How to Avoid Scary Situations in Food Processing

Nov 6, 2017 8:05 AM ET

As originally published on

By Donna Schaffner 

The food manufacturing industry is subject to regulations and scrutiny that few other industries are: social pressure is ever-present, as news of infection or disease outbreak caused by food-borne pathogens strikes an uneasy nerve in consumers. Manufacturers can be subject to tremendous backlash if they do not take the proper steps to ensure their manufacturing facilities are appropriately equipped to prevent and mitigate the risk of food contamination.

Adding to this social pressure is increasing regulatory scrutiny, as the Food and Drug Administration, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have all been ramping up pressure in recent years to ensure food producers are up to code.

New regulations include the FDA’s Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) Preventive Controls for Human Food rule which requires manufacturers to have plans in place to prevent, oversee, and mitigate any potential contamination hazards. As the name implies, the FSMA is about prevention, which involves having adequately trained employees as well as the appropriate facilities and equipment.

Manufacturers should realize that training depends to a large extent on equipment- the right equipment can minimize the potential of human error, facilitate training, and generally prevent the spread of communicable diseases and infections. 

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