Our customers trust us to feed millions of people around the country. Every day we are creating new ingredients for our customers and refining our tried-and-true products. We are expanding our facilities and strengthening our processes. In the midst of this innovation, we never lose sight of our guiding principle – Safe Food.
To create the safest food possible, we are committed to not only meeting, but exceeding, the baking industry standards for food quality and safety. All of Richmond Baking’s facilities hold certificates from the American Institute of Baking. To acquire these certificates, each facility is visited and inspected by a full-time AIB food safety auditor in the areas of policy, operations and physical condition of: grounds, buildings, and production and storage areas.
Richmond Baking Company has Certified Food Defense Coordinators, Certified Safe Quality Food (SQF) Practitioners and Certified Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HAACP) Managers, at each of our facilities. Our certified team members help us create and implement internal policies and programs that are the building blocks to ensuring high quality and safe products are produced at our facilities.
These building blocks are derived from our efforts to achieve SQF (Safe Quality Food) 2000 Level II and Level III certifications. The SQF program is a leading, global food safety and quality certification and management system. The Program provides independent certification that a supplier’s food safety and quality management system complies with international and domestic food safety regulations.
As part of the SQF Level III certification, Richmond Baking has created comprehensive HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point) plans, Quality Plans and an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) program focusing on: Food Safety, Quality Control, GMPs, Sanitation, Maintenance and Training.
Richmond Baking’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Program describes in detail all company procedures and policies pertaining to, but not limited to, Allergens, Waste Removal, Pre-Operational Inspections, Equipment Operation and Calibration, Warehouse, Shipping and Maintenance Procedures.
To ensure that our facilities and personnel have adequate resources to fully meet and exceed the requirements needed for SQF 2000 Level III Certification, Richmond Baking has created a thorough pre-requisite program. This Program provides a solid foundation for a Richmond Baking’s successful food quality program.
All specifications for Richmond Baking products have been reviewed and approved by our customers. 100% adherence to finished product specifications is required for release of products that are shipped to our customers. Each product must pass Critical Quality Point testing at every step of production from temperature testing of our dough to extensive Finished Product Testing. In this way, we ensure that we are creating a high-quality product from beginning to end.
We conduct on-site testing of every product with state-of-the-art lab equipment including:
All laboratory equipment is on a strict Calibration and Verification program to ensure it is functioning properly and producing accurate test results. Quality Control Technicians are assigned to each production line and are responsible for Pre-Operational Inspections and for all in-process and finished product testing. Richmond Baking also routinely utilizes independent third-party labs to ensure objective testing at every step.
Richmond Baking Company maintains a current finished product specification for every item we produce. These specifications are created in conjunction with each customer and updated as required. Finished product specifications include information such as Storage Requirements, Microbiological Requirements, Metal Detector Requirements and Analytical Requirements.
The Analytical Requirements are carefully met with the help of Statistical Process Controls. These controls and testing allow us to identify characteristics of both the product and process that must be controlled to achieve consistent quality. Our Statistical Process Controls are used to ensure that all processes run at target settings to minimize costs due to scrapping and downtime. Our Quality Control team tests every product for standard deviations in:
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Along with deviation in physical properties such as moisture percentage and size, each product is carefully screened by our Certified Sensory Product Panelists. To become certified, potential Taste and Odor panelists are screened using generic samples to ensure they have the ability to differentiate between common tastes and smells. After passing initial screening, panelists are tested on Richmond Baking’s cadre of products. Panelists sample “standard” products for taste and smell and use those to grade against other products we create. These products might be:
Participants must meet predetermined testing standards to become “Qualified Sensory Panelists.” QSPs also go through a requalification every six months to ensure their ongoing ability to analyze unknown samples.
Every effective Food Quality and Safety Program must develop and follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). Commitment to following GMPs and making quality our lifestyle at Richmond Baking is critical at all levels in our organization. Richmond Baking’s GMP Manual offers comprehensive personal practice guidelines for all employees to follow resulting in facilities and personal practices that ensure the production of safe foods for our customers.
Richmond Baking maintains sanitation levels in our manufacturing facilities that meet and exceed GMP requirements for the manufacturing of food products. A rigorous sanitation program is in place which includes Cleaning and Sanitation (C&S) procedures. The annual validation of these procedures includes testing to validate that previous product and allergens have been removed from all equipment and micro-organisms are at acceptable levels. In addition, routine verification testing is completed using ATP Testers and Allergen Test Kits to verify good C&S practices are maintained on a daily basis.
Richmond Baking Company also has a comprehensive Environmental Monitoring program which includes swabbing of numerous locations in our facilities to track bacteria activity and verify our C&S procedures and GMP policies are working as intended to ensure a safe product is produced and shipped to our customers.
Our Pest Control Program is monitored by on-site, licensed pest control specialists. Many food manufacturing facilities outsource their pest control to independent contractors. At Richmond Baking, we take Pest Control seriously. Our internally trained and employed specialists are on-site 24-hours a day to ensure the highest levels of pest management.
Richmond Baking utilizes a facilities-wide automated preventative-maintenance program. This computerized system is accessible 24-hours a day and provides our employees with a Master Maintenance and Sanitation Schedule. This cutting-edge technology allows our employees to spend less time on unpredicted equipment and facility repairs and more time focused on the production of safe and quality foods for our customers.
The core of any Food Safety and Quality Program is employee training. Richmond Baking’s comprehensive Training Program guarantees we create quality employees out of all our personnel. Our ongoing plant-wide training provides up-to-date information on our HACCP program. Subsequently, our technicians receive weekly and monthly training on all of our Quality and Safety Standard Operating Procedures. In-house trainings include, but are not limited to: