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Food Safety Systems Q1 2019 Newsletter

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In This Issue


Where in the World in Eurofins Food Safety Systems?

Eurofins Food Safety Systems is headquartered in Des Moines, IA, but we can be found all over the place at a variety of events, in person or online. Check out our upcoming appearances and join us!

Food Safety Americas 2019
May 21-22, Coronado, CA

Register for upcoming training events, new courses for 2019 are posted.


Special Announcement

Bryan Armentrout has been named the Vice President of our Food Safety Systems (FSS) and Training and Consulting (ETC) business units.

Bryan Armentrout

Bryan joins Eurofins with strong leadership, entrepreneurial, food safety, and laboratory background.  After graduating from the University of Wyoming with a BS in Cell Biology and Physiology, Bryan started his career as a tech at Pasco labs, and quickly moved into the food production side of the business rising to be a top manager at Leprino Foods followed by Director and VP of Quality Assurance roles for BC-USA, Lactalis, WhiteWave, CSC Sugar, and Boulder Brands.

In his time as a leader, Bryan has overseen start-ups to multi-site /multi-hundred million dollar operations with global client bases and global supply chains.  In his time in these roles, he has become a well-known face in the food safety industry and a go-to expert for many.  This is best evidenced by the success of his consulting company, The Food Leadership Group, which for 10 years has helped design and deploy food safety and quality systems for many well-known companies.  Bryan’s experience also led him to write a book for first-time managers called “The New Manager Mindset” available on Amazon and other retailers. 

Welcome, Bryan! We are happy to have you aboard!


Get to Know the Food Safety Team

Because we don’t all get to know you personally, we want to open ourselves up and let you get to know the Eurofins Food Safety Team! We are proud of the group we have assembled, and it continues growing. Each quarter we will feature a brief interview with a different team member and give you a better taste of who we are, in and out of the office.

Connie McGarrahConnie McGarrah, Business Development Manager, Food Safety Systems

What is your background (briefly)?  

I have been with Eurofins almost two years. Most recently before Eurofins, I spent 10 years in an Operational/Commercial Development role with a major media company. Prior to that, I had spent several years in the restaurant business. In years past I have a broad scope of experience. I owned and operated a variety of businesses, including consulting for general business and HR, and I even made wedding cakes!  

Why did you choose Eurofins?   

Eurofins chose me, and I’m honored that they did. After a successful career in the newspaper business, it was time for a change. When the call came from a recruiter, I listened.

What is one of your passions outside of work? 

I am extremely passionate about triathlon. I started dabbling in shorter distances about 7 years ago and got serious about long distance in 2015. On Sept 9, 2018, I completed my first full Ironman triathlon.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

I am an outgoing introvert. I am comfortable in most social and business situations, but my battery gets drained from too much interaction and I need to take some alone time to recharge.

Where is your happy place? 

The ocean is the best place on earth for me. Being near it brings me peace, but I’m even happier swimming in it.

Who knows you best?

My immediate family. My husband is at the top of the list, followed closely by my two teenage daughters.

What is a fun fact about you that people find surprising?

I once served as President of the Des Moines Parrothead Club. It is a Jimmy Buffett fan club/non-profit that does fund-raising for various charities, such as the Alzheimer’s Association and Habitat for Humanity. And, we liked to have a lot of fun in the process!


Exploring Growing Markets

Exploring Growing Opportunities

In the later part of 2018, several Eurofins business units, along with some valued industry partners, joined forces to host some small educational symposiums. We had the privilege of hosting two events at our Eurofins Microbiology Laboratory-Denver targeted to the CBD, Hemp, and Dietary Supplements industries. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive and the networking and exchange of ideas was extremely valuable.

In 2019, we are planning more events like this, across the country and around all varieties of niche topics. With a smaller audience than a trade show, we at Eurofins have the opportunity to spend quality time with clients and potential clients, and attendees have a chance to hear a collection of brief presentations from experts, not only from Eurofins but from partner associations and sometimes peers.


