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From: Food Quality & Safety Magazine, February/March 2009

Features

The Great Melamine Scare

The scandal draws attention to standards and leads to development of new tests

The recent crisis involving Chinese milk adulterated with melamine once again brings food safety into the public spotlight. The problem has quickly become an international one, with melamine detected in U.S.-produced baby formula, as well as in chocolates distributed in Canada, biscuits marketed in the Netherlands, condensed milk manufactured in Thailand, and eggs sold in Hong Kong. Chinese dairy exports have declined more than 90% since the contamination became public.

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Departments

Inspection Equipment Can Pay for Itself

Justifying an inspection investment can be tough; here’s a guide to how it can save money and provide peace of mind

There’s no question—we are in a recession. Budgets are tight, and every dollar spent faces more scrutiny than ever. But this is no time to sacrifice product quality or take chances when it comes to product inspection. Consumers are reigning in spending, so any question about a product’s safety or integrity may prompt shoppers to switch to another brand.

Dioxin Detection Offers Protection

High-tech testing methods can ensure your meat supply is safe

In recent years, several high-profile contamination crises have raised concerns over dioxin levels in a variety of food products. In December 2008, the Irish government recalled all pork products made in the Republic of Ireland after the discovery of dioxins in slaughtered pigs. Tests on some of the Irish pork products showed dioxin levels up to 200 times the recognized safety limit. This was followed by the Chinese government’s December 9th announcement banning all imports of pork from Ireland after...

A Traceability Reality Check

Contrary to popular belief, traceability is profitable

The food safety industry has long viewed traceability as a strategy that enhances business and pays for itself in the process. While these are worthwhile objectives, rarely has traceability been linked to profitability.

Be Safe, Use a Trace

Avoid global food processing slipups with electronic tracking and logistics experts

Today’s global food processing industry is estimated to surpass $2 trillion in annual sales, some one-quarter of which directly involves international import or export sourcing. Poorly constructed logistic processes for foodstuff shipments, however, can expose food processors to a host of problems, including spoilage, failed regulatory inspections, and litigation over foodborne illnesses.

Food Safety is all in the Details

The first step in setting up a safety system is to keep meticulous data

We all recognize the importance of maintaining safety and quality throughout the food chain. Unfortunately, many of us do not fully understand that the key to such maintenance is meticulous documentation and recording of procedures and processes in the production, processing, distribution, and retailing of food products. Keeping track of pertinent data helps companies minimize recalls, better manage risk, and more quickly respond to problems.

Food Safety Goes Global

Industry is uniting behind a new international standard

Risks arising from an improperly designed, implemented, and maintained food safety system can have financially crippling effects, from brand damage, decreased consumer confidence, product recalls, illness, death, and legal ramifications. And, with globalization and an increase in supplies from emerging countries, the likelihood of these risks grows and the processes to manage them effectively become more complex. An additional element in this struggle is the varying acceptance of food safety standards and...

The Evolution of HACCP

A perspective on today’s most effective food safety system

As it approaches its 50th anniversary, hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) has repeatedly shown itself to be the most effective system to ensure food safety. The principles can be applied in a variety of venues, from agricultural production to food service, from multinational corporations to small processors in developing countries. It is a systematic approach to building safety.

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