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 about:

  • The characteristics of an effective sanitation program
  • Balancing cost-savings while implementing an effective sanitation program
  • The importance of the sanitation team within a food facility
  • His experience with testing for allergen cross-contamination from the lunch room to the plant floor
  • Plans for the third edition of his popular sanitation book
  • What he thinks is the biggest sanitation challenge in food plants today
  • The real reason for allergen-related food recalls
  • The success of his "Seek and Destroy" and "Monthly Facility Assessment" programs
  • What happens at Ajinomoto Windsor when a positive Listeria monocytogenes sample is detected
  • The seven steps of sanitation explained in detail
  • The role of sanitors, including what they should and shouldn't do as part of their daily jobs
  • The complexities of seemingly simple tasks in sanitation, such as vacuuming and floor sweeping
  • His tips for equipment cleaning, including his preferences when it comes to pressure washing and water temperature 
  • His thoughts on all-encompassing equipment checks vs. random spot checks
  • The benefits of collecting microbiological swabs BEFORE applying sanitizer
  • Standard tools that all sanitors need and use
  • How to communicate with your chemical supplier to get the tools and resources you need for an effective sanitation program
  • The use of UV light in sanitation
  • Advice for anyone looking for new technology to improve food plant sanitation
  • What can happen when sanitation is not approached correctly

Related Content and Resources:
BOOK: Food Plant Sanitation: Design, Maintenance, and Good Manufacturing Practices, 2nd Edition

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

News Mentioned in This Episode:
New Pesticide Testing Data Touts U.S. Food Supply as "One of the Safest in the World" 
FDA Testing Fresh Herbs, Avocados for Foodborne Pathogens 
Ready-to-Eat Processed Meat: Source of South Africa's Deadly Listeria Outbreak 

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Presenting Sponsor

Download this sanitation case study from Hydrite 
Case Study: Improving Environmental Sanitation Results at a Pet Food Manufacturer


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