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02/12 2019 ISSUE:847

 

Global Industrial Automation Industry in Food Safety and Inspection Market 2018: Manufacturers, Growth, Trends, Size, Share, Industry Report Forecast to 2022
Source : https://ddnewsherald.com/2019/21418/global-industrial-automation-industry-in-food-safety-and-inspection-market-2018-manufacturers-growth-trends-size-share-industry-report-forecast-to-2022/
By Sambit K (Feb 10, 2019)
Latest Global Industrial Automation Industry in Food Safety and Inspection Market share analysis for the top industry players & new entrants, regional and country level segments, threats, opportunities, investment opportunities, challenges, latest technological advancements. Industrial Automation Industry in Food Safety and Inspection market gives recommendations for important business segments based on the market estimations, competitive landscaping mapping the key financials, recent developments, and common trends.
The report provides a 5-year forecast (2018-2022) assessed based on how the Industrial Automation Industry in Food Safety and Inspection market is predicted to grow in major regions like Americas, APAC and EMEA
Competitive Analysis of Industrial Automation Industry in Food Safety and Inspection Market: Advantech, Datalogic, Inspection Systems, METTLER TOLEDO, Teledyne Technologies, Thermo Fisher Scientific
To Access PDF Sample Report, Click Here: http://www.industryresearch.co/enquiry/request-sample/12842071
“This report analyst forecast the global Industrial Automation Industry in Food Safety and Inspection market to grow at a CAGR of 5.94% during the period 2018-2022.”
Market Driver
•Growing benefits of inspecting bulk foods in-line
•For a full, detailed list, view our report
Market Challenge
•Volatility in prices of raw materials
•For a full, detailed list, view our report
Market Trend
•MDX technology for food inspection systems
•For a full, detailed list, view our report
Covered in this report
The report covers the present scenario and the growth prospects of the global Industrial Automation Industry in Food Safety and Inspection market for 2018-2022. To calculate the market size, the report considers the revenue generated from the use of Industrial Automation Industry in Food Safety and Inspection in different segments
Regional Analysis:
United States, Canada, Germany, Mexico, France, Russia, Italy, UK, China, Korea, India, Japan, Southeast Asia, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa, are leading countries and provides data like sales, market share (%) by types & applications, consumption, imports & exports analysis, production, and consumption forecast.
Browse Detailed TOC, Tables, Figures, Charts And Companies Mentioned In Industrial Automation Industry in Food Safety and Inspection Market Research Report at http://www.industryresearch.co/12842071
Detailed TOC of Global Industrial Automation Industry in Food Safety and Inspection Market 2018-2022
PART 01: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
PART 02: SCOPE OF THE REPORT
PART 03: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
PART 04: MARKET LANDSCAPE
• Market ecosystem
• Market characteristics
• Industrial Automation Industry in Food Safety and Inspection Market segmentation analysis
PART 05: MARKET SIZING
• Market definition
• Market sizing
• Market size and forecast
PART 06: FIVE FORCES ANALYSIS
• Bargaining power of buyers
• Bargaining power of suppliers
• Threat of new entrants
• Threat of substitutes
• Market condition
Have Any Query Regarding the Industrial Automation Industry in Food Safety and Inspection Market Report? Ask our Industry Experts:
http://www.industryresearch.co/enquiry/pre-order-enquiry/12842071
PART 07: MARKET SEGMENTATION BY APPLICATION
• Industrial Automation Industry in Food Safety and Inspection Segmentation by application
• Comparison by application
• Market opportunity by application
PART 08: CUSTOMER LANDSCAPE
PART 09: REGIONAL LANDSCAPE
PART 10: DECISION FRAMEWORK
PART 11: DRIVERS AND CHALLENGES
• Market drivers
• Market challenges
PART 12: MARKET TRENDS
……. And Continue
Some Exhibit Points Covered in this Industrial Automation Industry in Food Safety and Inspection Market Report are:
Exhibit 01: Related market
Exhibit 02: Industrial Automation Industry in Food Safety and Inspection Market characteristics
Exhibit 03: Market segments
Exhibit 04: Market definition – Inclusions and exclusions checklist
Exhibit 05: Market size 2017
Exhibit 06: Comparison by application
Exhibit 07: Industrial Automation Industry in Food Safety and Inspection Market opportunity by application
Exhibit 08: Regional comparison
And Continue…….
Price of Industrial Automation Industry in Food Safety and Inspection Market Report (Single User License): $ 3500
Purchase the Industrial Automation Industry in Food Safety and Inspection Market Report at http://www.industryresearch.co/purchase/12842071
As the Industrial Automation Industry in Food Safety and Inspection market facing slowness in global economic development, the market continued a growth in the past few years and market size will maintain the average annual growth rate by 2022. Industrial Automation Industry in Food Safety and Inspection Market report also provides market forecast data, according to history of this industry and the future of the industry faces what situation, growth or failure.

