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On June 8, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a report on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) role in ensuring the safety of the American food supply. In response to criticism leveled by both food safety experts and the public, Congress had commissioned the IOM to examine gaps in the current food safety system and to identify the tools needed to improve food safety.
Pete Fernholz remembers the days when his dad, who worked at a milk plant for 40 years, had to help take apart a milk processing system and clean it with tubular brushes. It was a costly and time-consuming step in the process of trying to assure sanitized milk. Nowadays, closed-loop systems use clean-in-place (CIP) technology, which allows pipes and other production components to be cleaned automatically with less human intervention, reducing cleaning time, costs, and possible contamination events.
Features: Food Safety Goes to School
In October, food safety history was made with the opening of the Eurofins Analytical Testing Center located at the Institute for Food Safety on the downtown campus of Florida State College.
Features: Organic Foods Travel a Rocky Road
Organic foods have moved from the margins of the U.S. food industry to the mainstream. Nearly 90% of all retail food stores now sell organically produced items. Natural food retailers, such as Whole Foods Market, with 270 stores nationwide, have proliferated since the first Whole Foods opened in Austin, Texas, in 1980. Organic food is a big business, with sales expected to reach $27 billion this year. While still small compared to the overall $670 billion market, organic food has been the fastest-growing...
A new study by Michigan State University’s Product Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources tracks emerging concerns about food safety among consumers. For the study, “Food Safety Certification: A Study of Food Safety in the U.S. Supply Chain,” more than 400 consumers and 75 food companies were surveyed. DNV, a provider of food safety certification services, sponsored the study.
Five of the countries from which the U.S. receives the lion’s share of its produce imports have taken significant steps to modernize their food safety systems over the past several years, according to a report released in late September by the Produce Safety Project at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Like turning lead into gold, making mayonnaise out of yogurt has presented scientists with some challenges. But unlike alchemists of old who failed to achieve transmutation, Utah State University doctoral candidates Subash Shrestha and Ranjeeta Wadhwani prevailed in their quest to produce a tasty, dairy-based sandwich spread. Their achievement netted them a $10,000 prize in the New Product Development Competition at the Idaho Milk Processors Association’s annual conference, held August 11-13 in Sun...
Features: Pest Control: Past and Present
In today’s climate of heightened food safety scrutiny, it is hard to believe that not so long ago, attitudes about what constituted a hygienic processing environment were very different. This is especially true for pest management practices. Only a little more than 70 years have passed since Congress enacted the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 (FD&C Act), and a little more than 100 years ago, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle opened America’s eyes to what was happening in meat...
Features: Sustainability for the Long Haul
Sustainable manufacturing and processing, which reduces raw materials waste and minimizes refuse, is more than a passing trend for companies both large and small during this economic recession. As companies using such practices see it, sustainability attracts consumers. But more fundamentally, it is good for a business’s bottom line.
Novel processes utilized in food safety programs at both the Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Advanced Food Technology Project were discussed at the July 2010 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting and Food Expo in Chicago. Presented at the same symposium, two commonalities emerged for these seemingly disparate environments: The loss of personnel to foodborne illness may jeopardize a mission, and food...