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New generation PEF technology for potato processing

New generation PEF technology for potato processing

Dutch company Pulsemaster has introduced a new generation PEF (pulsed electric field) technology that significantly improves potato processing. With this cost efficient application, the final breakthrough of PEF processing in the food industry is approaching.

The Pulsemaster PEF technology induces poration of potato cells, leading to cell disintegration. This makes the pulsed electric field systems an excellent alternative for preheaters in the potato industry. The PEF treatment improves cut quality and significantly reduces French fry breakage. Water and energy consumption in potato processing are reduced; blanching, drying and prebaking times are shortened. Furthermore, the leaching of sugars is improved. The treatment can also reduce frying oil absorption and fat content up to 50%.

Energy efficient, compact and hygienic
Pulsemaster’s technical improved PEF concept is more energy efficient than the previous generation. The new equipment gives a better pulse treatment of potatoes with a more compact and modular pulse generator. The generator is combined with a robust and hygienic transport system and PEF treatment chamber.

PEF processing is a continuous process and the Pulsemaster systems can easily be implemented in existing processing lines. The new range of industrial scale equipment – named Conditioner – has treatment capacities from 1 ton an hour to 50 tons an hour (about 110,000 lb/h) for potato processing systems. On a commercial scale total costs of 1 Euro/ton (0.1 Eurocent per kg / 0.056 US Dollarcent per lb) have to be expected.

The Pulsemaster PEF systems can also be applied to improve other drying, cutting, peeling and pressing processes. Examples are the drying of sweet peppers and grapes, the peeling and cutting of tomatoes and the pressing of vegetables and olives. In the meat industry PEF processing leads to shorter tumbling times.

Unique experience
The innovative Dutch company Pulsemaster combines years of unique experience with pulsed power technology. The production facility is located in Bladel, The Netherlands. The pulse generators have a proven track record for industry, research, medical and defense applications. Their patented parallel switching technology enables better pulse control and high reliability.

Pulsemaster aspires to further growth in the potato, fruit and vegetable industry. The company has seen rapid development it its export activities. In Seattle/Bellevue, Washington Pulsemaster has an office for the North-American market at its disposal. “The worldwide potato industry has been showing great interest in our new generation PEF technology”, says Pulsemaster’s managing director Mark de Boevere.

Moreover, pulsed electric field processing is an excellent technology for the mild preservation of liquid foods and beverages. The pulsed electric field inactivates micro-organisms, but leaves valuable compounds, such as vitamins and proteins, unaffected. Pulsemaster also offers PEF systems for food preservation purposes, including a new generation juice treatment chambers.

For more information:
Mark de Boevere
Pulsemaster BV
Tel. +31 497 820300
Email: [email protected]
www.pulsemaster.us

Publication date: 11/28/2014


FreshPlaza.com

FSIS Approves Chinese Plants for Poultry Processing

Four Chinese poultry processing plants have been approved to export cooked chicken to the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has approved China’s export health certificate which demonstrates that poultry exported to the U.S. was raised and slaughtered in the U.S., Canada or Chile and that it was cooked to a proper temperature.

For the first time, FSIS also published the names of the four Chinese poultry processing establishments it audited in March 2013 and found to be operating under requirements equivalent to those of the U.S.

The plants are located in the Shandong province and include Shangdong Delicate Food Co., Weifang Legang Food Co., Qingyun Ruifeng Food Co., and Qingdao Nine-alliance Group Co.

It will be up to U.S. companies to decide to import cooked poultry from China. It’s currently unknown when – or even if – the marketplace will participate in the arrangement which could be economically beneficial for them.

When they do, FSIS will re-inspect the products exported by the four Chinese establishments when they reach U.S. ports before they will be allowed into domestic commerce.

Chinese-processed poultry that hits U.S. stores would be labeled as such, although if it’s repacked or further processed in the U.S., information that it had originated in China would not be included on the label. FSIS believes this repackaging is unlikely to occur, but states that if it does, it would be done under agency supervision.

Nancy Huehnergarth, a nutrition policy consultant and one of the women behind the Change.org petition to keep Chinese chicken off U.S. plates (which currently has 327,500 signatures), thinks consumers should be scared about the new development given China’s “abysmal” record on food safety. She is particularly worried that consumers’ right to know where their food comes from will be jeopardized by repackaging and reprocessing.

