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Columns: Insure Against the Inevitable
If you think a recall is unlikely, or that you’ll be covered in the event it happens, think again. From a food safety standpoint, we are living in a dynamic and fast-changing world. Because microorganisms exist naturally in our environment, they will continue to find their way into many of our foods. Given recent improvements in national foodborne illness outbreak surveillance, more illnesses are identified and more outbreaks are reported.
Columns: Food Safety Legislation: It's Alive!
Talk about bad timing. In last issue’s letter, which I wrote the day after the GOP spanked Democrats in the recent mid-term election, I pronounced food safety legislation, specifically the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510), effectively dead.
Columns: RIP, Food Safety Legislation?
I am writing this letter on November 3, one day after the GOP’s massive gains in the midterm election, in which they were projected to gain at least 60 seats in the House. That’s the biggest gain by any major party since 1948.
Columns: It’s Not Easy Being Green
On the first season of “Sesame Street” in 1970, the soon-to-be cultural icon Kermit the Frog sang the immortal line, “It’s not easy being green.” Kermit was of course referring to the difficulties of being a small green creature. But the difficulties involved in being green are quite familiar to most industries, including food manufacturing.
Columns: IFT and IAFP Deliver Knowledge
As I contemplate my topic for this issue’s column, Labor Day is around the corner and I’m reflecting on this summer. Where did it go? What did I learn? How do I use this summer’s life experiences to my advantage?
Purchasing new or used equipment that adheres to the 2005 Food Code’s criteria and has National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) approval gives you a chance to properly clean and sanitize all food contact surfaces in your facility. No matter who approves the equipment, if you do not sanitize properly, the food safety risk will remain huge for your operation and your customers. We will now concentrate on some critical equipment sanitation issues.
In recent years, food-related illnesses followed by highly publicized product recalls have created concerns that food product regulation in the United States is inadequate. The food industry has a complex regulatory structure, divided among many federal, state, and local authorities, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) handling almost all federal food inspections other than meat products.
In any food processing plant, a pest management program is only as strong as the employees who implement it. To ensure a successful pest management program, the staff should be given training about prevention of pest problems before they occur. Not only does this serve as a low-cost training opportunity in a stressed economy, but it also can save money long-term by preventing pest problems that would require costly remediation.
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.