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Departments: A Traceability Reality Check

The food safety industry has long viewed traceability as a strategy that enhances business and pays for itself in the process. While these are worthwhile objectives, rarely has traceability been linked to profitability.

Departments: Be Safe, Use a Trace

Today’s global food processing industry is estimated to surpass $2 trillion in annual sales, some one-quarter of which directly involves international import or export sourcing. Poorly constructed logistic processes for foodstuff shipments, however, can expose food processors to a host of problems, including spoilage, failed regulatory inspections, and litigation over foodborne illnesses.

Departments: Food Safety is all in the Details

We all recognize the importance of maintaining safety and quality throughout the food chain. Unfortunately, many of us do not fully understand that the key to such maintenance is meticulous documentation and recording of procedures and processes in the production, processing, distribution, and retailing of food products. Keeping track of pertinent data helps companies minimize recalls, better manage risk, and more quickly respond to problems.

Departments: The Evolution of HACCP

As it approaches its 50th anniversary, hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) has repeatedly shown itself to be the most effective system to ensure food safety. The principles can be applied in a variety of venues, from agricultural production to food service, from multinational corporations to small processors in developing countries. It is a systematic approach to building safety.

Departments: Say Hi to Mom

Food processors have always lived in a world of challenges, and food prices have historically been volatile. But the unrelenting price increases over the last two years are troubling at best. Food prices spiked 4.9% in 2007, the biggest jump in 18 years, according to Time Magazine. Wheat and milk prices have risen to all-time highs. Soybean prices are at their highest level in 34 years, and corn prices have hit an 11-year peak. Rice and coffee are now at 10-year records, and meat prices are up by 50% in...

Departments: Remote Control

Recent events such as last year’s Escheria coli outbreak at several well-known fast-food chains and in the California produce industry, which lost more than $100 million as a result of contaminated lettuce and spinach, have increased the level of skepticism being directed at food processors. While government oversight and public attention drive processors to adopt new food safety solutions, preventive strategies increasingly focus on new technologies that enhance process controls.

Departments: Crack the Food Chemicals Code

The Food Chemicals Codex (FCC) is a compendium of monographs for food ingredients from the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP). U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations specify that food and color additives must receive pre-market approval and that other food ingredients must be generally recognized as safe (GRAS). For clarity, we use the term food ingredients for both food and color additives and GRAS materials. FCC began in 1961 following passage of the 1958 Food Additive Amendments...

Departments: Infrared Technology Chips Away at Waste

It is no surprise that flour and corn food products, including tortilla chips, are so popular with consumers: They’re fresh and flavorful when served at your favorite restaurant or purchased from your local market. The high quality of today’s tortilla products is made possible by modern production machinery and processing techniques. New equipment enables manufacturers to improve the taste, appearance, and consistency of corn and flour tortillas, tortilla chips, flat breads, pizzas, and other...

Departments: Streamlining Wastewater Treatment in Poultry Processing

With the steady increase in poultry processing rates, there has been a corresponding increase in wastewater pollutant concentrations. Despite mechanical improvements in wastewater treatment, many poultry processors continue to pay unnecessarily high fees for municipal water discharges. Michigan Turkey Producers (Wyoming, Mich.), a $100 million annual processor, in conjunction with Lyco Manufacturing (Columbus, Wis.), has set up a patented, state-of-the-art screening system for its poultry wastewater...

Departments: Creating Standard Operating Procedures

Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are the mainstay of any manufacturing operations, chemical, mining, automotive, etc., but for the purposes of this discussion, the focus will be on food operations. SOPs differ from cGMP’s (current Good Manufacturing Practices) in that one comprises detailed work instructions, and the other is a list of “do’s and don’ts.”

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December/January 2015

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