In the April/May issue of Food Safety Magazine, our cover story explores the current states of food safety culture and food safety management systems, based on the results of a survey assessing industry knowledge and behaviors. Additional features discuss how businesses can encourage frontline employee engagement with food safety culture through a concept called “nudging,” the safety of ready-to-eat vegetables produced through controlled environment agriculture, and ways in which food safety professionals can transfer crucial skills and knowledge to future generations. Access the full issue here!
A survey was sent to food industry trade association members representing food companies to determine what is known about food safety culture, food safety management systems, and active managerial control. The survey also asked about the implementation of such practices in support of a culture of food safety. The survey results indicate that many companies are well aware of these food safety concepts; however, many respondents are unsure whether their company is operating with true active managerial control. Opportunities were uncovered to inform and encourage engagement in active managerial control to a greater degree.
To improve the food safety culture of an organization, it is critical that a key focus be the frontline employees. A proven tool to improve frontline employee engagement in effective food safety behaviors is the concept of "nudging"—a regular cadence of small, easily controlled, and easily taken actions to make a change process more effective, manageable, and sustainable. This article will showcase real-life examples of nudging and share successful examples.
The questions about the safety of controlled environment agriculture (CEA) are complicated. This article outlines why CEA safety depends on understanding and properly addressing the challenges of combining agricultural and ready-to-eat (RTE) into a single facility. It also addresses why CEA is not inherently safe. Ultimately, this article will show how the risk profile of CEA must be compared to that of other RTE produce and that there is no universal answer to the question of CEA safety.
The food safety management program in a foodservice business should be periodically benchmarked against the most current regulatory requirements and best-in-class food safety standards to determine if gaps exist in the program. The gap analysis should be performed by a third party to ensure an unbiased benchmark, and include a review of the corporate governance, systems/speciﬁcations, training/education, supply chain management, foodservice operations, and facilities design. The food safety management team should coordinate and review all deﬁciencies with an action plan prioritized to the level of risk identiﬁed.
This article will lend context to ensuring that the right food safety behaviors and practices are properly transferred from "those who know" to "those who need to know." The suggestions and tenets shared in this article are founded on proven scientific principles and actions, and on instincts honed by long-term experience in the food business. The authors will share best practices to increase an organization's effectiveness at planning for, and executing, the transfer of experience and skills from one generation to the next.
In November 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its Final Food Traceability Rule—a new rule that will have wide-reaching impact on food companies. This issue features Part 2 of the results of our survey of food processors' thoughts on this new rule and their plans for compliance. We will hear their major concerns about the rule, the issues they foresee when trying to determine what they must do to comply, and the systems they are using, and preparing to use, to enhance their traceability programs.
This article explores the total cost of ownership and the many categories of expenses involved in operating, maintaining, and cleaning equipment, as well as the different criteria to consider during the design phase.
Shellfish are filter feeders, and may concentrate microorganisms (bacteria and viruses), as well as natural toxins and chemicals if they are present in the growing waters. The current National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP) dictates uniform requirements that every state must meet, with federal oversight provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). States are required by the NSSP to maintain minimum sanitation standards addressing issues such as water quality monitoring, harvest area enforcement, training of harvesters and dealers, processing, shipping, and handling.
Foreign object control is more than just putting a metal detector at the end of the line. Foreign object hazards in foods pose significant public health risks, can lead to costly economic impact, and can directly affect food security and sustainability. Foreign object risk must be identified as part of a HACCP plan for every manufactured food to determine where the most effective control(s) should be implemented for every production run.
Amid the pandemic in 2020, federal and state recall coordinators and their leadership teams took a closer look at the existing regulatory recall response efforts in the state of Georgia, and where collaboration exists between the two agencies. After creating a pilot template project in 2021, the recall shadowing concept was expanded to a larger network. Feedback from 12 additional agencies in 2022 strengthened the project to enhance partner integration efforts, with the ultimate goal to better protect public health during recall events.
This article examines and unpacks the evolving demands for traceability across various dimensions, such as supply chain visibility, transparency, trust, and sustainability. It investigates the growing importance of services related to the traceability of food production, harvesting, processing, and distribution, as well as verifiable credentials for product and process claims.
With security threats against the sector increasing and cyber threats against the global supply system also on the rise, it is imperative that a food and agriculture ISAC be formed. It does not have to be fully capable at the start; just a few large companies that agree to pool and analyze threat information can plant the initial seed. If successful awareness and deterrence can be demonstrated, then other companies will join. At full capability, the ISAC can serve as a watch and warning center for the sector, providing timely threat analysis for members at all levels. In this article, the authors look at what it takes to create and run a successful ISAC.
There is a growing trend of pathogenic outbreaks being traced to processed fruits, leading to industry players implementing more diligent control processes. This article discusses methodologies and regulations around fruit washing and sanitizing.