Whether they’re sprinkled on top of a salad, mixed into brownie batter or added as the star ingredient in a granola bar; nuts and seeds tend to find their way into many food products. However, it is vital for food manufacturers to ensure the safety of these items in their products. Tree nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, pecans, walnuts and peanuts have been identified as a vehicle for foodborne pathogens, including Enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella. Moreover, seeds such as sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds have been recently linked to bacterial pathogens. For example, in May 2016, almost 100 products were recalled due to Listeria contamination in sunflower seeds. Salmonella also appears to be of concern in nuts, as it has been associated with many outbreaks and recalls in recent years. Continue Reading

The food industry has evolved from locally grown and consumed products to national and international operations. The globalization of food production and trade has raised the potential of food safety issues to an international level. The food industry has done a remarkable job ensuring food safety not only at the national level, but also at the international level.

As part of this effort, food companies — many times under regulatory guidelines — are required to validate their operations for safe and quality foods. Process validation studies determine the ability of a specific Critical Control Point (CCP) of a HACCP plan to achieve desired food safety objectives.  Continue Reading