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Software Tool for HACCP Compliance

Complying with Hazard Analysis and Critical Point (HACCP) regulations can be simplified with a new HACCP software tool, according to developers Siemens Energy & Automation and systems integrator EnteGreat. Based on Siemens SIMATIC IT® MES software platform, the new IT tool gives food, beverage, and consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers an integrated off-the-shelf enterprise information technology for HACCP compliance. "By implementing this new electronic-based HACCP solution, companies will dramatically reduce compliance costs," said Maryanne Steidinger, Siemens US MES marketing manager. "They will also substantially increase reporting accuracy with the tool's electronic work instructions and automated compliance reporting." The SIMATIC IT HACCP tool is available with standard components, making deployment faster and more efficient, as well as making the software adaptable to IT and business process changes The SIMATIC IT tool for HACCP compliance provides the foundation to implement Corrective and Preventative Action (CAPA) and supports continuous improvement programs by providing the necessary tools to capture and analyze critical process information. Using accurate and actionable real time information, the tool collects and manages the data required to improve processes. For more information

Relief from Obesity Lawsuits

The US House of Representatives has approved the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act, providing food producers, processors and retailers a measure of liability protection from obesity-related lawsuits. Hunt Shipman, executive vice president of government affairs and communications for the Food Products Association, said efforts should go into solving the obesity problem, not assigning blame. "Government agencies, industry and the public health community must focus on helping consumers better understand the role of both diet and physical activity in attaining or maintaining a healthy weight, and how they can balance their food choices in order to create healthful diets," Shipman said.

Freshness, Not Price Top Concern for Consumers

Food and beverage industry leaders wrongly believe price is the most important concern for US consumers, according to results of a new telephone study sponsored by DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers of 75 executives in the food and beverage industry. In order to better understand how well the food and beverage industry understands US consumers, industry executives were asked about consumer attitudes and behaviors concerning food packaging. The study found that industry leaders believe consumers place an emphasis on price when considering food packaging above all other attributes including freshness and taste-a fundamental misunderstanding of consumer beliefs. When asked what consumers view as the top two most important issues around food packaging, 63 percent of industry executives cited price. As DuPont's survey of US consumers in September 2005 has shown, cost is not a primary concern for consumers. According to the earlier findings, US consumers overwhelmingly say that freshness, not price, is what matters most when it comes to packaging. In fact, nearly 72 percent of US consumers are willing to pay more for improved packaging that guarantees food freshness. "Our research indicates a clear disconnect between what the industry thinks is important to consumers and reality," said Dr. Donna L. Visioli of DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers. "Findings from both our US consumer and industry leader surveys offer a first step for food and beverage industry leaders to open up a dialogue with their consumers in order to gain further insight into consumer preferences and trends" When asked about their plans for 2006, nearly 50 percent of companies interviewed said that they are planning to invest in new packaging technology in the new year. Nearly 78 percent of those said the technology would be used to improve and/or maintain product freshness. Results of the study are available atView the full article.

Heinz Rules in Customer Satisfaction Survey

American Customer Satisfaction Index names H.J. Heinz the leader.View the full article.

25th Annual Salary & Job Satisfaction Survey: The Right Fit Improves Satisfaction

How do you find employees who will be satisfied and loyal? One key--provide balance.View the full article.

Lean Builds Steam

Food and beverage manufacturers turn to lean manufacturing to improve efficiencies. View the story atView the full article.

Through a Chamber Quickly

High pressure processing in a high-volume environment.View the full article.

Efficiency's Tough Sell

Why aren't more schools using the Mini-Sip pouch?View the full article.

People, Plant and Industry News

Canadian dairy processorSaputoappointedDino Dello Sbarbaas president and COO of the dairy product division, effective April 1.Terry Brockmanis now president and COO of the cheese division andClaude Pinardwas promoted to president and COO of the bakery division, also effective April 1.

Maui Pineapple Co.namedBrian Orloppas vice president, strategic planning. Most recently, Orlopp was vice president and general manager ofDole Food Co.-Hawaii.

Interstate Bakeriesplans to consolidate sales and retail operations in its North Central, South Central and Southeast profit centers by standardizing distribution and consolidating delivery routes and bakery outlets. The company's 16 bakeries within these regions are expected to remain open.

Sara Lee Corp.has reached an agreement to sell its European nuts and snacks business in the Netherlands, Belgium and France to PepsiCo.

SK Foodsheld a groundbreaking ceremony for its new SK Foods Corporate Development Center in Lemoore, CA. When construction is completed, the two-story structure will include a technical center and classrooms.