Big Ideas: “Using blockchain for food safety” with Jackie Rednour-Bruckman, CMO of Daxima Software
Source : https://thriveglobal.com/stories/big-ideas-using-blockchain-for-food-safety-with-jackie-rednour-bruckman-cmo-of-daxima-software/
By Christina D. Warner, MBA, Healthcare Innovator (Feb 08, 2019)
As a part of my series about “Big Ideas That Might Change The World In The Next Few Years” I had the pleasure of interviewing Jackie Rednour-Bruckman. Jackie is the Chief Marketing Officer of Daxima Software, a San Francisco Bay Area based software development firm creating a blockchain system for food safety and traceability as well as AI for connected car fleets. Rednour-Bruckman has decades of Executive experience in the Tech, Startup, Ecommerce, and Entrepreneurial sector.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I have always been a storyteller, have always enjoyed content marketing, and really love doing search engine optimization. I have a knack for distilling complex scenarios down to the essence of their secret sauce and making complicated technical jargon easy for everyone to understand. I feel into the tech world and haven’t looked back because I believe in software making people’s lives easier, efficient, and less complicated so you can enjoy life more.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
There have been a lot of interesting moments but recently I was at a prestigious symposium focused on cyber security and I found myself in deep conversation with a decision maker from the Department of Defense regarding secure remote access to files. We discussed some of the ramifications of the lack of software security on the 2016 election cycle.
Can you tell us about your “Big Idea That Might Change The World”?
I want to share how revolutionary Blockchain Technology will be. Most people hear Blockchain and think of cryptocurrency or bitcoin, but the actual technology is about total transactional transparency and digital ledgers accessible by anyone for authentication. The industries that will be transformed include food production, the music industry, the real estate industry, and more. In very simple terms, no one gets to fudge the data if they don’t totally control it. We are working on a blockchain system for traceability in food production. You scan a bar code on a package of meat and you instantly get all the information on where the cow was born, what diet it lived on, where it was pastured, who owned it, processed it, etc. It may lead to an increase in vegetarianism while also creating gold standards of food safety.
More info here: https://www.daxima.com/blockchain-technology-can-revolutionize-music-industry/
and here: https://www.daxima.com/blockchain-technology-revolutionizing-food-safety/
How do you think this will change the world?
We are looking at the beginning of what I call Transactional Democracy. Information, transactions, exchanges, and trading of goods, services, and monies will be transparent, traceable, accountable, and able to be authenticated by more than just one all powerful entity. If sending a fax is more secure than sending an email, then imagine a bunch of fax machines being able to confirm and exchange transactions of all kinds in a few seconds with each other. Food safety and traceability is only one industry. There is the music industry, the banking industry, voting ballots, real estate/mortgage contracts, and more. The stock market will be somewhat irrelevant at some point because there will be no more hedging bets on failed funds or propped up value without quantifiable math. There will be no need for institutions that exist as the go between or guarantor of any kind.
Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this idea that people should think more deeply about?
There will always be people who want to trick and exploit the system so there will have to be checks and balances and oversight with integrity and with a global cooperative creed.
Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this idea? Can you tell us that story?
Social media has taught us that we can be constantly connected, and that privacy is relative. Millennials and Generation Z digital natives don’t worry as much about privacy like Baby Boomers and Generation X’ers do. A lot of people don’t carry cash anymore. They have an app, or a digital wallet and a lot of people don’t have checking accounts or credit cards but are still able to get paid from their job and reserve hotel rooms or ride in a Lyft. Most of these folks want to use a QR reader to scan a bar code and see where their food comes from. Most of these folks are not going to want to wait for a mortgage to close or a car loan to go through.
What do you need to lead this idea to widespread adoption?
It’s already happening.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why.
1.Sprint, Scrum, Agile, and QA are going to be terms you use a lot
2.Teach your user base the difference between Deployment, Production, and Rollback
3.There needs to be more women in positions of leadership and at the C-level
4.Not all software developers are alike choose carefully
5.The life and work balance are imperative for true productivity
The future of work is a common theme. What can one do to “future proof” their career?
There’s no way to future proof anything. As nature can teach us, chaos is to be expected. The best you can do is minimize and mitigate risk and you do that by having contingency plans and staying prepared for constant change.
Based on the future trends in your industry, if you had a million dollars, what would you invest in?
I would invest in people before I would invest in trends. There are a lot of similar ideas out there but it’s about who can execute, scale, and sustain and then innovate again.
Which principles or philosophies have guided your life? Your career?
Family first and being ruled by compassion and kindness. You have one life so live it well. Surround yourself with people you admire. Stay curious, be trustworthy, and don’t be petty. Leave things better than you found it and do no harm
Can you share with our readers what you think are the most important “success habits” or “success mindsets”?
Get enough sleep, drink lots of water, take care of your teeth, and move each day to break a sweat even if it’s just a brisk walk. Do your job well and get the job done.
Some very well-known VCs read this column. If you had 60 seconds to make a pitch to a VC, what would you say? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
There are unicorns and there are thoroughbreds who win races. Why chase a unicorn that doesn’t exist when I can show you a stable full of racehorses who are triple crown winners? Jokes aside- do you want to be part of something that will usher in the next industrial revolution, 4.0, and become the new internet?
How can our readers follow you on social media?
https://www.linkedin.com/in/bruckman/
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.
—?—?— —
About the Author:
Christina D. Warner is a healthcare marketer at Walgreens Boots Alliance. She is a Duke Business School alumnus, and has innovated commercially for Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Veniti (now Boston Scientific) and Goldman Sachs. Christina is a regular columnist for Authority Magazine and Thrive Global and and has been quoted in many national publications. You can download her free ‘How To Get Into the C-Suite and More: top secrets from CEO’s, political figures, and best-selling authors. Connect with Christina at LinkedIn or Twitter

 

 

 


