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Why Footbaths are an Ineffective Cleaner For Food Processing Plants

Over the years food manufacturing plants have taken great strides to rid their plants of the pathogens that can cause consumers to become sick. Yet, for all their advances, many of them are still using an antiquated system to clean their employee’s shoes and foots. Footbaths were once the only option for many plants, but thanks to new technology, they should be something your plant replaces immediately.

To understand why footbaths have limitations for sanitation use, we need to think of them as baths, that multiple people will use. The first employee to step into the foot bath is using clean water to disinfect their shoes. The next one to use it has slightly less clean water and with employee using the footbath, the water becomes more and more contaminated. No one wants to be the last one in the bath.

Footbaths are clearly useless and ineffective if there is soil inside the soles of the shoes or boots. This is because the sanitiser targets the bottom of the soles and if there are food particles present, only the surface is sanitised allowing microorganisms to survive and grow. The larger the food particle, the longer it takes for the sanitiser to penetrate inside the sole, therefore becoming less effective in its task.

Studies show pathogens are likely to be transmitted by employee’s footwear during the period of walking among different areas in the plant This means footwear needs to be aggressively cleaned to ensure they are sanitary. Unfortunately, footbaths don’t really get into crevices and in fact can add to the problem.

Safety can also be an issue. Once an employee steps out, there can be a soapy film on the bottom of their soles. This could cause the employee to slip as they walk across the concrete floor of the plant.

There is also the issue of emptying them. Footbaths are often two or three-foot-wide and long, making them cumbersome to lift when they have bleach or chlorine in them. Many factories simply dump them out on the floor and then squeegee the water into a drain. This again leaves an area where employees could potentially slip.

Why New Methods Must Be Used

Footwear can be a vehicle that transfers pathogens within one area of plants to another is why cleaning of shoes and boots with specifically designed hygiene technology is necessary for the possible germ-free production facility.

Thankfully new technology advanced equipment is available that is more productive than footbaths and is specifically designed for the food industry. For example, a boot washing machine will use the equipment’s rotating brushes to remove particles lodged into the boots and shoes crevices with water and a disinfecting agent being sprayed onto the employee’s footwear at the same time. The result is having your boots and shoes pathogen free in an productive and economical process.

Since they are designed specifically for the food production industry, they are meant to work quickly and efficiently. In the same amount of time an employee would have stepped in and out of a footbath, they can use these machines to thoroughly clean their shoes, without the resulting risks.

ITEC America provides productive & quality manufactured hygiene equipment, to wash and sanitizes employees foot wear & hands, allowing companies to operate effective and efficiently for the food safety regulations. Contact ITEC America at 563-582-4230 to learn further on their Boot and Sole Washing equipment used in food production facilities.

Why Raw Pet Food Plants Need to Reach A Higher Standard

There seems to be no question that pathogens are all too common in the raw food that we eat. Yet, the FDA can often do little unless there is an outbreak somewhere. The good news for pet owners is that there is almost a zero tolerance policy when it comes to raw pet food.

For the companies that manufacture pet foods it means they often must meet a higher standard. It’s something most, if not all, in the industry should already be aware of. If not, they should be.Raw pet food manufacturing needs to be sterile

Although there are often reports of food recalls in the United States related to human foods, only a small percentage of contaminated food is ever recalled. Consumer Reports did a test a couple years ago that found that 97% of the raw chicken breasts they tested from grocery stores were contaminated.

A company can recall food any time they feel it’s necessary, but the FDA only requires a recall only in the case of adulterated food. That is food that contains known poisons or in conditions that were known to be unsanitary.

This is in marked contrast to how the FDA approaches raw pet food, as one industry article pointed out.

“The FDA has adopted a zero-tolerance policy for any pathogens at all in raw pet food with the rationale that it is meant to be consumed in its raw state, and consequently no bacteria is permitted. The presence of even a single bacterium (one-tenth the size of a human cell) will trigger an automatic recall, even in the absence of any harm.”

There is a twofold reason for the strict guidelines on raw pet food. To protect the pet and also to protect the pet’s owner who will be handling their food.

