Richard Stier is a consulting food scientist who has helped food processors develop safety, quality and sanitation programs. He believes in emphasizing the importance of how these programs can help companies increase profits. Stier holds degrees in food science from Rutgers University and the University of California at Davis. He is a Contributing Editor for Food Engineering. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Having contingency plans for your facility, before disaster strikes, is essential to maintaining production capacity and negating devastating effects of natural disasters, epidemics, supply-chain crises, and other potential disruptions.
There are many who believe Murphy is a constant companion of food processors around the world. This is the Murphy as in Murphy’s Law and, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” This may seem rather pessimistic, but it is a fact of life especially for those who are long-time members of the industry.
A commitment to the environment or “going green” has become an integral element of doing business around the world, and that includes the food business—from growing and husbandry through food handling to processing and distribution, including at grocery stores.
Much of the microbiological and quality testing done by the food industry is conducted to meet customer demands. This is especially true with products that are deemed high risk. Examples of such products are meat, dairy, and almost any product containing protein, plus any product that does not incorporate a kill step in the process.
Food processors cannot make money and operate effectively unless their production lines are operating, so managing and minimizing downtime is crucial to operational effectiveness and optimizing production operations.
One of the most significant and powerful statements in all of the United States collection of food regulations may be found in 21 CFR Part 113: “Thermally Processed Low-Acid Foods Packaged in Hermetically Sealed Containers.” The regulation clearly states that processes must be established by a “competent process authority.”
Since handwashing is a key element of the food quality and safety programs for food processors, meeting this early mandate was not a major issue for the industry. But how should companies go about ensuring that their people not only wash their hands, but that handwashing is effective?
Fresh fruits and vegetables have been part of humankind’s diet for millennia. This started with the hunter-gatherers and has progressed through to today where crops are grown and eaten fresh all over the world.