Selecting the Best Drainage Systems for Food & Beverage Processing

Whether you’re building a new facility or upgrading an existing one, it’s vital to have a well-designed drainage system throughout your processing areas. In fact, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) lists the prevention of liquid accumulation as one of the top three principles of sanitary facility design

Poor drainage in a food and beverage facility can impede the sanitation process and greatly affect overall food safety. Meanwhile, proper drainage design speeds up cleaning and reduces health and safety risks for both workers and production. 

When done incorrectly, your facility’s drainage system can contaminate ingredients and products that then must be discarded, directly impacting your bottom line. In addition, recalls caused by product contamination can damage both your company’s reputation and your product category.

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Food Safety: 7 Pest Hotspots to Monitor

It’s no secret that food processing facilities, warehouses and distribution centers must maintain high standards to ensure food safety. If pests infiltrate a workspace, every area of production is at risk. Not only can pests carry diseases that threaten health and safety, an infestation could also lead to product loss, product recall, reputation damage, product liability lawsuits and a facility’s shutdown.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates nearly 48 million Americans get sick from foodborne diseases every year, while thousands more are hospitalized or even die from them. 

Understanding the threats, developing a robust pest prevention strategy and recognizing when it’s time to call for help are vital to protecting your operations, staff and customers.

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Preventing a Botulism Recall Before it Happens

Most of us were taught during childhood not to eat canned food from dented or bulging cans to avoid botulism poisoning. But according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), only 7% of botulism outbreaks between 1950 and 1996 were traced to commercially processed foods. The prospect of cans causing botulism poisoning carries such notoriety due to a widely publicized botulism outbreak in 1919 linked to a shipment of canned black olives that killed 18 people in a handful of states. This instilled widespread fear of botulism coming from canned goods into the psyche of American consumers — a fear that has been passed on from generation to generation.

In the aftermath of the outbreak, a consortium of canned food producers, scientific experts and government officials came together to develop strict regulations and establish state inspection services for canned foods processing. Not only did these regulations form the basis of what we now know as the nation’s food safety system, they restored the public’s confidence in canned foods and in the national food industry.

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Demand for Cold Storage Development Heats Up

Source: CBRE’s latest research report

Growth in online grocery sales is stoking demand for cold storage facilities across the United States, according to a new research report from CBRE. The real estate services and investment firm found that up to 100 million square feet of additional capacity is needed to meet online sales through 2022.  

However, the cost and complexity of cold storage construction could make meeting that demand difficult. The resulting shortage will likely cause cold storage to become an even more coveted real estate asset – and those willing to invest in the market stand to reap major rewards. 

Read below for the top insights from CBRE’s latest cold storage report. 

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5 Lessons Logistics Companies Can Learn From Caspers’ New Refrigerated Distribution Facility

Caspers Cold Storage & Distribution, Florida’s oldest third-party logistics company, recently opened a new state-of-the-art refrigerated distribution facility in Tampa that is helping transform the company into one of the most dynamic leaders in cold storage distribution today. The 116,000-square-foot facility is key to Caspers’ new business model as a frozen-food storage provider. It includes:   

  • An 87,000-square-foot, -10°F freezer
  • Two -48°F blast cells
  • A 16,000-square-foot, 35°F truck dock
  • Machine and maintenance rooms
  • Offices and employee welfare areas

The facility was designed and built by Stellar, which overcame several building complexities to complete the project quickly and under budget. Here are five lessons companies can learn from Caspers’ new refrigerated distribution facility.

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6 Hot Trends in Cold Storage Warehouse Construction

At Stellar, we construct a lot of cold storage facilities and distribution centers. In fact, over the years we’ve designed and built more than 10 million square feet of public refrigerated warehouse space.

My point? We notice patterns in consumer demand, common challenges and external factors that influence the market as a whole.

Here are six of the top things affecting the cold storage construction industry right now.

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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.

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4 Ways to Expand Value-Added Services at Your Cold Storage Warehouse

A major trend in the cold storage industry today is a push toward expanding value-added services — additional, non-core services cold storage companies can offer clients. As client needs change, many operators of traditional warehouse spaces are looking to diversify and create new revenue streams.

But what options are out there? Let’s look at the current trends in value-added services being offered by cold storage operators.

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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.

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Food Plant Emergency Response: What to Do After a Hurricane

Hurricane Irma (photo source: ABC News)


The state of Florida, the Caribbean and portions of the Southeastern U.S. are reeling from the impact of Hurricane Irma this week. The deadly storm brought damaging winds and torrential rain to the entire Sunshine State, including our headquarters in Jacksonville.

We’re now more than halfway through the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, and with more than 11,000 food and beverage manufacturing plants in hurricane-susceptible states on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, it’s critical to plan for the damage a hurricane can bring.

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