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Articles by Topic - Quality
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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...
Departments: Tracking Food Safety
U.S. food safety legislation is in the works to create a national food traceability system that would help to protect consumers from foodborne illness and would enable food manufacturers to increase their responsiveness and ability to participate in the recall process. The objective of the food traceability system is to find tainted food and remove it from the shelves as quickly as possible. If the new food safety legislation is signed into law, many participants in the food supply chain will be affected...
Departments: A Checklist for Vendor Quality Assurance
Large, multi-plant, and international food companies typically have the capital and technical resources to manage their supply chains. Many of these companies have one or more departments dedicated to evaluating, selecting, and monitoring their suppliers and associated raw materials. This is generally not the case for small- to mid-size food processors. In some cases, on-site audits of suppliers to smaller food companies are not economically or technically feasible.
The owners and management at Fieldale Farms, a private label manufacturer and food service supplier of poultry products, operate on an essential concept: Continuous investment in employees and in the latest technology yields success. Following through on that concept has earned Fieldale Farms the 8th Annual Food Quality Award, sponsored by DuPont Qualicon (Wilmington, Del.) and presented by Food Quality magazine.
Departments: Protect Your Product From Contaminants
Today’s processing lines are complex and, increasingly, automated, making the detection of foreign contaminants in both raw materials and finished products more challenging than ever. Companies need comprehensive programs to ensure that contaminants never reach the consumer. Good manufacturing processes are an essential component of any overall program.
Departments: Accountability Drives Food Quality
Lynne Hambleton, author of “Treasure Chest of Six Sigma Growth Methods, Tools, and Practices” writes, “Decision making must be data driven.” Indeed, the lean Six Sigma DMAIC—define, measure, analyze, improve, and control—is at the heart of food quality because excellence can only be achieved through accountability.
Features: Packaging for a Better Planet
Food production often has the heaviest environmental impact on the life cycle of food; measures that can be taken to reduce food losses are therefore important. In the retail and consumer sections of the life cycle, packaging plays a key role in reducing food spoilage and loss. Packaging can take a number of forms—from the cartons and bottles food is delivered in, to the packaging used to transport food to stores, to the bags we use to bring food products home. Appropriate and sustainable packaging...
Features: Answering to a Higher Authortity
“In God we trust,” printed on the currency consumers use to pay for groceries, is the mindset many are embracing when making food purchasing decisions. The growing demand for kosher and halal products is parting the waves to the supermarket with great force and fervor. Though not widely understood by non-devotees, kosher and halal are clearly among the most important and fastest growing trends in the food industry.
Departments: Get the Edge in the Race for Food Quality Gold
Cutting food service costs while maintaining high food quality, optimum customer service, and happy employees is a goal of nearly every food service establishment, from restaurants to retirement communities. Recently, Legacy Retirement Communities, in Lincoln, Neb., decided this was a goal they were ready to pursue. Now, with the guidance of national dining consultants Don Miller and Associates, Legacy’s dining services have cut costs by six figures, transformed a weekly resident pre-order approach...
Features: Pathogen Detection at the Speed of Light
Many people believe nothing is certain in life but death and taxes. Daniel Y.C. Fung, PhD, professor of food microbiology at Kansas State University, adds another certainty to the list: "Food processors must get accurate results from tests to detect pathogens in raw materials. This holds true regardless of the technology employed, the time involved, or the cost. A rapid test giving bad results is not good whatsoever."