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Departments: Many Auditors, One Standard
In a perfect world, every food plant would have just one auditor and a single set of audit standards to follow, right? Imagine it—audit preparation would be like studying for the same test over and over. The questions would never change, and your score would get a little better every time. Of course, in the real world, it’s not that simple, for a lot of good reasons. But having multiple auditors with slightly, or sometimes significantly, different requirements can be confusing and can make it...
Departments: Give UVC a Tumble to Eliminate Bacteria
Keeping coliform bacteria counts below required thresholds is a challenge for food processors everywhere, and Washington Potato Co. (Warden, Wash.) understands. “Though we were generally successful in controlling coliform bacteria levels on our products, the time and costs required to achieve control were excessive,” said Nicholas D. Ross, quality assurance and technical services director for the potato processing company.
Departments: Nonstop Sanitation
Application of a sanitizing solution registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conveying equipment during production can help reduce the incidence of undesirable microorganism contamination on critical meat, poultry, fruit, and vegetable conveyor surfaces. Such sanitizers, approved for incidental food contact, can provide critical intervention. Benefits of a continuous antimicrobial belt treatment include protecting your brand and investment in product, reducing and controlling...
Departments: A Cool Way to Clean
Keeping food processing surfaces clean is a production manager’s main concern. Removing leftover food, grease, grime, and other residue from production equipment is critical for preventing bacteria growth and ensuring safe, high quality food products. As sanitation regulations become more stringent, labor costs increase, and the industry becomes more environmentally conscious, food companies are looking for new cleaning processes and solutions.
Departments: The Case for Ozone
In 2000, the Electric Power Research Institute published “Food Industry 2000: Food Processing Opportunities, Challenges, New Technology Applications.” The report contains the following statement: “Ozone destroys bacteria, mold, mildew, spores, yeast and fungus. It inactivates viruses and cysts. Chlorine is not very effective against viruses and has limited effect on some types of bacteria … ozone reacts much faster than chlorine.”
Departments: Pathogen Can't Hide From Biocides
Over the past 10 to 15 years, industry and the government have sought intervention strategies to reduce general microbial numbers and, specifically, to reduce or try to eliminate all produce pathogens. The most notable recent produce pathogen outbreak, which involved bagged baby spinach from California, was caused by E. coli 0157:H7. This occurrence resulted in a multistate outbreak, leading the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to draft the “Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards of...
Departments: What Are Your Hot Spots?
As a result of recent food recalls, the government and the American public are paying more attention to food safety. Consumers can even receive e-mail notifications of recall updates through a service offered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Departments: Create a “Closed Loop” to Ensure Quality
It was time for the plant’s yearly audit. The auditor was inspecting the plant along with the sanitation manager. After they were done with the walk-though, they went to the sanitation manager’s office to review the records.
Departments: Mini Menaces
It only takes an area the size of a person’s thumb to produce thousands and thousands of fruit flies. One adult female fruit fly can lay 15 to 20 eggs in a batch and as many as 500 batches in her two-week life cycle. A few fruit flies can quickly multiply into an infestation.
Departments: Planning Makes Perfect
In the last issue we talked about the types of food technology, contact surfaces, cleaning chemistry and procedures. This issue we address time, schedules and basic sanitation equipment. When planning your cleaning and sanitation routine, start by quantifying time available for this process, then schedule the work and determine the manpower you’ll require. I recommend using the five-step process below to achieve the most efficient and effective results. Map out the five-step procedure for each piece...