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News: The Cantaloupe Crisis: What’s Next?

In September, when Steve Patricio learned of the Listeria outbreak traced to cantaloupes from a farm in Colorado—an outbreak that killed 29 people as of Nov. 9, sickened dozens, and caused one miscarriage—his mind immediately raced back two decades to a similar outbreak.

Departments: Move Over, Salmonella

You’re not likely to see a picture of Campylobacter in a post office lobby, but as of July 2011, the FSIS has introduced a new performance standard to reduce the prevalence of Campylobacter, similar to the one used for Salmonella for years.

Departments: Keep Refrigeration Units Clean

The recent Listeria outbreak has brought to life a new set of questions for the retail food industry. One question involves the sanitation of refrigeration units. Commercial refrigeration/freezer units are the heart of every retail food business. Keeping these units cleaned and working properly ensures not only the safety but also the quality of each product.

Departments: Capitalize on Pest Technology

Technology is constantly changing the way we live our lives and conduct business. In the past, technological inventions like canned goods, pasteurization, and freeze drying allowed for widespread distribution of goods and long-lasting food preservation. These innovations in food processing supported a newly developing culture of convenience.

Departments: All Hands on Deck

An observational study conducted by the CDC that 8.6 hand washes by restaurant staff per employee hour were required to comply with the FDA’s Model Food Code.1 Consensus among both operators and regulators is that that is never going to happen. However, the study’s results beg the question: If 8.6 is the ideal safe level, what is the risk when hand washing frequency is, on average, 0.5 times per employee hour? Based on foodborne illness data and the increasing frequency of shuttered...

Departments: Fine Tune Your Compliance

HACCP systems have been required in a number of food manufacturing categories for many years and continue to expand as the standard model for all categories in the food industry and supply chain. Validation, an important component of HACCP Principle 6 verification, is not a new concept to the food industry. However, the subject of validation is not always well understood by those individuals who perform food safety and quality audits to determine compliance with current regulatory and industry standards.

Departments: The Lab Revolution

Now, more than ever, food manufacturers are looking to lab science for safe and speedy answers, especially when it comes to allergens. Food allergies are a public health liability that affects both business and the consumer. More than 12 million Americans have food allergies, and many more are underdiagnosed or ignored.

Features: Manage the Extreme Cold Chain

Increased globalization and remote sourcing in the food industry have brought options and convenience closer to home for many consumers. Yet the boost in imports and exports of commodities has created new challenges for suppliers, shippers, and retailers. With the perishables industry constantly expanding, physical distances and shipping conditions are critical considerations in the supply chain.

Departments: The Highest Calling

Over the past 100 years, the ways in which our food is produced, distributed, and regulated have changed dramatically. We have witnessed the maturation of our nation and the industry that keeps it fed. And, today, the concept of food safety is at the forefront of our national discourse. To ensure success in the future, we must be committed to learning from each of the significant—and lasting—lessons learned from our past.

News: Hold It There

Under FSMA, the FDA has increased authority to use administrative detention as an enforcement tool. For this reason, companies that manufacture, prepare, pack, or hold food should maintain strong record-keeping practices.

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October/November 2014

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