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After a string of high-profile nationwide foodborne illness outbreaks in 2009, food safety reform is a high priority for legislators and consumers alike. Big changes are on the horizon to overhaul the federal agencies that ensure that consumers are protected against the bacteria and disease that contaminate food and threaten overall security.
Columns: Editor's Letter
These are times of change. The economic turmoil of the last 18 months has shaken global confidence, and many wonder what the future will bring. It has also been a challenging time for the food industry. Numerous food recalls and scandals in this country and other parts of the world have led people to question things that were once unassailable, such as the quality and safety of their food.
Columns: Send a Strong Message
Last week a colleague forwarded an eNewsletter to me that jogged my memory. I just can’t believe it’s true. During a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions food safety hearing on October 22, Freshman Senator Al Franken asked Margaret Hamburg, MD, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) commissioner, about the status of the criminal prosecution of Peanut Corporation of America (PCA).
After an extended holiday from my column, I would like to get back to basics and examine how to educate sanitation crews. If a sanitation crew knows both why they are doing the job and the importance of doing it correctly, they can take pride in the accomplishment of a job well done. I will use my sanitation handbook as a reference guide.
Columns: Mmmm … Bacon
The end of the year is always an opportunity to make lists of things like the top news stories of the year, the top scientific breakthroughs, and other great advances. But when a decade is ending, the lists come even more fast and furious.
Columns: QA/QC Finally Gets Some Respect
Nearly two decades ago, Food Quality was launched as the first publication to exclusively target the food quality and safety market. The world—and the food industry—were a lot different back then.
My last article focused on sanitation training and the five basic steps for cleaning a food plant. In this article I address the pitfalls, as well as the results, you can expect when you implement a high-quality food safety/sanitation system.
When we think sanitation, we think cleanliness, and when we think cleanliness, we think about an effective food safety program and the peace of mind that results from it. That’s why food safety and cleanliness go hand in hand. A clean area means an area with clean surfaces, clean air, and clean surrounding environments. One of the definitions of “clean” is “free from dirt, filth, or impurities.” And to make clean is to remove dirt, filth, or unwanted substances.
Columns: Fighting Food Fraud
Prostitution has been dubbed the world’s oldest profession, but being an adulterator of food is a close second. Historical accounts make it clear that people have been altering foods for financial gain since the emergence of trade and bartering.
Columns: Let Your Voice Be Heard
Fulfilling another key recommendation of the president’s Food Safety Working Group, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced new performance standards to reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter in young chickens (broilers) and turkeys. The new standards, which are expected to prevent tens of thousands of illnesses yearly, represent the most significant food safety development from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 15 years. The USDA has cut the target levels for Salmonella in poultry by...