Renewed TQM Seminar Supplies Valuable Knowledge to Members

Snack food professionals from SFA member companies across the nation participated in the new Total Quality Management Course held Sept. 12-15 at Ohio State University’s Department of Science and Technology. They went back to their respective companies with a wealth of knowledge and new understanding about just what it takes to achieve the highest levels of quality in snack production operations.
“I was really pleased and very impressed by what resulted in an outstanding conference,” said Dan McGrady, vice president of technical services for Wyandot, Inc., who was involved in the planning process and also involved in the educational program.  
“Everything that was presented had to do with why we do what we do in order to produce products at the highest level of quality possible. It was very well-received,” he added.
McGrady said Wyandot, Inc., sent two lab technicians to the four-day event, which included both morning lectures in the University’s Parker Food Science Center and afternoon laboratory sessions, held in the Gould Food Industry Lab, named after the late Dr. Wilbur Gould, professor emeritus at Ohio State through the late 1990s. Dr. Gould originally taught the SFA Total Quality Assurance Court at Ohio State until it was discontinued in the ’90s.
“This was a partnership in the best sense of the word,” said McGrady, who noted that the 2005 TQM course was sponsored by SFA, the Center for Innovative Food Technology, and several equipment suppliers who contributed equipment for the laboratory sessions. Those companies were Agtron, Inc., Hunter Labs, Inc., Carver, Inc., American Extrusion International and Mettler Toledo, Inc.
“Our people really got a lot out of the whole process,” McGrady said. “It was four packed days of classrooms and hands-on work in the labs.  They also appreciated the opportunity to rub shoulders with their peers in the industry and seeing how other people do things.  That was a key benefit.”
One of the major benefits, McGrady added, was that attendees were able to do hands-on exercises that related to the lectures in which they participated earlier in the day.
“So they got to see how knowledge is put into practice,” he said.
Speakers included university professors, industry suppliers and experts from manufacturing with many years of experience in the industry.
The course covered broad, overview issues such as the fundamentals of quality assurance and quality management, food laws and regulations, good manufacturing practices, tools for managing quality, record keeping and fundamentals of sanitation.
Discussions turned to specific issues involved in snack manufacturing, ranging from machines and methods for manufacturing, to material handling and processing, sanitation demonstrations, salt, flavors and seasonings, packaging, in-line quality control and much more.
“We intend to do this course again next year,” said Jim McCarthy, SFA president and CEO.  “It was highly successful and is a valuable benefit for our members.”
For more information, watch the SFA Web site,, for details when they become available.  For further information, contact Chris Clark at 1-703-836-4500 ext. 218 or
New SFA Editor Named

Bob Gatty, a long-time food industry journalist and communicator, has been named editor of the Snack Food Association’s section in Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery.
Gatty, who operates an editorial and communications consulting business near Washington, D.C., is former editor of Grocery Headquarters magazine and executive editor and publisher of Advantage magazine, previously published by the Food Marketing Institute.
Gatty is a frequent contributor to NACS Magazine, published by the National Association of Convenience Stores, Distribution Channels, published by the American Wholesale Marketers Association, and Progressive Grocer, among many others.
In addition to being responsible for SFA’s section of SF&WB, Gatty is now the author of SFA’s weekly e-newsletter, The Snack Report, and is responsible for managing the association’s Web site,