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Articles by Topic - Quality

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Departments: MAP Your Food

The food industry continuously changes based on consumer demand and economic realities. Most recently, the industry’s focus has been on food safety, quality, and shelf life. One of the responses to these concerns within the food industry has been the increased use of Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP).

Departments: Protecting the Food We Eat

In June of this year, United Food Group, LLC, a Vernon, Calif.-based establishment, recalled a total of approximately 5.7 million pounds of fresh and frozen ground beef products produced in April.1 This recall was due to possible E. coli contamination following a notification issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Safety and Inspection Service.

Departments: A Nice Match

In the early 1990s, manufacturing execution systems (MES) were touted as the panacea for shop floor management problems, promising to do away with “islands of automation” and to seamlessly connect the plant floor with enterprise systems. Unfortunately, the early MESs were too vertical in scope. There was an MES for silicon wafer assembly, one for chemicals, another for packaging, and so on, with dozens of companies specializing in finely honed products for vertical applications. This...

Features: Cool Technologies

Most of us can recount opening a recently purchased food product, only to find it spoiled. This firsthand experience underscores ongoing problems within the food supply chain that new technologies can solve.

Departments: Create a “Closed Loop” to Ensure Quality

It was time for the plant’s yearly audit. The auditor was inspecting the plant along with the sanitation manager. After they were done with the walk-though, they went to the sanitation manager’s office to review the records.

Departments: How to Avoid a… Total Recall

Recent major national and international recalls, coupled with post-9/11 regulatory initiatives, have placed the spotlight on an issue providing all the intensity of a Hollywood drama. The importance of accurate and efficient traceability of our food supply from farm to table has never been more apparent. There has been a surge in the development of systems that seem capable of working magic by generating an incredible amount of product and distribution information by inputting a small amount of data, like...

Departments: Effective Audits Not Just for the Big Boys

Success stories abound about quality assurance, food safety and sanitation at major companies like Jack in the Box, Tyson, General Mills and Darden.

Features: Hormel Is a Cut Above

It was 1923 when George A. Hormel gave an employee the same sage advice undoubtedly instilled in him while working in his uncle’s meat market during the late 1800s: “What you get out of this business depends wholly on how much you put into it,” he wrote. “Don’t expect big results unless you are personally analyzing your work to see how you can bring it up to a higher standard.”

Departments: Omitting Odors in Organics

Organic food is one of the fastest growing food sectors in the United States totaling $15 billion in sales in 2005, according to Organic Trade Association (OTA; Greenfield, Mass.). During the last 10 years, increasing consumer demand for healthier choices has driven the industry’s growth, from 17 to 21 percent each year. In recent years, fresh foods have become signature departments for many natural foods retailers, with independent natural product and health food stores and natural grocery chains...

Departments: Mini Menaces

It only takes an area the size of a person’s thumb to produce thousands and thousands of fruit flies. One adult female fruit fly can lay 15 to 20 eggs in a batch and as many as 500 batches in her two-week life cycle. A few fruit flies can quickly multiply into an infestation.

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April/May 2014

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