Experts in packaging, food safety, energy management, supply chain and logistics and more provide problem-solving solutions for the cold food industry. Interested in submitting an expert column? CLICK HERE for the guidelines.
With the final FSMA IA rule in effect for small businesses since July and large businesses a year before that, coupled with changes to the food supply chain in response to the pandemic, risk assessment and mitigation should be a priority now more than ever. For the refrigeration and frozen food industry specifically, changes have also evolved with the implementation of the Sanitary Transportation rule.
About a month ago, we received an inquiry from a government contractor asking if our company, Yukon Ventures, would be interested in a top-secret cold storage opportunity. We read between the lines and understood that the contractor was talking about the rollout of the new COVID-19 vaccine, a subject dominating headlines everywhere.
Humidity control may be the last thing on your mind right now if you’re running a food processing facility, trying to execute a rapid buildout to meet increased consumer demands. But, as you race to adjust production lines, “dust off” old processing equipment and ultimately ramp up how much food you’re making and storing, dialing in your humidity control will eliminate a handful of costly issues that slow down production.
The transport of food and health/sanitary items such as cleaning supplies and paper towels have placed significant strains on the supply chain. Food distributors have to scrutinize significant preventative measures needed to ensure the health and safety of customers, drivers, and everyone that is in contact with goods that are transported and delivered.
Refrigerated and frozen foods manufacturers use packaging graphics, text, colors, geometries, internal volumes, clarity, opacity, and ergonomic designs as nuggets of information to persuade consumers that the products they see are safe, will deliver pleasurable eating experiences, and may be enjoyed in specific or universal locations. Fundamentally, packaged messages must communicate to shoppers at the point of sale that there is a reason to believe in a product so that it is wanted.
There has been a lot of hype in the supply chain world around emerging technologies, and if you listen to that hype, you may think our robot overlords are doing their work in such an efficient way that you can manage everything from your smartphone on the beach. But beyond the hype, real solutions are making their way into the mainstream that are helping cold food producers and distributors optimize their supply chains.
Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) is ubiquitous in the environment and an ever-present threat in frozen food facilities, but food safety professionals who remain vigilant and understand where to focus food safety resources to control and prevent Lm in their facilities will ultimately triumph and keep food safe.