You may have noticed in the past few issues of Food Engineering, we have been covering some broad aspects of food safety and the resulting implications for the food and beverage manufacturing industry. Last month, we covered food fraud and the economically motivated adulteration of food; in the December edition, we focused on cargo safety.

This month, we are kicking off our coverage of VACCP (Vulnerability Assessment and Critical Control Point). In the special report, vulnerability is defined as exposure to risk, whether or not it’s happened before. VACCP is not included in FSMA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practices, Hazard Analysis or Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food, but GFSI thinks the industry needs a different approach to vulnerability.

Every week, there are new reports of container or trailer thefts of items such as beef, seafood and cheese. In fact, research shows food and beverage products lead the list for this type of theft. Stolen cargo; goods relabeled, misbranded or kept at unsafe temperatures by criminals; and intentional harm caused by disgruntled employees can not only sicken consumers, they can damage your brand.

You may not have experienced something as significant as the peanut or horsemeat scandals at your company, but knowledge is power. Enhancing your food safety and quality standards and improving your supply chain initiatives are paramount. Food Engineering’s goal is to keep you informed of emerging food safety issues including vulnerability and threats to your business. Next month, we will focus on not only on TACCP (Threat Assessment and Critical Control Point), but also on methods for battling deadly pathogens.

Let us know what you think about our food safety coverage. And don’t miss our upcoming FA&M conference sessions on sanitary plant design in April. Visit for more information.