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Departments: Taking Control
Food allergy occurs when an individual possesses intolerance to certain types of materials in food, which provokes a hypersensitive reaction of the immune system. It is a major concern to the many people allergic to eggs, peanuts, dairy products, soy, tree nuts (e.g. almonds and cashews), fish, shellfish and wheat, which are commonly referred to by the industry as the Big 8.
Departments: Don’t Let it Bug You
There is one common goal among all processing plants when it comes to pest control. That is, regardless if the pests are vertebrates, invertebrates, exoskeleton bugs, reptiles or mammals, there is a zero tolerance for pests to pace and soar inside processing facilities, including their direct exposures to the product, product contact surfaces and packaging materials. To successfully battle against pests, prudent food and beverage companies should develop a customized daily pest control management program...
Departments: BUZZ OFF!
Food safety is always a hot issue in the food-manufacturing world. After all, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) undersecretary reports that 14 people die from foodborne illness every day in the United States. Foodborne illnesses may only be one aspect of food safety, but it’s an important one. That’s why food manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure the security of their products, including employing an effective pest management program. Most people realize that...
Departments: For the Birds
Food handling facilities are sensitive environments where contaminants and adulterants must be carefully monitored and managed as the potential for causing human foodborne illnesses in large numbers of people is elevated. Birds and the accompanying contaminants and adulterants they bring are causes for great concern in, on, or around food facilities. A number of bird species, including pigeons, sparrows, starlings, seagulls, crows, swallows, and occasionally birds of prey, are often found at food...
Departments: Cleanliness is Next to Effectiveness
Employee handwashing is considered to be among the most effective ways to help control the spread of illnesses in foodservice operations. Although this point is generally accepted as fact, proper handwashing practices are often inadequate for a variety of reasons.
Departments: Strengthening the Food Safety Management System
A foodborne disease incident can be devastating for any organization that supplies food to the U.S. market. The cost of a food safety recall is typically millions of dollars and can result in the closing of food processing plants. To minimize this risk, many companies in the supply chain require that their supplier’s implement and maintain HACCP programs.
The events of Sept. 11, 2001, had great impact on the food industry, but not necessarily in the way one would think. One might assume that terror threats drastically altered the processes staffing firms have used for pre-employment screening with an eye toward food safety. However, the reality is quite the contrary. The food industry has long relied on the stringent processes used by top staffing firms to pre-screen food scientists, microbiologists, etc. for research and development and manufacturing...
Departments: Supersizing with SPC
Statistical Process Control (SPC) was initially developed over 65 years ago by Walter A. Shewhart as a method to improve or achieve quality control in a manufacturing process. In this method, statistical tools like frequency distribution, histograms, scatter diagrams and Pareto charts are used to view and reduce process variation, thereby reducing defects and waste from the production line. Although SPC is a cost-effective and thorough method of determining and predicting significant deviations in a...
Departments: Creating Standard Operating Procedures
Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are the mainstay of any manufacturing operations, chemical, mining, automotive, etc., but for the purposes of this discussion, the focus will be on food operations. SOPs differ from cGMP’s (current Good Manufacturing Practices) in that one comprises detailed work instructions, and the other is a list of “do’s and don’ts.”
Departments: The Curtain of Containment
The number of people, who have to be alert to what foods they not only digest, but also often just come into contact with, is sizeable. Food allergies of some type affect about 2 percent of the adults in this country. If someone does not have to deal with this problem, chances are they have a member of their family who does. Nationwide, 8 percent of children need to be wary about what they put in their mouths.