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From: Food Quality & Safety Magazine, December/January 2008
Many fear contracting the H5N1 virus from eating tainted poultry, but a few simple steps offer protection
The year 2007 marks 10 years since the H5N1 avian influenza virus (often called bird flu) was first reported, and it is getting more difficult to contain with every passing year. The virus has killed 202 people, and more than 50 million chickens infected with the virus or suspected of being infected have been killed or culled in more than 50 countries.
The global supply chain makes an already byzantine food safety and quality system more challenging
The past year has not been a good one for food safety. There have been a number of high profile recalls traced to imported tainted ingredients and contaminated seafood, domestically produced fresh vegetables, and ground beef contaminated with E. coli O517:H7. Imported consumer items, such as toys and toothpaste, have also been recalled. Many of the food recalls have been linked to safety and quality problems in the supply chain, and media attention has focused mostly on the international supply.
The Food Chemicals Codex strengthens public safety networks to protect consumers from dangerous foods
The Food Chemicals Codex (FCC) is a compendium of monographs for food ingredients from the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP). U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations specify that food and color additives must receive pre-market approval and that other food ingredients must be generally recognized as safe (GRAS). For clarity, we use the term food ingredients for both food and color additives and GRAS materials. FCC began in 1961 following passage of the 1958 Food Additive Amendments...
Infrared temperature measurement lets tortilla chip maker run a more efficient operation
It is no surprise that flour and corn food products, including tortilla chips, are so popular with consumers: They’re fresh and flavorful when served at your favorite restaurant or purchased from your local market. The high quality of today’s tortilla products is made possible by modern production machinery and processing techniques. New equipment enables manufacturers to improve the taste, appearance, and consistency of corn and flour tortillas, tortilla chips, flat breads, pizzas, and other...
Shelf-life and challenge studies play a key role in validating quality and safety
Over the years, science and technology have led to a much better understanding of the underlying principles that make certain preservation techniques work. Some of the more common preservation techniques—heating, chilling, drying, salting, acidification, oxygen removal, and fermenting—have been in use for a long time.
As consumers’ food safety fears grow, integrated, automated modes of sample testing could help
Consumers have never been more aware of food safety issues. A quick Google News search for “food safety” turns up headlines from around the world. In addition to the usual suspects such as botulism, E. coli, and Salmonella, consumers worry about pesticides and other chemical contaminants in their foods. Another fear is food bioterrorism. Just the mere suspicion of a contaminated product has far-reaching consequences for a food supplier. Because testing food samples (whether it is to look for...