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Departments: Microbiological Tests and Kits: The Latest Advances
It’s been almost a year since the E. coli outbreak that originated in Germany in May last year killed more than 40 people. The frenzy to identify the strain responsible — the relatively rare O104:H4 — helped point out the increasing need for rapid and reliable pathogen testing in the food industry.
Departments: Food Companies Should Plan for Outbreak Response Before it Occurs, Act Quickly to Shape Outcome
A longtime industry colleague and friend recently told me it was the things he couldn’t see that he feared most. Lurking somewhere in his processing equipment or on a product sitting in a sales cooler, there are a few colonies of pathogenic bacteria waiting to wreak havoc in our business and lives.
All too frequently, a story appears about tainted food that has traveled through the supply chain undetected until it causes illness and triggers a costly recall. This scenario not only puts the health of the consumer at risk but is also invariably expensive and can destroy a company’s reputation.
Imagine pointing your smart phone at a head of lettuce in the grocery store and having the phone tell you what farm the lettuce came from and the date the produce arrived in the grocery store. What if your phone could even tell you what temperatures the lettuce was exposed to in transit? If various sectors of the industry got on the same wavelength, consumers could stay healthier by tapping into a robust database of vital information.
Consumer information has helped understand outbreaks.
The most recent versions of the GFSI have intensified the importance of training in determining risk assessment, for seemingly obvious reasons. Poor training—or lack of training—places the plant and the company at risk for everything from non-conformance findings to product recalls and potential issues with public health.
Departments: Global Food Safety Initiative Improves Organizational Culture, Efficiency in Food Industry
Since its inception in 2000, the Global Food Safety Initiative has emerged as a high-impact presence in the food industry, touching multiple segments of the industry and creating a dynamic web of continuous improvement.
Departments: Analyze Organophosphorus Pesticides in the Apple Matrix by GC/MS/FPD Using an Agilent J&W DB-35ms Ultra Inert GC Column
Organophosphorus pesticides (OP) are widely used in the agricultural industry for crop protection. Human toxicities for this class of molecules have shown acute and chronic effects from pesticide poisoning. OP pesticides affect the nervous system of insects and mammals by inhibiting an enzyme, acetylcholinesterase, that is important in helping regulate nerve impulses.
Departments: Deadly Air Crash Provides a Lesson to Food Industry
Through my consulting work with various companies, I’ve observed how the effectiveness and impartiality of quality and food safety personnel can be influenced by the organizational structure. A non-food-related news story highlights this.
Departments: GFSI Compliance and the Integrated Management System
The GFSI food safety standards have become so prevalent in the food and beverage industry that many major food chain stakeholders will only maintain a relationship with suppliers who are GFSI compliant. The standards serve as a “quality stamp” for these stakeholders. They are often the sign of a supplier who has made it a priority to incorporate quality initiatives into its processes, ensuring a product that is of the highest caliber of safety and quality.