The food and beverage industry is undergoing a digital transformation. From large corporations to smaller, more flexible brands, companies are using digital technologies to collect more data regarding their workflow processes and to ensure safety and quality in food processing, packaging, and distribution.
This article explores the food safety challenges of the labor-heavy catering sector, including the pervasive lack of food safety culture and management commitment; the need for creative solutions in process monitoring for large facilities; how to build an effective training program for a catering facility; and how to handle customer complaints, including the importance of root cause analysis.
Having a strong and mature food safety culture contributes to excellence in food safety at food companies worldwide. This article highlights two CEOs' perspectives on the food safety culture journey, the practices implemented, the lessons learned, and the goals for the future.
The safety of meat continues to be a challenge, mainly due to the ever-increasing line speeds and customer expectations that are approaching zero tolerance toward any irregularities. Listeria-free fresh meat is being requested in the market, and even small pieces of soft plastic can cause major recalls, loss of reputation, and loss of business for meat producers. In this article, the authors present new approaches to addressing well-known and emerging challenges from physical and microbiological risks in the meat industry.
Biofilm remains a significant public health-related issue in the food industry. The group behavior of pathogens results in resistant behaviors, including for commonly used disinfectants and antibiotics. Through the food supply chain, these pathogens can easily enter into the human and animal populations, making it imperative to understand the biofilm formation dynamics of these pathogens and how to prevent and control their formation.
Food companies that prepare fresh food items often source individual ingredients from primary suppliers. The food safety risk is typically controlled at primary supplier plants or farms; however, the food safety stakes are high. It is necessary to have "boots on the ground" to assess how food safety and quality programs are integrated with the front-line operation for those suppliers who mitigate food safety risk on the behalf of a receiving company.
The food industry recognizes that consumers provide a very high level of fitness-for-purpose testing when they use products. Some shrinkage is, of course, involved in this process, but this consumer sampling will always reach beyond what is possible for a manufacturer. Instead, manufacturers make a more careful study of samples that are expected to be representative of what is delivered to the consumer. The selection of these samples, including the common misconceptions around the sampling of leafy greens, is the focus of this article.