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Departments: How to Avoid a… Total Recall

Recent major national and international recalls, coupled with post-9/11 regulatory initiatives, have placed the spotlight on an issue providing all the intensity of a Hollywood drama. The importance of accurate and efficient traceability of our food supply from farm to table has never been more apparent. There has been a surge in the development of systems that seem capable of working magic by generating an incredible amount of product and distribution information by inputting a small amount of data, like...

Departments: Effective Audits Not Just for the Big Boys

Success stories abound about quality assurance, food safety and sanitation at major companies like Jack in the Box, Tyson, General Mills and Darden.

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.

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April/May 2014

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