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Departments: Avoid Auditing Pitfalls
Food companies routinely conduct food quality and safety audits to qualify vendors both on an initial and ongoing basis. Over the years, many different audit schemes have been developed, resulting in significant improvements in food quality and safety. Recent high profile recalls, however, such as the one involving the Peanut Corporation of America, raise many questions about the purpose and credibility of third-party audits.
Departments: Routine, Reliable Mercury Screeing
Mercury is a naturally occurring element found in air, water and soil. It exists in three different forms, elemental or metallic mercury, inorganic mercury compounds, and organic mercury compounds. Coal-burning power plants are the largest source of mercury emissions to the air caused by humans in the United States, accounting for more than 40% of all domestic anthropogenic mercury emissions.1 Additional mercury emission sources include the burning of hazardous waste, chlorine production, mercury product...
Departments: Accurate Testing of Complicated Food Matrices
Worldwide food safety concerns have risen dramatically as the number of food contamination incidents and product recalls has increased. Accurately monitoring contaminant levels in food and agricultural products is essential to assure the safety of the food supply and to manage human health risks.
Departments: A Sweet Recipe for Safety
Ellison Bakery, a family-owned and operated manufacturer of cookies and cookie-based crunch and inclusion products in Fort Wayne, Ind., has found a sweet recipe for success. Despite today’s challenging economic environment, Ellison Bakery is thriving. Sales grew 39% in 2008 and are already up 24% this year. The company attributes its success to its focus on superior customer care and its dedication to producing premium quality product. To ensure the highest level of food safety, the bakery relies on...
Departments: ATP Assays Point Way to Greater Safety
Food contamination can be a devastating public relations disaster for a food or beverage manufacturer or restaurant. For example, the Michigan-based Bill Knapp’s restaurant chain never fully recovered from a food contamination scandal in the 1990s. Although the cause of the contamination was identified and eliminated, the chain struggled until it finally closed its doors in 2002. An even bigger scandal in 2008, involving Salmonella contamination of peanut products, led to the discovery of major...
Departments: Trace to Keep Safe
With recent Salmonella outbreaks involving peanuts and pistachios dominating the headlines, an inordinate number of recalls have occurred across the food industry. The recall notices for these nut products, which are used as ingredients in many types of foods, include phrases such as “may have been contaminated” and “potentially may be contaminated with Salmonella because of the inclusion of the suspect peanuts/pistachios.” This language suggests a lack of traceability of...
Departments: A Formula For Flavor
Nearly all frozen bread dough products use chemicals like oxidizers, emulsifiers, and reducing agents to maintain strength after being frozen, thawed, and baked. The few frozen bread doughs that have been introduced with all natural ingredients have not been successful; consumers were not happy with product quality, and the doughs suffered from short frozen shelf life.
Departments: Choose Your Toolbox
Numerous food contamination incidents in recent years have put food safety in the spotlight as never before. The obvious challenges of policing a global, interdependent food production network are prompting consumers to question food safety, governments to increase regulation, and food producers to search for new testing solutions. In light of public concern over food safety, heightened in particular by dioxins found in Irish pork and melamine found in infant formula made in China, government agencies and...
Departments: The Food Safety Revolution
The food and beverage industry has recently experienced an increase in regulations. Some unfortunate food-related events led regulatory bodies to examine their internal processes and set forth initiatives to increase safety in the food production process. Many food chain stakeholders now require their suppliers to demonstrate compliance with initiatives such as safe quality food (SQF), hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP), and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 22000...
Departments: Don't Let Fixed Walls Block Flexibility
Ensuring food quality and safety often means altering the physical space in plant or warehouse facilities, especially when temperature and humidity control are at stake. It’s an unfortunate prospect for many because, traditionally, this involves costly and time-consuming construction projects involving solid insulated walls or rigid panelized structures. But it’s time to move beyond traditional thinking and try fabric walls. And with good reason: Fabric walls save money and allow users to...