Food Safety News

Processing Aids for Fresh Produce: Safety Buffers Between Farm and Table

Nutrition labels on items in the produce section tend to be short, if not absent altogether. While cereals, soups and sauces come with long lists of ingredients on their packaging, an apple doesn’t need an ingredient list for consumers to know what they’re buying (although it arrived at the grocery store in a labeled package), and the ingredients for bagged salad are only as varied as the different lettuces in the bag.

However, more often than not, other substances are at some point applied to the fruits and vegetables available on store shelves in order to kill pathogens or preserve freshness. But unless these substances change the character of the food or are still present in significant amounts by the time they reach the consumer, they are considered a “processing aid,” and do not have to be listed as an ingredient by law.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, processing aids are substances that are added to a food during processing but are either “removed in some manner from the food before it is packaged in its finished form” or “converted into constituents normally present in the food,” or are “present in the finished food at insignificant levels and do not have any technical or functional effect in that food.”

For more information about how processing aids are classified, see Food Safety News’ article Processing Aids: What’s Not on the Label, and Why? 

What processing aids were used on the produce I’m buying? 

Processing aids used on produce are wide-ranging, from chlorine washes to ozone to organic acids to oils derived from plants such as cinnamon or pine trees.

“It’s not always across the board for all commodities and they don’t always use [one processing aid] consistently even throughout the season,” says Trevor Suslow, extension research specialist at the University of California Davis.

The challenge for a processor is to find the substance that safely delivers the desired effect (pathogen reduction or freshness preservation) without changing the quality or taste of the food.

Items marketed as ready-to-eat, such as bagged lettuce or sliced apples, have almost certainly been treated with at least one processing aid, says Suslow.

Indeed FDA recommends the use of antimicrobial agents in its guidance for industry on minimizing microbial hazards for fresh-cut fruits and vegetables.

“An initial wash treatment may be used to remove the bulk of field soil from produce followed by an additional wash or washes containing an antimicrobial chemical,” writes the agency.

One such ready-to-eat product, bagged lettuce, usually goes through two and often three washing phases, says Suslow. The first wash water commonly contains chlorine or chlorine dioxide, while the second might include an antimicrobial agent such as peracetic acid or acidified sodium chlorite – a combination of sodium chlorite and citric acid.

Finding the right balance has been a process for the leafy greens industry, says Suslow, as too much chlorine can leave a lingering odor or flavor on greens, and too little won’t be effective at killing pathogens.

“As that industry has grown and matured and gotten some strong negative feedback earlier on about chlorine residual taste or smell, which some of the product certainly had, they’ve really worked at minimizing any carry over,” Suslow explains.

Peracetic acid is also applied by apple processors, who may use it on apples in a dunk tank or as a spray.

A 2007 study from Washington State University found that peracetic acid could also be used on cherries without changing the quality of the fruit when used at low and medium concentrations. The leading method of cherry sanitization is also a chlorine wash, according to the study.

Chlorine washes are common across the produce industry, says Suslow. Table grapes are another example of a type of produce often treated with chlorine.

“It can vary, but at least the operations that I’ve had the opportunity to visit, it’s pretty much the same,” he says. “They tend to be rinsed in chlorinated water or ozone and then they take the individual grapes off the stem after that.”

Stone fruits, such as peaches and nectarines, which are in season right now, often benefit from a chlorine wash as well, says Suslow.

FDA has set specified concentrations for processing aids used in washes so that they are present at safe levels. For example, the concentration of sodium chlorite in acid solutions used on raw agricultural commodities and processed fruits and vegetables must remain between 500 and 1,200 parts per million.

Other processing aids may be used to keep produce from spoiling. For example, grapes are often packed with pads containing sulfur dioxide to prevent decaying and the growth of mold.

On the flip side, processing aids can also be applied to induce ripening. Ethylene gas, for example, is often applied to bananas to speed up the ripening process before they are distributed to retailers, since bananas are commonly harvested in an unripened state.

Processing aids for produce: looking forward

One sector that’s recently been looking at different processing aid options is the cantaloupe industry. After two deadly foodborne illness outbreaks linked to these melons – a Listeria outbreak that killed 33 people in 2011 and a Salmonella outbreak that sickened 261 people and killed 3 in 2012 – shook consumer confidence and hurt the industry, processors have been looking for a way to ensure consumers of the safety of their product.

Processing aids are among the solutions that are being closely examined by the cantaloupe industry, along with brushing, pasteurization and other sanitizing techniques, according to Suslow.

