HeavyConnect Blog

Strawberry fields

How Top Operations Create a Food Safety Culture: An Interview with Red Blossom’s Director of Compliance

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HeavyConnect Team

Carole Patterson is the Director of Compliance for Red Blossom, a strawberry grower with nationwide distribution and growing operations in the US and Mexico. Over the past 5 years, Carole has defined and executed Red Blossom’s food safety plan to support the company’s compliance initiatives. Carole joined us to discuss one of the most top-of-mind terms in the compliance world: Food Safety Culture. Our interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

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Labeled lettuce packed on a trailer

Guide to FDA’s Proposed Food Traceability Rule: What Has Changed in 2021?

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HeavyConnect Team

Although prevention is the gold standard in food safety practices, most pathogens aren’t entirely preventable and outbreaks are still inevitable. When a foodborne pathogen sickens consumers, a fast response can literally save lives. During E. Coli outbreaks in romaine lettuce between 2018 and 2021, there wasn’t sufficient accessible electronic data to allow a quick discovery of the source. Although the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) required some traceability recordkeeping, the rules weren’t stringent and allowed for paper and other manual methods of sharing records. 

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E. Coli in Leafy Greens Called a “Reasonably Foreseeable Hazard” by FDA: What Does it Mean for Growers?

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HeavyConnect Team

After a new wave of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) outbreaks in romaine lettuce that started in 2018, leafy greens have been synonymous with risk even for those outside the food supply chain. Since the outbreaks, the industry has started taking additional steps to reduce the hazard and make leafy greens safer for consumers.

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Inspecting tomatoes at a facility

Why Facilities Should Document HACCP Compliance With Digital Tools

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HeavyConnect Team

Your HACCP plan is a proactive approach to food safety management that aims to stop problems before they occur. You’ve already put in the time to thoroughly evaluate your facility’s processes, identify every potential risk, and get your organization on board with the necessary precautions. But did you know that a paper-based HACCP plan might still be costing you time and money?

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Self auditing dashboard on laptop

Self-Auditing with HeavyConnect

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HeavyConnect Team

When you think of the weeks leading up to a food safety audit, what comes to mind? Late nights, frantic searches for missing reports, other work falling to the wayside, and stress that affects the whole team? Food Safety Managers are responsible for reports, documents, and binders being current, accessible, and correct during an audit. If your job relates to food safety, you probably know these concerns well.

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Compliance dashboard on laptop

Your Personalized Compliance Dashboard

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HeavyConnect Team

Compliance touches so many parts of every agricultural operation that it might feel like all you can do to stay on top of food safety, labor regulations, buyer requirements, and every other standard you need to prioritize. On the day-to-day level there are inspections to complete, corrective actions to take, employees to train, and documents to update. Over the long term there are audits that hold your operation accountable for all this work.

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Calendar, clock, and laptop on a desk

Avoiding Common Payroll Mistakes: Timecard Rounding

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HeavyConnect Team

Keeping track of your employees’ time requires accurate tracking, coordination between crew leaders and the office, tallying up the time sheets, inputting data, uploading to payroll software, and adjusting for any mistakes. It’s easy for something small to go wrong, like a paper timecard getting lost between the field and the office, an employee clocking in late, or a crew leader forgetting to document a required break. 

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