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Articles by Topic - General Food Science
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Clarence Birdseye (1886-1956) became a household name in the 1940s when his quick-freezing process—inspired by his experiences as a fur trader in northern Canada—allowed for national distribution of food and sparked a multibillion-dollar industry. He also devised a new method for dehydrating food.
Features: Critical Clues from Clams
When William Lyman Underwood (1864-1929) sought advice about swollen cans of food from Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor William T. Sedgwick in late 1895, he planted the seed for research that would become the scientific underpinnings of canned food safety.
In September, when Steve Patricio learned of the Listeria outbreak traced to cantaloupes from a farm in Colorado—an outbreak that killed 29 people as of Nov. 9, sickened dozens, and caused one miscarriage—his mind immediately raced back two decades to a similar outbreak.
News: Hold It There
Under FSMA, the FDA has increased authority to use administrative detention as an enforcement tool. For this reason, companies that manufacture, prepare, pack, or hold food should maintain strong record-keeping practices.
For a long time, the food and beverage industry has relied on manual processes and a paper-based system. The introduction of FSMA has introduced the need for greater scrutiny of data, however. Regulation and legislation are pressing companies to use a secure electronic data environment, increasing the need for laboratory information management systems. Many food and beverage companies are wary of this change due to potentially high costs; however, the cost of an electronic management system can generally...
News: FSMA and Labs
FSMA’s effect on food production facilities and testing laboratories bears considerable analysis. The key technologies that can facilitate compliance with the new legislation, along with the subsequent need for the development of new analytical methods, are, in a sense, under the microscope.
In April, in direct response to FSMA requirements, the FDA launched an easier-to-use version of its food recall search engine. Under the new law, the FDA was required to create a more consumer-friendly version of the food recall search site within 90 days. The new version provides recall information organized by date and presented in table format going back to 2009, and includes product brand name, product description, reason for the recall, and the recalling firm, as well as whether the recall is ongoing...
News: Key Points of FSMA
The FDA has been given the authority to issue a food recall directly, without the requirement for hard evidence of contamination. The agency is now empowered to seize food that it has any reason to believe is contaminated, adulterated, or misbranded. This change was designed to focus the FDA on prevention, moving away from its current reactive role. If the FDA issues a food recall, it also has power to suspend any food facility’s production should the agency decide that there is an associated health...
News: Nuts and Bolts of FSMA
Because a breakdown at any point in the farm-to-table food supply chain can threaten the health and safety of consumers and cause serious financial repercussions for food manufacturers, the FSMA integrates with and expands the FDA’s currently established safety practices for poultry, seafood, juice, produce, and eggs, making prevention easier throughout the domestic and international food system.
Under FSMA, enacted in January 2011, the FDA is responsible for mitigating food safety problems by using science- and risk-based approaches to oversee about 80% of the nation’s domestic and imported food supplies. The plan includes establishing minimum produce safety standards, exercising the authority to order mandatory recalls of suspected food products, conducting a broad range of food facility inspections, establishing a comprehensive product tracing system, holding imported food products to the...