Many pet owners prefer raw food for their pets over traditional dry or canned pet food because they believe there are more benefits to it. That it can provide a pet with a shinier coat, healthier skin, and higher energy, among other things. The one drawback is the higher risk with bacteria in raw food, something that new standards have helped to all but eliminate.

What Ped Food Manufacturers Must Do

To meet the strict criteria established, many pet food manufacturers have taken a number of steps. This includes using high pressure pasteurization to reduce pathogens. Many believe that this process doesn’t impact the taste of the meat, but some believe this isn’t always the case. This can be an expensive process too.

Many pet food manufacturers are also selective from where they purchase ingredients, relying on manufacturers that adhere to strict guidelines in preparing their meat or produce. Many plants even do the grinding themselves.

Another popular treatment for meat is to use UV light emitters to prevent bacteria from growing while being processed.

Finally, many pet food manufactures of both raw food and processed pet food have developed strict guidelines for employees in the workplace.

Keeping Employees Sterile While Handling Raw Pet Food

The days of doing little more than hanging a sign in the bathroom reminding employees to wash their hands is long gone.  Today many plants have strict protocols involved in keeping their employees sanitary.  They know that pathogens can be easily passed not just from employee’s hands, but their shoes and clothing.

The raw pet manufacturers that have successfully lowered their risks of contaminants have turned to automated equipment to clean employees hands, shoes, and clothing.

Automated Solutions For Keeping Employees Sterile in Pet Food Plants

There are a number of products that are specifically designed for factories that handle raw food, both for humans and for pets. Hand washing stations that are hands free and uses warm air to quickly and safely dry hands.

Boot washing equipment and sole cleaning machines are available that thoroughly clean footwear. They get into the crevices and seams of shoes and boots and thanks to rotating brushes, even the small particle is removed. This ensures no pathogens are tracked into the plant floor and then passed onto the food being handled.

These machines are also designed to operate efficiently so that employees don’t lose valuable production time cleaning. Triggered by sensors, the equipment sprays jet water and sanitizing products. The machines can be set to a factories specific needs and are a fast and easy way to ensure the cleanliness of everyone’s footwear.

ITEC America has for decades been manufacturing products specifically designed for food processing plants and are already used in many pet food plants.  They offer a variety of models that can accommodate your factories specific needs and size from standalone machines to walk through boot washers.

If you want to make your plant is doing everything it can to eliminate pathogens in your pet food plant, then contact ITEC America.  We can help you to meet the high standards that have been set by both the industry and consumers.

The FDA Report On Listeriosis for RTE Plants In Regards to Clean Footwear

This past January the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced an updated draft guidance for controlling Listeria monocytogenes in the manufacturing of ready-to-eat foods (RTE). The goal of the document will be to prevent listeriosis in factories. This new draft reflects the input of the public on the subject and also places a higher emphasis on prevention.Ready To Eat Manufacturing

According to the Center For Disease control, “Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. An estimated 1,600 people get listeriosis each year, and about 260 die.” It most impacts pregnant women and their unborn child.

It seems like each year there are recalls of food products that have been tied to Listeriosis outbreaks. This January it was found in cookie dough that was being sold for fund raising groups. In 2016 a number of frozen food products were recalled from more than one manu

This lengthy FDA draft on Listeriosis provides guidelines for businesses that prepare ready to make foods, but is not meant to be binding. Still the fact that they’re putting so much time and energy into the document, including getting consumers feedback suggests it’s something that manufacturers are to be aware of.

Some of the Draft’s Recommendations

Since listeriosis can be easily passed from clothing and employees, they’ve listed a number of recommendations:

  •     Employees thoroughly wash their hands when entering the work place
  •     Gloves are recommended in the handling of food
  •     Wear special clothing while in the production area

 

The Importance of Clean Footwear in the Factory.

In the draft, much is made of the footwear that personnel wear in factories that manufacture RTE foods. “We recommend that you establish procedures to minimize the potential for personnel to transfer L. monocytogenes from non-RTE areas of the plant to the RTE area. To do so, we recommend that you consider whether the use of foamers or footbaths containing liquid sanitizers, or dry powdered sanitizers, is appropriate and useful when personnel enter areas where RTE foods are processed or exposed.”

