From The Editor | October 3, 2016

Food Online's Top 10 Of September

Sam Lewis

By Sam Lewis

What was most important to our readers in September? Take a look back at last month by reviewing the 10 most-popular articles that appeared on Food Online.

  1. What's Lacking In Food Safety Education & Training?
    Food manufacturers spend endless hours and dollars on continuous improvement and educating staff on food practices. But, recent evidence suggests not much has improved in food safety education and training over the last few years. Recently, Principal at Cultivate Food Safety and former Director of Food Safety and Operational Learning at Maple Leaf Foods, Lone Jespersen took some time from her day to speak to me about her experiences with food safety training and education. Specifically, Jespersen details three missing elements from food safety education and training that, if addressed, could provide a needed jolt to how food manufacturers approach food safety training.
  2. FSMA's Recall Requirements: Are You Ready?
    With FSMA compliance looming just around the corner, many food manufacturers don’t know what the regulations are requiring if and when a recall happens to them. Here, Vickery Brewer, consumer safety officer at FDA/CFSAN, and Warren Stone, senior director of science policy at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), answer my questions about FSMA’s recall requirements and the biggest challenges food manufacturers are facing in becoming compliant with the regulations.
  3. Food For Thought: What Are FSMA's Recall Requirements?
    In this web chat, Vickery Brewer, consumer safety officer at FDA/CFSAN, joins Warren Stone, senior director of science policy at the Grocery Manufacturers Association, to explain what is expected of food manufacturers regarding recalls under the Food Safety Modernization Act. In addition to providing best practices for food recalls under FSMA, the 45 minute session focuses heavily on Stone and Brewer answering questions from the web chat’s live audience.
  4. SQF Edition 8: What To Expect
    SQF has gone through many changes to keep up with industry standards and the benchmarking requirements of GFSI. When the eighth edition of SQF comes out next month, will you be ready for it?
  5. How X-Ray Inspection Can Bolster Your Food Safety Program
    Product inspection is a critical and indispensable part of responsible food production. If it isn’t already, it truly needs to be embedded in HACCP and prerequisite program(s) for food producers. Food contamination with foreign matter and/or impurities can have serious implications to food producers as they are the entities directly responsible for any issues posing health and safety risks to consumers. Additionally, there are always increasing quality and safety demands from regulatory bodies, direct customers, as well as consumers to provide food of impeccable integrity. To have these safeguards built in will only strengthen a company’s overall business platform. But, what are food makers doing to create and enable a robust food safety program? Oftentimes, they seek new technology and/or inspection equipment to support their written food safety and quality programs, such as X-Ray inspection systems.
  6. Facing Food Waste Head On
    To solve the problem of food waste, we need to transform the way we think about food loss and waste and drive innovation that adds value. I recently visited the same food science laboratory where I started my career all those years ago and I spoke with new scientists and engineers that not only understood this, but they embodied this way of thinking. This visit underscored the fact that while the challenge has remained the same, so has the passion and innovation that drives our industry. This makes me proud to do what I do. This focus on advancing technology, leveraging the power of data collection, and harnessing this knowledge is what it will take to transform waste into value across the entire global food chain. 
  7. Should Your Food Manufacturing Facility Use In-House Or Contract Lab Pathogen Testing?
    In the first portion of Should Your Food Manufacturing Facility Use In-House Or Contract Lab Pathogen Testing? we discussed the ultimate goals of a food manufacturer’s food testing program, as well as examined the pros and cons of both In-House and contract lab pathogen testing labs. Here, in the second portion of the series, we will discuss the methods of pathogen testing being used by different geographic regions across the world and how some food manufacturers utilize a combination of both In-House and contracted food safety labs. Further, we will explore the importance of accuracy and accreditation, as well as recap the decision-making process for determining the best pathogen testing method for your facility.
  8. FBI Workshop Offers Food Defense Rule Certification
    FSMA’s Food Defense Rule establishes requirements for companies to create a food defense plan aimed at preventing intentional adulteration from acts intended to cause wide-spread harm to public health. The rule requires food companies to create and maintain a written food defense plan assessing all of their vulnerabilities and implement mitigation strategies to address these vulnerabilities. Because of this rule setting a new precedent, many companies are unsure of what is expected of them and how to successfully implement changes for compliance. Here Daniel Sturgill, weapons of mass destruction coordinator with the FBI, answers my question on food defense awareness, prevention, and response times.
  9. Food Safety And Legal Liability: From CEOs To The Production Line — Ignorance Of The Law Is No Excuse
    Under section 402(a)(4) of the FDCA, a food product is deemed “adulterated” if the food was “prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby it may have become contaminated with filth, or whereby it may have been rendered injurious to health.” A food product is also considered “adulterated” if it “bears or contains any poisonous or deleterious substance which may render it injurious to health.” This article examines legal theories and liabilities of some high-profile food safety law suits.
  10. When Does Food Spoilage Become A Food Safety Issue?
    Microbial spoilage of food and beverage products can be caused by a number of factors, such as a loss of process control, post-processing contamination, inadequate packaging performance, damage during distribution, or temperature abuse during storage or display. The causative microorganisms of food and beverage spoilage are usually not the same as those that are attributable to foodborne illness. However, in some instances in North America, spoiled products have been subjected to class II recalls, rather than a more discreet market withdrawal.