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From: Food Quality & Safety Magazine, April/May 2005

Features

Labs Find Love, Ahem, Leads Online

Her blue eyes and smile and his rugged good looks are just the incentives he or she might need to click open a profile on an Internet dting stie. Microbiologists, too, find these lures on a Web site that brings labs and life science companies together.

Hands for Hygiene

Hand washing: A simple lapse in this important step can unleash the hounds of hygiene hell, which carry rabid bites along with reverberating barks. But whether it's singing happy birthday twice over the sink, using the latest technology or a host of soaps, gets and gloves, the bark and the bite of dirty hands can be tamed.

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Departments

Eating on the Run

Modular conveyor system, snap-in-place attachments and accessory devices enable food packagers to react quickly to consumer demand for convenience grab-and-go packaging.

The U.S. food service packaging demand will reach $7.6 billion in 2008 based on growth in away-from-home food spending,” according to a study released in 2004 by The Freedonia Group (Cleveland, Ohio). Food manufacturers responding to consumer demand for easy-open containers, portion control and grab-and-go packaging must be able to reconfigure production and packaging lines quickly and cost effectively. Yet, this is an area that has become more sophisticated. Conveyors and accessory fixtures that are...

Cross-Contamination Conundrum

It takes five years to build a quality business and five seconds to destroy it.

In today’s fast-paced world, we often don’t stop to think that the meal we’re eating may be our last. It’s not a pleasant thought and it is easier to dismiss the notion as something that happens to other people in a far-off place. However, each year it is a reality for 5,200 Americans and their families.

The Best Defense is a Good Offense

Infestations of rodents, cockroaches and ants are apt to "bug" American businesses in 2005. Here are some observations about trends for remainder of the year.

Watch out, you’re surrounded! Relentless invaders are on the attack, and the battlefield may be your business. Infestations of rodents, bed bugs and cockroaches are on the rise this year and are more apt to “bug” American businesses in 2005. Following are observations about trends for 2005 from the Steritech Group, Inc. (Charlotte, N.C.), a provider of pest control services.

Make "Green" a Primary Color This Year

With a smarter pest control program, you can be on step closer toward joining the big leagues in making eco-friendly practices pay off.

Since the inception of Earth Day in 1970, the world’s awareness of environmental concerns has skyrocketed. As small, locally owned organic food marts emerge on Main Street U.S.A. and multi-national chains like Whole Foods Market, expand rapidly, we can easily make smarter, eco-friendlier choices when it comes to everyday purchases. But, how can food processors and others in the food and beverage industries make similar choices in their businesses?

Can't Stand the Heat, Get Out the TTIs

The importance of time-temperature controls is increasing in the face of more stringent regulations, new market demands and more consumer awareness. Simple time-temperature indicators (TTIs) may be the best answer.

Storage time and temperature have historically been recognized for their effect on food quality. Perishable food products simply deteriorate more rapidly at higher temperatures. To minimize this loss of quality, it is crucial that food products be protected during storage and throughout the entire distribution path, commonly referred to as the cold chain.

What the Future Holds

Consistency and calibration should be hallmarks of the audit process.

Over the last few decades, public focus on food safety has increased due to better detection and traceback techniques, greater media attention, emerging pathogens and increased liability for food processors and retailers. Serious questions exist around the quality and safety of fresh produce. BSE in cattle has, on several occasions, rocked the beef industry. The risk of a deliberate attack on the food supply is described by the World Health Organization and others as a “real and current...

Meeting the Need for Speed

A food testing lab integrates DuPont’s BAX and LIMS technologies.

Collecting data in a busy lab is always important, and when that lab is testing product for potentially lethal microbes, obtaining accurate data is imperative to public health and commercial success. It is equally important to accurately record, store and report that data.

Filtration Knocks Out Deadly Bacteria in Nursery

The presence of E. sakazakii in powdered infant formula calls for a new technology to wipe out the pathogen without compromising nutrition.

The presence of Enterobacter sakazakii in powdered infant formula has been of serious concern because of recent outbreaks of infectious diseases. The FDA has determined that powdered infant formula has been the source of one-half to two-thirds of the infections caused by this bacterium. One study that sampled 141 cans of various brands of powdered formula concluded that E. sakazakii was present in 14 percent of the samples. In 2002, the FDA recalled 1.5 million cans of powdered infant formula because of...

Separating the In from the Out

Laser particle counter helps food plant managers measure and control airborne contaminants.

More than the people or the equipment, the one element virtually guaranteed to contact food during processing is the air inside the plant. Indoor air can become the vector that delivers contaminants to food and food contact surfaces. HVAC systems are critical control points (CCPs) in ensuring that food production remains safe from pathogens, allergens and other airborne contaminants.

Transparency Needed When Combining HACCP with ISO

The necessity of transparency cannot and is not subject to debate, particularly from the standpoint of producing a safe, wholesome product. From a regulatory standpoint, transparency is of utmost importance.

In 1998, the Final Rule was passed concerning HACCP implementation in the meat and poultry industries in order to ensure the nation’s meat and poultry products were produced in a safe manner and that these products were not produced in conditions that would cause adulteration or contamination.

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