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A new model for food safety
Source : https://www.vnews.com/Killing-22-hogs-a-minute-meatpackers-test-old-limits-of-safety-23338963
By ANDREW MARTIN (Feb 09, 2019)
In an Illinois River town where Abe Lincoln once toiled as a country lawyer, the slaughterhouse of the future runs at a speed that generations of Midwestern farmers would have dismissed as fantasy.
At other factories, as many as seven government inspectors are stationed along the slaughter line to look for signs of contamination or disease. Here, in Beardstown, Ill., workers bear more of that responsibility.
Four federal inspectors officiate like chair umpires at a tennis match. They try to call out potential hazards as carcasses whiz by, before getting cut into chops and hams. Owned by Brazil-based JBS, known for its Swift pork brand, the plant is a model of lethal efficiency. It kills up to 21,000 hogs each day-as many as 1,300 per hour.
For the last two decades, with the government’s blessing, the Beardstown factory and four other U.S. hog plants have pioneered this grand-and, to some, unsettling-food safety experiment. Along with operating with fewer inspectors, these meatpackers operate free of a longstanding government safety rule meant to protect consumers from disease.
The federal government usually caps the speed of the slaughter line at 1,106 hogs an hour. At these plants, as part of a government pilot program, companies can run them as fast as they like.
The Trump administration wants to offer the Beardstown model to other slaughterhouses and estimates 40 plants will ultimately participate. Collectively, these process more than 90 percent of the 120 million hogs killed in the U.S. every year.
The program is part of a broader mission to promote economic growth by easing regulations in industries from energy to utilities to, now, food. The faster line speeds, which may be approved nationwide as early as April, could generate an extra $2 million a year for the average big plant, the government estimates.
What’s more, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said flexible oversight would lead to better control of pathogens and safer conditions for workers. In written comments on the proposed plan, Jim Heimerl, president of the National Pork Producers Council, stated that the USDA should be commended for “identifying ways to partner with industry” to improve efficiency and food safety.
But interviews with employees and inspectors, as well as the government’s own data and internal reports, raise serious questions about the wisdom of rejecting past methods. Federal auditors concluded that the USDA’s experiment includes too few plants to justify broad changes to inspection for all hog slaughterhouses. Scientists and advocates have labeled the USDA’s claims misleading and cherry picked.
“For the USDA, this has never been about public health,” said Amanda Hitt, director of the Food Integrity Campaign at the Government Accountability Project, an advocacy group for whistleblowers. “This has been about enriching the very industries they are supposed to be regulating.”
For decades, the USDA has pushed to overhaul food inspection, arguing that having government overseers poking and sniffing every carcass doesn’t address microscopic hazards such as salmonella and E. coli. Under the current system, inspectors spend too much time on quality defects that have little to do with food safety, the agency says. Each year, food sickens 48 million Americans, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the cases where a cause could be determined, one-fifth result from eating contaminated meat and poultry.
The Beardstown inspection system is based on a food safety model, which was developed by NASA and has a mouthful of a name: Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point, or HACCP. Privately, inspectors say HACCP stands for something else: Have a Cup of Coffee and Pray.
“It’s as fast as you can, and that’s it,” said a federal inspector who works at one of the pilot hog plants and requested anonymity for fear of retribution. The inspector said company and government officials discourage documenting negative findings. “It’s been crammed down our throats: Do not impede the right to do business.”
A USDA spokeswoman said she wouldn’t comment on “hearsay, rumors or employee matters that originate in personnel complaints,” but she added that intimidation or interference with inspectors is prohibited.
Agency officials denied relying on dubious data and said the USDA had sufficient analysis to conclude that Beardstown model is safe and effective.
Carmen Rottenberg, acting deputy undersecretary for the agency’s food safety division, said line speeds would never operate faster than an inspector’s ability to examine carcasses. If it did, she said, “the inspector could slow it down.”
Government auditors, scientists, members of Congress, and consumer groups have challenged attempts by the USDA to expand the Beardstown-style experiment. In 2013, the USDA’s Inspector General said the agency’s oversight of the five hog slaughterhouses was so shoddy that it didn’t assess if food safety had improved-a key goal.
A year later, in 2014, the USDA released its own analysis, and the results were more favorable. The report now underpins the agency’s support of the hog inspection proposal, even though 60 Democratic members of Congress, in a January 2016 letter, described its findings as irrelevant to the pilot plants’ food safety performance or lacking “an adequate evidentiary basis.”
In February, based on inspection reports obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch documented serious violations, including fecal contamination and diseased carcasses that employees had failed to remove from the slaughter line at the pilot plants.
“These pilot plants were doing worse than regular plants with more inspectors on the line,” said Tony Corbo, a senior lobbyist at Food & Water Watch. The USDA’s Rottenberg said Food and Water Watch skewed its analysis to promote its own fundraising. which Corbo denied.
Another advocacy group, the National Employment Law Project, concluded that the USDA’s own data didn’t support its suggestion that the proposed inspection system would be safer for workers, based on a comparison between the pilot plants and 29 traditional ones.
“It’s really a bogus analysis, where they compared large and small plants with varying years of data,” said Deborah Berkowitz, the law project’s worker health and safety program director. Rottenberg notes that Berkowitz was chief of staff of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the Obama administration.
The hog inspection proposal is similar to a 2014 overhaul of poultry plant inspections-based largely on data from 20 chicken slaughterhouses in a related pilot program. In that case, however, the Obama administration decided against increasing line speeds amid concerns about worker safety.
In September, the USDA said it would let chicken plants, if they met certain requirements, increase line speeds to 175 birds per minute, up from 140.
Some workers say the faster line speeds at meat and poultry plants pose dangers. When the Beardstown factory runs at full capacity, employees have about have 13 seconds to pull a tongue out of a hog’s head, according to Sergio Ruiz, a union steward who has worked 25 years at the plant. That pace heightens health risks, including carpal tunnel syndrome, Ruiz said. “More repetition, more injuries,” he said.
JBS’s plant has the largest slaughter capacity of the five in the pilot program.
The company provided data showing that worker and food safety have improved since it purchased the plant in 2015.
“Beardstown has been a success by almost any measure,” said Cameron Bruett, head of corporate affairs.
The meat industry appears to be thrilled with the new approach. In 2016, a trade group, the North American Meat Institute, gave its public service award to Al Almanza, a longtime top food safety official at the USDA. Almanza defended faster line speeds, shepherded the poultry inspection rule and suggested changes to hog inspection would be next.
He retired from government work in July 2017, before the hog inspection rule was published. His new job? Global head of food safety and quality at JBS, owner of the Beardstown plant. Almanza declined a request to be interviewed.
JBS, in a statement, said it disagrees “with any notion” that Almanza or other government food safety employees “would have any interest in maximizing industry profits over safeguarding the health of American families.”

