From: Food Quality Magazine, Aug/Sept 2011
What can we learn from the deadly O104:H4 outbreak?
With at least 40 dead and thousands sickened in more than a dozen nations, food investigation methods are once again under close scrutiny
Less-than-complete employee understanding adds up to potentially serious food safety issues
Employee training has always posed challenges for food companies. Consider language, for example. English may be a second language for many employees, which raises the issue of worker comprehension. Do employees really understand the concepts and procedures being taught, particularly the importance of product safety?
Speedy genomic sequencing advances pathogen tracking
Of all foodborne pathogens, Salmonella is one of the most difficult to isolate because of its homogeneity. Strains like Salmonella enteritidis and Salmonella Montevideo are, genetically speaking, almost indistinguishable from one another using conventional tools of forensic microbiology.
Clean-in-place adds up to better equipment life and efficient use of water, cleaning chemicals, energy, time, and labor
Clean-in-place and sterilize-in-place (CIP/SIP) systems are essential to safe, efficient food production. Between different product runs and on a regular basis, product handling, processing, conveying, and packaging equipment components undergo crucial washdowns to eliminate contaminants. And regularly well-cleaned equipment also tends to enjoy extended operation life, providing an important cost benefit to food and beverage companies.
Public comments begin to refine FDA guidance materials
In less than 12 months from now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will begin requiring regulated food companies to demonstrate that they have adopted and implemented written food safety plans, with defined preventive controls designed to reduce or prevent food safety hazards.