 

In the draft, much is made of the footwear that personnel wear in factories that manufacture RTE foods. “We recommend that you establish procedures to minimize the potential for personnel to transfer L. monocytogenes from non-RTE areas of the plant to the RTE area. To do so, we recommend that you consider whether the use of foamers or footbaths containing liquid sanitizers, or dry powdered sanitizers, is appropriate and useful when personnel enter areas where RTE foods are processed or exposed.”

 

When an employee enters a factory, it’s relatively easy for them to clean their hands. They can thoroughly wash them with soap and if necessary wear disposable gloves.  While this takes care of their hands, it’s not often the only place they come into contact with pathogens. As they walk across the floor they can pick up pathogens on the soles of their footwear or food can drop onto them while preparing products. As the draft suggests it’s necessary that every crevice be cleaned.

Solutions For Cleaning Footwear in Factories That Produce Ready to Eat Foods

There are a number of products that are specifically designed for factories that produce food. Boot washing equipment and sole cleaning machines are designed to thoroughly clean footwear.  They get into the crevices and seams of shoes and boots and thanks to rotating brushes, even the small particle is removed.

These machines are designed to operate efficiently so that employees don’t lose valuable production time cleaning their footwear. Triggered by sensors, the equipment sprays jet water and sanitizing products. The machines can be set to a factories specific needs and are a fast and easy way to ensure the cleanliness of everyone’s footwear.

ITEC America has for decades been manufacturing products specifically designed for food processing plants and are already used in many RTE plants.  They offer a variety of models that can accommodate your factories specific needs and size from standalone machines to walk through boot washers.

It’s apparent from the amount of time that the FDA has put into this draft and their requests for input that they consider the outbreaks of listeriosis serious. They hope to have a definitive guide for plants that manufacture ready to eat products can rely on to eliminate outbreaks. Even before they’ve completed the draft, your factory should be taking steps to follow their guidelines.

If you want to make your plant is doing everything it can to eliminate listeriosis then contact ITEC America. We have a number of products specially designed for food processing plants, including sole washers and other hygiene equipment.

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The Heatlh Risk From Footwear in the Food Plant Industry

Foot Wear can be a vehicle that transfers pathogens from one area of the plant to the other.

All food processing plants and pet food plants have hygiene as a central priority of their factory. They have signs about the plant reminding employees to wash their hands, they provide disposable gloves and hairnets, and constantly educate everyone on proper hygiene techniques. Yet, what can be often forgotten is their footwear.

Footwear In Food Processing Plants

Footwear In Food Processing Plants

Workers move about the plant, busy in their work. They don’t realize that though their hands are clean, their footwear is picking up pathogens along the way. Foot traffic can be a primary source of food contaminants. Shoes and boots come into contact with all sorts of bacteria and can carry into a plant just about every contaminant imaginable.

While clothing and outwear can be cleaned every night in the laundry, this is not an option for boots and shoes. Small traces can become lodged in the tiniest of areas. Even if employees put on special footwear just for when they enter the plant, it doesn’t mean that this footwear is hygienic.

According to one recent article, “many studies have demonstrated that surfaces in food manufacturing facilities, especially floor areas, can harbor and transmit bacteria and increase the risk of cross contamination. Footwear may act as a vehicle for the transfer of pathogens within production areas.”

If you want your plant to be compliant with FDA requirements and avoid any issues that could result in a contaminated product, then you want your employees to be hygienic from head to foot.

How To Avoid Issues with Footwear In Food Processing Plants

There are a number of options food processing plants and similar industries, such as pet food plants, can do to lower the risks of contaminants being spread through footwear. Some that are more effective than others.

Have Footwear Specifically for the Food Plant

Employees should have the proper footwear for working and for their surroundings. Footwear that is comfortable and also doesn’t have areas where contaminants can hide away. By providing them with shoes or boots that they wear exclusively for the plant, you at least avoid the issues of outside contaminants being tracked in.

This footwear still must be cleaned, however, as the biggest risk for pathogens is often what is inside the plant. Plant floors are regularly cleaned, but does everything make it down the drain.

