How an Innovative Starbucks Processing Plant Takes Food Safety to New Levels

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How an Innovative Starbucks Processing Plant Takes Food Safety to New Levels

Photography: Robert Pepple

In response to the growing demand for home-brewed instant coffee that delivers true “coffee shop” flavor, Starbucks came to Stellar wanting to build a unique soluble coffee plant. The award-winning facility in Augusta, Georgia, was designed to produce the company’s VIA® instant coffee products, and it’s cutting-edge in every sense of the word.

Among the plant’s many innovations, food safety was a top priority. There are several lessons food and beverage manufacturers can learn from how Starbucks addressed this critical issue.

 

Food Plant Sanitation: Choosing Flooring, Walls, Ceilings and Doors to Improve Food Safety

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Food Plant Sanitation: Choosing Flooring, Walls, Ceilings and Doors to Improve Food Safety

Whether you’re designing a new food and beverage facility or renovating an existing one, it’s important to consider the materials you choose for to surround your processing — literally.

When it comes to food safety, these features sometimes get less attention than other factors — such as equipment, ingredient storage/segregation and product handling — but they can be a plant’s Achilles heel if ignored.

Today, we’re going to look at the best practices when selecting materials for your facility’s flooring, walls, ceilings and doors.

 

Do These 5 Things to Maintain Food Safety in Your Older Facility

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Do These 5 Things to Maintain Food Safety in Your Older Facility

 

You don’t need to build a brand new facility to meet modern-day food safety standards. The reality is that most companies don’t have the budget to build from scratch as often as they’d like, but that doesn’t mean your decades-old plant can’t be a shining example of food safety.

Let’s look at five things you can do now to ensure your older facility is up to today’s food safety standards.

 

Hydrovey Systems: 4 Things You Need to Know to Ensure Food Safety

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Hydrovey Systems: 4 Things You Need to Know to Ensure Food Safety

Any time you transport product from one stage of processing to another, you introduce the possibility of food safety risks. There are a variety of ways to move your product from receiving to packaging, but how do you minimize the opportunity for outside contamination during the steps between?

Hydrovey systems are a popular option, particularly in facilities that produce canned goods. This semi-closed-loop system transports product through piping using a stream of water and can be a safer alternative to conveyor belts. I’ve designed hydrovey systems and have seen them used in the production of several food products, including fruit, corn and beans.

 

3 Ways an Integrated Design-Build Firm Can Improve the Food Safety of Your Next Food Manufacturing Facility

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3 ways an integrated design-build firm can improve the food safety of your next food manufacturing facility

Will your new food or beverage facility be the source of a future recall? The answer could all come down to communication. I’m not talking about how well your staff on the plant floor can work together or how effective your leadership skills are as an owner. The fate of your plant can be decided well before a big ribbon is cut and your processing lines whir to life.

The food safety quality of your next facility depends on whether the people designing and constructing your plant can communicate effectively.

This may feel like something that’s outside of your control — but who you hire can be the difference between a project with streamlined communication and a multi-million-dollar game of “telephone” where mixed messages put food safety (and your budget) at risk.

 

5 Focus Areas for Assessing Food Safety Risks

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5 Focus Areas for Assessing Food Safety Risks

We all know the importance of food safety. One oversight can put public health and your bottom line at risk. That’s why meeting food safety standards isn’t enough — merely complying is the lowest bar.

We discuss food safety often, but when was the last time you examined your facility’s risks from a high-level view? Let’s examine five major areas to focus on when assessing your plant’s food safety risks.

 

6 Food Safety Areas to Examine During Operational Facility Improvements

Ensure construction doesn’t put your food manufacturing plant at risk

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6 Key Areas to Maintain Food Safety During Facility Retrofits

Many food plants operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in some capacity. Without proper planning, quality control, good manufacturing practices (GMP) and sanitation procedures, an around-the-clock operation is a high-risk candidate for food safety dangers. In this type of environment, how are essential retrofits and renovations accomplished without compromising daily operations, food safety and personnel safety?

 

Food Safety: Biofilm Formation and Removal

An in-depth look at warning signs, proper sanitation procedures and prevention

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Food Safety: Biofilm Formation and Removal

Biofilm is not only difficult to detect, it can form just about anywhere in your food processing plant. Even clean-looking surfaces can be compromised by an invisible layer of biofilm harboring dangerous bacteria and pathogens. Ensuring your food plant’s processing equipment is unaffected by this tricky food safety culprit is critical to preventing contamination and costly recalls.

 

Following Sanitary Design Best Practices Key to Avoiding Food Safety Recalls

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BEST PRACTICES IN SANITARY DESIGN

Stellar is experiencing a major uptick in sanitary design projects, and we have a hunch as to why. The implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has many food and beverage companies taking a deeper look at their processing practices, their plant designs and the equipment that goes inside their facilities. As food recalls litter the headlines and impact the health of consumers, food safety continues to be a crucial area of focus. A sound food safety program begins on the plant floor, and it all starts with following sanitary design best practices.

 

New Trends in Sanitary Equipment Design are Improving Food Safety Standards

Food safety series

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San Antonio Faciity -3As food safety regulatory requirements become more stringent, equipment manufacturers are stepping up to the plate and increasing the role they play in the industry. The American Meat Institute’s (AMI) 10 sanitary design principles offer baseline standards for equipment design, yet many suppliers are going above and beyond these standards by offering improved surfaces, cleaning chemicals, and construction processes.