Organic industry is not giving hydroponic, aquaponic growers a warm embrace
Source : https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2019/02/organic-industry-is-not-giving-hydroponic-growers-a-warm-embrace/
By Dan Flynn (Feb 08, 2019)
Some fresh produce from hydroponic growers has been approved for and is being sold under USDA’s organic seal, but farmers who grow their organic crops in the soil don’t like the competition.
The litigious Center for Food Safety two weeks ago filed a rule-making petition with U.S. Department of Agriculture, demanding new regulations prohibiting organic certification of hydroponic agriculture production. The 22-page petition also asks USDA to revoke any existing organic certification previously issued to hydroponic operations.
Food safety comes into play in the petition in only one way. Hydroponics doesn’t have soil, so they come up a little short because they do not provide soil samples as a measure of testing compliance. The CFS points out that regulations implementing the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 “consistently suggest soil samples as a measure for testing compliance.”
Agents who review operations as part of the USDA’s organic certification process “must conduct periodic residue testing of agricultural products,” with soil samples suggested as a method for testing, CFS’s petition says. “Many hydroponic systems would not contain soil for sampling, as suggested in the OFPA regulations.”
Hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic growers currently can earn organic certification. It is allowed by USDA so long as the certifier can show there is compliance with the organic standard. One industry supplier says hydroponics, by definition, is a method of growing plants in a water-based nutrient-rich solution that does not use soil. Instead of plants root in a nutrient solution with access to oxygen.
A year ago, USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) tried to settle some issues concerning organic certification of hydroponic and aeroponic growing operations. The AMS action came after USDA’s advisory National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) recommended banning the non-soil systems from being called organic production. USDA only briefly pondered that one before saying “thanks, but no thanks” to NOSB for the recommendation.
Aquaponics refers to growing crops in a system with farmed fish that supply nutrients for plants. Greenhouse growers and urban farmers using vertical growing systems use hydroponic and aeroponic methods — all without soil. The organic industry has been rocked with debate about these hydroponic methods for nearly a decade.
CFS wants a flat prohibition on hydroponic operations ever being allowed to use the USDA organic label. It claims hydroponic production systems that do not use soil do not meet federal organic standards and violate organic practices, which require that organic farming include soil improvement and biodiversity conservation.
Joining the CFS petition are more than a dozen other organic farmers, consumer, retailer, and certifying organizations, including the Organic Farmers Association, Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA), PCC Community Markets, and the Cornucopia Institute.
“Mislabeling mega-hydroponic operations as ‘organic’ is contrary to the text and basic principles of the organic standard. Right now there is a pitched battle for the future of organic, and we stand with organic farmers and consumers who believe the label must retain its integrity,” said George Kimbrell, CFS legal director.
The petitioners say consumers trust the organic label and pay extra for the assurance that it indicates a more healthful and environmentally-friendly way of producing the food they buy.
Since the federal Certified Organic label was introduced more than 20 years ago, CFS says the organic food market has grown exponentially and is now a $60 billion industry in which multinational corporations have bought organic brands and compete with small food producers who use environmentally-friendly methods.
“Allowing hydroponic systems to be certified as organic undercuts the livelihood of organic farmers that take great lengths to support healthy soil as the bedrock of their farms,” stated Kate Mendenhall of the Organic Farmers Association. “Hydroponic producers getting the benefit of the organic label without actually doing anything to benefit the soil undermines the standard and puts all soil-based organic farmers at an untenable economic disadvantage.”
The petition argues that organic agriculture has traditionally been defined as using soil requirements such as fostering soil fertility, improving soil quality, and using environmentally beneficial farming methods such as proper tillage and crop rotation.
USDA continues to allow hydroponics, which goes against the advisory NOSB’s recommendation that organic certification not be extended to the non-soil growing methods.
Canada and Mexico prohibit hydroponics for organics, and the European Parliament voted to end the organic certification of hydroponic products in April 2018.
“Corporate agribusiness lobbyists have been working to water down the organic standards for decades,” said Mark Kastel, executive director for the Cornucopia Institute. “In this case, the careful stewardship of soil fertility is not only a philosophical precept, but it’s also codified in federal law.”
And while CFS is often successful with its legal strategies, the current petition to USDA may not get too far. Jennifer Tucker, the deputy administrator of USDA’s National Organic Program, recently said organic certification of hydroponic operations is “a settled issue.”
“Last year we issued an Organic Insider (e-mail newsletter) that indicated that hydroponics had been allowed since the beginning of the program and that (they) are still allowed,” Tucker said. “We consider that a settled issue.”
The Packer, the produce industry publication, reported Tucker’s comments to the 2019 Global Organic Produce Expo.
“There are some certifiers that certify hydroponics, and there are some that do not; they are all bound by a common set of regulations,” Tucker added.

Paranoid about tainted lettuce? There could be an app for that one day
Source : https://www.cbsnews.com/news/new-technology-could-help-revolutionize-future-of-food-safety/
By CBS News (Feb 07, 2019)
Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are using artificial intelligence in an effort to to create a system that would give consumers control when it comes to avoiding dangerous food-borne illnesses. It could one day enable you to scan lettuce for E.coli, detect lead in water and even determine whether the alcohol you're drinking on vacation is tainted.
The technology is still in its early stages, but the team of young MIT scientists working on it say it could revolutionize the future of food safety, reports CBS News correspondent Nikki Battiste. 
"We hope to be able to build a portable device that a person can take with them when they're trying to buy something from a supermarket or from a farmer's market," said Fadel Adib, the professor leading the project.
Adib envisions the device will be the size of a phone charger and plug into your cellphone. Right now though, it looks like a black piece of foam with green antennae.
According to Adib, the device is pre-programmed to detect specific contaminants in products like milk and alcohol. The device reads signals from a wireless sticker on the food or beverage packaging and transmits the results to a phone app.
MIT believes the technology could help people avoid safety hazards such as tainted alcohol, which either kills or blinds hundreds of people every year. The goal is for consumers to one day be able to use the technology to test meals in restaurants and at home.
"You can also envision future smart-fridges that incorporate this technology to detect contaminated food or food spoilage," Adib said.
If the system detects contamination in a product, that information could then be uploaded to an online database, Adib explained. The hope is that the database would be connected to servers that regulatory agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could access.
An estimated 3,000 people die from food-borne illnesses every year and, according to the CDC, food-borne illnesses hospitalize 128,000 Americans annually.
In 2015, Ali Goldman was one of those people.
"When I woke up I was really unaware of where I was. … They had carried me to a mirror because I couldn't walk and I looked in the mirror and didn't know who I was," she said. "I was about 95, 97 pounds."
Goldman had contracted a life-threatening case of E.coli after eating a spinach salad sandwich at a New York café. She spent more than a month in a coma. Now, she said, she lives in "constant fear" of food and hasn't eaten salad in nearly four years.
While consumers like Goldman are interested in being able to detect contamination themselves, food safety lawyer Bill Marler hopes grocery stores will use the technology, too. 
"We have great technology now and 48 million Americans still get sick every year," Marler said.  "I see the best use of this kind of technology as sort of before it hits the marketplace, before it goes on a grocery store shelf."
Fadel Adib shares that vision.
"In the near-term, I hope consumers will do it. In the long-term, I hope that it will become so seamless that it will disappear into the environment such that it is in the infrastructure of the grocery store," Adib said.
He hopes the technology could become as mainstream as paying for items with your phone.   
Professor Adib said people could be using this technology within the next five years. He also hopes the system will one day be able to detect sugar levels and calories as well, which could have an impact on people with diabetes or those watching their weight.

