The beverage market’s increased focus on product safety and quality has manufacturers thirsty for new strategies to protect both their customers and their wallets.
According to CDC research, 1 in 6 Americans contract an illness from food or beverage sources each year. Additionally, a 2011 Grocery Manufacturers Association, Ernst & Young, and Covington & Burling study found more than three-quarters of companies who faced a product recall in the preceding five years estimated an average financial impact of nearly $30 million.
With regulations growing stricter, and retailers and customers becoming more engaged in all stages of the production process, beverage manufacturers face greater pressure to eliminate contamination threats that can diminish product quality and—in the most severe cases—affect consumer safety. With so much at stake, even the slightest negligence can generate significant financial and reputational damage.
As beverage manufacturers refine their risk mitigation strategies, keeping the following “Product Safety and Quality Evaluation Six Pack” in mind can help identify areas for improved operational efficiency, brand protection and the delivery of safe, quality products.
1. Where is contamination likely?
Beverage processing plants exemplify the warm, wet, and potentially uncontrolled environment ideal for bacteria and pathogen growth. Human hands, equipment, and incoming air can all introduce contaminants to workspaces perceived as “clean.”
For both open plant and clean-in-place sanitation approaches, beverage processors must ensure that proper cleaning solution volumes, compositions, and applications are correctly used on each operational component. The mix of cleaner and water needed to sanitize a conveyor will likely not perform at the same level when applied to pipes or tanks. An in-depth look at cleaning procedures can uncover operational gaps and eliminate potential surface contaminants before they reach beverages.