Food Service & Agriculture, Health Care, and Human Resources

New food defense coordinators certified at Columbian Logistics

They are trained to handle crisis situations at food production facilities.

September 12, 2014
| By Pete Daly |
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Columbian logistics
Brian Price (left) and Richard Schultz are in management at Columbian Logistics. Courtesy Columbian Logistics

Columbian Logistics Network Supervisor Brian Price and Operations Manager Richard Schultz are now Certified Food Defense Coordinators through the American Institute of Baking, according to Columbian.

Food defense coordinators are responsible for the oversight of an organization’s federally mandated security plans and operations, and they help prepare workers to handle intentional contamination, workplace violence and other crisis situations at food production facilities.

Price and Schultz join 10 other Columbian Logistics management members who have earned the designation.

“Most companies will have one certified food defense coordinator per organization, but we have at least one certified employee at each facility. This level of engagement is a natural extension of our commitment to safety and protecting the integrity of our customers’ supply chain,” said Jim Gadziemski, general manager of warehousing.

The certification process is sponsored by the American Institute of Baking, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting food safety — not just for baking, but for beverages and manufactured food products through technical training and a system of independent auditing.

Some of the food safety topics covered are:

  • What is a security program?
  • Food Safety Modernization Act
  • Global Food Safety Initiative-benchmarked audit schemes
  • The Bioterrorism Act of 2002
  • Developing a threat/vulnerability assessment program
  • Establishing a food security team
  • Security measures for buildings and grounds
  • Security for food warehouses
  • Preparing for a recall

Columbian Logistics Network provides warehousing and trucking for some of the largest food companies in West Michigan, including Hearthside, a Chicago-based company that is one of the largest contract bakers in the Midwest and has several facilities in Greater Grand Rapids.

Columbian employs about 250, mostly logisticians involved with the 1 million square feet of warehouse space the company manages.

The bulk of Columbian’s business is food transportation and warehousing, although it also does some work for the office furniture industry. It is a regional transport company with a fleet of 80 semi-tractors that deliver throughout a region that extends to Tennessee to the south and Minnesota to the west.

“We are food safety specialists,” said Amanda VanHaitsma, marketing coordinator at Columbian.

The federal Food Safety Modernization Act, enacted in 2012, is aimed at elimination of both intentional and accidental contamination of food prepared commercially for general distribution. It was originally triggered by bioterrorism laws passed shortly after the 9/11 attacks on America

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