Tag Archives: bacteria

Deep Cleaning & Sanitation in Today’s Food Plant

According to the FDA, “one of the most commonly documented food safety problems in plants have involved sanitation monitoring, including checking food-contact surfaces and plant cleanliness” (Schug, para. 1). To make matters even more complicated, the
COVID-19 pandemic disrupted normal operations as well for countless food and beverage manufacturers. Disruptions may occur due to limited staff because of layoffs, social distancing requirements, or sickness. These situations on top of the normal expectations of having a clean food plant, can lead to the need of resources for food safety sanitation.

It is essential that food manufacturers create safe, quality food, therefore, routine practices need to continue, and additional sanitation protocols may need to be added. Employers also need to ensure a safe environment for their staff, including minimizing the risk of being exposed to harmful viruses and infections.

According to an article on cleaning and sanitation, “maintaining a clean and sanitary plant is essential in building and executing an effective food safety program” (Schug, para. 2).  A complete color-coded system is an example of a food safety program that will help promote organization and efficient work flow. Designating critical control areas and zones helps your sanitation program by ensuring that the tools stay in the areas in which they are meant to be used, doing jobs they are meant to do. Color-coded systems also help avoid bacterial and allergen migration within a facility, allowing you to maintain a safe food processing facility.

Nelson-Jameson offers the most diverse and extensive collection of color-coded products in the industry. This includes products for material handling, product handling, janitorial, safety, apparel, QA/QC, and metal detectable applications. Laying the foundation for a solid food safety program, our color-coded offering can help minimize the risk of cross-contamination.

To get the best of both worlds, Nelson-Jameson also offers the benefits of color-coded and metal detectable products, another food safety program, in one. Produced from a specially formulated FDA-compliant material, these high impact polypropylene tools have the ability to be detected by most metal detection machines used in the food processing industry.

Take the next step in your sanitation program and add to your color-coded or metal detectable program to make it more effective today! Visit nelsonjameson.com to view or request a copy of our 56-page Color-Coded Catalog or our 32-page Metal Detectable Flyer.

 

Sources:

Schug, D. (2018, November 05). Cleaning and sanitation: The Building Blocks of Food Safety. Retrieved November 06, 2020, from https://www.profoodworld.com/home/article/13279193/cleaning-and-sanitation-the-building-blocks-of-food-safety

 

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Be on the (Food) Defense with Contamination in Your Plant

Significantly minimize food vulnerabilities with Nelson-Jameson’s food defense product solutions! According to the FDA, food defense is defined as, “the effort to protect food from acts of intentional adulteration” (Food Defense, 2020, para. 1). Intentional adulteration could include various contaminations that are intended to cause harm to the public. In order to prevent and protect from harmful contamination, a food defense plan needs to be established. A food defense plan first consists of your facility completing a vulnerability assessment.  This assessment is to determine where in the facility’s processes pose the greatest risk for contamination. Second, mitigation strategies need to be selected for identified vulnerabilities, and lastly, corrective action needs to be implemented. Nelson-Jameson has products that are designed to assist with mitigation and preventative strategies within your facility and aid in your food defense plan:

• Use color-coded personnel identification and badges to clearly identify authorized personnel around restricted locations, equipment, controls, and operations.

• Use tamper-evident devices, such as seals, covers, and locks, to secure openings, access points, equipment, and components, packaging, and storage containers.

Clean and sanitize equipment components immediately prior to use and after maintenance.

• Use Clean in Place (CIP) cleaning chemicals and prescribed CIP procedures such as pre-rinse, wash, post-rinse, drain, and sanitize.

• Use one-way valves and sample ports to restrict access to product.

• Use coverings to secure openings, access points and open systems and operations such as shrouds, covers, lids, panels, and seals to restrict access to product.

After the assessment has been completed and you have determined the correct mitigation strategies, you can finalize your plan and determine its functionality. According to the USDA on the topic of functional food defense plans, the four main factors to determine the functionality of your plan includes:

  1. Documenting and signing.
  2. Implementing the food defense strategies.
  3. The strategies are monitored and validated.
  4. The plan is reviewed, at least annually, and revised as needed.

Following the above strategies and functionality timeline can help you with starting to develop your facilities food defense plan. This strategic approach could potentially protect the entire food supply chain from an intentional chemical, microbiological, or physical contamination. Also, most food defense plans overlap with company’s food quality and safety goals (Yoe et al., 2008). Nelson-Jameson has a wide range of products to help you aid in developing the food defense plan your facility needs. If your facility needs help in identifying which mitigation strategies are best suited for you, contact us today!

