Check out the April-May 2022 edition of Food Safety Magazine featuring an exploration of the advancement of technology for improving virtual audits and inspections, two articles that dive deeply into the food safety concerns around plant-based products, a review of Cyclospora cayetanensis outbreak investigations, reformulation challenges in packaged meats and much more!
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.
FDA Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation Network (CORE), in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health and regulatory partners, conduct foodborne illness outbreak investigations, including thoserelated to Cyclospora cayetanensis infections. In this article, the authors review the successes and challenges of identifying and responding to outbreaks caused by C. cayetanensis infections since 2013, the progress made, the challenges remaining, and what the future holds.
This article examines the food safety and quality aspects of plant-based protein products. Consumers may perceive food safety risks for plant protein as lesser, and may not be as vigilant when preparing plant protein products. Food manufacturers must be diligent in applying the same comprehensive food safety strategies used for meat and poultry production and processing to plant-based protein production to ensure food safety.
The culture of a facility in food safety or customer relations is impacted by how customer communications are managed. Customer complaint trending and response are part of a company or facility's risk management strategy. The objective of any management system is to try to protect the company from adverse actions. Understanding and responding to customer complaints is one strategy.
The authors and collaborating food safety experts have delineated several unique features in Australia around food safety and quality: intimate collaborations across sectors and functions, "walk the talk," and skills and capacity building.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, vendor certification has been top of mind for the food industry given the increased requirements and oversight of third-party audits and FDA regulations to better accommodate public health. This article will give a baseline understanding of the regulatory requirements between U.S. federal bodies (FDA, USDA) in comparison to widely known GFSI standards (BRC, SQF, FSSC 22200). Additionally, it will provide insight into key control areas for mitigating risk and adapting business in accordance with the growing emphasis on the importance of food safety culture.
Foreign material is an ongoing issue in food plants. The food safety foreign material plan must consider types of foreign materials, effectiveness of detection devices, and rapid screening of food safety device kick-outs. Tools to enhance investigation of these materials are equipment component mapping, defined burst limits, and protocols to restart the line.
In our ongoing coverage of the supply chain crisis and how it is affecting food processors, Food Safety Insights surveyed more than 150 food processors in North America and around the world about how they are managing their recovery, the difficulties they are still coping with, what changes they have made and will be making in the future. Most processors told us that they continue to have some level of difficulty with high prices, availability of employees (including truck drivers), and supply shortages. A large majority (about 75 percent) also tell us that they plan to implement changes and to manage their supply chains differently to avoid these issues in the future.
Efforts to reduce food waste may include the use of active and intelligent (A&I) packaging. Literature has pointed out the links between climate change, natural resource depletion, and food waste, and suggests that using A&I packaging to prolong product freshness and slow down spoilage of perishable fruit and meat has the diversion potential of 72,000 tons and an economic value of $167 million. As innovations in packaging advance, if allowed to do so, the impact of these products could be of greater benefit, not only in reducing food waste but also in improving food safety.
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 significantly shifted consumer demand away from restaurants and foodservice to home meals and ready-to-eat (RTE) meat and poultry products. As a complement for more convenience-type items, consumers began focusing on product expiration dates to limit trips to retail markets. Combined with consumers' nutritional focus on sugar, sodium, fat content, and additives, meeting these expectations and requirements is a serious challenge for meat and poultry processors. The most common challenges for reformulation are reduction of sodium and replacing additives such as nitrite and preservatives.