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Articles by Topic - Manufacturing and Distribution

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Features: Lessons Learned From Recent Recalls

The recent massive recall of food products containing peanuts and other peanut ingredients distributed by the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) offers several insights into steps the food industry can take to avoid future contaminations and recalls. The recall also highlights the fact that the industry must take responsibility for safeguarding our nation’s food supply, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently lacks the resources to do so.

Departments: Don't Let Fixed Walls Block Flexibility

Ensuring food quality and safety often means altering the physical space in plant or warehouse facilities, especially when temperature and humidity control are at stake. It’s an unfortunate prospect for many because, traditionally, this involves costly and time-consuming construction projects involving solid insulated walls or rigid panelized structures. But it’s time to move beyond traditional thinking and try fabric walls. And with good reason: Fabric walls save money and allow users to...

Features: Protect Your Company From Food Allergens

He was 12 years old when he ate his last meal. He did not know what anaphylactic shock was, but that’s what happened to him after traces of peanut in his food triggered a severe immune response.

Departments: A Traceability Reality Check

The food safety industry has long viewed traceability as a strategy that enhances business and pays for itself in the process. While these are worthwhile objectives, rarely has traceability been linked to profitability.

Departments: Be Safe, Use a Trace

Today’s global food processing industry is estimated to surpass $2 trillion in annual sales, some one-quarter of which directly involves international import or export sourcing. Poorly constructed logistic processes for foodstuff shipments, however, can expose food processors to a host of problems, including spoilage, failed regulatory inspections, and litigation over foodborne illnesses.

Departments: Food Safety is all in the Details

We all recognize the importance of maintaining safety and quality throughout the food chain. Unfortunately, many of us do not fully understand that the key to such maintenance is meticulous documentation and recording of procedures and processes in the production, processing, distribution, and retailing of food products. Keeping track of pertinent data helps companies minimize recalls, better manage risk, and more quickly respond to problems.

Departments: Say Hi to Mom

Food processors have always lived in a world of challenges, and food prices have historically been volatile. But the unrelenting price increases over the last two years are troubling at best. Food prices spiked 4.9% in 2007, the biggest jump in 18 years, according to Time Magazine. Wheat and milk prices have risen to all-time highs. Soybean prices are at their highest level in 34 years, and corn prices have hit an 11-year peak. Rice and coffee are now at 10-year records, and meat prices are up by 50% in...

Departments: COOL Compliance Making You Sweat?

While debate and expectation regarding country of origin labeling (COOL) legislation have been around for many years, the recent veto override of the 2008 Farm Bill has created a renewed sense of urgency among food retailers, operators, and distributors who need to become compliant. That’s because the bill included a provision reinstating the mandatory September 30 COOL deadline for fresh produce and meat products.

Departments: An Organic Enterprise

Last weekend, I stopped by my favorite coffee shop for a quick morning latte. I noticed the barista’s menu offered organic soy milk as one of the many ingredient choices available to enrich my coffee sipping experience. Perhaps even more impressive was the hastily handmade sign advising customers that organic soy milk was off the menu for the day due to unexpected demand.

Departments: Remote Control

Recent events such as last year’s Escheria coli outbreak at several well-known fast-food chains and in the California produce industry, which lost more than $100 million as a result of contaminated lettuce and spinach, have increased the level of skepticism being directed at food processors. While government oversight and public attention drive processors to adopt new food safety solutions, preventive strategies increasingly focus on new technologies that enhance process controls.

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June/July 2014

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