Posts

butchery students Weddel Swift 1 MB

Future butchers gain industry insight

butchery students Weddel Swift 1 MB

A fantastic study trip for our professional butchery students, visiting the meat wholesale company Weddel Swift.

Based in Chester, the company pulled out all the stops for the visit, with two of their managers and one of the directors taking the time to share their industry knowledge and experience with our future butchers.

Students were taken round the depot in groups to help illustrate to them the different aspects of meat distribution processes. The students and Weddel staff got a real buzz from the visit and a free lunch thrown in – what a brilliant day!

For more information on our Level 2 Professional Butchery course visit the college website.

Douglas Ewen

Butcher Lecturer

 

Rosie Swain

Day in the life of an FdSc Food manufacturing with Business management student

FdSc Food Manufacturing with Business management student Rosie Swain shares a little insight into her student life at Reaseheath.


Rosie Swain – a little background information…Rosie Swain

Rosie commented on her time at Reaseheath so far: “The Reaseheath experience is definitely one of the best and facilities are fantastic. Class sizes are small – so you have plenty of support and tutors know who you are and are extremely interested in what they teach.”

Here’s a typical Tuesday for Rosie at Reaseheath: 

7am: Alarm goes off, get dressed. I then go and have breakfast either at the canteen or in the kitchen in my halls. I also have my horse on campus, so I have to go and feed him and change his rugs.

9am: The day at Reaseheath starts with individual tutorials with my Course Manager Lucy Catley, which can be very useful addressing any issues and talking about my progress

10am: First lecture – Food Safety with Lucy Catley – this module focuses on food poisoning, characteristics of common food poisoning pathogens, contamination causes, food safety legislation, cleaning and disinfection procedures, control of pests, importance of personal hygiene and the role of HACCP (Hazard Anaysis and Critical Control Point) based food safety management systems.

12:45pm: Lunchtime – I’ll go to the canteen, the HE Centre or have lunch back in my halls.

1:15pm: Second lecture of the day, it’s time to go to the labs for food science and composition again with our Course Manager Lucy Catley. This module focuses on: principles of chemistry, principles of microbiology, laboratory equipment use, investigative report writing and and an introductio intro to micro and macro nutrients.

4:30pm: Lectures are finished for the day – so it’s time to go back to my halls of residence to get changed. Then I’m off to muck out and ride my horse, Beano.

6pm: Meet friends and go for dinner in canteen.

9pm: Go to the college bar with friends before going into Nantwich for student night!

Laura Broome Alra secondment

My secondment at Arla Foods, Leeds

Laura Broome Alra secondment

On the 7th July 2014 I started my 7 week journey working at one of the world’s leading dairy facilities. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to work at Arla to gain industry experience in all the different aspects of the organisation.

Before I started my secondment,  someone said this statement to me, “be a sponge Laura, just soak up all the information’” – and I can honestly say that is truly what I did.

My first week consisted of an induction programme covering all of these areas listed below:

Milk Intake

Milk Process and Production

Cream Process and Production

Cottage Cheese

Despatch

Quality and Laboratory

Supply Chain

Lean

Environment, Health and Safety

Engineering

The remaining 6 weeks of my secondment was split by spending 2 weeks working in milk process, 2 weeks in cream process and 2 weeks in the cottage cheese. At these times I worked closely with the technicians based in each of the areas. I gained an insight to the day-to-day processes from start to finish, establishing how products are made to meet customer needs. At times I operated the machines via the control rooms and other times I was out in the factory doing manual work e.g. mixing in powders to make flavoured milk or testing the cottage cheese pH levels.  I learnt about new technologies which included systems like Tetra Plantmaster, Master Production and Alfast. I also became familiar with SAP (systems, applications and products).

As well as working in the dairy I also had the opportunity to see other aspects of the food supply chain. I went to collect raw milk from farms for an afternoon, which was very interesting for me to see where the process of production starts. Also, I saw the other side of the process by delivering milk to supermarkets from 4am in the morning! This was very worthwhile for me.

alraArla supply all main stream supermarkets such as Asda, Tesco, and Morrisons. To be given to opportunity to work for a company making products seen on supermarkets shelves was very rewarding for me.

I have to be very thankful to Reaseheath and to Arla for making my secondment an amazing experience and one I will not forget.

Laura Broome

nantwich Eden cheese 141mb

Eden students’ cheese triumphs at Nantwich Show 2014

 

nantwich Eden cheese 141mb

Fantastic results for our second year Dairy Technology (Eden) students at the International Cheese Awards held at Nantwich Show 2014. Our students produced two award winning cheeses:

Speciality Cheese Maker Category – SILVER for the ‘Derby’

Food Technologists Andrea Winkler, Jane Gilman and Penny Masters with our award winning cheeses

Food Technologists Andrea Winkler, Jane Gilman and Penny Masters with our award winning cheeses

Novice Cheese Maker Category – BRONZE for the ‘Coloured Cheshire’

This was a great accolade for our students, as this show is truly the best of the best, with 4,400 cheeses entered from 23 countries! Staff from our Food Centre stewarded for the judges.

 

Karen Betts

A day in the life of… Karen Betts

 

Karen BettsReaseheath student Karen Betts chatted to staff at Reaseheath Food Centre and gave us an insight into a ‘typical day’ as Retail Technical Manager for Greggs PLC.

