Your Checklist for Risk Management Program Updates Required in 2014

Food processing facilities that use certain flammable and toxic substances in amounts that exceed threshold quantity must have a documented Risk Management Program (RMP) per Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements. Companies must also update and resubmit their RMP every five years and 2014 marks one of those five year cycles.

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Federal Regulators Target Hazardous Chemical Safety

On August 1, 2013, President Obama signed an Executive Order on Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security designed to reduce the risks of hazardous chemicals. While many food processing plants already have controls and processes in place to ensure chemical safety, tightened regulations and increased risks have encouraged many plant owners to take a second look at their programs.

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Two Approaches, One Goal: Reducing Your Ammonia Charge

Efficiency and low cost are the major reasons ammonia is the preferred industrial refrigerant in the food processing industry. Ammonia is often a natural refrigerant and has no ODP/GWP. However, ammonia is a dangerous substance and there are several advantages to lowering the overall amount of ammonia used at a facility.

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Five Steps to Developing the Most Effective Food Processing Emergency Response Plan

You’ve conducted the required emergency response training with your employees — but are they truly prepared for an incident? Recognizing that government-mandated training is often not enough, many food processing safety managers are going above and beyond mandated requirements and customizing training to ensure employees are prepared for a range of unexpected scenarios. Below are five key steps you can take to ensure your employees are prepared for any emergency:

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Food Safety in China: What Food Processors Need to Know

Food processing facilities in the U.S. have long made food safety one of their top priorities. Unfortunately that’s not the case in China. In recent years the country has been plagued with numerous high-profile food safety scandals, from grilled kebabs made from cat meat to pork buns so loaded with bacteria that they glow in the dark.

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What the USDA’s new Billion-Dollar Plan Means for Food Processors

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is renewing its commitment to strengthen critical supply chains and address long-standing challenges within the food production and processing industries. 

“As the pandemic has evolved and Russia’s war in Ukraine has caused supply chain disruptions, it has become clear we cannot go back to the food system we had before,” said the USDA in a press release. 

The USDA aims to make the industry more competitive, equitable and resilient by investing billions of dollars in the food system. These investments are designed to build on a framework of similar legislation introduced in 2021 and could make the industry even more competitive.

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April Series: Refrigeration Controls

This April, we’re taking a look at refrigeration controls systems. While they represent a significant capital investment, automation components, software and systems are critical to the success of any food processing or cold storage facility. But no technology—no matter how innovative—can last forever.

In our series of articles, we will explore signs that it’s time to replace your refrigeration controls system, the benefits of newer systems, remote monitoring, and HMIs.

Stellar provides state-of-the-art automation services to help clients achieve maximum efficiency for their refrigeration systems. We are the only approved Rockwell Automation Solution Partner for refrigeration controls.

We look forward to your thoughts and questions on the information in this series.

2022 Recap: Our Top 5 Blog Posts of the Year

This past year has been a big one in the food and beverage industry, with new technology rolling out and (some) supply chain constraints waning. While new trends and practices are already appearing for 2023, it’s critical for manufacturers to reflect on 2022’s challenges and successes when planning for the one ahead.

That’s why we’re revisiting the topics our readers found most useful this year. From coffee trends to labor availability to cyberattacks, here are the five most popular Food for Thought posts of 2022.

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[Infographic] Installing Packaged Refrigeration vs. Traditional Systems

Low-charge packaged refrigeration is a safe, innovative solution that uses CO2 or ammonia and a secondary refrigerant, such as glycol. This allows facilities to reap the benefits of ammonia’s excellent thermodynamic properties while minimizing the refrigerant charge and risk as the ammonia is isolated to one area and only the secondary refrigerant is circulated throughout the facility.

The system is “packaged” or “modular,” with refrigeration equipment built off site, mounted on a structural steel base, and then delivered to a plant as a self-contained, “plug-and-play” system.

One of the major advantages of a packaged refrigeration system is ease of installation. Here are some of the main reasons why:

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