Jim Oko
Jim Oko
Director of Process Engineering
 

Jim has over 19 years of experience in the design, analysis and improvement of operations, systems and facilities. His responsibilities include facility design, equipment design and procurement, project management, start-up and commissioning for projects in the food and beverage processing industries. This includes the development of process design, material balances, block flow diagrams and automated systems for related facilities. He has managed projects for Columbus Foods, Smithfield Foods, Purdue Farms, Sara Lee Foods, Starbucks, Pinnacle Foods, Cuisine Solutions, Maple Leaf Foods and others.

 

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?

 

Can Compressed Air Systems be a Source of Contamination?

2 ways to prevent contaminated air in your food facility

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Can Compressed Air Systems be a Source of Contamination?

Did you know that compressed air systems can be a source of contamination in your food plant? Dangerous bacteria and pathogens can be difficult to spot in your facility—especially if they are airborne. It’s a common misperception that compressed air is considered as clean as the air from the outdoor environment that surrounds your facility—NOT true. Once in the compressor, the air outside of your facility (ambient air) mixes with other elements within your compressor (i.e., corrosion, worn seals). Whatever is not caught in your filtration system is then circulated throughout your plant.

 

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.

 

Food Processing Plant Down? 3 Solutions to Keep Operations Moving

Emergency Response Preparedness Series

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food manufacturing co-packers and co-manufacturers

Aside from producing high quality, safe products, what is one of the most important rules of food manufacturing? Do not short your customers. If a disaster puts your plant’s operations on pause, know your options for continuing production outside the walls of your facility. Co-packing, co-manufacturing and built-in redundancy are three solutions to keep your operations moving when your plant is down. Here are the key things to know about each.

 

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.

 

Five Ways an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System Can Help You Comply With FSMA

Food safety series

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best practicesThe Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is front and center for most food processors yet managing the regulatory and reporting requirements can be taxing and time consuming. Many food processors are investing in an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to more efficiently manage the process, allowing for better data collection, analysis, documentation, and reporting tools. Using an ERP program to manage your plant’s food safety program will improve your audit results, reduce food safety-related incidents and investigations, improve product quality and ultimately increase operational efficiencies.

 

Demand Rises for High Pressure Processing

2014 trends and predictions

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Provided by Hiperbaric

Provided by Hiperbaric

 

High pressure processing (HPP) is gaining popularity among food manufacturers as a method that induces a pasteurizing effect on packaged food without subjecting the products to thermal energy. The recent explosion of the health and organic markets is partially responsible for the increased acceptance of this natural and environmentally friendly process.

 

Three Steps for Removing Biofilm in Your Food Processing Plant

Food Safety Series

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Biofilm removal is notoriously difficult, but also critical for food safety. Disease-producing bacteria, including Listeria, can be 1,000 times harder to eliminate if it is living in a protective biofilm.