Chemical Baths To Clean Footwear

For some factories the solution to keeping boots and shoes clean is to use chemical baths. The problem with these is that they need to be cleaned frequently as the footwear becomes filled with plant partilces within the area they are walking about.

Keep the Plant Floor Clean

Many plants have floor drains and after each shift the floor is hosed down. Some used dry powered sanitizers, especially in area which have moisture. The powder is activated by the moisture and it begins to eliminate any pathogens. An automated foam sanitizing system is another option to prevent contamination. A thoroughly clean floor is a good first step in maintaining a hygienic environment, but with footwear it’s not just what is on the soles that can be a problem. Particle can land on the top or sides of footwear and then transferred to other areas, potentially contaminating the product.

Disposable Shoe Covers

The most common option is to have disposable show covers that slip over employees shoes or boots. This is an easy solution and relatively easy to implement. The drawback here is that they don’t cover the entire shoe and if employees wear boots, the exposed area is even larger.

Automatic Boot Washers

WalkThroughBootWashers

Walk Through Boot Washers

Just as employees wash their hands as they enter the plant, they can also wash and sanitize their boots. The crevices in footwear, where pathogens can be lodged, are a particular challenge to remove thoroughly and quickly. Boot washer equipment and sole cleaning machines operate with rotating brushes, designed to remove particles and sanitize areas on the boots and shoes, including crevices.

Automatically started by sensors, this equipment sprays jet water and sanitizing product, which can be set according to your company’s specific needs.  It’s fast and easy to ensure the cleanliness of all employee and managerial foot bases.

SoleWasher

Sole Washer For Food Plant Processing Plants

Depending upon the space available, finding an area to operate equipment could be a challenge. This is why ITEC has designed many models based on customer suggestions.  We have standalone boot washers and sole cleaners that take up very little space and can be moved around easily.

If you want to make your plant efficient and provide a workspace that is as hygienic as possible, then contact ITEC America. We have products specially designed for food processing plants, pet food manufactures, and the dairy industry, including boot washers and sole cleaner.

Why Food Processing Plants Need to Be Concerned About Listeria

Whenever food manufacturing plants make the national news its usually not a good thing. The stories are often about food recalls or illnesses associated with specific food products. Often it involves food that is found in the refrigeration section of the grocery or in canned goods. Yet, even frozen food can have bacteria that can cause illness. Recently listeria has made the news and its Listeria and food processing plantssomething that food processing plants, dairy manufactures and even pet food plants need to be concerned about.

Recently listeria was discovered in frozen foods manufactured by one plant, but the recall involved millions of packages of frozen vegetables and frozen fruit. And the food being recalled went as far back as 2 years ago.  According to the AP story, the recall was one of the largest in history.

“Unquestionably, this is a lot of product. … It reflects the severity of listeria as an illness, the long duration of illnesses and the outbreak and the long shelf life of the products,” said Matthew Wise, who leads the outbreak response team at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Listeria is nothing new to the food manufacturing industry. In fact, its commonly found in dairy product and a number of meat products including poultry and seafood. Listeria monocytogenes is a pathogen that has the ability to multiply within host cells and then spread from cell to cell. It can be found in foods that are ready to eat, but also those that can be stored for an extended period of time, such as the frozen vegetables recently recalled.

When people come down with listeriosis they often show flu-like symptoms, such as headaches, vomiting, and chills. Although for most people listeria is not fatal is does pose a more serious risk for people with low immune systems or women that are pregnant. They can come down with an infection, which for pregnant women can have serious consequences with their baby.

It’s not just for plants that manufacture food for humans that have to be concerned. The pet food industry has also had recalls related to the discovery of listeria in their products. Just this past January the FDA ordered a major recall on pet food and warned of the risk of listeria to pets.

“Listeria monocytogenes can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms.”

As far back as 2008, an article on the Food Quality and Safety website warned it was a serious health problem and advised food processing plants on how to control it.FoodProcessingPlant

“A clean, dry environment is of utmost importance in controlling Listeria. Common processing facility contamination sites include floors, walls, ceilings, food contact surfaces, cleaning aids, drains/wash areas, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Potential problem areas should be identified at each processing facility.”