An ongoing research project at the Center for Produce Safety is looking at the effectiveness of essential oils — such as those derived from cinnamon bark and pine needles — as antimicrobial agents.

“We’re getting promising results,” says Suslow of this research, “and we still have a ways to go.”

The trick with these oils, he notes, is to make sure they don’t affect the flavor of the produce to which they’re applied.

Another benefit of using essential oils is that they are also organic, a feature that appeals to a growing number of consumers.

Will such oils become common as processing aids in the produce industry?

That remains to be seen. Suslow says cost is a primary concern, and right now chlorine remains one of the cheapest sanitizing options for produce.

Other organic processing aids include lactic acid as an antimicrobial or ascorbic acid (derived from vitamin C) as an anti-browning agent.

For an in-depth explanation of organic versus non-organic processing aids, see Food Safety News’ article How Does the Organic Industry Regulate Processing Aids?

Another processing aid gaining popularity in the produce industry is electrolyzed oxidized water, which can be generated on-site and is sodium-free.

Fresh berries: another approach 

Of course not all produce items have been treated with processing aids. Such items may be fragile or susceptible to taste alteration, or companies might have found that other food safety precautions adequately minimize pathogens on their products. Kyle Register, a representative for Driscoll’s, which sells fresh berries, says each berry is handled only once, and goes straight from the farm where it’s picked into a clamshell and then to the grocery store. No processing aids are used on these items. Instead, the safety of the berries is controlled through stringent adherence to the company’s Global Food Safety Program, which is modeled on FDA’s good agricultural practices (GAPs) standards and verified by independent audits.

This fruit packaged without a processing aid illustrates what Suslow says is the main take-home point when it comes to processing aids for fruits and vegetables: one size does not fit all. In fact, there’s a different size for pretty much every processor, and even the same processor is likely to be exploring new methods.

“There are a variety of different processes and it’s hard to track because they often change from visit to visit,” says Suslow.

Food Safety News

Perdue Recalls Raw Chicken for Possible Temperature Processing Problem

Perdue Foods of Salisbury, MD, is recalling approximately 720 pounds of raw, fresh chicken products because they may have experienced a processing deviation in temperature during production, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Saturday.

The products subject to the recall include:

  • 80-lb. cardboard boxes containing approximately 28, 2.5-lb. ice-packed, sealed packages of “COOKIN’ GOOD WHOLE YOUNG CHICKENS” with giblets and necks.

The products were produced Sept. 3, 2014, and then shipped to a New York distributor for resale and food service use in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The packages bear the establishment number “P-764” on the box.

The company discovered the problem when a plant employee checking whole bird temperatures noticed variations in the product. Upon further investigation, it was found that a plant worker turned the wrong water valve, using potable water instead of chill water in the system’s chiller. The company notified FSIS of the incident. Product found in the firm’s warehouse was destroyed. However, nine cases inadvertently shipped into commerce.

FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify that recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

Consumers with questions about the recall may contact Perdue Consumer Affairs at 800-4Perdue (800-473-7383).

Food Safety News

International Production & Processing Expo

January 27th – 29th, 2015 • Atlanta, GA

+ to calendar

International Poultry Expo, International Feed Expo, and International Meat Expo integrated their tradeshows in 2013, under the International Production & Processing Expo. The 2015 IPPE will bring together more than 1,100 exhibitors and over 25,000 attendees in Atlanta from January 27 – 29, 2015. We look forward to seeing you there! Registration for IPPE includes entrance to the trade show exhibits and select education programs.

Location Details

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Georgia World Congress Center
285 Andrew Young International Blvd NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
United States

Are You Registered for International Production & Processing Expo?

To register and for more information

Supermarket News

‘Hygiene Failings’ Under Investigation at UK Poultry Processing Plants

A five-month Guardian investigation which uncovered “hygiene failings” at two of the largest UK poultry processors has prompted the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and three major supermarkets in the UK to launch their own inquiries.

The allegations have been directed at two factories owned by 2 Sisters Food Group which supply fresh chicken and chicken for ready meals to Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, M&S, KFC and a slaughterhouse owned by Faccenda, which supplies Asda and Nando’s.

Incidents from the last month that the Guardian identified included “a factory floor flooded with chickens guts in which the bacteria can flourish, carcasses coming into contact with workers’ boots then returned to the production line and other poor practices involving points in the production chain that increase the risk of its spread.”

Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer told the newspaper that they had launched their own investigations into the allegations. FSA said it “conducted detailed audits” at the 2 Sisters plants on July 25 and that initial results showed one plant as “Good” and the other as “Generally Satisfactory.”

The investigations are occurring as FSA reverses its decision to “name and shame” supermarkets and processors by publishing their Campylobacter results every quarter. The agency fears that the results could be misinterpreted or potentially cause a “food scare.”

“Other government departments have reflected to us concerns which are the same as those we’ve heard directly from retailers and producers,” Steve Wearne, director of policy at the FSA told the Guardian. “We’re not letting the industry off the hook. We’ll publish all the names when we’ve completed [the survey] next summer.”

Campylobacter is the most common foodborne pathogen in the UK, with an estimated 280,000 cases and 39,000 doctor consultations. Other common foodborne pathogens include Clostridium perfringens (an estimated 80,000 cases), Norovirus (an estimated 74,000 cases) and Salmonella (an estimated 33,000 cases). Salmonella was ranked first in terms of hospital admissions (about 2,500), indicating the severity of illness.

Food Safety News

‘Hygiene Failings’ Under Investigation at UK Poultry Processing Plants

A five-month Guardian investigation which uncovered “hygiene failings” at two of the largest UK poultry processors has prompted the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and three major supermarkets in the UK to launch their own inquiries.

The allegations have been directed at two factories owned by 2 Sisters Food Group which supply fresh chicken and chicken for ready meals to Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, M&S, KFC and a slaughterhouse owned by Faccenda, which supplies Asda and Nando’s.

Incidents from the last month that the Guardian identified included “a factory floor flooded with chickens guts in which the bacteria can flourish, carcasses coming into contact with workers’ boots then returned to the production line and other poor practices involving points in the production chain that increase the risk of its spread.”

Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer told the newspaper that they had launched their own investigations into the allegations. FSA said it “conducted detailed audits” at the 2 Sisters plants on July 25 and that initial results showed one plant as “Good” and the other as “Generally Satisfactory.”

The investigations are occurring as FSA reverses its decision to “name and shame” supermarkets and processors by publishing their Campylobacter results every quarter. The agency fears that the results could be misinterpreted or potentially cause a “food scare.”

“Other government departments have reflected to us concerns which are the same as those we’ve heard directly from retailers and producers,” Steve Wearne, director of policy at the FSA told the Guardian. “We’re not letting the industry off the hook. We’ll publish all the names when we’ve completed [the survey] next summer.”

Campylobacter is the most common foodborne pathogen in the UK, with an estimated 280,000 cases and 39,000 doctor consultations. Other common foodborne pathogens include Clostridium perfringens (an estimated 80,000 cases), Norovirus (an estimated 74,000 cases) and Salmonella (an estimated 33,000 cases). Salmonella was ranked first in terms of hospital admissions (about 2,500), indicating the severity of illness.

Food Safety News

‘Hygiene Failings’ Under Investigation at UK Poultry Processing Plants

A five-month Guardian investigation which uncovered “hygiene failings” at two of the largest UK poultry processors has prompted the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and three major supermarkets in the UK to launch their own inquiries.

The allegations have been directed at two factories owned by 2 Sisters Food Group which supply fresh chicken and chicken for ready meals to Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, M&S, KFC and a slaughterhouse owned by Faccenda, which supplies Asda and Nando’s.

Incidents from the last month that the Guardian identified included “a factory floor flooded with chickens guts in which the bacteria can flourish, carcasses coming into contact with workers’ boots then returned to the production line and other poor practices involving points in the production chain that increase the risk of its spread.”

Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer told the newspaper that they had launched their own investigations into the allegations. FSA said it “conducted detailed audits” at the 2 Sisters plants on July 25 and that initial results showed one plant as “Good” and the other as “Generally Satisfactory.”

The investigations are occurring as FSA reverses its decision to “name and shame” supermarkets and processors by publishing their Campylobacter results every quarter. The agency fears that the results could be misinterpreted or potentially cause a “food scare.”

“Other government departments have reflected to us concerns which are the same as those we’ve heard directly from retailers and producers,” Steve Wearne, director of policy at the FSA told the Guardian. “We’re not letting the industry off the hook. We’ll publish all the names when we’ve completed [the survey] next summer.”

Campylobacter is the most common foodborne pathogen in the UK, with an estimated 280,000 cases and 39,000 doctor consultations. Other common foodborne pathogens include Clostridium perfringens (an estimated 80,000 cases), Norovirus (an estimated 74,000 cases) and Salmonella (an estimated 33,000 cases). Salmonella was ranked first in terms of hospital admissions (about 2,500), indicating the severity of illness.

