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Columns: What's Right Redux

At the risk of seeming like a food industry Pollyanna, I wanted to publish an article that considers all the good things our industry does to produce safe, quality food, and that is just what we feature in this issue’s cover article.

Columns: Let's Work Together

A retired food quality and safety industry veteran wrote to me after reading my February/March column, “QA/QC Finally Gets Some Respect.” His food industry experience was impressive. But what really struck me was his outlook and foresight. He wrote that in his experience, wake-up calls in the food safety field never seem to last. He cited many food safety examples gone wrong and expressed the opinion that food safety is not an arena for politics, because bugs don’t care which party is in...

Departments: A Sweet Recipe for Safety

Ellison Bakery, a family-owned and operated manufacturer of cookies and cookie-based crunch and inclusion products in Fort Wayne, Ind., has found a sweet recipe for success. Despite today’s challenging economic environment, Ellison Bakery is thriving. Sales grew 39% in 2008 and are already up 24% this year. The company attributes its success to its focus on superior customer care and its dedication to producing premium quality product. To ensure the highest level of food safety, the bakery relies on...

Features: Safe Trace

For the past 100 years, the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have put most of their money into visual inspection capabilities. Many of the people conducting these visual inspections are called marketing specialists, a term that implies a focus on making sure things look good rather than making sure they are good.

Departments: The Evolution of HACCP

As it approaches its 50th anniversary, hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) has repeatedly shown itself to be the most effective system to ensure food safety. The principles can be applied in a variety of venues, from agricultural production to food service, from multinational corporations to small processors in developing countries. It is a systematic approach to building safety.

Features: The Great Melamine Scare

The recent crisis involving Chinese milk adulterated with melamine once again brings food safety into the public spotlight. The problem has quickly become an international one, with melamine detected in U.S.-produced baby formula, as well as in chocolates distributed in Canada, biscuits marketed in the Netherlands, condensed milk manufactured in Thailand, and eggs sold in Hong Kong. Chinese dairy exports have declined more than 90% since the contamination became public.

Departments: Put Your Product to the Test

Food safety concerns have risen dramatically in recent years because of the severe consequences of foodborne illnesses. In order to assure product quality, optimize the efficiency and throughput of continuous processes, and comply with governmental regulations, the food industry must perform rigorous, real-time product safety testing on a regular basis.

Features: The Long, Hard Road to Beef Safety

The beef industry has long been in a race to keep up with its nemesis, Escherichia coli O157:H7. In 2007, it seemed as if the bacterium was winning. Compared with recent years, 2007 saw a colossal jump in the number of recalls due to beef products tainted with E. coli O157:H7.

Departments: Sample Prep Standards Ensure Safety

Consumers have never been more aware of food safety issues. A quick Google News search for “food safety” turns up headlines from around the world. In addition to the usual suspects such as botulism, E. coli, and Salmonella, consumers worry about pesticides and other chemical contaminants in their foods. Another fear is food bioterrorism. Just the mere suspicion of a contaminated product has far-reaching consequences for a food supplier. Because testing food samples (whether it is to look for...

Features: Protect the Food Supply Chain

The past year has not been a good one for food safety. There have been a number of high profile recalls traced to imported tainted ingredients and contaminated seafood, domestically produced fresh vegetables, and ground beef contaminated with E. coli O517:H7. Imported consumer items, such as toys and toothpaste, have also been recalled. Many of the food recalls have been linked to safety and quality problems in the supply chain, and media attention has focused mostly on the international supply.

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April/May 2014

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