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The United States is often said to have a two-pronged food safety regulatory system, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) responsible for inspecting meat, poultry, and eggs, while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the other fresh and processed foods that make up 80% of the food supply. This system leads to frequently cited inspection gaps and overlaps that critics say contribute to food safety problems: The FDA oversees fresh eggs, but the USDA inspects processed egg products;...
Columns: Pump Up Your Prerequisite Programs
This column is the first of two parts. Part two, which will run in our June/July issue, will discuss understanding and applying effective tools to ensure that your prerequisite programs are well defined and effective.
Columns: Overcome the Language Barrier
No matter where I travel in the United States, from large metropolitan cities to small rural towns, I experience the sounds, sights, smells, and tastes of different ethnic cultures. I enjoy the fact that our country is so richly populated with people from many different cultures. I may not be fluent in languages other than English, but I believe that food is a universal language. It is the one thing that binds all of us together. The proper practice of safe food preparation, however, is not universal...
Columns: What's Right Redux
At the risk of seeming like a food industry Pollyanna, I wanted to publish an article that considers all the good things our industry does to produce safe, quality food, and that is just what we feature in this issue’s cover article.
Columns: Let's Work Together
A retired food quality and safety industry veteran wrote to me after reading my February/March column, “QA/QC Finally Gets Some Respect.” His food industry experience was impressive. But what really struck me was his outlook and foresight. He wrote that in his experience, wake-up calls in the food safety field never seem to last. He cited many food safety examples gone wrong and expressed the opinion that food safety is not an arena for politics, because bugs don’t care which party is in...
Columns: Sanitation Notebook
The plant manager calls a meeting during which he presses the sanitation and quality control managers about a $2,000 request to buy a foamer and a dilutor system.
Columns: What is Sanitation Technology?
This will be the first in a series of articles on sanitation technology, with the goal of providing some helpful information that you can incorporate into your sanitation program, bringing it to a new level. I have found that providing training beyond the obvious on-the-job training will clearly show the sanitation staff that there is purpose and importance in working to keep the plant clean and sanitary. An investment in formal training is an investment in your people.