Beach Beat: Can you see me now?
Source : https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2019/02/beach-beat-can-you-see-me-now/
By Coral Beach (Feb 06, 2019)
Opinion
Once again science trumps government when it comes to open, easy and meaningful access to the information we need. A Listeria monocytogenes outbreak and related recall of pasteurized chocolate milk in Canada was ever so lightly reported by public health agencies back in 2016.
We covered the recall, expanded recall, and government warning in June 2016. The situation pretty much fell off radar screens after that.
This week, thanks to the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we’ve seen the rest of the story.
The outbreak, linked to Neilson brand chocolate milk sold by Montreal-based Saputo Inc., sickened at least 34 people, killing four. All but two of the victims were so sick they had to be hospitalized. All of the confirmed victims lived in Ontario. Most were elderly people, though their ages ranged from less than 1 to 90 years old.
People were sickened in two waves, but all are considered part of the single outbreak linked to Neilson brand partially skimmed chocolate milk. Illness onset dates for the first wave of victims were Nov. 14, 2015, through Feb. 14, 2016. The victims in the second wave became sick between April 11 and June 20, 2016.
There’s little doubt that more people were sickened by the milk sold by Saputo Inc. It can take up to 70 days after exposure to Listeria monocytogenes for the symptoms of listeriosis to develop.
Do you remember what you ate and drank 7 days ago? How about 70 days ago?
Epidemiologists know about the limitations of human memory when it comes to such details. But, being scientists, they almost never speculate about possible cases. They deal in facts, and the fact is only 34 people were diagnosed, underwent confirmation testing, and had their cases reported to public health officials.
Of the confirmed sick people, many bought the implicated milk at the same grocery stores. Lab tests showed the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes in the milk and in the facility where it was produced, according to the research report published in the CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases journal.
“Environmental sampling at the manufacturer confirmed the presence of the outbreak strain within a post-pasteurization pump dedicated to chocolate milk and on nonfood contact surfaces. This post-process contamination of the chocolate milk line was believed to be the root cause of the outbreak,” according to the research report.
“A harborage site might have been introduced by a specific maintenance event or poor equipment design. The equipment was subsequently replaced, and corrective measures were implemented to prevent reoccurrence. Chocolate milk production was resumed after vigorous testing for L. monocytogenes under regulatory oversight.”
Forget Waldo, where’s the info?
Considering the striking information reported by researchers, I started crawling around on various websites of public health and food safety agencies in Canada. There was little to find. I contacted Public Health Ontario.
A “communications advisor” got back to me in a couple of hours. That’s impressive in terms of response time in these situations.
The response itself was much less impressive. It turns out there is “an internal final summary of the outbreak.” That’s gov’mint speak for “the public can’t see it.”
The health department press officer provided a link to the research reported in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases in case I wanted additional details. Umm, that journal article is what sent me knocking on your email door.
I specifically asked why the release of the information was delayed.
Answer: “The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHTLC), the organization that informs the public during provincial outbreak investigations, released a joint statement from the Minister of Health and the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) about the outbreak on Jan. 20, 2016, and the CMOH issued a follow-up statement on June 12, 2016 after the cause of the outbreak was identified and the chocolate milk was recalled. Public Health Ontario also posted a notice on our website, which was regularly updated between January and October 2016. The final notice remains on our website. We suggest contacting the MOHTLC if you have more questions about this.”
To save you a click, here what the “final notice” says:
“The provincial outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes which began in November 2015 was declared over on July 29, 2016. A total of 34 cases were linked to the outbreak with the majority being older adults. The cases were from 16 public health units in Ontario. The source of the outbreak was determined to be Neilson brand partly skimmed milk”
Call me a reporter, call me instinctively curious, call me anything you want, but shouldn’t a final report on any outbreak be more than 58 words? Shouldn’t  such a report include whether anyone died, and if there were deaths,

