Michael Cramer is currently the senior director of food safety and quality assurance with Ajinomoto Windsor, Inc. The company was formed through various acquisitions (Multifoods, Specialty Brands, and Windsor Foods) and ultimately the purchase of Windsor Foods by Ajinomoto. He will celebrate his 25th year with the company in October 2018.

Mike is an SQF practitioner, ASQ-certified quality auditor, and a preventive controls-qualified individual. CRC Press published Mike's book “Food Plant Sanitation: Design, Maintenance and Good Manufacturing Practices” (2nd Edition, 2013).

Mike is a graduate of West Chester University in West Chester, PA where he earned a B.Sc. Health Science in 1977. He spent 16 years working with Swift & Company (Armour, Swift – Eckrich, ConAgra) in poultry operations, processed meats and poultry, and corporate food safety and quality assurance.

Finally, Mike has been an esteemed member of Food Safety Magazine's Editorial Advisory Board since 2001.

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Mike Cramer about:

  • Why Listeria continues to be a challenge in food plants
  • Qualities that a food facility—and its staff—should have in order to tackle Listeria and environmental monitoring issues
  • The financial burden of setting up an environmental monitoring program, and why it's necessary
  • Implementing a program that is designed to look for Listeria spp., not just Listeria monocytogenes
  • What happens when regulatory inspectors come in to conduct swabbing
  • The pros and cons of testing in an in-house lab vs. a third-party lab
  • Testing methodologies: cultural method, polymerase chain reaction, VIDAS, lateral flow devices, etc.
  • What should happen when positive test results are confirmed
  • The Ishikawa process and how it relates to getting to the root cause of environmental problems
  • The importance of having a cross-functional team in place to attack Listeria harborage from all angles and departments
  • Implementing chemical and mechanical actions to rid a plant of biofilm
  • How the dirtiest areas of a food facility don't automatically equal Listeria contamination
  • Sanitary design and hygienic design
  • Quat, peroxyacetic acid, chlorine dioxide, silver dihydrous chloride, and other options for sanitizing
  • Taking advantage of industry conferences, events, and new technologies to hone in on what a particular food business needs to know to improve food safety operations

Related Content and Resources:
BOOK: Food Plant Sanitation: Design, Maintenance, and Good Manufacturing Practices, 2nd Edition 
2014 Sanitary Equipment Design Taskforce (checklist and glossary) 
Risks of Oligodynamic Silver Use in Food Preservation and Processing Operations (June/July 2017) 
Does Animal Welfare Affect Food Safety? (February/March 2009)

Mike Cramer's Articles Published in Food Safety Magazine:
Environmental Listeria Monitoring: Seek and Destroy Pathogens (December 2017/January 2018)
Allergen Management: A Personal and Professional Perspective (August/September 2016)
A Look at GMPs: How FSMA Will Change Expectations (February/March 2016)
Supplier Certification: A Matter of Risk Assessment and Resources (October/November 2015)
Upgrade Sanitation Plan to Work Out Bugs (April/May 2014)

For more articles from Mike Cramer, access our compiled search FoodSafetyMagazine.com

Bob Ferguson's Food Safety Insights Articles:
The Uphill Path to FSMA Compliance (October/November 2018)
Lessons Learned: Careers in Food Safety (August/September 2018)
Listeria: An Important Focus of Environmental Monitoring (June/July 2018)
Sanitation Verification for Allergen Control (April/May 2018)
Testing and Sanitation for Allergen Control (February/March 2018) 
Outsourcing: Pathogen Testing under the Microscope (December 2017/January 2018)
The New Face of Sanitation Programs: New Rules, New Challenges (October/November 2017)
A Closer Look at Environmental Monitoring in the Processing Plant (August/September 2017)
What Industry and FDA Are Thinking About FSMA Implementation (June/July 2017)
The Drivers of Differences in Food Safety Testing Practices (April/May 2017)
A Look at the Microbiology Testing Market (February/March 2017)

News Mentioned in This Episode:
Ostroff Retiring from FDA; Walmart's Yiannas Moving to Agency 
Plant at Center of Largest Ever Salmonella Ground Beef Recall Accused of "Inhumane" Animal Treatment in USDA FSIS Records (Notice of Intended Enforcement, Notice of Deferral
Nearly 7 Million Pounds of Raw Ground Beef Recalled After Salmonella Outbreak

Presenting Sponsor: Eurofins
Training Courses: Register and browse online for a training course near you
Webinar: Is Your EMP Program Hitting the Mark? Watch our recorded webinar
White Paper: Download Eurofins' Environmental Monitoring Guide

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