Wendy White, M.Sc., is the Industry Manager for Food and Beverage at Georgia Tech's Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP). She is also a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Food Safety Magazine.
New products go through a seemingly straightforward yet challenging product development process from benchtop to pilot testing to final commercial launch, with a lot of moving parts. Also, innovative products, new processing technologies, complex government regulations, and consumer demand for products free of preservatives and chemicals have made developing new products increasingly challenging from a food safety perspective. Although food safety is an integral part of the process, it is often overlooked in these initial developmental stages due several reasons, including the lack of food safety understanding among product development scientists, a disconnect between product development and quality assurance departments, ambiguity in regulations regarding new ingredients, etc. This article discusses the unique challenges faced by food scientists and manufactures in product development, touching on the food safety and quality challenges during upscaling from initial concept to full production, how risks are managed, and how decisions are made for new ingredient selection, formulation, and new processes.
This article will focus on why third-shift food and beverage sanitation work can be so challenging and dangerous, why it receives so much attention from OSHA, and what resources and control strategies are available for employers. The authors discuss the physical and chemical challenges with food processing equipment design and sanitation requirements as they relate to the safe performance of cleaning tasks.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to pivot to virtual food safety audits and inspections, but there has been reluctance to sustain this model of remote evaluations. Recently, advances have emerged in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and development of novel approaches to auditing that have worked to bridge the gap and help virtual audits and inspections move closer to gaining equivalency to traditional onsite formats.
This article gives a comparison of food safety/quality needs with employee safety during production, using the chemical application of peracetic acid to control environmental biological contamination as the example. It also examines how to better encourage collaboration between food safety and employee safety, using the hierarchy of controls as the guide.