Food Safety & Quality Blog
Mérieux NutriSciences is dedicated to helping companies worldwide find practical solutions to today's food safety and quality challenges throughout the supply chain.

The Environmental Monitoring Monologues: What About Mississippi?

Posted by Larry Bowman

February 20, 2017 at 10:00 AM

enviromap_blog.jpegSeveral years ago, I attended the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) annual meeting, representing our new EnviroMap Software Solution. We spent almost five years developing a comprehensive product that would allow us to manage environmental sampling plans for food plants. Prior to that, we developed Laboratory Information Software solutions for food and energy labs for over ten years. From that experience, we recognized an emerging market for a comprehensive cost effective software tool to manage environmental sampling. This combined with the pending regulations of the new Food Safety Modernization Act made us certain that we had the ideal opportunity for our new software, EnviroMap. 

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Topics: Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Control Program, EnviroMap, Preventive Environmental Monitoring

How FDA “Swabathons” Factor Into Environmental Monitoring

Posted by Tim Freier, Ph.D.

February 7, 2017 at 10:00 AM

swabathon_blog copy.jpgRecently, significant changes have been made to how the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducts investigations of food manufacturing facilities. For starters, note that I did not say FDA inspections; they are now investigations. This change in semantics indicates a shift from a superficial “look around” a facility to diving into records and sometimes taking hundreds of environmental pathogen samples. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has prompted many of these changes, and has given the FDA increased power and access to records. The FDA is also now much more likely than in the past to involve the Department of Justice if there is any possibility of criminal intent. Along with this significant new regulatory authority, the industry has seen major leaps forward in microbial strain tracking technology, the most important being Next Generation Sequencing and its use for Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS). 

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Topics: Environmental Monitoring, FDA, Preventive Environmental Monitoring, Whole Genome Sequencing, Swabathons

The Hidden Cost of Product Recalls

Posted by Seth Keller

January 19, 2017 at 10:00 AM

hidden_cost_recalls_blog.jpegIn 2016, various high profile recalls and minor scale recalls threatened the public safety of consumers across North America. Although it’s impossible to eliminate human error, and thus recalls entirely, it is paramount to understand the direct economic impact of recalls and related risks. Likewise, there are extensive efforts made by regulatory agencies to support food manufacturers as a supplement to the efforts your company should be making to ensure you remain off the recall lists in 2017.

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Topics: Food Safety, Environmental Monitoring, Recalls, FDA, Preventive Controls, Product Recalls

Preventive Environmental Monitoring for Pet Food Facilities

Posted by Stephanie A. Wilkins

October 26, 2016 at 1:00 PM

shutterstock_177594395.jpgA picture taken in the early 1980s shows me at age 3 eating dog treats out of my grandparents’ food pantry. I think back on that picture and recognize how things have changed in the last 30+ years when it comes to Food Safety, most recently for the Pet Food Industry. Environmental Monitoring or Product Testing Programs rarely existed back then, and the few that did exist lacked planning. If I had gotten sick from consuming contaminated pet food, my parents or doctors would never have assumed eating dog food/treats caused it.

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Topics: Environmental Monitoring, Pet Food, EnviroMap, Pathogens, Preventive Environmental Monitoring

Preventing Listeria and Other Pathogens in Food Production

Posted by Paige Krzysko

September 26, 2016 at 2:00 PM

dreamstime_m_79316.jpgIn preventing foodborne illnesses, several different factors play a pivotal role in safeguarding final products. Several recent recalls associated with Listeria monocytogenes are prompting food manufacturers to ensure their food safety management plans address all possible sources of in-plant contamination.

Listeria can be life-threatening to individuals with weakened immune systems, pregnant women or older adults. Dairy, prepared foods, produce and seafood were the matrices most commonly contaminated with Listeria over the past five years, according to data from the latest FDA Reportable Food Registry (RFR) report.

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Topics: Food Safety, Environmental Monitoring, Microbiology,, Food Testing, Pathogens

The Importance of a Strategic Environmental Monitoring Program

Posted by Paige Krzysko

July 22, 2016 at 9:30 AM

brochure3_blog.pngEnvironmental monitoring plays an instrumental role in ensuring food safety at plant facilities. Product contamination is a leading cause of recalls and FSMA will soon require verification of preventive measures taken to keep food safe. Accordingly, companies should invest in monitoring programs to catch potential problems before products are released for consumer consumption.

To develop a comprehensive food safety program under FSMA, plant management teams need to determine the areas in a facility where hazards may exist, establish preventive controls and verify that those controls are effective. This ties directly into environmental monitoring because companies are strongly recommended to regularly collect samples from different areas of production plants, particularly in areas with potential hazards.

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Topics: Food Safety, Food Safety Training, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Environmental Monitoring, Training, FSMA

Marco Polo and EnviroMap®: An Apt Analogy

Posted by Brent Wallen

February 5, 2016 at 10:30 AM

EnviroMapMarco Polo was not the first European to travel across Asia during the Middle Ages. But by writing about his journeys in the “Travels of Marco Polo,” he underscored the importance of documentation in gaining credibility with the masses. The book was a wild success and inspired countless other explorers, including Christopher Columbus who made a very important discovery in 1492.

Under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), companies are required to document the efficacy of their programs and processes to the satisfaction of regulators and stakeholders in their ongoing journey to produce safer products. Environmental monitoring programs have attained a sizable footprint across the food industry and companies are taking EnviroMap®, a comprehensive software solution for environmental monitoring, along for the journey.

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Topics: Environmental Monitoring, EnviroMap

Conestoga College and Mérieux NutriSciences Create Unique Classroom & Hands-On Training Opportunity in Environmental Monitoring

Posted by Jeff Lucas

August 14, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Mérieux NutriSciences ConestogaWith increasing frequency, manufacturing plants in the United States and Canada are revisiting the basics of environmental monitoring programs and pursuing more advanced investigational techniques. Conestoga College and Mérieux NutriSciences will team together to host an “Environmental Monitoring Program and Aseptic Techniques” short course on September 29-30, 2015, in Cambridge, ONT.

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Topics: Food Safety Training, Environmental Monitoring, Training

Environmental Monitoring Systems: Making Prevention Cost-Effective

Posted by Stephanie A. Wilkins

August 7, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Prevention is cost effective! Environmental Monitoring Programs One of the centerpieces of The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) focuses on preventative sanitation control, requiring manufactures to implement a food safety plan to control hazards that can potentially introduce microorganisms into finished product. Due to the heightened emphasis on prevention, an effective environmental monitoring system (EMS) provides manufacturers with critical data and information on the microbiological condition of their plants. When these systems are not  correctly implemented and maintained, plants are at a greater risk of encountering safety issues that can result in increased liability exposure.

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Topics: Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Environmental Monitoring


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