As a professional in the food industry, you’ve probably heard a lot of food safety myths — but you may not have realized that they didn’t tell the whole story. Until you can separate fact from fiction, you can't make the absolute best choices for your company. Let's look at some of the common food safety myths… debunked.
Contamination of food by foreign materials continues to be a problem for food manufacturers. While the first half of 2019 saw a dramatic increase in recalls, a deeper dive into those recalls gives a closer look at the most contaminated foods as well as provides insight into the most common vehicles for contamination in the food industry.
Keeping your food safe is a top priority, and that means safeguarding it against everything from food-borne illness to physical contaminants. X-ray inspection can help with the latter and ensure that your product is free from foreign materials.
When sending it out for inspection doesn’t make sense, X-ray rentals provide another option. But when do portable X-ray machine rentals make the most sense?
As food becomes more processed, the risk of foreign contaminants finding their way into edible products increases. Each step in the production line presents one more opportunity for contamination, either through human or mechanical error. Metal detection services can help prevent metal fragments hidden in food from reaching consumers and provides a way to find slivers of different metals that would be missed throughout the production process.
At a time when methods for detecting foreign materials in food is more sophisticated and accurate than ever before, it would seem that the incidents of contamination by physical hazards would be declining.
But greater capabilities to detect particles in food could actually be triggering more recalls, says Chris Keith, VP of Sales, Marketing and Customer Service for FlexXray.
According to information released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, foreign materials were the leading cause of food contamination during the first half of 2019.
Food waste in the U.S. has become a significant problem from both an economic and environmental perspective. About 40% of the food grown domestically ends up in landfills, which means we’re throwing away an estimated $218 billion worth of food each year. That’s 1.3% of America’s gross domestic product.
The cost for food companies continues climbing; according to the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA), food manufacturers generate 53 pounds of food waste per every thousand dollars of company revenue. While 43% of food waste comes from families who throw out the food and beverages they’ve bought, the larger percentage of waste comes from manufacturers, retailers and restaurants.
As the industry gains greater awareness about how much food waste is costing food companies, more initiatives are being developed to curb it. Such measures not only lower the amount of waste being generated, but also improve the financial health of food manufacturers, both individually and for the industry as a whole.
Topics: Food Waste
Recent changes to regulations affecting line speed in meat plants have raised concerns about meat safety. These changes potentially add new dangers for food producers who are purchasing the meat, since many believe it will dramatically raise the risk of contaminated food entering our supply chain. Under these new regulations, plant managers will have more control over inspections, and many federal inspectors will be replaced with plant employees.
Last September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) published a notice that it would allow certain poultry producers to increase line speeds to 175 birds per minute, up from the current line speed that capped at 140 birds per minute. To do so, plant operators must meet certain criteria, such as a history of regulatory compliance, being able to prove that they had the proper equipment, procedures and technologies in place that would allow for faster line speeds without compromising safety and being able to provide documentation that the increased line speed would not affect employee safety or interfere with inspection procedures.
The move to increase the line speed was controversial, especially given that the poultry industry has a high rate of workplace injury — even higher than construction, landscaping and sawmill worksites. Opponents of the measure to increase line speed have voiced concern that it could expose workers to even more injuries and illness.
Topics: Meat and Poultry
There’s no question that innovations in plastic are changing the food industry. Plastic is paving the way for new, lightweight forms of packaging to be created, as well as providing more flexible choices in equipment. Plastic products make processing and packaging foods easier and more cost-effective
(Arlington, Texas, May 13, 2019) – FlexXray, the nation’s leading X-ray inspection and recovery service for food companies, announced today that it has acquired Illinois-based Accu-ray, a leading provider of inspection solutions for food, pharmaceutical and automotive manufacturers throughout the U.S. and Canada. The combined company will operate as FlexXray® effective immediately.
FlexXray helps manufacturing facilities quickly and cost-effectively detect and recover foreign material contamination that can occur during production or packaging. The company works with more than 900 production plants in the U.S., including 90 percent of the top 25 protein and processed-food producers in the country.
Topics: X-ray Food Inspection
Randy Jesberg joins the executive team to lead company through current growth and future expansion.
(Arlington, Texas, March 4, 2019) – As part of its ongoing growth, FlexXray®, the nation’s largest provider of X-ray inspection and recovery services for food companies, has added the role of president to its executive structure. Randy Jesberg, who brings 35 years of executive experience in sales, marketing, software engineering and analytics will fill the new position.