THE PROPOSED REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING the Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls portion of the Food Safety Modernization Act, issued earlier this year, have put a new spotlight on sanitation technology and services in the food industry. An increased level of inspections means more pressure on the sanitation side to up its game when it comes to systems, services, and supplies.
“It is absolutely crucial that food producers and manufacturers can measure the effectiveness of their cleaning and sanitation procedures,” says Ben Pascal, CEO and cofounder of rapid-diagnostics company Invisible Sentinel, developer of the Veriflow molecular flow-based detection system. “ATP testing is quick and easy, but the best possible way to measure how clean things are is to do that from a microbiological standpoint that lets you know which pathogens are present and which aren’t.”
The responsibility for testing used to be up the line in quality assurance, says Jim Topper, market development manager for Neogen, whose Soleris microbial detection system added a 48-hour assay for Alicyclobacillus in August. “But lately we’re seeing that the responsibility for doing the tests in the plant and making the determination of whether it’s important to clean again or restart production has been more of a function of the sanitation group. For that reason, we’ve focused on ease of use with systems that allow you to make a decision right at the point where you need it–on the production line, where you often have 30 minutes or less between when production went down and the point when it’s supposed to go back up.”
Shifting from the testing side back to the actual sanitation equipment side, supplier Nelson-Jameson is urging a focus on safety with its Nilfisk certified explosion-proof and dust ignition-proof vacuums.
“Many in the manufacturing industry do not know what combustible dust is,” says Devon Vogel, MRO product manager for Nelson-Jameson. “Unfortunately it can take a massive explosion, such as at the Imperial Sugar facility in 2008, to raise red flags and get the industry attention.” The explosion at the Savannah plant killed 14 people and injured 38 more. In July, the federal U.S. Chemical Safety Board designated the issuance of a general industry combustible dust standard as its “Most Wanted Safety Improvement.”
“It’s important to know that traditional plant maintenance methods, such as sweeping and blowing down with compressed air, only make the situation worse by spreading the combustible dust around and making it airborne,” comments Vogel.
Shaw is a writer for Food Quality & Safety’s eUpdate enewsletter. She also writes frequently about science, medicine, and health while serving as a regular contributor on notable medical publications.
Veriflow™ – Innovative Molecular Detection made Simple, Accessible and Affordable
Veriflow™ represents the FIRST AOAC-RI certified Molecular Flow-based Assay. The patented vertical flow technology allows for the sensitivity of PCR, but with the ease-of-use of a handheld flow-based test. Veriflow™ delivers reliable results within 18-24 hours streamlining workflow and providing cost-savings.
Test Kits include:
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New RFID technology simplifies ATP sanitation monitoring
Neogen’s AccuPoint 2 Sanitation Monitoring System uses the newest advancement in ATP sanitation monitoring: radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. Simply swipe the instrument near a RFID tag, and the test site group is read automatically. AccuPoint’s new software has also greatly simplified ATP test data plan creation and interpretation.
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Nelson and Jameson
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