Food Safety News

‘Hygiene Failings’ Under Investigation at UK Poultry Processing Plants

A five-month Guardian investigation which uncovered “hygiene failings” at two of the largest UK poultry processors has prompted the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and three major supermarkets in the UK to launch their own inquiries.

The allegations have been directed at two factories owned by 2 Sisters Food Group which supply fresh chicken and chicken for ready meals to Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, M&S, KFC and a slaughterhouse owned by Faccenda, which supplies Asda and Nando’s.

Incidents from the last month that the Guardian identified included “a factory floor flooded with chickens guts in which the bacteria can flourish, carcasses coming into contact with workers’ boots then returned to the production line and other poor practices involving points in the production chain that increase the risk of its spread.”

Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer told the newspaper that they had launched their own investigations into the allegations. FSA said it “conducted detailed audits” at the 2 Sisters plants on July 25 and that initial results showed one plant as “Good” and the other as “Generally Satisfactory.”

The investigations are occurring as FSA reverses its decision to “name and shame” supermarkets and processors by publishing their Campylobacter results every quarter. The agency fears that the results could be misinterpreted or potentially cause a “food scare.”

“Other government departments have reflected to us concerns which are the same as those we’ve heard directly from retailers and producers,” Steve Wearne, director of policy at the FSA told the Guardian. “We’re not letting the industry off the hook. We’ll publish all the names when we’ve completed [the survey] next summer.”

Campylobacter is the most common foodborne pathogen in the UK, with an estimated 280,000 cases and 39,000 doctor consultations. Other common foodborne pathogens include Clostridium perfringens (an estimated 80,000 cases), Norovirus (an estimated 74,000 cases) and Salmonella (an estimated 33,000 cases). Salmonella was ranked first in terms of hospital admissions (about 2,500), indicating the severity of illness.

Food Safety News

‘Hygiene Failings’ Under Investigation at UK Poultry Processing Plants

A five-month Guardian investigation which uncovered “hygiene failings” at two of the largest UK poultry processors has prompted the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and three major supermarkets in the UK to launch their own inquiries.

The allegations have been directed at two factories owned by 2 Sisters Food Group which supply fresh chicken and chicken for ready meals to Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, M&S, KFC and a slaughterhouse owned by Faccenda, which supplies Asda and Nando’s.

Incidents from the last month that the Guardian identified included “a factory floor flooded with chickens guts in which the bacteria can flourish, carcasses coming into contact with workers’ boots then returned to the production line and other poor practices involving points in the production chain that increase the risk of its spread.”

Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer told the newspaper that they had launched their own investigations into the allegations. FSA said it “conducted detailed audits” at the 2 Sisters plants on July 25 and that initial results showed one plant as “Good” and the other as “Generally Satisfactory.”

The investigations are occurring as FSA reverses its decision to “name and shame” supermarkets and processors by publishing their Campylobacter results every quarter. The agency fears that the results could be misinterpreted or potentially cause a “food scare.”

“Other government departments have reflected to us concerns which are the same as those we’ve heard directly from retailers and producers,” Steve Wearne, director of policy at the FSA told the Guardian. “We’re not letting the industry off the hook. We’ll publish all the names when we’ve completed [the survey] next summer.”

Campylobacter is the most common foodborne pathogen in the UK, with an estimated 280,000 cases and 39,000 doctor consultations. Other common foodborne pathogens include Clostridium perfringens (an estimated 80,000 cases), Norovirus (an estimated 74,000 cases) and Salmonella (an estimated 33,000 cases). Salmonella was ranked first in terms of hospital admissions (about 2,500), indicating the severity of illness.

Food Safety News

Beef Recalled by Missouri Firm for Potential Incomplete Processing

Fruitland American Meat of Jackson, MO, is recalling approximately 4,012 pounds of fresh beef products because the dorsal root ganglia may not have been completely removed, which is not compliant with agency regulations that require their removal in cattle 30 months of age and older, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Wednesday.

