With the FDA tightening food label regulations and the risk of added allergens prompting regular product recalls, it’s worth taking a look at the future of food — what’s currently in development, what’s just around the corner and what can companies expect to see down the line?
Country of Origin
Last year Australian authorities were forced to recall a particular brand of bagged and frozen berries — which originated in Chile and China — after a Hepatitis A infection of four adults was linked to the product. According to ABC, the country is now rolling out new legislation which requires companies to mark the “country of origin” on virtually all food products. Products made in Australia will carry a “kangaroo” logo and also specify which ingredients were sourced locally, which were purchased elsewhere and which items were simply “assembled” in the country. It’s a big step for consumers and producers, who are now on the hook to design and implement entirely new labels within two years.
Stateside, the country is rolling out legislation which requires all foods containing genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) to be labelled as such. As noted by PBS, Congress recently approved the new bill; the Agriculture Department has two years to write specific rules detailing exactly what these labels need to contain. At minimum President Barack Obama says that most packages will need to carry a label with text, symbols or electronic codes which indicate the presence of GMOs. While the scientific community and the FDA agree that products which contain genetically modified organisms are safe to eat, consumers want “more information” about the origin and composition of specific ingredients.
The New Expectation?
With consumers and government agencies now demanding that food retailers and manufacturers both track and detail the country of origin and specific ingredient composition of their products, it’s not hard to imagine next steps. In the same way consumers worry about contamination from potential allergens or GMOs, for example, they could just as easily have concerns about specific food manufacturing techniques — leading to legislation which compels producers to provide details about the machinery which processes and packages certain food.
Hand-in-hand with type of potential oversight comes increased scrutiny of cleaning techniques and scheduling; violations could see companies fined or out of business until issues are addressed. Getting ahead of the game here starts with record-keeping — by keeping accurate and detailed reports about when specific machines were cleaned, how this task was carried out and if any issues were detected, processors can help future-proof their production lines. According to Evan Reyes, Goodway Technologies product specialist for the food industry, “complete, accurate, thoroughly documented SSOPs and Master Sanitation Schedules are essential for the modern food processor,” especially since under new FSMA legislation effective documentation is mandated by law and SSOPs can be requested by the FDA during any inspection. Despite the use of SSOPs, proper ingredient labelling and the use of color-coded production tools, cross-contamination of GMOs or non-origin-country ingredients may still occur. Here, your best bets are highly adaptable and thorough cleaning systems, such as HEPA filtered vacuums which capture food particles down to the micron level, helping to quickly eliminate any extraneous ingredients which have made their way into your food-prep or processing environment.
Emerging food legislation is focused on the combination of origin specificity and easy consumer access to ingredient information. Moving forward, companies should expect a greater focus on process mechanics and record-keeping — the right prep now can help buffer businesses against demands of new food product policies.
ASHRAE Standard 188-2015 has everyone in the industry raising the subject on the most effective way to manage Legionella, including more comprehensive cooling tower maintenance strategies and how these can promote better IAQ. This September 12th – 14th, at the upcoming ASHRAE IAQ Conference, Ray Field, Director of Goodway Liquid Solutions, will discuss a five-step preventative maintenance program that answers some of the most common cooling tower questions facility managers and contractors have when combating Legionella and improving IAQ for more efficient HVAC systems.
– Ray Field, Director of Liquid Solutions
Studies have shown that 40 – 60 percent of cooling towers test positive for Legionella. Early detection and action can prevent rapid growth and spreading, but deferred Legionella maintenance can only reduce the performance of system equipment even more – causing higher energy expenses, irreparable equipment breakdowns, or costly replacements.
Owners of these human occupied buildings and those involved in the design, construction, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance and service of centralized water building systems are held responsible for outbreaks and are currently holding the lives of its pedestrians in their hands. Don’t drop the ball on proper cooling tower cleaning. Learn what can be done to control the growth of Legionella in HVAC systems and prevent risking the health of others in the community.
For more information on the conference and how to register, click here.
Just last August, about 120 people in the South Bronx were infected with Legionnaires’ Disease and 12 people died. At the time, up to 5 cooling towers in the area tested positive for Legionella, a fatal bacteria that grows in warm, damp environments and can spread once contaminated water has become aerosolized and the vapor is inhaled.
In this post, we’ll be discussing where Legionella can be found and in our infographic, we’re sharing 6 things you should know about this hazardous bacteria.
