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From: Food Quality & Safety Magazine, October/November 2007

Features

Lock Out Food Supply Threats

Whether by intention or sheer negligence, compromises on food product safety can cost dearly. Well-planned and executed systems, aided by appropriate technology and contingency planning, can help companies prepare for the worst

For several weeks in September and October 1984, residents in the town of The Dalles, Ore., went about their business: they went to work, attended school, cleaned up their backyards, and followed the upcoming county elections. When it was time for dinner, many of them went to one of nearly a dozen local restaurants or purchased food from an in-town supermarket.

Break the Chain of Outbreaks

Keep the virus in the restrooms and away from ready-to-eat foods

Public restrooms and home bathrooms are the dominant sources of virus, and the primary transmission route is fecal-hand-oral. Today’s restaurateurs risk their livelihoods with anything less than an all-out aggressive attack. The port-of-entry to restaurants for norovirus and hepatitis A is split between the back door and the front door. The battleground covers nearly the whole footprint of the food service establishment. Interventions are needed at key viral intersections, with special attention...

Supply Chain Safety

To reduce the incidence of foodborne disease, food safety professionals must focus on all parts of the food chain—from farm to fork

An estimated 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths are attributable to foodborne illness in the United States each year. Ensuring safe food remains an important public health priority for our nation. A critical link in the farm-to-fork food chain is the food service industry. It is a diverse industry encompassing hospitals, schools, retail stores, and restaurants that range from fast food to full service and from family run to multinational chain.

Ensure Food Safety Through Pre-employment Screening

Avoid having your employees become a liability in the workplace

Ensuring safe food is an important public health priority for our nation. For years, regulatory and industry food safety programs have focused on reducing the incidence of foodborne illness. Despite these efforts, however, the 1996 report, “Reinventing Food Regulations: National Performance Review,” concluded that foodborne illness caused by harmful bacteria and other pathogenic microorganisms in meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products, and a host of other foods is a significant public health...

Safety at Your Fingertips

By making training more interactive and inclusive, you can ensure your company and workers avoid unsafe food handling practices

The food service industry has been hit hard by foodborne illness outbreaks such as E. coli in spinach and hygiene mishaps that threaten customers’ health and company reputations. The solution to many of these food-handling problems is at employees’ fingertips.

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Departments

DIY Staph Testing

Monitor for Staphylococcus aureus so managing the results can be easily accomplished in house

In-house testing for microorganisms such as Escherichia coli is routine for most food manufacturers. An increasing number of companies, however, are also performing in-house testing for Staphylococcus aureus. In fact, 62% of the 1,400 manufacturers surveyed in 2000 were already doing their own evaluations.

Sort out the Best Methods for Foreign Object Detection

Today, food manufacturers have a wide range of technologies available for foreign matter detection, but the bottom line is the type of matter expected

Foreign matter contamination is the main source of recalls and rejections and may lead to injury to customers, loss of brand loyalty, and large recall expenses. These undesirable additions differ from food groups and, depending on the type of food product, can be anything from stem stalks to bone fragments.

What's Your Line?

The role of plant management in food safety systems has constantly evolved, transferring greater responsibility from government agencies and inspectors to management

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s (USDC) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides a key service to the seafood industry in the form of the voluntary Seafood Inspection Program, which offers a variety of professional inspection services that assure compliance with all applicable food regulations. In addition, product quality evaluation, grading, and certification services on a product-lot basis are also provided. Benefits include the ability to apply the U.S. Grade A, Processed...

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