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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.
Departments: Clean Up Your Act
With news of foodborne outbreaks surfacing practically every week, frantic searches for the culprits often boil down to one issue: cleanliness.
Departments: Chlorine Clean
Food processing has existed for centuries, but in the 19th and 20th centuries, largely due to military supply demands, more modern food processing technologies were developed. As food processing needs have grown, so have problems with food contamination and foodborne illness.
Departments: Multiply Your Meat and Poultry Attack
Intervention strategies have been on a rapid development track during the past decade, with a number of companies not only adopting the strategies in their processing plants but, in many cases, making them integral components of their hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) plans.
Departments: Get a Feel for Texture
The most important physical properties of food quality are probably those related to consumer perception. Freshness of bread is commonly evaluated by lightly squeezing the loaf on the shelf. Its density is evaluated by feeling its weight, from which a consumer may imply something about chewiness.
Departments: Get a Handle on Allergens
More than 160 foods can cause allergic reactions, and it is estimated that 5 million to 12 million Americans suffer from food allergies. This corresponds to 4% to 8% of children and 1% to 3% of adults. An allergic reaction to food occurs when a person’s immune system attacks a food substance, usually a protein. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that 30,000 emergency room visits, 2,000 hospitalizations, and 150 deaths occur from food-related anaphylaxis annually.1 At present there...
Departments: The 100% Solution to Worker Testing
Employee training has always posed challenges for food companies. Consider language, for example. English may be a second language for many employees, which raises the issue of worker comprehension. Do employees really understand the concepts and procedures being taught, particularly the importance of product safety?
Departments: On the Trail of Salmonella
Of all foodborne pathogens, Salmonella is one of the most difficult to isolate because of its homogeneity. Strains like Salmonella enteritidis and Salmonella Montevideo are, genetically speaking, almost indistinguishable from one another using conventional tools of forensic microbiology.
Departments: CIP Spells Savings
Clean-in-place and sterilize-in-place (CIP/SIP) systems are essential to safe, efficient food production. Between different product runs and on a regular basis, product handling, processing, conveying, and packaging equipment components undergo crucial washdowns to eliminate contaminants. And regularly well-cleaned equipment also tends to enjoy extended operation life, providing an important cost benefit to food and beverage companies.
Departments: Put Your Stamp on Food Safety
The passage of any new legislation is bound to bring on a lengthy period of adjustment. When that legislation is as broad and sweeping as the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the period of adjustment can last years. In our last column, we addressed the new federal requirement, which begins in June 2012, that food companies adopt written food safety plans, alternatively referred to as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans. While the initiative may appear relatively simple and...