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), temperatures of 32°C-40°C (90°-105°F) are ideal for growth and rust, scale and the presence of other microorganisms also promote growth. Legionella can occur in any location where water is warm and has potential to become aerosolized or misted.
Some environments where Legionella can be found are in:
During last year’s Legionella outbreaks in the South Bronx, large cooling towers from local hotels, hospitals, and educational facilities were found to be responsible for contaminating the outdoor air quality and infecting the community. “The scary part of it is that 40% to 60% of cooling towers, through different studies, have shown that they’re positive for Legionella,” said Ray Field, Chemical Expert, during a podcast last year discussing the issue.
Find out more about Goodway Cooling Tower Cleaning Solutions.
Download Goodway’s 6 Facts About Legionella infographic containing information from trusted Legionella sources here.
Craft beer is a big deal — according to Research and Markets, the craft industry is headed for huge growth over the next four years. It’s no surprise, then, that breweries are popping up across the country, each trying to be the next “big thing”. Consider the rise of alcoholic root beer; last year, Americans spent more than $111 million on this sweet and spirited beverage. The problem? Speed-to-market may breed problems with sanitation: How do companies make sure their canning and bottling processes are always squeaky-clean?
Forward The FDA
With the craft beer market bubbling over, government oversight is also on the rise. According to Orchestrated Beer, one key piece of legislation that may impact breweries is the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This FDA law quietly passed back in January 2011 to minimal fanfare and limited impact — not really shocking since it’s actually the latest in a line of amendments to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938.
Why does it matter now? Because the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) can call in the FDA if there’s any indication a batch of beer has been “adulterated” or may present a health risk to consumers. Next steps include a health hazard assessment, voluntary product recall or more substantial penalties. Specifically, the FSMA “requires food facilities to evaluate potential hazards, implement and monitor precautionary measures to prevent contamination, and create plans to take any necessary corrective actions.” With the TTB set to audit every brewery in the country by the end of 2016, it’s worth evaluating current sanitization process before the FDA comes calling.
Safe and Sudsy
While it’s one thing to know that FDA rules may impact craft brewers — and that more breweries in the market mean increased oversight — it’s another to implement day-to-day cleaning processes which are both cost-effective and meet current standards.
Consider the evolving nature of craft brewers; with commercial-grade technology now available to even small-batch companies, the road from homebrew to retail market is shorter than ever. The problem? There’s a big jump between “clean enough” and “FSMA approved”. The canning and bottling process is a good example: Companies need a solution that won’t slow production but offer the same kind of professional-grade quality as their brewing equipment.
Here, the key is specialization, such as a heavy-duty dry vapor steam cleaning solution. There are several advantages for such a system for craft beer makers. For example, dry steam dissipates almost instantly on contact while still completely clean canning and bottling machinery. Better still, new portable offerings mean that no matter how your brewery is structured — perhaps you enjoyed a well-planned machinery and market expansion or perhaps your facility has grown more “organically” — you can reach every nook and cranny and ensure you’re always in compliance. Little brews are a big deal.
When our customers told us they needed an effective solution for removing scale that was safer than dumping acid into cooling tower water, we were all ears. Shortly after, we introduced the TFC-200 Cooling Tower Fill Cleaner as a solution and 13 categories, 20 contractor reviews and 88 entries later, its unique features and ease of use has earned it a Bronze ranking in this year’s Dealer Design Awards from the NEWS.
A special combination of innovative chemical solutions, pump technology and unique turbo nozzles makes this machine the best in its category and one of the most efficient cooling tower cleaners on the market. This all-in-one-system uses 300 PSI of cleaning power to increase the water flow, deep clean tower fill and eliminate hiding places for Legionella, scale and other energy-robbing bacteria on contact. Plus, it was specially designed for use with ScaleBreak-Gel, our low viscosity acidic solution that provides a safer alternative with far less risks than using acids.
- Complete all-in-one system for cleaning lime scale and debris from fill
- Equipped with two high-performance pumps for superior circulation
- Includes all wand extensions and nozzles for cleaning hard-to-reach areas
- Lowers health risks and eliminates growth of hazardous Legionella bacteria
Naturally, this powerful, yet safe award-winning equipment is available at Goodway. See our complete line of equipment to satisfy more of your unique cooling tower maintenance needs.