From: Food Quality Magazine, April/May 2008
Salmonella. Escherichia coli. Listeria. These words strike fear in the hearts of in-house counsel and executives in the food industry. Outbreaks of foodborne illnesses—and other incidents involving tainted food—have received a great deal of attention in recent years. In 2007, they reached a new peak: an outbreak of botulism infections caused by canned chili, a recall of more than 21 million pounds of ground beef and hamburger patties due to fears of E. coli contamination, a peanut butter recall...
Predictive food microbiology, a well-established subdiscipline of food microbiology used for nearly 100 years, is reemerging. Its progress and impact on food safety practices and hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) systems will require the cooperation of industry, academia, and regulatory agencies.
Ready-to-eat plants must know their options when fighting this persistent pathogen
The foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes has remained a major concern in all food markets but is especially problematic for ready-to-eat (RTE) products. Its high level of morbidity—nearly 30% in those at greatest risk (pregnant woman, the elderly, young children, and the immunocompromised)—makes it a high priority in RTE plants.
Analyzing plastic additives in food contact applications is becoming increasingly important
Regulated chemicals show up in toys, food, and other places in our daily lives. Many of us start each day reaching for our handy travel mug for that first wonderful sip of caffeine. But do we ever think about which plastics went into that mug? Did the manufacturer who specified the design of the mug delve into the formulation of the plastic? What is the composition of the lid and the body of the cup? These questions may never have been asked. In many food packaging applications, these questions are never...
The right questions can ensure that a contract lab is a good fit
Finding the right outside contract laboratory is one of the most important decisions a food company must make. The laboratory you hire must be able to serve as a strategic partner to help your company navigate the many challenges of supply chain safety in today’s global economy.
Contract labs handle problems your in-house lab can’t
What is this unknown material? What’s causing the off flavor in our product? Can you find the source of this off odor? Does my product contain pesticides or allergens? When such questions arise and unfamiliar problems occur, food and beverage manufacturers may need outside help to find reliable answers. For problems that can’t be solved in house, contract laboratories are often the answer.
How to ensure the integrity of allergen-free supplies
A quick review of product recalls and withdrawals in any given week reveals that allergens, and the need to declare their presence in foods, represent a massive challenge for the global food industry. In one week’s recalls in the United States, for example, inaccurate labeling resulted in the recall of sandwich rolls (undeclared milk), ice cream (undeclared almonds), salmon spread (undeclared egg), and ice bars (undeclared milk). No category of processed and packaged food is invulnerable to the risk...