Feb 8, 2018
Major food recalls are a reminder of how critical detection technology is for a food facility — and lately, it seems we’re being reminded far too often. There are a lot of variables when it comes to x-ray and metal detection systems: What should you buy? How much protection is enough? How do you maximize performance? Let’s start by understanding the difference between x-ray and metal detection technology.
Oct 12, 2017
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is an internationally recognized system for reducing the risk of safety hazards in food. A HACCP system requires that potential biological, chemical or physical hazards are identified and controlled at specific points in the process. Any company involved in the manufacturing, processing or handling of food products can use HACCP to improve food safety.
So how does it work? Implementing a HACCP system requires that both prerequisite programs and HACCP plans are implemented:
- Prerequisite programs are programs that are put in place in the facility to control hazards in the environment, preventing contamination of the product (see examples)
- HACCP Plans are prepared for each process or product, and identify possible hazards and controls in place to make sure the hazards are eliminated or controlled to ensure acceptable levels in the food product
Let’s examine the steps to developing a solid HACCP plan.
Aug 17, 2017
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.
Apr 6, 2017
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.
Jan 5, 2017
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.
Nov 17, 2016
Most of us enjoy cooking food that we love to eat. It’s the cleanup that we hate. Have you ever made a home-cooked meal that didn’t involve cleaning? Probably not. Also, those of us who like to cook would never start with dirty utensils and pans, right?
Food manufacturing facilities operate in the same way. They aim to produce high-quality products while minimizing the cleanup involved, but they must first begin processing with clean equipment. But that can be easier said than done.
Oct 6, 2016
Last week, we explored how to overcome four common bakery challenges for implementing gluten-free products into your offerings. As the IBIE Baking Expo kicks off this weekend, we’ll continue exploring the growth of the gluten-free market and how bakeries can safely integrate these niche products into their facilities.
Adapting your processing and distribution to gluten-free nuances
Sep 29, 2016
Stellar is gearing up for the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) in October, and gluten-free baking continues to be one of the hot industry topics this year. The gluten-free food segment is projected to reach $4.8 billion by 2021. So, where does your plant fit into the gluten-free market?
Minimize the top food safety risks in your food and beverage facility
Sep 22, 2016
Ask any food manufacturer or processor if they are committed to high safety and quality standards and their answer will, of course, be yes. But even with the strictest standards, thousands of recalls are still issued each year in the U.S. In 2015, the FDA recalled 9,178 products, a 12-percent increase over the previous two years. If you weighed the amount of goods the USDA recalled last year alone, it would be as heavy as 52 Boeing 747 airliners. That’s a lot of product gone to waste.
Best practices for mitigating risk and protecting your food business
Sep 1, 2016
This is a question we hear food plant owners asking themselves time and time again when embarking on new projects. Do I really need to invest in prequalifying subcontractors? I have relationships with other vendors—why pay someone else to hire subs when I can save money and just pick people myself? There are plenty of reasons that hiring subs must be taken very, very seriously. The wrong decision can result in risks ranging from project delays and unexpected expenses to safety threats. And with food manufacturing facilities in particular, you have the added layer of food safety risks. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re on the fence about investing time and resources into prequalifying food plant subcontractors for your project.