In the December/January issue of Food Safety Magazine, our cover story examines how foresight can enable strategic preparedness in food safety to address vulnerabilities and ensure resilience in global Agri-food systems. Additional features discuss how to adapt food safety culture efforts to ways of working, the development of food safety and quality standards for ready-to-eat meals for the military, and the use of post-harvest controls during poultry processing to minimize the risk of salmonella contamination. Access the full issue here!
As our agri-food systems transform in response to the changing global context, food safety must keep pace to safeguard consumer health and ensure international trade. By providing avenues to explore how the future may unfold, foresight enables strategic preparedness in food safety to address vulnerabilities and ensure resilience.
Food safety guiding principles are the same for all companies, but how they are used is dependent not only on the uniqueness of the company but also upon the biases and culture inherent to the company. The latter are often underestimated in their importance and impact. To address these topics, Food Safety Magazine
recently hosted a webinar that featured a group of experienced senior leaders and a food safety culture expert as the panelists and moderator, which this article summarizes.
Ready-to-eat (RTE) foods have been processed so that they can be safely consumed without the need for further heat treatment and minimal to no further preparation. Many of the technologies adopted by the private sector to develop and manufacture RTE foods for consumers were created and first commercialized by the U.S. Armed Forces.
To understand and eventually reduce the risk of salmonellosis from poultry meat, it is necessary to understand the poultry production system, the introduction of the microorganism into the poultry ecosystem (as well as its gastrointestinal tract), the sources of Salmonella during production, subsequently, strategies to control or reduce the risk from this microorganism at both the pre-and post-harvest stages. Part 3 of this article will focus on post-harvest controls during processing to minimize the risk of Salmonella from poultry products.
Food safety sampling and testing strategies must seek ways to adapt food safety plans that reflect the reality of contamination to improve hazard detection and ultimately help ensure that food is safe for consumers. One solution is to maximize the power of sampling plans to detect target hazards present at explicitly defined risk levels—prevalence, level, and/or distribution. This would allow food safety professionals to better manage risk in their specific system.
Failure to plan, design, implement and upkeep good Safety Management Systems (FSMSs)along with a strong, positive food safety culture often leads to compromised food safety and subsequent foodborne illness outbreaks at food processing organizations. This phenomenon is observed with a much higher incidence in medium-and small-sized food companies. In this article, ice cream listeriosis outbreak case studies provide context for the importance of PRPs, GMPs, and process control in preventing foodborne illness outbreaks.
A high level of commitment and resources is needed in the pursuit of clean packaging. This article covers the background of the issue, addresses why action is needed now, and uses per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and phthalates as examples of the complexities. It also covers recommendations for brands and packaging converters.
Many methods are available for verifying the viability of a sanitation program, and most facilities use a combination of different methods to ensure that the sanitation program is performing as expected. Pathogen environmental monitoring (PEM) programs are a key prerequisite program to a sanitation program and to any facility's overall food safety program. There is no one-size-fits-all PEM program for facilities; rather, a PEM program is based on a facility's risk factors and what product(s) the facility manufactures.
Advances in information technology, rapid advances in diagnostic sensitivity, and shifting regulatory requirements are changing the nature of food safety, while macroeconomic trends like globalization, competitive consolidation, and maturation of the industry are altering the structure of the markets. These trends are colliding with shorter-term disruptions like the economic recovery from COVID-19, inflation, and the war in Ukraine, making the near-term future difficult to see.
Small food manufacturers, defined as those with less than 500 full-time employees, have experienced significant challenges to operate and supply food during the COVID-19 pandemic. To better support all manufacturers in Georgia, the University of Georgia Marine Extension and the Georgia Sea Grant conducted free, onsite COVID-19 assessments at seven seafood processing/distributing facilities through the first five months of 2021. Completed assessment reports and recommendations are summarized in this article. Manufacturers demonstrated remarkable adaptability to protect workers and avoid closing, despite supply shortages and continually changing public health guidance