New 3M™ Products & Updates

Unfortunately there are no shortage of food recalls due to allergens. Allergens are a serious business for the food industry and, of course, for consumers. Now there is a new line of allergen tests from a company with a familiar name synonymous with food safety testing to help take on this serious concern.3M Rapid Allergen Protein Test Kits are a Lateral Flow format, that provide significant savings and peace of mind. These Allergen Kits can test finished product, and environmental verification of allergy free food contact surfaces!

What these quick tests can provide is security that one of the “Big 8” is not present when a customer is starting up production after cleaning and sanitizing. What is the “Big 8?” Allergens…Dairy, Wheat (Gluten), Eggs, Peanut, Tree Nuts, Fish, Crustacean Fish, and Soy. The only allergen that 3M does not offer in the Lateral Flow format is the Crustacean Fish allergen, but they do offer it in the ELISA format.

The 18-24 hour Rapid E.coli/Coliform Petrifilm™ Plate is another new offering from 3M that we are excited to add to our line! It is a two-in-one indicator plate for both E.coli and Coliform, which works well with a wide variety of food samples. Previously, Coliform has always been 24 hours for indication of growth, but E.coli testing took 48 hours, which reduces release of product by a full day for basic microbiological testing when using this and the Rapid Aerobic Count Petrifilm Plates.

Regarding Petrifilm, you will start to notice a new, very clean looking package on all their Petrifilm products! All the packages are a redesigned white pack with easy-to-spot color-coded labels.

Lastly, we are setting up the new offering for the 3M Molecular Detection System, which is for the detection of Campylobacter (considered one of the leading causes of bacterial gastroenteritis in humans). Infections are usually caused by consuming cross-contaminated or insufficiently processed foods (typically red meat, poultry, shellfish and unpasteurized milk).

For additional information on these items or our full range of 3M products visit our website or contact our Lab Department today!

Tags: , , , ,

Turbidity Monitoring: Recover More Product & Save Money

With constant eyes on profit margins, processors strive to make every dollar count on the processing line. Are you trying to figure out your next continuous improvement project aimed at maximizing profits for your operations? Turbidity monitoring from Anderson-Negele can help to maximize profits while saving money on wasted product going down the drain during cleaning cycles.

How it works:

Turbidity is defined as, “the phenomenon where by a specific portion of a light beam passing through a specific liquid medium is reflected by undissolved particles.” Basically, the sensor acts like a flashlight into the light stream and senses the light that comes back due to being reflected by undissolved particles. For example, purified water would have a very low value of turbidity due to most impurities being removed. However, an ice cream mix would have a high turbidity value because it is largely made up of undissolved particles.

Common applications where constant turbidity monitoring can greatly assist operations include:

Some of these processes can be regulated by a timer or sight from the wash streams that usually go down the drain and produce more wastewater, which also raises costs to the processor. Anderson-Negele offers a line of turbidity sensors to improve product yield and reduce waste. By setting a threshold on a turbidity monitor and relaying it back to a PLC you can put more control on a process and regulate product going down the drain.

Take a look at Nelson-Jameson’s offering of turbidity monitors, or call our Instrumentation Specialists for more information.

Tags: , , ,

FDA’s Food Safety Plan Builder Software

In the demanding everyday life of a food manufacturer it can be hard to slow down and think about the safety of the products being manufactured. Everything from the ingredients that come in the door to the way the product is shipped out to the customer, all have to be monitored for safety. That is what the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is all about, making sure the ingredients, the process, and how the end product is shipped out reduces the level of risk to the consumer. The manufacturing facility has to ask, what can be done to prevent the various risks in the plant from happening and causing a recall?

A Food Safety Plan is a robust, detailed plan that is meant to anticipate and meet these challenges. A cohesive plan is based on food safety principles which include: hazard analysis, preventative controls, supply-chain programs, and a recall plan. For smaller businesses, putting a Food Safety Plan in place and maintaining that Plan can be daunting. Where do you start? Making sense of the regulatory language can be difficult, making it hard to determine what the FDA is going to be looking for if you were to receive an audit.

After some feedback from the food industry, the FDA created a free software tool, called the Food Safety Plan Builder. It is a tool designed to assist owners/operators of food facilities with the development of food safety plans that are specific to their facilities, and to assist them in meeting the requirements of the current regulations. Using this software is not required by the FDA, but facilities may find it of use as they continue to critically engage their Food Safety Plans.

