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Departments: Small Pest: Big Problem
Beetles crawling over counter tops, moths flying across rooms or caterpillars crawling up walls and across ceilings are all signs of big problems from small pests. To discount these pests as mere passersby would be a mistake, for the old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” rings true with stored-product pests.
Departments: Omitting Odors in Organics
Organic food is one of the fastest growing food sectors in the United States totaling $15 billion in sales in 2005, according to Organic Trade Association (OTA; Greenfield, Mass.). During the last 10 years, increasing consumer demand for healthier choices has driven the industry’s growth, from 17 to 21 percent each year. In recent years, fresh foods have become signature departments for many natural foods retailers, with independent natural product and health food stores and natural grocery chains...
Departments: Beyond Eradication
In 1774 Swedish pharmacist Carl Wilhelm Scheele unwittingly discovered chlorine, but it wasn’t used as a sanitizer until 73 years later, in 1847, to prevent the spread of “child bed fever” in the maternity ward at Vienna General Hospital.
Departments: Mini Menaces
It only takes an area the size of a person’s thumb to produce thousands and thousands of fruit flies. One adult female fruit fly can lay 15 to 20 eggs in a batch and as many as 500 batches in her two-week life cycle. A few fruit flies can quickly multiply into an infestation.
Departments: Planning Makes Perfect
In the last issue we talked about the types of food technology, contact surfaces, cleaning chemistry and procedures. This issue we address time, schedules and basic sanitation equipment. When planning your cleaning and sanitation routine, start by quantifying time available for this process, then schedule the work and determine the manpower you’ll require. I recommend using the five-step process below to achieve the most efficient and effective results. Map out the five-step procedure for each piece...
Departments: Go With the Flow
Customer perception of food quality depends not only on taste, but also on physical properties, one of which is commonly referred to as “flow behavior.” Consider the following examples. Ketchup must pour out of a squeeze bottle easily and coat the hot French fries without running off. Cream filling in a doughnut needs to hold in place when you bite into it and not squirt out. Salad dressing is better appreciated when it coats the lettuce and vegetables and doesn’t run off into the bottom...
Departments: Incoming Quality Control of Water
Today’s modern food processing industries are heavily reliant upon water as both an ingredient and as an integral part of their preparation and processing functions. While in some instances the water used is further processed and treated by the food manufacturer, in many cases this supply of water is obtained from local municipal sources and under goes no further monitoring or processing beyond what is done by the local utility that supplies it to the end users. Unfortunately, in most cases little or...
Departments: Bytes vs. Bugs
Recent outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 in the northeast fast-food restaurant sector have caused much anxiety among private sector food and beverage processing and preparation centers and public health officials, but several technological developments are helping food manufacturers protect their products from bacterial contaminants.
Departments: The Reputation Drain
It is difficult to ignore the news headlines announcing risks and tragedies associated with the various microorganisms and illnesses threatening the food industry, including E.coli, Salmonella, Avian Flu and so on. In the past 20 years, one serious pathogen – Listeria monocytogenes – has been a major concern to the food industry. Of all the known foodborne pathogens, it has one of the highest mortality rates.
Departments: Infrared: An Effective HACCP Tool
The heat is definitely on for food service operators to reach and maintain tight food safety standards. HACCP programs are all about controlling and eliminating hazards, and food temperatures—when, where and how to take them safely—are at the heart of the program. Fortunately though, hot and cold temperature measurement has gotten easier, faster and safer over the last few years. Infrared technology, as well as more sophisticated infrared temperature measurement techniques, can make a big...