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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...
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.