FDA focuses on food safety education, enforcement
Source : https://www.naturalproductsinsider.com/functional-foodsbeverages/fda-focuses-food-safety-education-enforcement
By Josh Long (Feb 06, 2019)
An important aspect of the implementation and success of the Food Safety Modernization Act can be summed up in one word: education. But FDA also has begun to more aggressively enforce FSMA, some regulatory experts said.
FDA reported “high rates of compliance” with rules adopted to implement the most groundbreaking reform of the nation’s food safety laws in generations: the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
“Overall, we are seeing high rates of compliance with the FSMA rules,” Taryn Sjursen, an FDA spokeswoman, said in an email.
An important aspect of FSMA’s implementation and success to date can be summed up in one word: education.
“Education has been and continues to be a key element of successful implementation of our FSMA programs,” Sjursen said.
But FDA also has begun to more aggressively enforce FSMA, some regulatory experts said. Attorney Claudia Lewis attributed increased enforcement, in part, to small businesses now being subject to rules crafted under the law.
“FDA has to enforce the regulations eventually,” said Lewis, a partner in Washington with Venable LLP who counsels clients on FDA matters involving conventional food, dietary supplements and other products.
Foreign Supplier Verification Program
Many businesses remain unaware of the new regulations adopted under FSMA or struggle to comply with them, according to several regulatory experts.
In fiscal year 2018 (FY18)—the 12 months that ended on Sept. 30, 2018—FDA cited 278 U.S. importers of food and beverages for not developing a Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP), comprising the year’s most common inspection violation, disclosed Registrar Corp, a company that offers assistance with FDA compliance and whose U.S. headquarters are based in Hampton, Virginia.
In FY17, FDA cited 108 importers for not developing a FSVP, Registrar Corp reported. That was the year compliance took effect for importers whose foreign supplier is not subject to certain regulations under FSMA, including produce safety and preventive controls rules.
The FSVP requirements are intended to ensure imported food is produced in a way that meets U.S. safety standards. Among the requirements: importers must identify “known or reasonably foreseeable hazards with each food.” Beginning in March 2018, most food importers were required to develop a FSVP for their foreign suppliers and monitor the compliance statuses of their suppliers, according to Registrar Corp.
“I think that for small businesses these types of regulations always are a burden,” Lewis said, “but eventually … those who really want to be in the market for the long haul get into compliance and figure out how to get it done.”
A Proactive Approach
FSVP is one of seven cornerstone rules adopted by FDA to implement FSMA, which former President Barack Obama signed on Jan. 4, 2011 following several high-profile outbreaks of foodborne illness.
“The ethos behind the Food Safety Modernization Act and all of these rules is to be proactive and try to identify issues … before they get out there … or get to a certain scale,” said Marc Sanchez, a lawyer with offices in Washington and North Carolina who advises companies on FDA regulations.
In adopting the rules, FDA recognized “ensuring the safety of the food supply is a shared responsibility among many different points in the global supply chain for both human and animal food,” according to an FDA webpage devoted to FSMA.
“The importers will be that line of defense at the port,” said Fabiola Negrón, a regulatory specialist with Registrar Corp, in an interview.
Importers are still becoming accustomated to the new requirements, which “small businesses” needed to comply with by March 2018.
“Because this is a completely new requirement for importers, they are not used to this,” Negrón said. The regulatory professional said she isn’t surprised importers are not compliant with the rules since so many of them lack the expertise to develop a FSVP.
 “It’s hard for them to comply with this requirement if they do not have the expertise to identify hazards or are not familiarized with food science or other aspects of … food safety,” Negrón said.
Developing an FSVP “can be intimidating in some situations because it’s akin to the food safety plan,” Sanchez observed. “Depending on the type of food, it could be very involved.”
Maile Gradison Hermida, a partner in Washington with Hogan Lovells US LLP who has worked on FSMA since it was signed into law, said importers are still working to comprehend FDA’s expectations under the FSVP rule.
“FSVP is a complex rule that requires a lot of documentation for compliance,” the lawyer said in an email, “and there are still plenty of importers who either do not know that they are under the rule or do not yet recognize that they need to develop a new program to come into compliance.”
Preventive Controls
FSVP is not the only FSMA rule FDA targets during its inspections. Combined, FDA reported 396 citations related to preventive controls requirements, including failing to have a hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls plan (HARPC) and not identifying a hazard that requires a preventive control in a HARPC, Registrar Corp wrote in a recent article that summarized FDA FY18 inspection data. (See https://www.registrarcorp.com/fda-2018-inspection-observations/).
FDA also cited firms for not using a preventive controls qualified individual to prepare or oversee a HARPC and failing to implement adequate procedures for monitoring allergen controls or sanitation, the regulatory consulting firm reported.
The preventive controls requirements in 21 C.F.R. 117 are similar to, but distinguishable from, food safety principles known as HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control points).
“Midsized and smaller companies continue to struggle with how much to invest in updating compliance [with FSMA],” said Laura Bentele, an attorney in St. Louis, Missouri with Armstrong Teasdale LLP and co-leader of the firm’s agribusiness and food team, in an email. “There is undoubtedly some temptation to shoehorn prior HACCP plans and procedures to work for current preventive control requirements.”
The reasons for noncompliance with FSMA are varied from limited resources to language barriers, regulatory experts said. Jaheon Koo, Ph.D., senior regulatory specialist with Registrar Corp, said in his company’s experience, some foreign suppliers are more familiar with regulations in the European Union than in the United States.
Education vs. Enforcement
Initially after the rules were adopted, FDA was more lenient with the industry to help companies understand them, Negrón said. Sanchez said the agency has transitioned from a phase of educating companies on FSMA to “traditional enforcement.”
In 2016, when large businesses needed to comply with certain rules under FSMA, including the preventive controls and cGMP (current good manufacturing practice) requirements, an FDA official, Joann Givens, wrote that her agency was primarily focused “on education, training and technical assistance to help companies comply with the new requirements.”
She concluded: “We are very committed to educating while we regulate to align understanding and expectations.”
Since her written comments, many of the FSMA compliance dates have passed. Others have been extended and/or aren’t due until 2019, 2020 or beyond. (See FDA chart here on FSMA compliance dates).
“Protecting public health is the highest priority of the industry, and FDA is doing its job to help make that happen,” said Betsy Booren, senior vice president of science and technology with the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), a trade association representing food, beverage and consumer product companies. “The phase-in compliance process for the FSMA rules is ongoing, and the industry is committed to meeting these regulatory timeframes.”
When FDA reports the types of inspection violations as those related to FSVP and preventive control requirements, “facilities are taking immediate corrective actions to address the issues,” she added in an email.
Hermida said FDA remains focused on education.
“FDA continues to take an ‘educate while we regulate’ approach to preventive controls and FSVP inspections,” she said.
According to an FDA database issued from an electronic system, FDA in FY18 issued 2,583 inspection reports—known as Form 483s—for alleged violations of its food regulations. The database does not represent all 483s issued because some of them were manually prepared.
Shelly Burgess, an FDA spokeswoman, said the inspection data neglects to capture talks between FDA investigators and company officials that may have avoided “the issuance of a list of inspectional observations.”
At the end of an inspection, FDA investigators orally share feedback or so-called discussion points to highlight areas requiring improvement to be compliant for an ensuing inspection, Hermida said. Such discussion points are shared with nearly all companies subject to an inspection under the preventive control and FSVP rules, she added.
“Thus, thanks to discussion points, nearly every company comes away from an inspection with an increased awareness of FDA’s expectations for compliance and a list of areas where they can make improvements,” the lawyer said. “It is critically important for companies to act on the discussion points, just like they would with 483 observations. When FDA comes back for their next inspection, they’re sure to focus on the areas flagged through discussion points last time.”
FDA has steadily pushed back compliance and enforcement, and in early 2018 guidance, the agency revealed “an intent not to enforce various FSMA requirements at that time,” Bentele said.
For example, in a guidance document issued in January 2018, FDA disclosed its intent to “exercise enforcement discretion” regarding certain requirements under FSMA, including preventive controls for particular facilities until the agency completed a future rulemaking related to farm activities.
“Whether there is a true shift from the ‘educate while we regulate’ approach in the near term depends on which FSMA rule is at issue,” Bentele said. “For example, it seems increasingly likely that the FDA will pursue enforcement actions relating to FSVP in 2019, but given prior delays, there is still uncertainty.”
Sjursen, the FDA spokeswoman, said the agency can “focus less on education” in some areas where firms are becoming more knowledgeable of the FSMA rules after compliance dates have passed.
“However, an element of education will continue to be an aspect of our FSMA regulatory programs, especially as our programs continue to evolve,” she noted.
Ryan Talbott is a staff attorney with the Center for Food Safety, a nonprofit advocacy group in Washington. He said he understood FDA wanting to take a collaborative approach with industry as the FSMA rules are implemented.
“That makes sense to a degree,” Talbott said in an interview.
A collaborative approach, he observed, depends on such things as the severity and frequency of the violations.
“FDA’s job is to protect public health,” the attorney said in a follow-up email. “While FDA has said that it wants to focus on education efforts as FSMA compliance dates come into effect, it does not excuse the agency from exercising its authority to reduce threats to public health to a minimum.”
Talbott said there is an expectation FDA will “take a more aggressive approach to enforcement” if it identifies “serious or repeated violations” during its inspections of food facilities.
“Otherwise,” he concluded, “the rules will have no teeth.”

Possible Hepatitis A Exposure at Aiken Brewing in Aiken, SC
Source : https://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2019/hepatitis-aiken-brewing-sc/
By Linda Larsen (Feb 6, 2019)
There was a possible hepatitis A exposure at the Aiken Brewing Company on Laurens Street South West in downtown Aiken, South Carolina, according to a press release issued by the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control.  Customers who ate there between January 11 and January 26, 2019 may have been exposed to the pathogen.
Aiken Brewing Company SC Hepatitis
Anyone who ate there from January 23 through January 26, 2019 can get a hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccination. Those shots are only effective if given within two weeks of exposure. All other customers need to monitor themselves for the symptoms of hepatitis A and see a doctor if they appear.
Those symptoms include abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice), pale stools, and dark urine. These symptoms usually begin within two weeks to 50 days after exposure. People with liver disease and anyone with a chronic illness are more likely to suffer serious complications, even liver failure, if they contract this illness.

The Aiken County Health Department, at 222 Beaufort Street NE in Aiken will be offering vaccinations on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Thursday, February 7, 2019, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

The restaurant is working with public health officials to investigate exposures and arrange vaccinations for anyone who may have been infected.

