CO2 Refrigeration: Debunking 3 Common Myths

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Stellar is gearing up for ATMOsphere America 2017, the leading forum for discussion about the business case for natural refrigerants in North America. The three-day conference next month will host more than 400 industry stakeholders in San Diego, California, and will feature discussions about the latest in refrigeration technology and regulation. Among the hot-button issues in the industry: the diminishing role of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCS).


Three Steps in Developing a Food Processing Manufacturing Plan

Strategic planning series

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Manufacturing Plan

Developing a manufacturing plan is generally the second phase in the strategic planning process. After creating a business plan and specifying your food processing plant’s sales and growth projections, a manufacturing plan will identify and assess the processes that are used to manufacture the product to meet those sales goals.


5 Ways to Improve Equipment Reliability and Avoid Downtime in Your Food Processing Plant

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There is one thing that food processing plants cannot afford: downtime as a result of equipment failure. The loss of a single piece of equipment can halt production and lead to product loss, not to mention a loss of revenue.

Some studies have shown that downtime for a typical food packaging line can result in $15,000 per hour of lost revenue. That’s $250 per minute!


What’s New in LEED v4: Big Picture Changes, Updates for Building Design and Construction

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What’s new in LEED v4: Big picture changes, updates for Building Design and Construction

LEED v4 is here. This latest version of the LEED rating system is “bolder and more specialized for building projects worldwide,” and it features more rigorous standards. While some of the credits and prerequisites are essentially the same as the 2009 version, there are some significant changes you should know about if a new build or renovation is in your future.


Five Things To Consider When Selecting A Site For Your New Plant

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Site selection Earlier this year, Food Processing magazine’s Kevin T. Higgins claimed that being a food manufacturer was the next best thing to being a king. Why? Because most new plant projects and renovations are now supported by generous, multimillion public subsidies. But while communities dangle expensive bait in hopes of catching job creation, it’s skewing the site-selection process, resulting in plants built in unfit locations.


Plant Steam vs. Culinary Steam vs. Pure Steam: What Food Manufacturers Need to Know

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Plant Steam vs. Culinary Steam vs. Pure Steam: What Food Manufacturers Need to Know

Steam is used in food processing for a variety of reasons from preparing product to cleaning equipment. Common uses of steam in food and beverage facilities include:

  • Blanching product
  • Rehydrating product
  • Sterilizing equipment
  • Steam-in-Place (SIP) to clean pipes

But not all steam is created equal — and there are new developments in steam technology happening all the time. In this post we’ll look at the types of steam used in food processing as well as one innovation known as dry steam.


7 PSM Audit Violations and How to Avoid Them

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Quality assurance is one key to a successful food safety audit

Quality assurance is one key to a successful food safety audit


Process Safety Management (PSM) compliance audits are specific and comprehensive, focusing on 14 elements of OSHA’s PSM Standards. A well-planned and organized audit process — including cross-trained personnel, audit checklists and self-audits — can help ensure a successful outcome.


15 Common Ammonia Safety Issues Your Refrigeration Personnel Can Control (and Correct)

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15 Common Ammonia Safety Issues Your Refrigeration Personnel Can Control (And Correct)

It’s always a good time to check up on your facility’s safety — but now the stakes are even higher when it comes to safety violations.

Employers across the U.S. have been facing higher penalties from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) this year. In January 2019, the federal agency announced it was increasing the maximum penalty for serious and other than serious citations to $13,260 and the maximum for repeat and willful violations to $132,598. 

That means conducting a safety audit is especially critical if you’ve already received citations at any company facility, since a repeat offense could trigger a costly willful violation.


Cryogenic vs. Mechanical Freezers: The Best Uses for Each Method

Part 2: Process freezing series

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Cryogenic vs. Mechanical Freezers: The Best Uses for Each Method

Many food plants rely on freezers and refrigerators to store and ship their products. In last week’s post, I outlined four variables food processors must understand during process freezing. This week, I want to take a look at freezing methods and equipment, and the applications they’re best suited for. Depending on the type and quantity of food, certain freezers are more useful than others.


The 12 Steps to Develop a HACCP Plan

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The 12 Steps to Develop a HACCP Plan

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.