Alaskan Food Plant Gets Back to Nature

Alaskan Food Plant Gets Back to NatureWhile most of North America trends toward more processed food with lower nutritional value, the town of Kotzebue, Alaska is headed a different route with its new processing plant: The Siglauq. Taken from the traditional Inupiat word for cold, underground storage systems The Siglauq will allow local hunters to kill and then donate animals for use in the local seniors’ center. It’s a bold plan that will help many older residents retain their subsistence lifestyle—but how do plant operators make sure they’re still meeting federal health standards?

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Safe Food and the People Problem

Safe Food and the People ProblemHow does food get contaminated? It’s easy to point fingers at sub-par technology or handling machines that are past their prime, but according to Food Safety News there’s an even bigger problem: People. Why? Because at some point during the journey from single component to final product all food items are handled in some manner by people—who don’t always follow the rules. The result is food-borne illness, but is it possible to solve the “people problem?”

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Eating Demand: The Global Outlook of Food Processing Machinery

Eating Demand: The Global Outlook of Food Processing MachineryWhat does the future hold for food processing? According to a new study from The Freedonia Group, worldwide demand for this kind of equipment should rise 7.6 percent year-after-year through 2019. Some regional sectors, meanwhile, will see sale slumps over this period—is something in the industry leaving a bad taste?

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No Buy Zone — Color-changing Food Labels Target Pathogens

No Buy Zone — Color-changing Food Labels Target PathogensDoes your food contain E. coli, Listeria or Salmonella? If you live in the United States or Canada, probably not, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in six Americans still contract Salmonella each year, resulting in 3000 deaths annually.

What’s more, the total cost of foodborne pathogens in the United States could top $77 billion per year. Now, a team of Canadian researchers are developing new packaging labels that change color when pathogens are present, creating an obvious way to side-step bad food. Is this the future of pathogen control?

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No Contact Order: The Problem With Allergens

No Contact Order: The Problem With AllergensOne in thirteen children in the United States has a food allergy. Some cause mild reactions such as rash or sneezing, while others lead to trouble swallowing, chest pain or death.

As a result, food and beverage production companies and the FDA have become increasingly concerned with product labeling and cross-contamination — is possible to keep allergens away?

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Building a Better Burger? Food Equipment Maker Takes a Bite

Building a Better Burger? Food Equipment Maker Takes a BiteOver the course of an average year, citizens of the United States consume almost 50 billion hamburgers, which works out to three per week, per person across the country. Some of these burgers come from famous fast-food chains and high-end restaurants, but many are also the product of back-yard BBQs and picnics. It’s no surprise, then, that grocery stores now sell a wide variety hamburger meat — everything from top-grade beef cuts to “stuffed” burgers or poultry alternatives. It’s also no surprise that burger eaters are getting pickier: with so many choices available, buyers have no problem passing over frozen hockey pucks for something more appetizing.

Now, a South African company says they can build better burgers using a new meat processing technology — is this what innovation tastes like?

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Automatic Vegetables: Can Technology Improve Produce Packaging?

Automatic Vegetables: Can Technology Improve Produce Packaging? Food waste is a serious problem. According to National Geographic, one-third of food grown in the United States is “lost or wasted” before it ever reaches stove-tops or dinner tables. Some is mislabeled and thrown into landfills; some is improperly packaged, leading to spoilage or contamination. Is there a better way to get food from farm to fork?

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Video Podcast: Ammonia as a Refrigerant in Food Processing and Distribution

After over five years of publishing the Just Venting blog, we noticed the topic “ammonia as a refrigerant” has been hugely popular year after year. So it stands to reason our first video podcast would revolve around this very topic.

Recently, we had a chance to chat with Jeremy Williams, directing manager of the Garden City Ammonia Program (GCAP), which provides hands-on ammonia refrigeration operator training. Jeremy offers critical insight about the history of industrial ammonia use, some key benefits of this naturally-occurring substance and a brief look at ammonia’s future in the industry. Listen in, and discover the benefits of ammonia as a refrigerant.

Overcoming Equipment Sanitation Challenges in the Food/Beverage Industry

In the food and beverage industry, a surface is considered “clean” if it is free of food residue, bad odors and grease. Additionally the surface should be sanitized and free of microorganisms.

Empty bottles on factory conveyor belt (long exposure)An effective cleaning and sanitation program is essential in food and beverage production facilities. If the program is not followed, there is a risk that the food and/or beverages could become contaminated by microorganisms.

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Listeria Forces Washington Seafood Processor to Cease Operations

In March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered a Seattle, Washington processor of smoked fish products to stop operating, requiring the manufacturer to completely cease processing, preparing, packing or distributing any food at its facility.

production of minced meatThe manufacturer, Jensen’s Old Fashioned Smokehouse Inc., provides private-label foods to high-profile retailers including Wal-Mart and Target.

The FDA had analyzed some samples it collected during an inspection at the company’s facility. The samples confirmed there was Listeria monocytogenes at the plant, including in the company’s food processing and storage areas.

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