If you’re in the food manufacturing business, you have to be aware of the risks involved with listeria for your plant. As the previous article suggested the best way to avoid the risk of listeria is through having a clean environment. This also means that employees should in particular be hygienic, from proper hand washing to having clean shoes or boots while walking around the plant. While there is an expense to having the proper products, these costs are more than outweighed by the risks associated with an outbreak. Any recall is expensive, but having your company name in a news article could cause tremendous damage to your brand.

As the food industry looks to protect consumers, customers, and their brands ITECs food plant personnel hygiene equipment can be the answer for this

For over 25 years ITEC America has been supplying food processing plants with the sanitation equipment to help to avoid any health related issues with their products.  ITEC manufactures automatic walk through boot washers, as studies have found employee foot wear can be a vehicle that transfers pathogens from one area of the processing plant to the other.  Contact us today to learn how our equipment gives you a way to be more productive & efficient in the Employee Hygiene location areas as we know Personal Sanitation in the Food Industry is High Priority.

Why Pet Food Plants Have To Look At How They Handle Processing

The pet food industry like the companies that manufacture food for pet owners need to ensure their plants are sanitary and meet government regulations. Recent news stories in the pet food industry have revealed the concerns the FDA and even Walmart have about the manufacturing of pet food products.

In March of 2016 the FDA sent a warning letter to one pet food producer that it had found salmonella in its dog food. In the letter the FDA warned that unless steps were taken, they could be subject to seizure and or injunctions.PetFoodProducts

As the FDA stated in the letter their “concerns with Salmonella-contaminated pet foods are two-fold: safety of the animals consuming the product and safety of the humans in the same household.”

In this case the issue with the pet food was due to its ingredients and not necessarily its manufacturing, but more and more people are looking for the healthiest food they can find for their pets. This means its production must meet nearly the same standards of factories that handle food for human consumption.

This sentiment was echoed in another news story this past March. During a speech given by Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety for Walmart during the Petfood Forum in Asia, he called for a “bigger conversation about pet food safety.”

For companies that manufacture pet food they need to look at not just the ingredients that go into their product, but how it is manufactured. Employees must be aware of their hygiene just as if they were handling food intended for a child. On the FDA’s own website, they state that the “the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) requires that all animal foods, like human foods, be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled.”

It isn’t just the health of pets that the FDA is concerned about, it’s also their owners who handle their food and could also be exposed to health issues because of contaminants in the food. As long ago as 2012, a commissioner from the FDA stated that “the incredible growth in the pet food industry is good news to this audience. But with this growth comes a responsibility to ensure these products are as safe as they possibly can be for both pets and their owners.”

If you’re plant manufactures pet food, you need to be taking the steps to keep your employees hygienic. It isn’t just the cost that could come from a fine from the FDA or a temporary shutdown of your plant. It’s the impact the news of these fines or shutdown will have in social media, where pet owners will alert others of what has happened. With the health of their pets being foremost in their minds, they may no longer purchase your products long after the FDA has left.Pet Food Processing Plants

ITEC America offers equipment designed for plants that manufacture food, including pet food. This includes sole washers, hygiene stations, and hand washing stations. Call (563) 582-4230 to talk to one of sales staff and learn how our equipment can assist your pet food plant. Our products could help you to avoid any issues with the FDA or with consumers.

New Food Handling Safety Laws Force Food Processors to Step Up their Game

The legislation for completely revised food safety laws will greatly increase the amount of F.D.A. inspections of processing plants, especially for those that process foods to be consider a high risk for contamination.

Since contamination at one facility has the potential to sicken untold numbers of people around the country, the new legislation demands that plants anticipate the potential contamination and install adequate plans, routines and equipment to ensure the safety of the products they produce.food

“With more inspections which take place in food and pet processing plants, companies who produce, package, and offer products will have to step up their game in realm of food and food handler’s hygiene” states Jeb Supple with ITEC America.

