Successful U.S. businesses in China know one thing: building relationships with Chinese officials is the key to effectively establishing, running and managing a business. Especially when obtaining the necessary permits and approvals for a new food processing plant – which can be a lengthy and frustrating process – it’s imperative to play by a few key rules to ensure a smoother permitting process.
More and more food companies are expanding into emerging markets such as China, capitalizing on growing middle classes and increasing popularity of westernized diets. Yet setting up a food processing facility in China – from financing and permitting to quality control and food safety – is a vastly different process than in the U.S. This month in Food for Thought, we’ll explore these topics in more depth and offer our tips and insights based on our own experience operating in China.
As a food processing design build firm, it’s the first question we ask our clients—are you planning to insure through Factory Mutual Insurance Company (FM Global)? As the preferred insurer for most commercial and industrial projects, Factory Mutual has rigorous specifications and standards so it’s important to address those requirements during the initial food processing design phase, whether you’re planning new construction or an expansion.
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) expanded the FDA’s authority to regulate the conditions of food manufacturing facilities and how products are produced, manufactured, transported, imported and marketed in the United States. Food safety audits, whether conducted by an internal team or by an outside consultant, will ensure that your food processing plant is in full compliance with FDA regulations. Continue Reading “Five Ways to Ensure Your Food Safety Audit Goes Well”
Biofilm removal is notoriously difficult, but also critical for food safety. Disease-producing bacteria, including Listeria, can be 1,000 times harder to eliminate if it is living in a protective biofilm.
Food Processing Design: Five Steps for Integrating Food Safety Into Equipment Upgrades and Plant Renovations
If you’re thinking of upgrading equipment or renovating your facility, it’s critical that food safety requirements are met in the process. Most manufacturers are taking a proactive role in ensuring equipment is engineered for optimal cleaning and sanitizing to meet all safety regulations, but it’s important that all plant stakeholders who play a role in food safety have input.
Food processing engineers are frequently challenged with developing controls and processes for managing food safety precautions within a plant. Yet food safety is a role that every employee, from the top down, needs to embrace. It should be deeply rooted within the plant’s culture and most important, it should be a continuous improvement process.
Cross-contamination of allergen products can have dire consequences for a food plant. Some of the food industry’s most common ingredients – milk, eggs, peanuts/tree nuts, fish/shellfish, soy and wheat – represent 90 percent of food allergens.
Larger food processors have the financial resources to dedicate separate production lines to products with allergenic ingredients. Small processors, and those with multiple products on a production line, face a more difficult task of controlling potential cross-contamination.
While designing a new food processing production line or adding to a line, there are a number of factors to consider when outlining equipment specifications, including product run rates, packaging format, temperature and many others. Plant managers often turn to different vendors to provide different components, but it is essential to have standardized equipment to improve efficiency, production, sanitation and aesthetics.
Inappropriate or incompatible equipment can mean loss of production time and loss of income. Whether you’re adding a single piece of equipment or designing a full production line from scratch, detailed, standard requirements should be communicated among the entire team participating in the design process.
Many food companies are transitioning to eco-friendly packaging as a way to preserve the environment and to appeal to environmentally conscious customers. The options available in eco-friendly packaging and the benefits companies can reap by going green make it an easy, smart transition.
Types of eco-friendly packaging:
- Plastics or bio-plastics made from corn, potato or other annually renewable sources that are compostable and biodegradable
- Bio-compostable plastic and paper products, which disintegrate and biodegrade completely and safely when composted in a municipal or commercial facility
- Bio-degradable materials that decompose, usually by bacteria or sunlight, into original organic components within a reasonably short period of time
- Recycled content — materials that have been recovered or diverted from the solid waste stream. Most plastics (PETs, PEs) are classified as recycled content.