Sources:

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. (n.d.). Food Defense. Retrieved October 30, 2020, from https://www.fda.gov/food/food-defense

Functional Food Defense Plans. FSIS, USDA, 2 Aug. 2018, www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-defense-and-emergency-response/functional-food-defense-plan/functional-plans.

Yoe, Charles, et al. The Value of the Food Defense Plan. Food Safety Magazine, 2008, www.foodsafetymagazine.com/magazine-archive1/aprilmay-2008/the-value-of-the-food-defense-plan/.

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On the Frontlines Against Hepatitis A

Wash. Your. Hands. This simple act can do so much to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria. Lately, this has been highlighted most unwelcomingly with a continued outbreak of the hepatitis A virus nationally. The virus, which infects the liver, can cause symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, vomiting, etc. that may last weeks to months.  

According to the FDA, though only representing a portion of cases in the US, cases from food handling are a significant concern for food industry stakeholders and consumers, as well: “The majority of hepatitis A infections are from unknown causes or from being in close contact with an infected person; however, some hepatitis A infections are caused by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Contamination of food and water can occur when an infected food handler prepares food without appropriate handwashing hygiene.” From handling food in the fields to the food service counter, hepatitis A should be considered a serious foodborne threat…but one that can be combated.    

In terms of foodborne cases, hand hygiene is a key method of defending against the virus (vaccination is the best way to prevent, overall) for the food industry and for consumers. According to the CDC, “Frequent handwashing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, or before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A.”

As part of our commitment to helping customers make safe, quality food, we offer an array of hand hygiene solutions for the food and beverage industries. To check out our latest Hand Hygiene Products flyer, click here. Our product specialists are also available to help you develop the right program to make hand hygiene a frontline defense against foodborne illness.

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Support Your Food Safety Program with Environmental Testing Solutions

At Nelson-Jameson, we never take chances when it comes to food safety, and neither should you. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive flyer that is filled with the products you need to create an effective food safety program in your plant. Even more promising than the quality products is the manufacturers that are represented—we’ve included top products from 3M™, Hygiena™, Nasco, and Neogen®. Let us help you implement the Environmental Testing Solutions that work for your plant.

For more information on environmental testing, visit our Learning Center, or request a copy of our Environmental Testing Flyer here.

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Heterofermentative Spores in Milk and the Resulting Quality Issues

In recent months, it has come to our attention that there has been an increase in quality problems caused by Heterofermentative lactic bacteria that are not from starter cultures. These bacteria have been found growing on biofilms in the pasteurizer regen section of milk HTST’s, in some silage inoculants, in dairy powders and liquids used to fortify milk for cheesemaking, and on individual farms with certain cleaning issues. Once these are in the milk, they can’t be removed by pasteurization and will carry through into the cheese and whey powder by-products.

The Center for Dairy Research (CDR) in Madison has seen an increase in quality defects in cheese including off flavors such as “sour” gas formation in retail packages of cheese and cracking defects in blocks of cheese. Many companies are starting to include specifications for low spore count non-fat powders, liquid condensed skim and UF milk products, and also whey powders used in many other foods. There is also evidence of excess viscosity of buttermilk and sour cream from this contaminant.

What can the cheesemaker do to solve these issues?

  • While there is no substitute for good cleaning and sanitation, there are tests available for these contaminants such as 3M’s Lactic Acid Petrifilm. Petrifilm can be used to test milk from the regen section of the HTST, screen milk loads from the farm, and test finished whey products. We have some plants already trying to locate sources of these spores by using Petrifilm.
  • We have at least one DSM cheese culture being used to improve cheese flavors, especially in aged Cheddars. This culture is referred to as RF-4 from DSM. The culture is added to the cheese vat milk and competes with other contaminants to impede their multiplication and the off flavors and possibly gas that result from them.
  • Eliminate biofilms in all milk handling equipment either at the plant or on the farm. We sell both 3M (LM1) and Hygiena (EnSURE & SystemSURE PLUS) ATP Luminometers that verify cleaning processes by the use of bioluminescence technology, and provide the customer with a numerical value to determine their cleaning effectiveness on food contact surfaces.
  • There is some research that suggests certain silage inoculants can carry through into the milk supply. The CDR is still looking at this potential source.
  • Ask for help and advice. We have a variety of industry people we can contact to visit the plants and farms to help troubleshoot.

Contact one of our Product Specialists today for additional information!

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