Staying Ahead of the FDA in Pathogen Detection

Posted by Chip Zerr (Guest Blogger) on Oct 20, 2016 1:40:22 PM


A Food Safety Plan and HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) are safe food advancements that are either required or recommended by the U.S. FDA (Federal Food and Drug Administration) with the ideal goal of eliminating outbreaks and food recalls. The alarming volume of over 500 food recalls in 2015 has since compelled Congress to impart judicial powers to the U.S. FDA and the DOJ (Department of Justice) with the ability to bring criminal charges against companies and their management for food safety violations as it relates to foodborne pathogen outbreaks. Congruently, the newly developed and mandated FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) expands the food safety compliance requirements of the food industry to supply safe food, along with safe food protocols and procedures.

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Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road... Because Walmart Led the Way

Posted by Kenna Smith, Field Application Specialist on Sep 13, 2016 2:49:56 PM

Every year at the International Association of Food Protection there are fabulous presentations and this year in St. Louis was no exception. One in particular was by Frank Yiannis, Vice President of Food Safety for Walmart, in which he discussed the great leaps and bounds his company has been making in effort to reduce the levels of Salmonella in chicken parts sold at their stores. Salmonella accounts for 380 deaths and 19,000 illnesses each year with as many as 19% of salmonellosis cases linked to poultry products, so it is a significant public health concern. Although more stringent performance standards for Salmonella have recently been set by the USDA for poultry processors, raw poultry products are still considered high risk. This was not going to be a quick and easy fix. However, Walmart was determined to reduce this risk for its customers by implementing a set of food safety requirements via a four-part plan and working closely with suppliers to get it done. When this initiative was first launched, their prevalence was around 17%. But by January of this year, they were testing at 5% and then even lower in June at only 2%.

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Fresh to Market: Innovation Ensuring Faster, Safer Produce to Shelves

Posted by Mandi Kim, Food Safety Specialist on Aug 15, 2016 10:50:52 AM

Getting fresh produce to market while still ensuring quality and safety is often a paradox in the produce industry. The demand for more product with longer shelf life continues to rise as people try to eat healthier foods. However, public health data, recent recalls and outbreaks amidst increasing consumer awareness and changing regulatory requirements create a very challenging landscape for today’s growers, packers, retailers and other links throughout the supply chain. As a result, produce companies are turning to innovative solutions to help them meet the demands of producing and providing safe, quality products in a timely manner.

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The Creative Spark of Food Safety

Posted by Ted Andrew, Senior Director, Product Marketing on Jul 28, 2016 9:00:00 AM

As we go out into the food industry, one significant trait that continues to shine through is the passion we all have for our industry and in food safety. With this much enthusiasm, it is particularly challenging not to bring work home with you at the end of the day. However, when we do, it starts rubbing off on our family, inspiring even the youngest members to be just as excited about food safety as we are.

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Numbers are Knowledge

Posted by Lisa Leier-McHugh on Jul 12, 2016 1:31:51 PM

We live every aspect of our lives by numbers. Numbers and calculations rate, rank, grade, condemn and save us every day. This hit home recently when a member of my immediate family was battling multiple myeloma. It was amazing and simultaneously terrifying, the new world of diagnostic numbers he and those close to him were immediately thrown into. New results and benchmark numbers were constantly being compared as my family member tried to understand the meaning of a particular protein value and its relationship to this indicator or that. White count levels and the appropriate number of stem cells that would be needed for a successful transplant became part of everyone’s new daily vernacular. On the day he learned remission was achieved, the group text from the oncologist visit said, “Beta 2-MG = 4 YEAH!” We all knew that the number “4” was a great value, and
he was there.

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How much Time Do You Spend Cooking?

Posted by Lauretta Johnson on May 17, 2016 12:50:50 PM

I recently attended the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA) Science Forum in Washington, DC. This was my fourth time attending and find it to be one of the most educational meetings. What makes this meeting unique is the commitment and open mindedness to new concepts, technologies, and strategies that will keep driving the industry forward through the next decades.

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Diffusion of Innovation: Boiling Water in the Andes

Posted by Ted Andrew, Senior Director, Product Marketing on Apr 14, 2016 10:05:56 AM

One of my guilty pleasures during my long commute is listening to a variety of podcasts. During a recent episode, Author Richard Nesbitt was relating a story of a health worker in the Andes jungle who was trying to convince a rural tribe to boil water prior to drinking and washing food. This anecdote seemed to serve as both a literal and figurative example of todays Food safety culture.

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Limits Testing for Salmonella What a Difference A Year Makes Part 2

Posted by Lisa Leier-McHugh on Mar 23, 2016 9:10:52 AM

Discovering New Applications for Poultry Limits Testing

Roka has worked on several applications using the Limits based approach in situations from live production environments to pre and post chill rinsates, as well as parts, trim and ground fresh products. Each situation and matrix reveal new information to a company which is valuable and useful for their particular situation.  

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Are You Still Proving the Negative with Your Environmental Listeria Program?

Posted by Mandi Kim, Food Safety Specialist on Mar 9, 2016 9:47:44 AM

In light of recent events, food processors are starting to change how they view their environmental monitoring programs. Listeria recalls and outbreaks are occurring too often and now affecting a broader range of food products such as pet treats and caramel apples, which have not been linked with Listeria contamination in the past.  

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Salmonella Limits Testing Year in Review Part 1

Posted by Lisa Leier-McHugh on Feb 26, 2016 10:45:58 AM

What a difference a year makes. Last year after the 2015 International Poultry Expo, I wrote a blog post about the newest “Buzz” around pathogen testing called Salmonella Limits Testing in PoultryAt the time, the Limits testing approach was developed for Ground Poultry product where the approach involved fresh ground product that has been determined to have greater than 1 CFU/gram of Salmonella present in an assigned lot. This >/< limits approach is based upon a producers desire to keep higher Salmonella levels, which could potentially pose a higher health risk. 

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