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Departments: Traceability as a Tool

In June 2002, national manufacturer ConAgra Beef Co. voluntarily recalled more than 354,000 pounds of ground beef – 177 tons – that may have been contaminated with the E. coli bacteria. Within 20 days, USDA requested that the company further expand its recall to include 19 million pounds of product. Since ConAgra could not readily trace and identify the stores that bought the meat or the brands under which it was sold, it took days to pull all of the recalled product. Public awareness quickly...

Departments: Conquering Compliance Management

It’s no secret that FDA regulated industries are motivated to find better ways to comply with ever-increasing government regulations and formative industry standards. GMP requirements, 21 CFR Part 11, Sarbanes-Oxley, HACCP and other regulations have made compliance- and risk-management a key concern for any regulated organization.

Departments: Express Evaluation

Classical methodologies used for enumerating Staphylococcus in food are time consuming taking up to 78 hours. The 3M Petrifilm Staph Express Count System (STX) is a rapid test that has recently been commercialized in order to shorten the time. When using STX, the population of S. aureus in food samples can be determined in as soon as 22 hours because the identification of S. aureus is not based on coagulase production.

Departments: Tasty Technology

For the past six years, Copenhagen, Denmark-based Chr. Hansen, a manufacturer of blended seasonings, has operated a plant in Elyria, Ohio. There, the company manufactures custom flavor blends for a variety of food manufacturers, including Tyson Foods, Frito-Lay, Shearer’s Chips and Freshmark.

Departments: GMO Traceability–Making it Work

Mad cow disease hit the news again in June, fueling consumer fears about the safety of the food supply chain. Also, a recent report revealed that over a four-year period Swiss biotech firm Syngenta AG sold U.S. farmers an unapproved strain of genetically modified corn seed, which may have entered the food supply and international channels. These two incidents reveal how porous the U.S. agricultural supply system is to contamination. They also highlight the need for robust traceability technologies that...

Departments: New Generation Testing Platforms

In the last few years, technological advancements of DNA detection systems, more commonly known as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, have been remarkable. In fact, parallels can be drawn to the computer industry, where technology that was cutting edge as little as four years ago, barely meets our most basic expectations today.

Departments: Meeting the Need for Speed

Collecting data in a busy lab is always important, and when that lab is testing product for potentially lethal microbes, obtaining accurate data is imperative to public health and commercial success. It is equally important to accurately record, store and report that data.

Departments: Filtration Knocks Out Deadly Bacteria in Nursery

The presence of Enterobacter sakazakii in powdered infant formula has been of serious concern because of recent outbreaks of infectious diseases. The FDA has determined that powdered infant formula has been the source of one-half to two-thirds of the infections caused by this bacterium. One study that sampled 141 cans of various brands of powdered formula concluded that E. sakazakii was present in 14 percent of the samples. In 2002, the FDA recalled 1.5 million cans of powdered infant formula because of...

Departments: Separating the In from the Out

More than the people or the equipment, the one element virtually guaranteed to contact food during processing is the air inside the plant. Indoor air can become the vector that delivers contaminants to food and food contact surfaces. HVAC systems are critical control points (CCPs) in ensuring that food production remains safe from pathogens, allergens and other airborne contaminants.

Departments: Wine Producer Gets Efficient Scheduling with LIMS

The implementation of a new laboratory information management system (LIMS) has expedited sample logging, analysis and results distribution for a large wine producer, saving time and enabling more efficient scheduling. The custom LIMS used in the past was basically an electronic version of the company's previous paper-based system, requiring manual data entry at nearly every stage of the analysis cycle. The company, a customer of PerkinElmer Instruments (Shelton, Conn.) requesting anonymity in for this...

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