What’s your niche? What do you want to learn? We want to hear your suggestions! Please send an email to auditing@eurofinsus.com, telling us what kind of event you would like to attend in 2019!


FSSC 22000 V5 Transition Dates

FSSC 22000

In November, Eurofins was privileged to join with FSSC to host a webinar reviewing the changes to ISO 22000:2018 and FSSC 22000 V5.

A key component of the information presented was the transition timeline. Cor Groenveld from FSSC explained that the transition to FSSC 22000 V5 will be a controlled plan, conducted in stages. This will allow the timing to be coordinated with the adjustment of the additional requirements. Additionally, it will allow Certification Bodies to achieve accreditation against the new requirements.

FSSC Version 5 will be published in May 2019, with full implementation after January 2020. The full timeline looks like this:

  • Oct 2018: Plan Approved
  • Oct 2018-April 2019: Ongoing Reviews
  • April 2019: Final approval
  • May 2019: Publication V5
  • June-Dec 2019: CB Accreditation
  • Jan 1, 2020: CB Audits & Certifications (New Certificates)
  • June 19, 2021: Deadline Transition (Existing Certificates)
  • To watch the entire webinar, visit our website here.


The Standing Desk: Is It For You?

Standing DeskA number of Eurofins team members are making the move to standing desks and are reaping the rewards! Is a standing desk a good option for you or others on your team? Research shows that the benefits of standing while working may prevent weight gain, lower the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, and improve mental focus and productivity. We gathered some opinions from some of our colleagues who have made the move to standing, and here is some of the feedback we received.

“For me, standing is beneficial physically. I do find myself wanting to sit down at points during the day, so I use the raise and lower option. It’s simple to do, and I can remain comfortable. I don’t notice increased focus, but it does help my hamstring injury to feel better!”

“All of our stand-up desks in the marketing office are from Varidesk! I really like the brand.  I have used it in the past too, but I honestly don’t use it to stand. I like it because it rises up my monitors and I don’t have to look down at my monitors the entire day.”

“It helps with my posture since the monitors sit up higher (the doctor I see for my back has actually commented that I must have a really ergonomic work environment). When I’m feeling restless or sore/need to stretch my legs I do stand, it helps with focus in those situations and helps me fidget less!”

“I use my standing desk about 50% of the time. It is especially helpful to stay mobile on days after runs or workouts. Also, when running online meetings and no one is in the room, I prefer to stand. It produces better energy and puts you in an active state for running the meeting. The one downside that I still need to figure out is that my laptop sits on my standing desk, so I almost always am looking down at my screen and this kills my neck. My desk had to be modified to accommodate the standing unit, which added to the cost.”

“I use it more raised so I have to stand as it helps my posture. Although, when I’m sitting down it also helps as I definitely slouch more at home where my desktop monitor is eye-level. I think I’ll be starting to stand more often.”

“I like that my standing desk elevates my monitors. Now that I use a standing desk, I’ve noticed I have a lot less neck and upper back pain. I don’t use the standing part of my standing desk as much as I should, but it’s a great option when I’m feeling antsy. I think standing up and changing my posture can help when I run into a rut while working.”

How much does a standing desk cost? Well, it depends. The cost can vary wildly from $100-$2000 or more. Factors to consider are quality, brand, features, and a number of other factors. It’s best to shop around before making a decision to get exactly what you want, but there is likely a desk out there that fits your budget.

So, what are you waiting for? Get shopping, and start standing!


Fighting Seasonal Sluggishness for Athletes

Sluggishness for AthletesIt’s 5 a.m. The sound of the alarm rudely pulls you out of your dream and tells you it’s time to put your feet on the floor. What a jerk. Your warm, inviting bed calls to you. “Roll over. Go back to your dream and see how it ends. It’s dark and cold. Just one more hour.”  But you are stronger than the pull of your bed. One foot in front of the other, you decide to show up.