The products subject to recall include:

  • 80-lb. cases containing two, roughly 40-lb. cryovac packages of bone-in “Rain Crow Ranch Ribeye” bearing the establishment number “EST. 2316” inside the USDA mark of inspection with the following production dates: 9/5/13, 9/10/13, 9/11/13, 9/26/13, 10/2/13, 10/3/2013, 11/8/13, 11/22/13, 12/17/13, 12/26/13, 12/27/13,1/16/14, 1/17/14, 1/23/14, 1/31/14, 2/13/14, 2/14/14, 2/21/14, 2/28/14, 3/8/14, 3/20/14, 4/4/14 or 4/25/14 printed on the box.
  • Quartered beef carcasses stamped with the USDA mark of inspection and establishment number “EST. 2316.”

The products were produced and packaged on various dates between September 2013 and April 2014. The bone-in ribeye roasts were the source material of concern.

Fruitland American Meat advises that the bone-in ribeye roasts were distributed to a restaurant in New York, NY, and a Whole Foods distribution center in Connecticut which services its stores in New England. The quartered carcasses were distributed to an FSIS-inspected establishment in Missouri for further processing and distribution, and to a restaurant in Kansas City, Mo. All products would have been processed into smaller cuts with no identifying consumer packaging.

The problem was discovered by FSIS during a review of company slaughter logs. The problem may have occurred as a result of the way some company employees were recording information and determining the age of various cattle.

Dorsal root ganglia, branches of the nervous system located in the vertebral column, are considered specified risk materials (SRMs) and must be removed from cattle 30 months of age and older in accordance with FSIS regulations. SRMs are tissues that may contain the infective agent in cattle infected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), as well as materials that are closely associated with these potentially infective tissues. Therefore, FSIS prohibits SRMs from use as human food to minimize potential human exposure to the BSE agent.

Every animal received ante-mortem inspection by an FSIS public health veterinarian. This involves observing each animal at rest and in motion, and there is no indication that any of the cattle slaughtered displayed any signs of BSE.

FSIS and Fruitland American Meat have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Food Safety News

FDA Warning Letters: Pests, Thermal Processing, Misbranding

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued six warning letters between April 16-22, 2014, for food safety-related violations inspectors indicated they had observed at various establishments.

Hahn’s Old Fashioned Cake Company Inc. of Farmingdale, NY, was cited April 17, 2014, for “serious violations of FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice requirements.”

In addition to alleged “[f]ailure to maintain equipment, utensils, and finished food containers in an acceptable condition through appropriate cleaning and sanitizing,” Hahn’s was also cited for evidence of birds and mice in the manufacturing facility, for “lubricants from the cake slicer … observed dripping into a finished crumb cake,” and for workers with “open cuts on their hands” handling product without wearing gloves.

Biondillo’s Bakery LLC of Chicago, IL, was sent a warning letter dated April 17, 2014, for several violations of Current Good Manufacturing Process, inadequate cleaning and sanitizing, and for misbranding. Specifically, FDA inspectors stated that an open bag of lard was stored in a dirty basement area and uncovered dough was stored in a walk-in refrigerator. The misbranding violations related to incomplete ingredients and lack of nutritional information, as well as lack of information on product origin, FDA stated.

Pancrazio S.P.A. of Cava Dei Tirreni, Italy, was cited April 18, 2014, for “serious violations” regarding the “thermal processing of low-acid foods” (specifically canned “Chick Beans in Water & Salt”) and for inadequate record-checking involving “autoclave sterilization control, fill weight, temperature data tables, production control records and container closure records” before products were shipped.

In a letter dated April 18, 2014, to Iowa Select Herbs LLC of Cedar Rapids, IA, FDA stated that inspectors had “found serious violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.” Specifically, FDA’s letter continued, the company’s “Flax Seed, Holy Basil, Papaya Leaf Extract, and Ginkgo Leaf Extract products are promoted for conditions that cause them to be drugs” and for which “therapeutic claims” were allegedly being made on the company’s website.

FDA cited River Hills Harvest (dba, Elderberrylife) of Hartsburg, MO, in a letter dated April 22, 2014, for misbranding of the firm’s “100% Pure Premium Elderberry Juice” and, in effect, using language which “promotes the product for conditions that cause the product to be a drug.” Further, the product’s juice percentage and nutritional information were not provided and/or were inadequate, FDA stated.

Misbranding violations were also cited in an April 22, 2014, warning letter from FDA to Charlemagne’s Tree Farm Ltd. (dba, Hudson Valley Homestead) of Craryville, NY. Agency officials stated that the company’s “Bushwhacker’s Hot & Spicy Savory Sauce” and “Bushwhacker’s Mild Sauce” contained allergens (specifically fish) and were misbranded because not all ingredients were listed on the labels, including trans-fat.