Filling out all the information that the software requests can be labor intensive but with some effort and investment though, the Builder can act as a great framework to build upon.  According to Eric Edmunds, food safety director with The Acheson Group, “as with any other electronic tool, the product that you get out of it is as good as the information you put into it!”

If you are interested in using this tool here is the website:
https://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/ucm539791.htm

The bottom line is that there are no shortcuts in creating a culture of food safety. Tools like the Builder are excellent resources to engage and assist in implementing comprehensive programs, but don’t make a complete toolbox in themselves. While food law and requirements can be laborious to understand and read they are important to get right. FSMA was created so that food facilities are held responsible for every bit of food safety including the supply chain from one facility to another. The FDA wants food facilities to know that when guidelines are followed and a good a Food Safety Plan is in place they are setting themselves up for success.

Tags: , ,

Protect Product Integrity with Metal Detectable Products

Using Metal Detectable Products in your facility is a great way to ensure the product that you ship out does not contain foreign materials. Metal Detectable Products are products that can be detected by a metal detector. In plastic products, such as pens, a metallic pigment is added to the resin during the manufacturing process, and it is this pigment that is actually detected by the metal detector. Other products, earplugs for example, contain a stainless steel ball bearing, which is then detected by the metal detector.

Having your Metal Detector calibrated to the correct settings is key to being able to detect foreign contaminants. The settings that you will need to use are based on many factors including the speed of the line, moisture content, and the material of the contaminant. Using calibration tools will help to determine what size of foreign material will be detected by your metal detector.

Nelson-Jameson offers a wide range of Metal Detectable Products, from pens and markers to scrapers and mallets. We also have several Metal Detectable Products that are also color-coded to help prevent cross-contamination in your facility. View our entire line of Metal Detectable Products or request a copy of our new 24-page flyer.

Tags: , , , , ,

Creating a Balance: Food Safety in the Marketplace

This past November, Nelson-Jameson and one of our key suppliers, 3M™ Food Safety, launched an experiment aimed at critically looking into understanding and seeking out solutions related to food safety. Contingents from both 3M and Nelson-Jameson were able to sit down with representatives from several major West Coast food production facilities at the Fess Parker Doubletree in Santa Barbara, California.  

The aim was a simple one…to hear out the challenges that customers are facing, and to dig into ways that Nelson-Jameson, a supplier focused on helping our customers deliver safe, quality food to the market could be of assistance. Along with that, working with 3M, an innovator in research and development of food safety-focused products (including Petrifilm™, the Molecular Detection System, and the LM1 Hygiene Monitoring System), to see what we could collectively do to better assist food producers with food safety concerns.  

Working as a conduit between our suppliers/manufacturers and our customers is something we significantly value. It gives us the ability to bring new, and innovative ideas from the folks on the floor using the products to the people responsible for filling the pipeline with product offerings. This helps to push our suppliers/manufacturers to search out new methods and solutions. On the other side, we take a lot of pride and excitement in introducing our customers to the latest, and best food-industry-focused products and programs.  

So, to get everyone together in a room for two days was an excellent mutual learning experience for all. We touched base on pragmatic details like introducing Nelson-Jameson’s 3M Clean-Trace™ Hygiene Monitoring and Management System Contract (commit to purchasing 4 cases/month for one year and get the luminometer/software for free). We also dealt with more comprehensive issues like the challenge of training incoming employees in the food industry, as companies deal with the challenge of retaining quality employees in a competitive market. A wide expanse of food safety-related concerns were discussed. To have these multiple levels of insight freely moving back and forth across the table gave both Nelson-Jameson and 3M a healthy number of items to add to our “to-do” lists.  

As great as the experience was, we sure don’t intend to rest on our laurels after those few days in California with just the folks around the table! Nelson-Jameson is intent on helping our customers and our suppliers/manufacturers work collectively with us to inform, challenge, innovate, and produce the products and programs that are needed in order to create a safe, quality food supply. So, please be in touch not only with day-to-day questions/concerns about which products are the best for your purpose and type of operation, but also your ideas and feedback on what challenges you are facing, what you would like to see in the marketplace, and what demands you face as an operation. We will continue to work with companies like 3M, as well, to reach out to you, our customers for your valuable thoughts and perspectives. We are proud to be a bridge linking different industry interests together and take pride in helping to drive innovation and moving together on a steady pathway to providing the tools needed to get the job done right the first time.