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From: Food Quality & Safety Magazine, February/March 2006


Sweet Success

Chocolate Maker Ups Keeps Production Rolling with Self-Cleaning Filter

In a 24/7-production environment, Gertrude Hawk Chocolates optimizes production and quality by switching to a new self-cleaning filter system that eliminates production stoppage due to filter cleaning and blocking When Gertrude Hawk began making chocolates in the family kitchen almost 70 years ago, she had no idea what it would lead to. Today, Gertrude Hawk Chocolates, based in Dunmore, Pa., is still a family run business but sells assorted chocolate products in markets ranging from retail and wholesale to...

QA Has a New Role in Bioterrorism Act Compliance

More than half of all quality assurance (QA) managers in food manufacturing do not currently interface with their company’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. The Bioterrorism Act, passed in 2002 to ensure the safety of the U.S. food supply from a terrorist attack, is quickly changing the role that food quality professionals play in the selection and utilization of ERP software.

A Perfect Blend, Part 3

Risk Management Considerations if and when HACCP and ISO are Combined

One way to determine both the drawbacks and benefits of combining HACCP and ISO is to formulate risk analysis, which involves management, assessment and communications. These three aspects help to clarify the picture of risks and benefits involved with what is being proposed. In this article, risk management and assessment factors will be examined. In future articles, risk communication of using both ISO and HACCP in the same poultry system will be examined in further detail.

Mickey HACCP

Food Futurist Cultivates A Culture To Grow On

Whistle while you work” may have been the mantra for the Seven Dwarfs, but a lot has changed in motivating a work force since Snow White’s release in 1937.

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Exploring Options in Stored Product Pest Control

Three industry experts provide insight into new developments on the horizon for stored product pest control

Three industry experts provide insight into new developments on the horizon for stored product pest control.

7 Steps to an Effective Pest Managemet Program

A pest infestation can put your product and your business' reputation at risk

In food processing environments, quality pest control is a must. A pest infestation can put your product and your business’ reputation at risk because nobody wants to find something in the product that’s not on the label. But pest management in such environments is also very sensitive. Special precautions must be taken to keep pest control treatments from threatening food safety. To better control pests while respecting a food plant’s sensitive environmental needs, you need to apply the...

Pristine Processing Primer

Putting Bacteria on the Hot Seat: Heat optimized technology, or HOT, can sanitize carbon towers and control bacteria growth and organic fouling.

Faced with an increasing need to maintain carbon and carbon towers in a sanitary condition, the food and beverage industry requires a consistent, reliable sanitization method, and heat optimized technology (HOT) helps address this need. Carbon towers are very efficient in removing chlorine, chloramines and a wide range of organic contaminants.Yet, they are vulnerable to bacterial growth and organic fouling, and therefore require backwashing and periodic sanitization. When fed with surface waters, they also...

What HACCP can Mean to Sanitation

HACCP has been at the forefront, and there are new requirements that are rapidly developing, including the Codex and ISO 9000

HACCP has been at the forefront for some time now, and there are new requirements that are rapidly developing, including the Codex and ISO 9000. These will be the next chapters in food safety requirements. If you are one of those who feel that HACCP means Have a Cup of Coffee and Pray, you obviously have not integrated your food safety program into the area of sanitation.

A Fresh Look at a Dirty Problem

In the race to increase customer satisfaction, growers, processors and retailers are also increasing the risk of spreading foodborne pathogens

It’s Sunday afternoon. A Philadelphia family is enjoying a fruit salad made with bananas from Ecuador, oranges from California, strawberries from Mexico and grapes from Chile. By Wednesday evening, they’re all in the hospital fighting stomach cramps and food poisoning from E. coli. It’s the industry’s worst nightmare, and unfortunately, it’s happening more frequently today than anyone would like, due—ironically—to several industry trends aimed at increasing...

Getting a Handle on Food Safety and Hand Hygiene

Reinforcing the Importance of Product Selection

Your employees’ hands are a critical control point worth your attention. If employees are not washing their hands, it’s possible the food you are manufacturing isn’t safe or will suffer compromised shelf life. Neither are the goals of a quality manufacturer.

Handwashing and Sanitizers

Preventing the spread of germs that can lead to foodborne illnesses and food poisoning

Most people learn early in life from their parents to wash their hands when they are visibly dirty, before eating or after using the restroom. Why? Many parents will tell their children to wash their hands because they are dirty or because they have germs on them. Both are acceptable reasons for washing before eating food or touching food.

Making Fluid Milk Taste Better Longer

One major factor contributing to reduced dairy quality is spoilage of products by bacteria

According to USDA, fluid milk accounted for 18.1percent (17.4 billion lbs.) of edible food lost by retailers, foodservice and consumers in 1995. (See Kantor et al., 1997 for more information). One major factor contributing to dairy product loss and reduced quality is spoilage of products by bacteria. Spoilage presents the dairy industry with a two-pronged problem: Direct economic losses from products removed from the distribution chain and long-term loss of consumers who have had an unpleasant encounter...

Minding Menus

Don’t let Promotions and Limited Time Offers Leave a Bad Taste in the Mouths of Your Customers

Promotions and limited time offers are key components of many restaurant chains’ strategies to grow sales and capture consumer mindshare. They increase brand awareness, drive incremental sales to existing customers, attract new customers and are often built around products that are more profitable than regular menu items. As most restaurant operators know, however, successfully managing promotions and limited time offers can be extremely challenging and involve a significant degree of risk.

Traceability as a Tool

Traceability has become a Virtual Necessity to Reduce Industry, Regulatory and Customer Pressures.

In June 2002, national manufacturer ConAgra Beef Co. voluntarily recalled more than 354,000 pounds of ground beef – 177 tons – that may have been contaminated with the E. coli bacteria. Within 20 days, USDA requested that the company further expand its recall to include 19 million pounds of product. Since ConAgra could not readily trace and identify the stores that bought the meat or the brands under which it was sold, it took days to pull all of the recalled product. Public awareness quickly...

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