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Columns: A Realistic Approach to Food Safety Regulation

The United States is often said to have a two-pronged food safety regulatory system, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) responsible for inspecting meat, poultry, and eggs, while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the other fresh and processed foods that make up 80% of the food supply. This system leads to frequently cited inspection gaps and overlaps that critics say contribute to food safety problems: The FDA oversees fresh eggs, but the USDA inspects processed egg products;...

Features: The Food Safety Countdown

Long-awaited legislation to reform and modernize the nation’s food safety system will likely be put off until next year while the Senate continues to grapple with healthcare reform and other contentious issues.

Features: Food Fight

Among the myriad of issues being considered in Congress, few touch the lives of Americans as directly as food quality. So it should come as no surprise that impassioned debate surrounds some of the more than a dozen bills under consideration in the House and Senate to reform and modernize the nation’s food safety system. While everyone agrees that safer food is a laudable goal, there is far less consensus as to how, or even whether, it can be achieved.

Departments: Food Safety Goes Global

Risks arising from an improperly designed, implemented, and maintained food safety system can have financially crippling effects, from brand damage, decreased consumer confidence, product recalls, illness, death, and legal ramifications. And, with globalization and an increase in supplies from emerging countries, the likelihood of these risks grows and the processes to manage them effectively become more complex. An additional element in this struggle is the varying acceptance of food safety standards and...

Departments: Protect Your Customers From Gluten

A Google search of the word combination “gluten free” returns a staggering 7 million results. Many provide information regarding gluten-free ingredients, recipes, and prepared foods currently available in the marketplace. This tidal wave of information is the result of the heightened interest in gluten-free diets of an increasing number of people who have been diagnosed with celiac disease (CD).

Features: Wal-Mart's Magna Carta for Auditing

In the 13th century, the Magna Carta (literally “great paper”) changed the course of history, introducing the idea of constitutional rights for all citizens. In the 21st century, a carta no less magna—this one issued by retail giant Wal-Mart—is having an equally transformative effect on the food industry around the world, particularly in the United States. In 2008, in a letter to food suppliers and a press release to the national media, Wal-Mart became the first nationwide U.S....

Departments: Go With the Flow

In the food and beverage and pharmaceutical and biotech industries, contamination-free processing is essential for full compliance with industry validation standards. The potential for contamination in manufacturing applications increases with the introduction of peripheral components, such as flow measurement instruments, that help maintain process parameters within acceptable limits. To prevent this from happening, these devices must themselves meet standards set by governing agencies to ensure that...

Departments: Put Your Product to the Test

Food safety concerns have risen dramatically in recent years because of the severe consequences of foodborne illnesses. In order to assure product quality, optimize the efficiency and throughput of continuous processes, and comply with governmental regulations, the food industry must perform rigorous, real-time product safety testing on a regular basis.

Features: Beefing Up the FDA

This summer federal lawmakers are hoping to enact two pieces of legislation that would give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) more authority and funding to better regulate the safety of domestic and imported foods.

News: REPORT: ISO Standards Big Catch for Seafood Industry

The U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides the voluntary Seafood Inspection Program, which offers a variety of professional inspection services that assure compliance with all applicable food regulations.

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April/May 2014

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