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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...

Departments: A Pioneer in Thermal Death-Time Standards

It may be common knowledge today that heat administered over time kills germs, including bacteria in food. But until the early 1900s, it was anyone’s guess for how long and at what temperature food needed to be cooked to make sure it was safe to eat.

Departments: Track & Trace

What’s scarier than a contamination event? Not properly planning for reporting to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when your product is involved in one. Fortunately, compliance with the FDA Reportable Food Registry (RFR) is easier than you think.

Departments: The Power of Phages

The nature of food and foodborne illness has changed dramatically in the United States over the past century. While various technological advances such as pasteurization and proper canning have all but eliminated some diseases, new causes of foodborne illness are continually being identified.

Departments: Microbiology Equipment and Supplies

As food companies struggle to find a profitable balance between making sure that they meet safety and processing regulations and producing products efficiently, microbiology equipment and supplies are increasingly vital to their efforts.

Departments: Novel Approaches to Pathogen Control

A series of recent incidents involving pathogens in peanut butter, ground beef, and chicken products has forced the food industry to recognize the continuing need for technological means of ensuring the biological integrity of food supplies.

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April/May 2014

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