management certification. Birko’s SQF Practitioners are designated to develop, validate, verify, implement and maintain SQF Systems.
Birko is one of a limited number of companies that can support both SQF and British Retail Consortium (BRC) requirements. The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety applies to any food processing operation where open food is handled, processed or packed. It covers site standards, product and process control as well as senior management commitment and personnel standards. The basis is a robust HACCP program.
Birko can also assist with OSHA compliance. OSHA covers most private sector employers (and their workers) in all 50 states as well as some public sector employers and workers. OSHA standards establish the rules employers must follow in order to provide safe working conditions. These include requirements for protecting employees from being exposed to harmful chemicals and providing guards for dangerous equipment.
An ISO 9001 Certified Company
BRC’s food safety and quality management system builds on ISO principles. Birko has earned ISO 9001 certification, recognized as the worldwide standard for quality management systems and practices. Established by the International Organization for Standardization, this helps us meet our customers’ food safety challenges even more effectively.
Developing a HACCP program coupled with the ISO 9001 system allows us to achieve SQF and BRC Global Standards. As an added bonus, the ISO definition of documented process is easily translatable to the FDA’s definition of Good Manufacturing Practices. ISO 9001 certification solidifies our position as a leader in providing customized chemistry solutions to the meat, further processing and produce industries.
Birko is the only chemical manufacturer to sit on the International HACCP Alliance that can support requirements for the BRC, SQF and ISO.