While vaccinations are the best way to prevent these outbreaks, staying home from work or school while you are sick is effective. In addition, people should always wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the bathroom and after caring for someone who is ill.

Why Blockchain Will Be Used to Improve Distribution Food Safety, Quality, and Traceability
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/enewsletter/why-blockchain-will-be-used-to-improve-distribution-food-safety-quality-and-traceability/
By John Ryan, Ph.D. (Feb 05, 2019)         
Why Blockchain Will Be Used to Improve Distribution Food Safety, Quality, and Traceability
With the passage of the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) comes the final rules on the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Foods. Combined with the FSMA Preventive Control rules designed to establish food safety requirements throughout the food supply chain, serious documentation challenges face the food logistics sector.
Food distribution is increasingly complex. Given the types of food safety hazards depicted as global food hazards over the past 10 years (Figure 1), food shippers, carriers, and receivers have been placed in the food safety bull’s eye. Food safety supply chain controls, preventive controls, and transportation rules provide a focus that leaves logistics in an unenviable position. No company will escape blame due to the range of shared liability established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules.
In short, vicarious liability is reversed and passed from carrier to receiver or from supplier to carrier because the “customer” is now clearly responsible for the supplier’s ability to control food safety issues. Under the rules, the “customer” in any case must qualify and certify the supplier’s ability to control food safety under the rules.
The FSMA transportation rules require the supplier and carrier to establish a signed written agreement regarding who is responsible for sanitation and temperature monitoring and for the collection of all data. This mandatory food safety documentation will be used to help establish liability in the event of a recall.
The concept is illustrated by Figure 2.
The farm is seen to distribute pesticides, chemicals, and microbes in the water, soil, and produce. Carriers move the product from the farm to distribution centers, restaurants, and retail outlets, usually within traceability and temperature-monitoring guidelines. Traceability and temperature-monitoring data are combined with the food safety data collected by the farm to form documentation that establishes the degree of preventive control established by the system.
The potential for complexity is illustrated in Figure 3. There are 17 different hand-offs between the time the product is harvested and placed in bins, and received at the store. With pallets being broken down at distributors, case- or item-level traceability becomes necessary, and the financial trail blurs.
Provenance as a product of chain of custody disappears into the mist. What happened or did not happen during food safety throughout these operations is now unknown, making all players responsible.
Think Networks, Think Provenance
By networking the supply chain players and connecting the various entities through shared access to financial, food safety, movement, traceability, and other data, a complete real-time view of the status of the food during logistical processes becomes possible (Figure 4).
With many supplier-customer relationships now requiring access to food safety data and with a growing number of companies moving to blockchain distributed ledger systems, the stage is set for combining food safety data (throughout the entire food supply chain) with a financial and legal (chain-of-custody) trail that moves vicarious liability into the forefront. By integrating financial, traceability, and food safety data into a single blockchain system, looking for probable causes based on calculatable outbreak risk levels allows companies to quickly track back to recall origins.
The potential for consumer and company financial protection is enormous.
Indeed, major players are already in the game: IBM, Walmart, Port of Rotterdam, Kroger, Unilever, Nestle, Dole, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Driscoll, Tyson Foods, Golden State Foods, and even the government of Haiti are in play.
Think Traceability, Think Chain of Custody
Since blockchain systems have a foundation in financial transactions, some controls become critical. A shared ledger (a system of financial records between companies) is established. Confidential digital records are unalterable (resistant to forgery) and allow all network participants access and review capabilities within permissible limits. Participants are allowed nodal access through permissions and can control what they allow others to see. The systems are consensual, meaning that food supply chain member participants are known and trusted and all transactions can be verified and committed to the ledger through agreement.
Blockchain systems allow for the creation of what are called “smart contracts” that must be fulfilled at each supply chain transition point. For instance, laboratory test data for soil, product, or processing line hazard test results may become a preventive control food safety requirement between a supplier and a processor. Likewise, transportation traceability, sanitation, and temperature control data may also become a smart contract requirement. Such data can be stored by each participant in cloud data bases (Figure 4) with permissions for sharing the data established between suppliers, carriers and receivers.
Building a Blockchain-Integrated Food Safety System
Figure 5 illustrates the future. There are three primary parts to the figure. At the bottom (1), product is shown flowing from a producer, through a carrier, through multiple hand-off points to the retail or restaurant outlet. A shared ledger is established (2) that allows players to review the status of all actions through local computer network dashboards (3). Outbreak risk levels can be calculated based on smart contract inputs (4). Players with missing traceability systems, poor temperature controls or a general lack of controls may be suppliers, but their risk levels are easily calculated. Low-risk players receive more business, whereas high-risk players can upgrade their systems or leave the network
Smart contract inputs are shown on the right in this example. They are driven by industry requirements and regulations. International standards for traceability (5) and food safety (6) may become established. Transportation control data (7) including global positioning system (8) and special handling requirements (11) may become an included requirement.
Other industry and legal drivers for food safety standards, supply chain controls, foreign supplier controls, food safety certification, preventive controls, sampling and inspection data, packaging, and food defense certification are easy to include (9).
Other risk factors may also be established. Company recall and FDA audit data as well as environmental sampling data and Customs and Border Protection or Department of Homeland Security border or highway reject records (11) may be required to establish risk levels. These are the items FDA uses to calculate risk in preparation for random audits.
On the business side, product pricing, delivery and quality records (12) may all be used to help prioritize and select partners.
Summary
Given the increasing complexity of today’s logistical needs, food safety requirements, and laws, a new approach to food safety is rapidly gaining foothold. Based on blockchain’s shared ledger capabilities and ability of a blockchain system to support smart contract inputs, industry’s ability to establish an integrated food safety system is on the move. The future of chain-of-custody, provenance, traceability, and food safety is clearly visible today.
While some players in the logistics chain will hope that blockchain is years away, keep your eyes on the big boys, they are already in the game. And you can bet that with the United Kingdom leaving the European Union and the ongoing trade wars that blockchain systems will become increasingly critical to all trading partners.
John Ryan, Ph.D. holds a doctorate in research and statistical methods and has extensive international manufacturing quality and operations experience in large and small manufacturing operations. He is a retired Hawaii State Department of Agriculture Quality Assurance Division administrator where he won multiple awards for food traceability systems.