Here’s what she had to say:

 To give you a little background, as the a Retail Technical Manager for Greggs PLC, I currently manage four Food Safety Managers, with the primary purpose of my role being to coordinate the Food Safety Team and systems management within over 800 shops. I look after the North & Pennine Regions covering all of Scotland, Cumbria, the North East down to the Hull and North West including North Wales. As well as our own delicious cakes, we also make sandwiches fresh in store every day –  over 30 million across Greggs stores per year! We also provide freshly baked savouries, as well as preparing other hot snacks and drinks.

Now on to the day…

7:00am – Mobile phone alarm wakes me, I automatically grab my phone from under my pillow and press the off button. I contemplate going back to sleep.

7.30am – Kids all ready to go, packed lunches, P.E. kits, diary signed, kiss on the cheek, out of the door they go. Quick piece of toast with chocolate spread.   Hot shower and teeth, fresh start to the day. Glad I ironed my suit the previous day.

7:45am – Check emails at home to see what has come in overnight, customer complaint, power cut, break in, never a dull moment! After checking in and seeing that there’s nothing crazy going on, I then leave to visit a new shop opening, checking the shop has a calibrated probe, essential food safety and hygiene log books, the correct contract and documentation for pest control, that the shop has been registered to the local authority as a food business and standard procedures are being operated to the standard required.

9.00am – Arrive at the bakery to go through my emails and catch up on daily correspondence – understanding what people need and getting back to them with a resolution for their issues. I spend about an hour scanning e-mails asking and providing deliverables.

10.00am – I contact the four Food Safety Managers by telephone to check what they are doing, asking questions regarding budgets, customer complaints and environmental visits.  Communication with the team is an essential element of a Technical Manager’s role. The team needs to feel they are being looked after.

11.30am –The phone calls are continuous through the day and the questions keep arriving…

The Environmental Health Officer from the local council has been into my shop; what do I do with the report?

The electricity has gone off in my shop; should I close?

Can I bring my own hand cream into the shop as my hands are starting to hurt?

I have sent a member of staff home as they have reported sickness, when can they come back?

Where do we get blue plasters from?

12.15pm – Time for lunch, we are encouraged not to eat at our desks so it’s off to the staff canteen.  I try to sit on my own and read a good book, whilst I eat. Slightly unsociable.

12:45pm – All shops need to have all products microbiologically tested, this is a bit of the job I really enjoy.  Bacteria will naturally be present in foods. Looking for different types of bacteria and then assessing the levels is a process used to ensure that hygiene standards and quality criteria are being met.  The presence of specific types of bacteria can indicate differences in handling and storage conditions in an establishment, so a little bit of detective work is sometimes needed.

1.30pm – I am now putting together a power point ready for a presentation for the Senior Team for one of my Regions, explaining the recent changes in roles and what level of service my team can now provide.

2:30pm – Phone conference to discuss Greggs & charity donations.

3.30pm – Phone call from an Environmental Health Officer asking about details regarding the contact time for our sanitiser on a prep bench surface.  Discussed our procedures and explained how these link to our HACCP system.  The EHO is more than happy with the explanation.

4:00pm – Check through all KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for my shops, review the figures and compare with previous years.  Actually quite like figures and graphs!

5.30pm – I leave the office, look at my phone which says the word “bread”, which is my prompt to bring some bread home, hubby is not one for texting!

6pm – It’s been a long but successful day – plus tomorrow, I have a busy schedule packed with interviews, meetings, presentations and maybe some time to study for my advanced HACCP qualification. Love my job!

Karen Betts

Karen completed her Certificate in Higher Education Food Industry with Management at Reaseheath and we look forward to welcoming her back to the food department in when she will begin her FdSc  in Food Manufacturing with Business Management.

Karen Betts

Chris Budd alumni issue 1

Where are our students now? – Chris Budd

Each month we’ll look at past students and give you some information about what they’re doing in the food industry.

This month starts with Chris Budd. Chris was with us for six years – he studied his Level 3 National Diploma here, and then went on to study his Foundation Degree and graduated with a 2:1 in his BSc (Hons) Food Technology. Chris made the most of his time in College, and took a year’s paid work placement in industry to gain further experience.

Here’s his experience:

Where-are-our-students-now-Chris-Budd“I studied at Reaseheath College for 6 years in total, beginning with a National Diploma in Food Manufacturing and Nutrition, and leaving with a BSc Hons Food Industry with Management.

During my time at Reaseheath, I gained valuable experience working in creameries, working with retail and own label products, including frozen and ambient.

I also gained additional qualifications such as Level 3 Food Safety and Level Auditing and Inspection Skills, which have helped my C.V. standout when I was looking for employment.

Reaseheath College, in conjunction with Harper Adams University College, are well recognised within the food industry and are known to deliver high quality courses as well as graduates that are prepared for employment.

When I left Reaseheath, I was actively seeking employment, and it didn’t take too long before I was offered interviews.

I successfully landed a job within the Samworth Brothers Group in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, as a Process Development Technologist at Kettleby Foods.

In my role, I support all departments in the concept, trialling and launching of high quality ready-meal’s for retail.

Working in the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) arena has its challenges, and my role offers great variation, from attending customer panels, to managing factory trials, to visiting suppliers.

I believe that I had the best preparation I could have from Reaseheath, and I am confident that the skills and knowledge gained has set me up for a long and prosperous career in the food industry.”

Chris will shortly be moving to a new job with greater responsibilities, working as a New Product Development manager for the Covent Garden Soup Company.