During recent decades, the Food and Drug Administration focused most on policing medical products. The new legislation grants the F.D.A. greater powers to oversee the farming methods and to demand accountability from companies who process foods to assure public safety. This new effort strives to prevent unsafe foods from being distributed to restaurants. This is a large step fdalogotoward foodborne illness prevention over the current practice that typically involves recalls and intervention after outbreak has occurred.

With the legislation beginning to go into effect, processing plants who have not considered the impact of the changes would do well to step up plans to comply. Certainly, when comparing the cost of installing automated sanitation features to the cost to human life and possible plant shut downs when an outbreak occurs, the choice is obvious – for all reasons.

ITEC America manufactures Hygiene Equipment as Boot Washers, placed in employee traffic areas to prevent bacteria transformation within Pet & Food Processing Plants. www.itecamerica.com

How is the Food Safety Industry Keeping Up With Technology Advancements?

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Technology has made advancements in virtually every part of life from providing instant information to expanding communication with long-lost friends across the globe. One area where there is the potential for real gains but at the same time real dangers is in the production of food.

Today, farmers and consumers could have access on their phone via an app that gives them the latest reports on meat and poultry inspection. Technology is pulling the food safety industry in all different directions.

The Pros

There are many positive aspects of consumers having expanded information available to them regarding their food products. As part of the Food Safety Modernization Act signed into law in 2011, food manufacturers are starting to be required to form Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HAACP) plans that track a product from seedling through manufacturing to consumer purchase. The groundwork is then laid so that a consumer could scan the product with their phone and instantly see where it was farmed, manufactured, distributed, etc.

Farmers can also use data and predictions to forecast their crop productions and variations so they know when, where, and how much of a crop should be planted for optimum performance. On top of that, technology can help farmers test their product faster whereas laboratories can use DNA from a germ to detect its origination and life pattern.

Technology can also be used to monitor employees at food processing centers to track them and make sure they’ve scanned into items like a boot scanner food plant device or checked into the equipment room to change their gloves, hairnet, etc. on regular intervals.

The Cons

Nutritional values will have to be evaluated as companies are using genetically modified preservatives to expand the shelf life of their product and reduce costly waste. Not throwing out food is a good thing as long as the integrity isn’t manipulated to benefit the manufacturer’s bottom line.

Another thing expert’s fear is a Wild West scenario where people are 3D printing and distributing food where safety precautions and methods have yet to be developed.

What it Means for Food Processing Plants

Food processing plants are still vital for ensuring the safety of their patrons and the buildings should embrace these technologies instead of being defiant towards them. Any process that can gather data, track employees, and overall ensure that food product going out the door is safe for consumption is one that should be examined and implemented.

Carometec USA is the #1 provider of food safety and sanitation equipment that helps processors meet strict FDA standards and ensure that their product and employees are safe from pathogens and bacterias. To view our ever expanding line of items integrating technology and safety please visit carometecusa.com.

FDA Cracks Down With 9 Food Safety Warning Letters Last Week; Seafood Industry Gets Brunt

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Warning letters from the FDA are nothing new, with a couple being issued almost every week mainly for tobacco advertising or drug marketing violations. The Food and Drug Administration upped their ante recently with 9 warning letters being sent out in a week, a bulk of which went to the seafood manufacturing sector.

It’s not as if seafood processing plants drastically changed their processes in the last few weeks but the letters are a sign that the FDA is stepping up their scrutiny in accordance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) a bill signed into law that put more focus on preventing the spreading of bacteria and foodborne illnesses instead of reacting after the fact to outbreaks.

Companies Receiving Warning Letters

Portland Fish Exchange – Portland, ME – The FDA deemed that the company’s products were unsafe because they were prepared or packed under insanitary conditions which could be injurious to the public health. The main products affected were bluefish, mackerel, and tuna.

Whole Foods Market Denver Distribution Center – Aurora, CO – It wasn’t unsafe conditions per se that caused this Whole Foods distribution center to receive a letter from the FDA, it was a lack of having an HAACP plan in place. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points regulations are a key component to the FSMA as it includes tracking of product through each stage of manufacturing.

