Almost three years ago, Hostess Brands, Irving, TX, adopted British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standards for certification of food safety company­wide. The Emporia, KS, cake bakery achieved an “A” rating in its latest inspection, its second under these protocols.

“BRC affects the entire bakery, including how we track and document activities,” said Plant Manager Todd Crook.

Ongoing training is a BRC pillar, requiring annual updates for all staff with testing done throughout the year. “Every employee gets training, with leaders getting more,” Mr. Crook said. The company takes a train-the-trainer approach, providing instruction first to supervisors, who then train their teams.

“Also, under BRC, you have to verify that the training is done,” observed Ron Wilson, field director, Hostess Brands.

For more technical bakery-specific education, Hostess Brands sends staff to American Institute of Baking resident courses and seminars. It also offers its own classes in manufacturing, function of ingredients, control of downtime and so forth. Cake classes take place at the Emporia bakery in periodic 2-week sessions.