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RFA Technical Webcasts


The RFA hosts quarterly Technical Webcasts on timely food safety and regulatory topics affecting
the prepared foods industry. The Webcasts are live, interactive events that you can join from your office!

See below for details on the latest Technical Webcast.

RFA Members can access slide presentations from past Technical Webcasts at anytime in the Member Center.

January 22, 2020 RFA Technical Webcast:


“8D Cause Unknown


REGISTER HERE for this live, interactive Webcast that you can join from your office!

Date and Time:

     * Wednesday, January 22, 2020, from 2:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time 

      (1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Central, 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. Mountain, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Pacific)



Food companies never operate perfectly all the time. Situations and circumstances change, equipment malfunctions, ingredients are inconsistent, and operators make mistakes.

Problems occur, but how do you find the cause and make permanent corrections? Often, when addressing problems, we have a good idea of the cause and therefore corrective action is straightforward. But in some cases, the information needed to define the problem is not clear, expectations for action are high, true causes are not known and therefore there is high risk to the problem-solving team. This is a “cause unknown” problem solving situation.

Not only does FDA require “Corrective actions and corrections” (21 CFR 117.150), but all the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification codes have a “Corrective and Preventive Actions” requirement. Problem solving and corrective action skills are a basic business need.

This educational webcast is offered to introduce an effective method of problem solving which addresses cause unknown problems and creates a path forward for the permanent corrective actions to avoid reoccurrence.

Learn how to systematically troubleshoot an issue with proven methodology to quickly and reliably find the solution. A solution that will increase operational efficiency and identify situations that could be similarly affected.



Mike Vella, The Suter Company Inc, Vice President Operations

Mike joined The Suter Company after thirty years in successive roles in Quality and Operations of TI Automotive, a global supplier of safety critical brake and fuel systems components. Mike was introduced to this method in the early ‘80’s when the domestic Automotive industry was increasing their push for improved quality. During his career with TI Mike facilitated many critical and time sensitive corrective action solutions using this technique and as a result the method became a global operating standard.

With a long career in Quality and Operations roles, Mike was very active in the American Society for Quality Control, now known as the American Society for Quality. As a member he held numerous offices in the Detroit area ASQC chapter and Automotive Division. Mike is a Certified Quality and Reliability Engineer and has attained the level of Fellow of the organization. As a senior member of the Quality and Operations team at TI Automotive, Mike traveled domestically and internationally, training teams in the company’s plants in quality and productivity improvement methods.

Mike will share the fundamentals of the process employed at The Suter Company to address problems and find sustainable answers.


How does the webcast work?

It's easy and convenient!  A virtual seminar is one that you can "attend" and participate in right from your offices. There is no travel time, and now provided at NO COST to RFA members!

The RFA Technical Webcast will include live audio along with a slide presentation on the Web. You just need a phone connection for the audio and an Internet connection.  

In addition, the webcast will allow you to comment and ask questions at specified times during the event using your phone.

You can invite staff members to listen and participate too!  To get the most out of a webcast, it is recommended that you have no more than five people at any one computer connection. If you have multiple locations, please register each location separately.


The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and the Research Chefs Association (RCA) have confirmed that continuing education credits are available for numerous RFA technical functions. Depending on the specific educational criteria of these two organizations, credits will be accepted for attendance at 1) RFA Webinars, 2) the RFA Fall Symposium and 3) the RFA Annual Conference.

Contact the RFA office for more information or for proof of participation.


Registration Information:

The cost for this event is as follows:

  • RFA Members: NO CHARGE - Now Included as a Member Benefit!

  • Non-Members: $310 per computer/audio connection

To attend the meeting, you can either:

  • Download and complete a Registration form and send it in to the RFA office by fax or mail with your payment (if applicable). Checks must be made payable to the Refrigerated Foods Association. Forms should be received no later than January 20, 2020.

Once you have registered for the meeting, you will receive an email message inviting you to attend the web conference with instructions on how to attend. This message will provide the information that you need to join the meeting.

Please note: You must have JAVA enabled on your computer to participate in the web conference.

If you have questions about the RFA Technical Webcasts, please e-mail the RFA office at [email protected].