Manufacturing safe, wholesome products is perhaps the most important aspect of any dairy foods business, especially when it comes to consumer confidence. Therefore, as an industry, we are always looking for ways to improve our products and maintain the most robust food safety protocols possible.
A robust environmental swabbing program will greatly help dairy processors in ensuring the prime directive: public health.
June 12, 2018
The importance of environmental swabbing in dairy operations cannot be overstated. Some reasons are rather obvious, while others may not be so. But the responsibility falls on all food and beverage manufacturing companies to ensure that public safety, health and trust are not compromised in any way.
In 2017, there were more than 400 food recalls in the United States. Undeclared allergens and/or improper labeling led the charge as the primary source. Pathogenic organisms from Listeria Monocytogenes and Salmonella and foreign materials came in second and third, respectively.
To the credit of FDA, a wealth of resources has been assembled to help processors develop and implement a plan to come into compliance with the Preventive Controls rules. For example, the agency created a Food Safety Plan Builder to assist owners/operators of food facilities with the development of food safety plans that are specific to their facilities and has published several guidance documents related to implementing Food Safety Modernization Act.
It’s an unfortunate fact that food recalls still occur too often. And with the FDA’s focus on ready-to-eat (RTE) foods, the dairy industry is no exception. For example, there have been more than 20 recalls of various types of cheeses due to Listeria monocytogenes concerns thus far in 2017.
There is no better time for processors to make sure they have the policies, procedures and practices in place to help meet the objectives of new rules on Preventive Controls for Human Food under the Food Safety Modernization Act.
Ensuring consumer safety through innovative technologies that improve product safety is a critical priority for the dairy industry. Important pillars of a safe dairy product include having high-quality raw materials, proper storage temperatures, proper pasteurization and good sanitation procedures.