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From: Food Quality & Safety Magazine, October/November 2006
Standardized food safety and quality management have been well established in the United States and the European Union. Since much of the food industry is highly internationalized, both in general supply chain and in contract manufacturing, there are substantial business needs for internationally standardized safety and quality systems.
In mid 2005, Dr. Barbara Masters, administrator for the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), announced that the agency was changing its official heading regarding bio-terrorism from plant security to food defense.
All this did to the plants that already had a plant security program in place was to have their regulatory essayist tap their delete button and type in “food defense” into their existing programs. For plants that didn’t have a food defense program in place, it should be a neon caveat for them to wake up and acknowledge that there exists, both domestically and internationally, a mushrooming insatiable 21st Century malediction that knows no boundaries: Terrorism.
Avert Bioterrorism by Assessing where you are Vulnerable, what a Terrorist could do to exploit it and what Countermeasures can be Effective
The FDA cites incidents in other countries to highlight the importance of its watchdog role in food security. In 2002, a restaurant owner in China added chemicals to a competitor’s food, killing dozens of people and sending hundreds to the hospital. In another incident in 2002, three people were arrested in Jerusalem for allegedly planning a mass poisoning of patrons at a cafe. In January 2003, several people were arrested in London for plotting to add deadly ricin to the food supply on a British...
Enterprising Business Applications will need to Continue Expanding Functionality to Support Compliance with the Food Allergen Labeling Act
The first article in this two-part series is focused on how enterprise business solutions can help food processors manage industry challenges around the current enacted regulations in the 2004 Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act. This FDA legislation addresses better management and disclosure of food allergens in the manufactured foods we eat every day. In addition to regulations that are in place today, such as requiring disclosure of food allergens on product labels by manufacturers, food...
How DNA Technologies Can Help Establish an Effective Allergen Management System
Food allergy occurs when an individual possesses intolerance to certain types of materials in food, which provokes a hypersensitive reaction of the immune system. It is a major concern to the many people allergic to eggs, peanuts, dairy products, soy, tree nuts (e.g. almonds and cashews), fish, shellfish and wheat, which are commonly referred to by the industry as the Big 8.
Tackling Ongoing Pest Control Management
There is one common goal among all processing plants when it comes to pest control. That is, regardless if the pests are vertebrates, invertebrates, exoskeleton bugs, reptiles or mammals, there is a zero tolerance for pests to pace and soar inside processing facilities, including their direct exposures to the product, product contact surfaces and packaging materials. To successfully battle against pests, prudent food and beverage companies should develop a customized daily pest control management program...
Protect Food Safety by Saying No to Flies, Rodents and Cockroaches
Food safety is always a hot issue in the food-manufacturing world. After all, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) undersecretary reports that 14 people die from foodborne illness every day in the United States. Foodborne illnesses may only be one aspect of food safety, but it’s an important one. That’s why food manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure the security of their products, including employing an effective pest management program. Most people realize that...
A Well-balanced Approach with a Variety of Techniques is the Most Efficient, Cost-Effective and Long-Term Solution to Bird Problems
Food handling facilities are sensitive environments where contaminants and adulterants must be carefully monitored and managed as the potential for causing human foodborne illnesses in large numbers of people is elevated. Birds and the accompanying contaminants and adulterants they bring are causes for great concern in, on, or around food facilities. A number of bird species, including pigeons, sparrows, starlings, seagulls, crows, swallows, and occasionally birds of prey, are often found at food...
Handwashing Compliance Can Lead to Improved Food Safety
Employee handwashing is considered to be among the most effective ways to help control the spread of illnesses in foodservice operations. Although this point is generally accepted as fact, proper handwashing practices are often inadequate for a variety of reasons.
A foodborne disease incident can be devastating for any organization that supplies food to the U.S. market. The cost of a food safety recall is typically millions of dollars and can result in the closing of food processing plants. To minimize this risk, many companies in the supply chain require that their supplier’s implement and maintain HACCP programs.
The events of Sept. 11, 2001, had great impact on the food industry, but not necessarily in the way one would think. One might assume that terror threats drastically altered the processes staffing firms have used for pre-employment screening with an eye toward food safety. However, the reality is quite the contrary. The food industry has long relied on the stringent processes used by top staffing firms to pre-screen food scientists, microbiologists, etc. for research and development and manufacturing...
Statistical Process Control Can Mean Greater Profitability and Manufacturing Efficiency
Statistical Process Control (SPC) was initially developed over 65 years ago by Walter A. Shewhart as a method to improve or achieve quality control in a manufacturing process. In this method, statistical tools like frequency distribution, histograms, scatter diagrams and Pareto charts are used to view and reduce process variation, thereby reducing defects and waste from the production line. Although SPC is a cost-effective and thorough method of determining and predicting significant deviations in a...