Josephson’s Smokehouse – Astoria, OR
Britto Seafoods Exports – Tamil Nadu, India

Seorak Clean Foods – Sokcho, Republic of Korea
Royal Foods – Bangkok, Thailand – These four companies all received warning letters from the FDA because they failed to adequately reply to specific inquiries about the HAACP procedures noticed during inspections.

In addition to procedural issues, the FDA warning letters also notified Josephson’s Smokehouse about labeling failing to provide a list of all the ingredients in their Hot Smoked Wine – Maple product. Four other products failed to have nutritional information on the packaging.

Wagner Dairy Operations based out of Middleton, WI also come under fire for selling cows for slaughter that the FDA found to have elevated levels of desfuroylceftiofur and penicillin in their tissues.

It should be noted that a warning letter from the FDA doesn’t mean the organization is shutting a plant down or recalling a slew of their products, they are simply sent out so that the facilities respond with detailed steps in how they are going to comply. For instance an insanitary environment will be responded to with the exact approach of installing sanitary equipment like a boot washer and implementing a more rigorous employee safety plan.

While the warning letters may come as a shock, they are part of a strategic approach to make food safer for consumers and rest assured – there will be plenty more to come.

Carometec USA is the leading distributor of the sanitation equipment that brings facilities in compliance with ever-expanding FDA regulations. Our product line includes items for preparing food safely and also limiting the spreading of bacteria from employees to food product. To view some of the inventory check out www.carometecusa.com

 

 

Food Safety Modernization Act Revealing More Pitfalls as Specifics Get Implemented

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At first glance the Food Safety Modernization Act signed into law in January 2011 was a beacon of hope. President Obama together with the FDA were going to take a more proactive approach in preventing foodbourne illnesses instead of simply reacting and doing damage control after the fact. As food and safety news reveals more of the protocols that are being defined as part of the FSMA, some farmers and manufacturers are finding out the government is trying to have their cake and eat it too.

FDA: Use Up Your Waste…But Don’t

To understand what’s getting manufacturers so agitated is to first find out where they’re coming from. Imagine you had a reverse osmosis water filter in your home that separated chemical filled water from pure drinking water. You’d obviously use the pure water for cooking and to quench thirst but the discard water has a purpose to for sprinkling the lawn, watering plants, or washing outdoor equipment. Now imagine a government official stepped in and said you could no longer use the chemical water and had to pay to dispose of it as well as pay for clean plant-watering H20.

Farmers and food processors are finding some similar step-ins by the FDA. The best example lies in beer brewing and the distilling of alcohol. After the manufacturing process separates and mashes the good product from bad, a large amount of mucky wet grain remains, consisting of malt and wheat. For production this wet grain is unusable but cattle eat it up as if they’re at their local tavern. It’s a perfect cycle of creating alcohol and taking the waste to give to cows who are then fed and plumped until they create waste which makes fertilizer which helps plants grow and so on. The process was stream-lined and efficient and everybody loved it…until the FSMA was signed.

Not So Fast Says the FDA

Understandably the FDA is taking every possible approach to prevent foodborne illness and keep the public safe, unfortunately practices such as feeding cows discarded alcohol waste might be a risk in the Government’s eyes. The main problem is that the food and safety modernization act is a one-size-fits-all law. For example there are no catered rules that would enable farmers to sell their produce at markets because of possible dirt and a lack of tracking. Under the same proposal, that wet grain that was cycled back through to cattle must now be hauled to a landfill which costs farmers and brewers extra money, takes up valuable refuse space, and perhaps most importantly raises the prices of our booze.

The End Game

The most likely approach to farmers who find themselves on the flip side of the food safety and modernization act is to band together with others in their industry and plead for specific rules or take the rogue route and keep doing what they do. Many farmers and food manufacturers don’t see the common sense in implementing new programs as required by the FSMA only to have them called off in the future so as it stands it’s quite the slippery slope.

Farmers and food manufacturing plants should use as much safety equipment as possible to not only protect their product and customers, but to get in good graces with the government. Carometec USA distributes the largest supply of food safety items such as stainless steel prep tables and employee wash stations to limit bacteria and other pathogens from gaining access to food. To view these items visit www.carometecusa.com.