In January, Bakery Equipment Manufacturers and Allieds (BEMA) kicked of its first Baking Industry Forum (BIF) meeting of the New Year. The meeting heard from members of the Food Safety & Sanitation group, as well as the Workforce group.

The Food Safety & Sanitation group reported on the Overall Risk Assessment tool (ORA) and its collaborative work with BEMA’s Safety & Sanitation Virtual Roundtable group. As a result of the work performed, the ORA tool is ready for use in the production environment. The Baking Industry Forum is eager for companies to try out the ORA tool. Outcomes will be the topic of discussion during the next Food Safety & Sanitation virtual roundtable with subsequent analysis at a spring webinar and/or at the June Convention.

Previously, the Food Safety & Sanitation group had met on November 11, 2020, to discuss the challenges of risk assessment. Co-moderators for the event included Karl Thorson, General Mills; Jeremiah Tilghman, Flowers Corp.; and Delia Justable, of Forbo Siegling. Participants in the roundtable included those from the engineering/maintenance fields, food safety/quality, R&D/technical support, and safety.

In 2019, the co-moderators, who are also members of BIF, were tasked with developing the Overall Risk Assessment Tool (ORA). The ORA tool is designed to identify a project owner who will coordinate project task completion, and report discrepancies. The tool identifies the food safety risk in a manufacturing process, and assigns tasks to be completely by the departments who are responsible for them.

To participate in the Overall Risk Assessment project, contact Delia Justable at

Founded in 1918, BEMA is an international, not-for-profit trade association representing leading bakery and food suppliers. BEMA creates authentic connections that improve its members’ businesses and the industries they serve. Its members utilize the value they gain through BEMA networking and educational events to provide their customers with the most effective, innovative solutions in the baking industry.