Are you experiencing shelf-life issues or increased numbers of Listeria findings in a Ready-to-Eat foods environment? If so, you may want to take a deep dive into your equipment.

Largely, as a consequence of Listeria control efforts, most of us have at least a basic knowledge of hygienic equipment design. In truth, though, we often find inadequacies in the design of the equipment in our facilities, which are magnified with age and/or inadequate maintenance. Couple this with the widespread use of high-pressure water hoses and their ability to drive product residue, microorganisms and water deep inside equipment, and you have all the components needed to create a microbial growth niche. Continue Reading

The best HACCP, GMP, or sanitation training program can be rendered meaningless if your company suffers from high employee turnover. The proper orientation of employees should not be undervalued or overlooked.

Best Foot Forward
The first few weeks or months in a food plant environment with new responsibilities can be highly stressful and confusing. During this critical time, an effective orientation can mean the difference between a new employee becoming an asset or realizing a lost return on your investment. Continue Reading

Yeast and mold are organisms of great importance to the food industry. These two species are very different from bacteria, which are more commonly associated with foodborne illness. Hundreds of yeast and mold species have been isolated from foods and due to their ability to grow over a wide spectrum of environmental conditions very few foods are entirely safe from fungal spoilage. Continue Reading

No matter how sophisticated a manufacturing and quality system may be, problems or failures occur. Crisis management programs are an essential element for organizations today.

Core Team
Ideally, crisis management teams ideally at plant operations should include a senior company executive, possibly the president, and representatives from each group involved in the manufacture, distribution, sales, marketing and public relations aspects of the business. Information on how each individual may be contacted at any hour should be available. This access is important as crises do not observe regular hours. People must be available to make decisions and take prompt action. Continue Reading

Billions of tons of food are lost in the United States each year to fungal contamination, most notably mold damage. Often working in combination with yeast and bacteria, molds are essential in the production of numerous indigenous fermented foods and are heavily used in industrial processes to produce organic acids and enzymes. At the same time, molds are a leading concern in the food plant environment. Under certain conditions, some molds may produce mycotoxins which are toxic to man and animals. Continue Reading