In the August/September '23 issue of Food Safety Magazine, our cover story reviews the impacts of various organizational structures on the success of food safety teams. Additional features explore pilot-scale thermal treatments for the control of Salmonella in low-moisture foods, how reducing complexity across an organization’s processes can improve risk assessment and culture, and possible applications for genomic techniques in meat and poultry processing.
A simple review of organizational structures shows that food safety teams report to different functions across food companies, but what structure provides the best opportunity for success of the food safety team, and what are the measures of success? Identifying the structure that sets up the food safety team to drive daily compliance and upgrade existing programs is key. This article examines current organizational structures and evaluates the pros and cons of each.
This article discusses the latest research elucidating the main reason why foodborne pathogens like Salmonella are more resistant to heat inactivation in low-moisture food (LMF) systems, including quantitative data relating thermal treatment temperature and water activity/relative humidity to the log-reduction rate of bacterial pathogens in different LMF. Case studies on pilot-scale thermal treatments for the control of Salmonella in LMF are also presented.
Risk culture is a construct in which the organization's values, beliefs, and behaviors influence actions relative to how it responds to risks. By reducing complexity across the organization's functions and processes, the different types of risk can be assessed and managed by a single, powerful approach so that the risk culture is more mature.
Advances in next-generation sequencing have allowed for an understanding of the microbial inhabitants that make up the microbiome in ways that culture-based techniques are limited. This article provides a broad overview of two genomic techniques and potential applications for their use by meat and poultry processors.
Implementing an effective Listeria environmental monitoring program enables knowledge of where Listeria can enter, harbor, and move through a facility, which is the first step toward keeping the pathogen on the run and not allowing it to impact production surfaces or finished product.
Leveraging digital supply chain technologies—like blockchain, AI, and other solutions—can help importers comply with FDA's Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) more efficiently and effectively, while also improving supply chain transparency and reducing the risk of food safety incidents.
Packaging and labeling of cannabis-infused edibles are unregulated at the federal level due to Cannabis remaining a Schedule I drug, therefore industry must comply with individual state codes and use international standards for guidance. Cannabis-infused edibles are packaged and labeled with all the familiar requirements for a food and dietary supplement, and further requirements must be met.
The U.S. baby food industry has seen its fair share of advocacy and regulatory headlines in recent years. Most recently, FDA released its Draft Guidance for Industry: Action Levels for Lead in Food Intended for Babies and Young Children. Is this regulatory focus on heavy metals a one-off, or an overview of things to come for the collective industry? This article will discuss the consumer and regulatory drivers of recent years, and also explore the congressional investigation and FDA's subsequent Closer to Zero effort. It will also discuss the latest developments and what moves can be expected next from FDA.
Supply chain constraints are not a new challenge in the food industry. Food is a global market, and even the smallest food processor brings in food ingredients, packaging, and equipment from around the world. Included in this article are tips and tricks for managing inventory, supplier, and warehouse challenges for food manufacturing facilities.
Salmonella spp. have long been associated with low-moisture foods such as nuts and nut-derived products, with varying prevalence observed in tree nuts, including cashews, at retail. Virtually all cashews are imported to the U.S. Some nuts, including cashews, are imported as a "raw" product (i.e., one that has not been subjected to a process to adequately reduce pathogens, such as a kill step). Salmonella contamination of such products has resulted in several notable outbreaks in the U.S. in the past ten years, including those in which cashew-containing products have been implicated as a vehicle. This article presents a brief overview of outbreak investigations of Salmonella infections linked to the consumption of cashews and cashew-containing food products. It also presents challenges encountered, lessons learned, and relevant regulatory requirements for importers and manufacturers of cashews and cashew-containing products.
The August/September Food Safety Insights column continues with our survey asking food processors about their top issues and priorities. In this issue, we explore processors' "to-do" lists of projects for the next 1–2 years and the regulations or requirements that will have the biggest impacts on their programs in the near future.