Recipients of these warning letters have 15 working days from receipt to outline specific steps they have taken to come into compliance with the law.

Food Safety News

Second Auction May Fetch Millions More For NM Organic Peanut Processing Plant

The Portales, NM, processing plant that was at one time the largest producer of organic peanut butter in the U.S. was auctioned off last Thursday to Severn, NC-based Hampton Farms for $ 20.05 million. However, the Sunland Inc. plant will be auctioned off again today for at least $ 25 million, an amount offered to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for New Mexico from Canada’s Golden Boy Foods.

The unusual turn of events occurred just before the bankruptcy court entered a final sale order on last Thursday’s offer when Golden Boy Foods wired a counteroffer of $ 25 million to a trust account. That becomes the new opening bid for today’s auction. In addition to Hampton, California’s Ready Roast Nut Company LLC had bid in last week’s auction .

It’s left Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma with a tough decision to make. He said he was “loath to disturb the results of a judicial auction,” but, on behalf of the unsecured creditors of Sunland Inc., he did not want to lose the additional $ 4.95 million that Golden Boy Foods brought to the bankruptcy proceedings.

Sunland filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last October after peanut and nut butters it manufactured at the Portales plant in 2012 were found responsible for a 20-state outbreak of Salmonella. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suspended Sunland’s food plant registration for several weeks under the first use of a new government power found in the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Hampton Farms, the nation’s largest peanut roaster, has said that it plans to re-open the Portales plant. Golden Boy makes peanut and nut butters from several locations in Canada, but has not said how it would use the Portales plant.

Sunland once purchased much of the Valencia peanut crop grown along the Texas-New Mexico border for add-value processing. Many peanut growers in the area are waiting for the court’s decision on the sale as part of their decision on whether to plant a Valencia crop for the coming season. Soil temperatures are expected to be warm enough to plant peanuts in April.

Food Safety News

Paramount Citrus expanding processing capacity for Halos

Paramount Citrus will increase the capacity at its Wonderful Halos plant in Delano, CA, by 75 percent to meet increasing demand for the fruit, according to a company press release.

The expansion at the plant, which is already among the largest and most advanced citrus packinghouse in the world, will enable Paramount to process more than 52 million Mandarins a day.

As part of the expansion, Compac Sorting Equipment is designing an additional 30 lanes to be integrated into the pregrader, taking its total width to 70 lanes. The system will also add a fourth autonomous bin stacking robot and six additional bin filling lines, taking the total fillers to 52.

Compac solutions are considered the industry standard for machine vision technology and performance. This is achieved via Compac’s advanced suite of software known as the InVision system. Using high definition digital cameras, mandarins are scanned as they pass under the sorter’s inspection cabinet. Taking up to 30 images of each individual mandarin as it is rotated allows the software to build a complete 3D model of each mandarin instantly. The software is then able to assign each individual mandarin to its correct packing destination.

After the presizing process, fruit is stored until orders are received and then sent to a high-speed packing cell, which processes one type of product at a time. Each packing cell features a 10-lane Compac sizer for the confirmation of quality, and automatic demand-based distribution of the fruit to various net-bagging devices.

The number of packing cells will be expanded from five to eight cells in 2014 to cater to the increased production and demand for Halos. When completed in September 2014, this packing plant will be home to 150 lanes (15×10 lane) of Compac sorting units.

“Compac systems provide us with superior and proven technology,” Jason Blake, vice president of operations in California for Paramount Citrus, said in a press release. “Computational methods are much more accurate than other vendors’ systems. They provide a higher quantity of available data and product information, as well as more options for grading and sorting of various fruit characteristics.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Baby food puree could be made even safer with new processing technique

Date:

February 21, 2014

Source:

Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)

Summary:

Although levels of furan—a carcinogen resulting from heat treatment techniques, such as canning and jarring—are far below of what would cause harmful effect as determined by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), a team of food scientists found that treatment of baby food puree with high pressure thermal sterilization (HPTS) instead of conventional thermal processing showed a reduction of furan.

Although levels of furan — a carcinogen resulting from heat treatment techniques, such as canning and jarring — are far below of what would cause harmful effect as determined by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), a team of food scientists from Technische University Berlin found that treatment of baby food puree with high pressure thermal sterilization (HPTS) instead of conventional thermal processing showed a reduction of furan. The study is in the current issue of Journal of Food Science published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).

