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Departments: California Requires New Certification for Food Handlers

Effective July 1, California will require all employees who handle food in restaurants to earn a California Food Handlers Card. This legislation, modeled on successful programs in other states, will affect more than 1.4 million food industry jobs.

Departments: The Microbiology of Cereals and Cereal Products

Bacteria are frequent surface contaminants of cereal grains. For bacteria to grow in cereal grains, they require high moisture or water activity (aw) in equilibrium, with high relative humidity. Generally, bacteria are not significantly involved in the spoilage of dry grain and become a spoilage factor only after extensive deterioration of the grain has occurred and high moisture conditions exist. However, bacterial pathogens and spoilage bacteria, such as spore-forming bacteria that cause ropiness in...

Columns: Red, Yellow, Green, Go

Cultivating behavior change requires a specific communication strategy. The objectives of this strategy are to ensure that food employees and managers throughout the facility are familiar with food safety standards, their role in maintaining these standards, and the consequences of not maintaining these standards.

Departments: Start a Food Safety Management System

Businesses from all links in the food chain are increasingly challenged to implement a structured food safety management system (FSMS) that is incorporated into the overall management activities of the organization. This challenge comes from the requirement to comply with a growing number of regulations, as well as pressure from customers and the ethical obligation to protect consumers from illness and injury by providing safe food.

Departments: Sustainability Certifications for Food Manufacturers

As sustainability gains momentum throughout the food industry, we’re seeing the increasingly popular use of ecolabels and certifications like organic, Marine Stewardship Council, and Pesticide Residue Free by primary producers. Third party certifications provide a valuable and credible way for these businesses to tell potential customers about their sustainability efforts. While most current certifications focus on primary producers, third party verification can also play a valuable role in advancing...

Departments: Help Your Employees Protect Against Pathogens

The media and the public generally focus first on the actual pathogen when a foodborne illness occurs, eventually turning their focus to the source of the illness. Often, an infected person causes the outbreak directly—or even indirectly—through a series of improper actions or inactions. Humans can be considered the parameter of these illnesses.

Departments: Improve Your Sanitation Training Program

Across the food industry, legions of plant sanitarians would swear they could comfortably retire if they had a sawbuck for every time they have heard this axiom. While battle fatigue associated with this oft-used adage is understandable, its underlying message—that effective cleaning and sanitizing are essential prerequisites for producing safe, quality food—remains at the core of sanitation training programs.

Departments: Inspection Equipment Can Pay for Itself

There’s no question—we are in a recession. Budgets are tight, and every dollar spent faces more scrutiny than ever. But this is no time to sacrifice product quality or take chances when it comes to product inspection. Consumers are reigning in spending, so any question about a product’s safety or integrity may prompt shoppers to switch to another brand.

Departments: A Cool Way to Clean

Keeping food processing surfaces clean is a production manager’s main concern. Removing leftover food, grease, grime, and other residue from production equipment is critical for preventing bacteria growth and ensuring safe, high quality food products. As sanitation regulations become more stringent, labor costs increase, and the industry becomes more environmentally conscious, food companies are looking for new cleaning processes and solutions.

Departments: Prevent and Control Listeria

Recognized as an important public health problem in the United States, Listeria monocytogenes is a ubiquitous, intracellular pathogen known to cause food-contaminating outbreaks. These microorganisms have the ability to multiply within host cells and spread from cell to cell.

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February/March 2015

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