FDA provides tips for food safety during power outages
Source : https://wrex.com/category/2019/02/05/fda-provides-tips-for-food-safety-during-power-outages/
By Audrey Moon (Feb 05, 2019)
The Food and Drug Administration is offering tips to prepare you if and when power goes out during an upcoming ice storm.
Local National Weather Service offices have issued an Ice Storm Warning for much of Northern Illinois, including Boone, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties.  This takes effect later today and will last through the overnight hours.
The FDA says knowing proper food safety precautions to take before, during and after a power outage is essential.
Tips include:
— Make sure you have appliance thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer. Check to ensure that the freezer temperature is at or below 0° F, and the refrigerator is at or below 40° F.
 In case of a power outage, the appliance thermometers will indicate the temperatures in the refrigerator and freezer to help you determine if the food is safe.
— Freeze containers of water for ice to help keep food cold in the freezer, refrigerator, or coolers in case the power goes out. If your normal water supply is contaminated or unavailable, the melting ice will also supply drinking water.
— Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately. This helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
— Group food together in the freezer. This helps the food stay cold longer. Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerated food cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours.
— Purchase or make ice cubes in advance, and freeze gel packs ahead of time. Store all of these in the freezer for future use in the refrigerator or in coolers.
— Check out local sources to know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased, in case it should be needed.
— Store food on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water in case of flooding.
— Make sure to have a supply of bottled water stored where it will be as safe as possible from flooding. If your bottled water has an odor, do not drink or use it. Instead, dispose of it, or if applicable, call your bottled water provider to make arrangements to get a replacement.

Frozen Food Safety That Extends From Necessity to Passion
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/enewsletter/frozen-food-safety-that-extends-from-necessity-to-passion/
By Amanda Kehres (Feb 05, 2019)
Frozen Food Safety That Extends From Necessity to Passion
Food safety has taken a front seat, and conscientious consumers are more dedicated to the cause than ever. This increased awareness has inspired industry leaders to make a concerted effort to revamp their food safety programs in the name of transparency.
Today, however, the impetus for conversations surrounding food safety is no longer directly spurred by unsavory events within the food industry. As a true topic of interest to consumers, many have expressed their concern, imploring companies to be proactive, rather than reactive. In this way, Graeter’s Ice Cream has continued to build a high level of trust among its consumers over the course of its over 145-year history; in turn, becoming an ambassador for food safety industry-wide. This is accomplished, in large part, by a dedicated team of highly skilled food safety specialists.
The Weight of Food Safety within Today’s Culture
The last 5 years have intensely increased an overall awareness of particularly stubborn pathogens, especially within the frozen and dairy categories. Several distinguished brands have made a public commitment to proactivity in the food safety realm, and fellow companies can strive for similar excellence by learning from and incorporating the industry-best practices these brands utilize.
For instance, dedicating the same time, attention to detail, and heart to food safety that it puts into each handcrafted French Pot batch of ice cream, Graeter’s has achieved a Safe Quality Food (SQF) Level 3 certification. With that attained, the company’s best practices have become even more fine-tuned to ensure it continues to serve consumers with utter confidence in its product.
Achieving an SQF Level 3 Certification
Members of the Graeter’s Ice Cream team might admit that achieving an SQF Level 3 certification was, in fact, a challenging experience. However, the benefits are worth the effort. Consumers who purchase a pint at their local grocery store or walk into a scoop shop for a hand-dipped cone can instill their trust in Graeter’s Ice Cream—as well as the brand’s commitment to food safety.
While working towards its SQF Level 3 certification, Graeter’s first assessed the requirements and determined how to meet them while still maintaining its unique way of making and packing ice cream. While the SQF Level 2 certification specifies food safety, Level 3 specifies food quality.
This posed challenges for Graeter’s, as it is a company that holds the quality of each small batch to only the highest standards. From texture and creaminess to the size of its signature chocolate chips, Graeter’s relies on its skilled technicians to create these parameters. As a result, an adapted process for achieving SQF Level 3 was applied. The brand implemented four critical elements into its strict food safety regimen. Companies interested in garnering the same trust Graeter’s has can focus their efforts on these tips for food safety success.
1. Be adaptive.
Most are already familiar with the unique French pot process Graeter’s uses to handcraft its ice cream. It is this same precision that ensures the brand consistently produces a safe product. The industry’s most dedicated companies are following suit, calling upon food safety teams to create environments and protocols that do the same.
However, Graeter’s knew that whichever food safety certification it pursued would have to be from both a reputable and respected institution, while also allowing Graeter’s the freedom to maintain its specialty process for producing ice cream. The SQF Institute proved to be what the brand needed. SQF requires a rigorous, credible food safety management system, and simultaneously, is the only scheme to integrate a quality component.
2. Look at the entire process.
It can be tempting to create a food safety and quality plan from a desk where you can accomplish the end result very easily and efficiently. However, it is important to create your company’s plan with each department and process in mind. If a change is made in distribution, it can negatively impact inventory control or production, among others. Consequently, all departments within a company must work together in order for the entire system to function properly.
It is also important to incorporate team members in the development of the system. If given the opportunity to assist in the creation of processes and procedures, each team member will have a sense of ownership in the system as a whole. This aids significantly in the cultural change that is required when building, implementing, and maintaining a food safety and quality system.
3. Integrate your entire team.
Walk through a plant that enlists such quality standards as Graeter’s, and one thing should be apparent—an intricate attention to safety protocols is given by each part of the team. By walking the floor yourself, you can better learn about even the finest details of each job, while establishing a stronger sense of team. Ask for your employees’ input to let them know you value their work and expertise.
In building a stronger food safety culture consider your vehicle for feedback. In regard to a topic as critical as this, the care you show for your team should not dwindle. Take an interest in your fellow team members and show them that you’re approachable—not many quality and food safety managers make that a priority, which ultimately distances them from the core of their work.
4. Open a dialogue with others in your industry.
Use the resources at your disposal. Learning from fellow category leaders, as well as companies that reach beyond your own category, is a fantastic way to broaden your thinking. Whether your goal is to achieve a certification, or simply tighten up your current food safety practices, opening up a dialogue with other professionals is a key way to adapt to your present challenges.
Food safety is much more than a science—it is a passion. Brands like Graeter’s Ice Cream understand that keen listening ears and watchful eyes are needed to ensure its own program remains unparalleled in quality. It requires just as much heart as handcrafting the product itself. It entails constant forward thinking while not trampling on the tradition Graeter’s has established for four generations.
At a time when consumer awareness has piqued, the food industry must redefine the role and definition of food safety. The cost of doing business today is a food safety system that ultimately rises above industry standards. With this in mind, the frozen food category as a whole can once again regain the trust of its consumers and tactfully avoid crisis.
Amanda Kehres is the director of quality assurance, an SQF practitioner, and a PCQI for Graeter’s Ice Cream.

 

 

 

 

 

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