High pressure thermal sterilization (HPTS) may offer an alternative form of processing by which high quality products could be achieved. HPTS could offer a double benefit in terms of food safety and also food quality, and could be useful for additional food systems as well.

Additional research is needed to validate these findings and help to implement this promising technology in the food industry.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Robert Sevenich, Elke Kleinstueck, Colin Crews, Warwick Anderson, Celine Pye, Katerina Riddellova, Jaromir Hradecky, Eliska Moravcova, Kai Reineke, Dietrich Knorr. High-Pressure Thermal Sterilization: Food Safety and Food Quality of Baby Food Puree. Journal of Food Science, 2014; 79 (2): M230 DOI: 10.1111/1750-3841.12345

Cite This Page:

Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). “Baby food puree could be made even safer with new processing technique.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140221184529.htm>.

Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). (2014, February 21). Baby food puree could be made even safer with new processing technique. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140221184529.htm

Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). “Baby food puree could be made even safer with new processing technique.” ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140221184529.htm (accessed February 23, 2014).

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Jerky Recall Prompted by “Processing Deviation”

Wyoming Authentic Products, LLC, a Cody, Wyo. establishment, is recalling approximately 365 pounds of beef jerky products due to a processing deviation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The Wyoming Gourmet Beef products were produced on various dates between November 4 and December 18, 2013. The following products are subject to recall:

3.5-oz. (CRYOVACED) packages of “ALL NATURAL ANGUS ORIGINAL FLAVOR JERKY” with case code “05AE30811”

3.5-oz. (CRYOVACED) packages of “ALL NATURAL ANGUS PEPPERED FLAVOR JERKY” with case codes “06AE30821” , “05AE31021” , “05AE31711” or “05EIJ32511”

3.5-oz. (CRYOVACED) packages of “ALL NATURAL ANGUS HONEY FLAVOR JERKY” with case code “04AE30921”

The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “EST. 44972” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These products were sold at retail in Colorado, Utah, Washington and Wyoming, as well as Internet sales to individuals.

The problem was discovered by the company, who then brought it to the attention of FSIS. FSIS and the company have received no reports of illness due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a healthcare provider.

Food Safety News

USDA Orders Poultry Processing Suspended at Foster Farms Plant for Cockroaches

One of the largest Foster Farms plants in California was ordered to suspend poultry processing on Wednesday after U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors cited it for “egregious insanitary conditions.”

According to The Oregonian, the federal agency’s notice of suspension states that the plant in Livingston, CA, poses a public health threat because it was infested with live cockroaches.

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service officials had reportedly cited the Livingston plant for roaches several times in the past few months. Roaches were seen near the processing line at the plant while “exposed product” was on the slaughterhouse floor, the notice of suspension continued, and the live insects were also observed on other occasions during production.

“These recent findings of egregious insanitary conditions related to a cockroach infestation in your facility indicate that your establishment is not being operated and maintained in sanitary condition, or in a manner to ensure that product is not adulterated,” the notice stated. “Poorly maintained facilities and equipment that are not maintained to prevent entrance of pests, such as cockroaches, rats and flies, can and do harbor food borne pathogens, which can then multiply and be dispersed throughout the food processing environment, increasing the chances of product contamination rendering the product unsafe.”

The Livingston facility is one of the three Foster Farms plants in central CA currently being investigated in connection with a national Salmonella outbreak that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports has sickened at least 416 people in 23 states and Puerto Rico. While roaches can carry Salmonella, it hasn’t been established that their presence in the plant is connected with the outbreak.

Although Foster Farms did agree to improve sanitation and other procedures at three of its CA processing facilities (the one in Livingston and two in Fresno), to date the family-owned company has not recalled any of its poultry products, and USDA’s FSIS has not ordered a recall. However, FSIS inspectors have apparently ramped up their testing of those three Foster Farms facilities.

Costco did take some Foster Farms rotisserie chicken off the shelves at one of its San Francisco stores in October which had been linked to the outbreak.

The order of suspension notes that the Livingston plant is to remain closed until Foster Farms devises a strategy to get rid of the cockroaches and make sure they do not return.

The current Salmonella outbreak has prompted consumer groups and others to criticize what they see as the federal government’s inadequate response to the Foster Farms situation and to advocate for additional regulatory oversight to help reduce the rate of Salmonella infection in the U.S., which causes at least 1 million illnesses every year and is responsible for more hospitalizations and deaths than any other type of bacterium or virus found in food.

Food Safety News