PUTTING FOOD SAFETY & SECURITY FIRST
Wilkins Rogers Mills has taken a strong position on food safety. Our Food Safety department ensures we are aligned with state, federal and industry regulatory requirements. The department’s expertise also drives a wide range of programs and processes that we have put in place so that our clients can always be confident that the commercial, private label, food service or consumer products we produce are safe, time and again. When working with our clients on new product development, we are able to consistently deliver on our commitment to food safety while providing the highest levels of quality assurance. The following provides a brief summary of some of the food safety and food defense initiatives at each of the three Wilkins Rogers Mills locations across Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Our HACCP plan (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) offers us a systematic look at our manufacturing process, raw materials and finished products to determine the presence of any associated hazards. If hazards are identified, we put controls into place to remove, prevent or reduce the hazard along with documentation requirements to provide ongoing tracking. The HACCP plan at each location is reviewed on a regular basis so that it is up to date with any changes taking place in the facility.
FOOD SECURITY / FOOD DEFENSE
As a result of the September 11, 2001, attacks, the federal government passed “The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002” (also known as BTA) to guard against the intentional tampering of food products and food manufacturing facilities. One of the several requirements of the BTA (part of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act) is that all food manufacturers register with the federal government and maintain specified records. The BTA also gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to detain products and or inspect records as long as certain conditions are met. Wilkins Rogers Mills is in full compliance with all BTA requirements. In fact, at each of the three Wilkins Rogers Mills locations, we have a location-specific Food Security Program in place and we conduct Security Vulnerability Assessments on a routine basis. In addition, our Director of Food Safety is a certified food defense coordinator.
There are several programs that work along with a HACCP plan to help insure product quality and safety. These include a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) program, which is based on government regulations (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21) required of all food companies. Our GMPs cover requirements for the processing, handling and storage of food products. Additional programs that support our HACCP plan include our Employee Training, Glass Control, Supplier Approval, Trace and Recall and Sanitation Programs.
As a member of Washington, D.C.-based North American Millers’ Association (NAMA) we are kept up to date on changes to regulations within the milling industry. We are able to ensure that our products are in full compliance with state and federal regulatory requirements, as well as a wide range of legal requirements related to labeling, nutritional panels and net weights.
At Wilkins Rogers Mills, we conduct our own internal sanitation and GMP audits and inspections at each of the three Wilkins Rogers Mills locations. In addition, we perform a full “systems audit” which takes a close look at one specific area or program (HACCP, for example). We then verify that what we say we are doing in a standard operating procedure is taking place as we have mandated. To help verify our food safety systems, we have initiated a standard practice of bringing in independent third-party auditors at our mill locations. Like other milling companies, we are subject to inspections by multiple federal and state regulatory agencies.