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.

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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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7 PSM Audit Violations and How to Avoid Them

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.

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Decision by Committee: The Pros and Cons of Group Decision-making

In recent years, more food and beverage companies have adopted a different perspective on decision-making. Rather than having one person making unilateral decisions, many businesses have shifted toward a “decision-by-committee” approach, where a small group of stakeholders are part of the process.

This trend is especially prevalent in larger companies that are adopting a more inclusive corporate culture. The goal is to foster greater pride and buy-in from employees by including diverse perspectives in decisions that affect them.

For example, I recently worked with several owners who utilized the decision-by-committee approach when Stellar was building their new food plant. These facilities are multimillion-dollar investments, and these leaders increasingly want to seek input from their employees who will be working in the facility and with the equipment every day.

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Six Reasons to Consider a CO2/NH3 Cascade Refrigeration System

 Food processors and distributors are under constant pressure to produce more while spending less on operations. For plant owners looking for greener and more efficient secondary refrigerants, a carbon dioxide (CO2)/ammonia (NH3) cascade system is a viable option. In addition to providing 0 ozone depletion potential (ODP) and 1 global warming potential (GWP), CO2/NH3 cascade systems offer several benefits for food processing and low-temp distribution facilities including:

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Millennials and Mergers: How Food Manufacturers Should Respond to the Changing Food Industry

Mergers and acquisitions are a driving force in the food industry today. Plus, a growing middle class and the millennial population are less brand loyal than previous generations, leading to a surge in store brands. What does this mean for food manufacturers? How should they respond to this disruption in the industry?

Acknowledge that the next generation is changing the food game

We can’t rely on what we used to know about how consumers make purchasing decisions. “That’s what we’ve always done” is no longer a valid justification in today’s food and beverage market.

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6 Ways to Optimize Your Refrigeration Efficiency and Lower Energy Costs

Did you know that up to 60 percent of a manufacturing facility’s total operating expenses comes from industrial refrigeration? It’s no surprise that refrigeration efficiency is a priority.

However, engineers often look to optimize individual components rather than taking a holistic approach, leading to wasted energy and operational inefficiencies. To avoid this fragmented approach, here are six steps to optimize the entire system and achieve the greatest energy efficiency:

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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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Six Key Benefits of Insulated Metal Panel Walls

Insulated metal panels (IMPs) installed on a building exterior provide an excellent thermal envelope. In contrast to other envelope assemblies, IMPs more effectively reduce thermal bridging. With the industry continually striving to build more sustainable designs, IMPs are by far the best and most thermally efficient product available today.

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