Excalibur Seasoning: Part 3 - SQF Level 3, Organic, and Food Safety Certifications
Excalibur Seasoning: Part 3 - SQF Level 3, Organic, and Food Safety Certifications
This is Part 3 of a mini-series about Excalibur Seasoning, featuring John Brewer, the VP of Sales & Marketing. We ask John Brewer about Excalibur’s food certifications, like their SQF Level 3 certification, and organic and kosher certification. More videos are coming out soon, so be sure to subscribe to WaltonsTV YouTube channel and click the green Watch button on the Walton’s Blog section to be the first to know when new videos are released.
Excalibur Seasoning Mini-Series
Many more episodes in our mini-series with John Brewer and Excalibur Seasoning are waiting to be released in the next 2 weeks. There is a ton of great content waiting to be released, and you won’t want to miss a single episode. Plus, we have things like our $100 gift card giveaway going on, plus some other great coupons to be released along with the upcoming videos.
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In this episode we talked with John Brewer, the VP of Sales & Marketing at Excalibur Seasoning, about Excalibur Seasoning’s SQF Level 3 certification, organic, and food safety certifications
What does SQF stand for?
Safe Quality Food
What is SQF certification all about?
An insurance policy for the customer, that the product that comes out of the Excalibur Seasoning facility is a safe food product of the utmost quality and is safe for food consumption. It falls under a GFSI umbrella (Global Food Safety Initiative) which ensure that with their SQF Excalibur products can be sold anywhere in the world and the SQF certification is recognized as a global standard.
What else does it mean to be SQF Level 3 certified?
Documentation! Everything is documented, as far as what goes into a seasoning blend, all inputs are lot coded and documented. From a traceability standpoint, if a customer has a recall, Excalibur can isolate that recall versus having a customer have to recall thousands of pounds of product, or minimize the recall as much as possible, based upon what input went into the product.
What other certifications does Excalibur Seasoning have?
They are Organic certified and Kosher certified. On the organic side, they continue to get more and more requests and they can develop new organic blends, but they also already have an established catalog of organic blends available.
Is there an auditing process to be SQF Level 3 certified?
Yes, and it must be completed by a 3rd party auditor. That auditor comes into the Excalibur Seasoning facility and grades their facility and manufacturing process.
What grade has Excalibur received during their SQF Level 3 certification?
Excalibur has never received below an “A” grade (90% or above) on their certification. And, historically, they’ve been in the high 90’s. So they are a top of the line, grade A, SQF Level 3 facility.
What if you fail an SQF audit?
If you fail an audit, you are no longer certified, and don’t simply step down to the next available grade or level. So for Excalibur to receive a continual A grade at the SQF Level 3 certification means that they are maintaining that high level of documentation and food safety protocols on an on-going basis. Excalibur has never even came close to not meeting their grade and maintaining their SQF Level 3 certification.
Is Excalibur Seasoning focused on quality and safety, or just quickly putting out a low-cost option?
Excalibur Seasoning is highly focused on producing a safe and high quality product. As exemplified by their commitment to maintain an SQF Level 3 certification, they will never be a low-cost provider. Based upon their specifications and SQF certification, and regulatory requirements, they have added a ton of staff and man power to maintain their certification and produce high quality products.
Why would you not want a low-cost provider?
Low-cost providers are typically using the cheapest materials available for inputs into their products, and the cheapest is not always the best. You do get what you pay for, and if you are buying the cheapest thing available, there is probably a reason for it. The cheapest is not always the best.
What kind of value is there in Excalibur Seasoning products?
For what Excalibur Seasoning offers, their certifications, their customer service, and the specifications required in their raw materials, they are a bargain in the industry when comparing their total package and price for what you get when you are buying an Excalibur Seasoning product.
Where can more information about SQF certification be found?
You can visit the SQF website at www.sqfi.com, or contact us here on the Meatgistics site or at waltonsinc.com if you have any further questions about the Excalibur Seasoning products and their food safety certifications.
Just an FYI, everybody that received snack sticks for Christmas last year loved them… I just ordered another batch of Willie’s Snack Stick spice blend to do it again this year!
Jonathon, I have to agree that 275 is too hot… If you have the time I’d shoot for 225, but if it needs to be “done”, then 250 would be the max I would do…
I have always filled the water pan for everything I smoke… 2 reasons, first it does tend to add moisture during the long cook thus keeping the bark from turning to shoe leather… and second because the water pan acts as a heat sink and helps maintain the temperature (in my vertical propane smoker) a bit more accurately… I’ve heard folks tout using apple juice in the water pan to impart a sweeter flavor, but I’ve never tried it…
On the other hand, my dad smoked for years, mostly in a converted fridge with an electric hotplate in the bottom… he never used a water pan and never had an issue with dry meat…
As for the type of wood to use, that’s just a trial and error, personal preference thing… I happen to like steaks cooked with oak… that may be too strong a flavor for your taste (my GF hates it)… Recently I have been using a lot of maple for NC bbq, chicken and even cheese… I like the maple for the meats, but next batch of cheese will go back to the hickory / cherry mix that I was using…
I followed the instructions on the video. It may have something to do with the sausage not getting as firm as it should. I used the cotto salami on duck breast with pork fat. It sure tastes good. But it’s a little soft.
I’ve done a lot both ways. I would highly recommend a stuffer and I have the Weston grinder with the auger stuffing attachment. It’s slow, but if you’re doing 5# or 10# batches, it’s not that bad. I’ve had small 5# stuffer, old school cast iron Enterprise, 11# vertical and now a 35# hydraulic. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t trade the hydraulic but the 11# vertical I got on amazon had a lot of versatility. I think your bigger decision should be what type of stuffer should I buy. I would recommend the taller, smaller diameter instead of the large shorter one. The smaller diameter allow for a higher pressure for doing sticks with cure in them. The large short ones would be great for doing pork sausage or larger diameter casings, not 19-22mm sticks with cure. It would be fine as long as you’re doing fresh like breakfast or something like that. If you go the stuffer route I’d get it from Waltons and get the Weston-they stock parts, other no name from amazon is a one shot deal, once ours broke couldn’t find parts. Plus they have so many tube sizes now and Walton’s does a great job helping with casing and stuffing horn sizes, they carry them all.
I purchased a stuffer off Amazon for under $100 and would never go back to using the grinder. With the grinder, it was always a two man job and took forever. The stuffer is much faster and have no problems doing it all by myself. Plus with a hand crank stuffer, no electricity usage and wear and tear on your grinder.
Thank You Sir: