Don’t Play ‘Chicken’ With Foodborne Illness: 5 Campylobacter Questions Answered

When consumers purchase chicken from the grocery store, they could be bringing home more than just a drumstick. Campylobacter has crept its way up the charts to become the top bacterial cause of reported foodborne illnesses in the United States. Move over, Salmonella! But how does Campylobacter infiltrate the food supply, and why is it seemingly on the rise? We’ve answered five need-to-know questions about Campylobacter below: Continue reading Don’t Play ‘Chicken’ With Foodborne Illness: 5 Campylobacter Questions Answered

To Compliance and Beyond: Finding Intangibles Through Environmental Monitoring

Sales of our new software, EnviroMap, have continued to grow over the last few years, and this growth has allowed me the opportunity to visit a number of our customers’ plants. I have visited plants that produce pet food, peanut butter, jelly, fresh vegetables, poultry and many more. These visits have given me the opportunity to speak directly with our EnviroMap users. I have seen firsthand how their sampling plans are improving over time and how they are using data that has been produced by EnviroMap to respond to contamination. Overall, I found it gratifying to see how the implementation and use of EnviroMap not only improves the operations by cutting cost, but also greatly enhances the overall productivity of the environmental programs. Corporate Quality teams were reporting how game-changing it was to be able to monitor, change and react to local environmental issues, whether at that particular plant or off-site. All of these factors make me proud of the significant contribution to food safety that EnviroMap is making. Continue reading To Compliance and Beyond: Finding Intangibles Through Environmental Monitoring

Technical Tuesdays: Digging Deeper to Find the Root Cause of Food Safety Issues

Food manufacturers who find an issue during an internal food safety audit need to perform a root cause analysis and take corrective actions in order to eliminate the problem. But what if subsequent internal audits reveal the same repeating issue? That is a good indication that the company did not find all of the root causes to place corrective actions against. And for many companies, the issue comes back repeatedly despite corrective actions.  Continue reading Technical Tuesdays: Digging Deeper to Find the Root Cause of Food Safety Issues

Insider Insight to Non-GMO Claim Market Trends

It’s no secret that consumers are continually seeking out healthier foods, with a particular emphasis lately on organic foods, dairy-free or meat-free alternatives and products free of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). But should you make a non-GMO claim on your food label? The answer lies in understanding consumer motivations for purchasing one product over another. While these trends are not new, non-GMO claims specifically have been on the rise as top motivators of consumer food choice over the past few years. Continue reading Insider Insight to Non-GMO Claim Market Trends

Technical Tuesdays: Harnessing Integrated Pest Management For Your Facility

As an auditor for over 35 years, I have noticed most food facilities do not fully understand the fundamentals of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Many know about pest control, but they do not quite grasp the full power of establishing an effective IPM plan.

There are five steps for establishing an effective IPM plan: Continue reading Technical Tuesdays: Harnessing Integrated Pest Management For Your Facility

Technical Tuesdays: Essential Hazard Analysis – Understanding the Microbiological Profile of Ingredients

Required under both the FDA and USDA-FSIS regulations, the Hazard Analysis is arguably the most important component of any food manufacturer’s food safety system. Unless identification of CCPs or Preventive Controls is based on a scientifically sound, properly-supported hazard analysis, hazards may not be adequately controlled. Since microbial hazards often represent the greatest potential food safety risk for food products, it’s critical to understand the microbiological profile of ingredients. This requires both general knowledge of hazards applicable to a particular ingredient and specific information on the ingredients sourced from your suppliers. Continue reading Technical Tuesdays: Essential Hazard Analysis – Understanding the Microbiological Profile of Ingredients

4 Common Approaches to Consider for Process Validation Studies

Under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), food manufacturers are charged with employing processes that mitigate risks and aid in the delivery of safe and stable products. Manufacturers employ a wide range of thermal processes to inactivate spoilage microorganisms and pathogens that can affect product shelf-life. Verifying the effectiveness of these processes through well-designed and executed validation studies is essential in today’s regulatory environment.  Continue reading 4 Common Approaches to Consider for Process Validation Studies

10 Key Things You Should Know About Yeast and Mold

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 10 Key Things You Should Know About Yeast and Mold

Crisis Management: Is Your Food Plant Ready?

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 Crisis Management: Is Your Food Plant Ready?