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From: Food Quality & Safety Magazine, December/January 2005

Features

2004 Food Quality Award

Here's the Beef. Beef Products Inc., the winner of the 2004 Food Quality Award, proclaims that food safety and quality is "good business." The small company has a big heart when it comes to applying its knowledge to make food safer.

The Modern Age of Food Quality and Safety

What was the world of food quality and safety like 10 years ago? It's a question that is pondered as easily as what the next decade will bring. After a series of ups and downs, the values of safety and quality have muscled to the forefront, but there is still work to be done.

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Departments

Picky Robots

Scrupulous Automation Funnels the Scrumptious for Swiss Chocolate Maker.

Swiss chocolate manufacturer, Chocolat Frey, is benefiting from an investment in a high-speed robotic line that copes with 40 different packaging formats every day. The new Sigpack Systems line, which consists of eight Delta Robots, has reduced manual handling at Chocolat Frey’s Buchs factory by placing chocolates into blister packs, which are then loaded into cartons.

Conveyor System Doubles As Quick-Change Artist

Modular conveyor system can help optimize production, enhance quality and increase uptime.

With the profusion of regulations, microprocessor-based equipment, formulation, testing and other issues, the last thing that food packagers need to worry about is good old-fashioned material handling.

Incorporating Safety Into Plant Expansions

Safety and zone control can enhance worker safety and ethic.

Completing a facility expansion in this day and age should involve more than simply ordering new machines and increasing the number of orders placed with suppliers. In today’s manufacturing environment, facility expansion plans also should include a careful evaluation of production methodologies, including a thorough analysis of safety processes and procedures.

Effective Supplier Programs

How well do you know your vendors?

When shopping for big-ticket items such as autos, furniture, household appliances and electronics, any smart consumer will do some research before actually making a purchase. A shopper may spend endless hours seeking just the right items at the best prices because he or she has been “burned” by bad purchases in the past.

The Rungs on the Food Safety/Sanitation Ladder

To be successful, each rung must be tackled.

Climbing the ladder to become above the best in food safety/sanitation requires tackling each rung of the ladder, one at time. There is no elevator to the top. To be successful, each rung must be conquered.

Monitoring Hygiene

Keeping a watchful eye on employee hygiene will bolster food safety and minimize the chance of illness.

From a young age, we have been instructed us to wash our hands before eating or preparing foods, and within the food service industry this rule still holds strong – just with more details and critical importance.

Avoiding Physical Contamination

An active role can minimize or even eliminate accidental and intentional contamination.

If you ask family and friends about strange objects found in food, I’m sure you would hear many horror stories. Recently, I found a metal staple and a one-inch piece of glass in food I ordered at local restaurants. I have also heard reports about two Florida deputies finding shards of glass in their hamburgers.

Color-Coding

A Stop Light For Foodborne illness.

Foodborne illnesses pose a serious threat to the health of diners throughout the country as well as the overall success of a restaurant. Many people think that food safety is as simple as maintaining clean cooking utensils and proper hand washing routines. However, complete prevention of foodborne illnesses requires more than just these basic precautions.

Measuring Quality in Cultured Dairy Products

Test method comparisons can hone cultured dairy product characterizations.

Cultured dairy products such as yogurt, sour cream and the like exhibit several physical properties which give them their unique character. Consumers may subjectively describe these as firmness, creaminess, thickness or even heaviness or lightness. Manufacturers can find subjective, sensory terms like these difficult to measure in the lab, and impossible to use for setting upper and lower quality control limits.

Addressing Pesticide Residue

Fast, efficient and cost-effective analysis will assure the quality of agricultural products.

The European Union, through the newly formed European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), is widely recognized as one of the strictest regulatory agencies in the world governing the production and distribution of consumable agricultural products. Whether its zeal is driven by France’s long standing claim as the birthplace of gastronomy or the fact that many countries with different food traditions share patch-worked borders or by consumer concern for food safety fueled by well- publicized scares over BSE...

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