Because food safety is a critical issue for manufacturers, companies are targeting the industry with products and services to help combat food safety dilemmas.
Recent issues, like the Blue Bell and Jeni's listeria scares, along with impending FSMA regulation, are current food safety topics demanding attention. FSMA in particular was the focus of much discussion at the Food Safety Summit, as well as in Food Dive's interview with Roberta Wagner, the FDA's deputy director for regulatory Affairs for the center for food safety and applied nutrition.
Here’s a roundup of companies offering safety solutions as well as discussing current food safety issues:
PURE Bioscience’s Pure Hard Surface was put to the test last fall when it was called on by Dr. James L. Marsden, a professor of food safety and security at Kansas State University, to remove listeria from a closed processing plant in the Chicago area and succeeded. Though the FDA released the plant for use again, the company went out of business.
"Not too many companies survive a massive listeria call of that nature," said EVP of Marketing and Product Development, Tom Myers.
The product, which does not have to be rinsed, has been approved for use on food contact surfaces in Subway restaurants nationwide. It is also used in 12 to 15 national food processors, for both environmental and equipment disinfection.
According to CEO, Hank Lambert, the company is also working on a formulation of silver dihydrogen citrate (SDC). It's the primary ingredient in Pure Hard Surface, for use in direct food contact, including in the processing of raw poultry, produce and meats. Lambert is hoping for FDA approval for that product soon.
"We're really emphasizing brand protection and risk management for a very low insurance premium in the case of SDC and our Pure Hard Surface disinfectant," added Hank.
DuPont Nutrition & Health
Nathalie Brosse, business development and marketing leader of DuPont Nutrition & Health, says its new Detect + Protect program can help food manufacturers with safety and spoilage issues. The company signed an agreement with Eurofins to give analytical testing as part of the program, along with the two companies working together on customizable solutions for different companies.
She also added the program is well-suited to handle issues regarding listeria and can help pinpoint potential issues. The program's experts can help give a new perspective on a contamination's source and offer solutions.
Alchemy Systems works with companies and associations to help support food safety in addition to worker safety and productivity. It's partnered with the Food Marketing Institute to better equip handlers and managers in the retail space as well as provided training for frontline workers. It has multiple programs encouraging worker safety and productivity as well as food safety.
Alchemy's Laura Nelson, a microbiologist with over 30 years in the food industry, spoke to current food safety issues, including FSMA implementation. She said that there will probably be a lag phase for some companies, especially ones that may not have "embraced technology." She said if FSMA works as it's supposed to, it will put companies in "proactive mode" as opposed to "reactive mode."
Regarding Jeni's recall, Nelson said, "Different elements of FSMA I think would have an impact on companies such as (Jeni's) that are moving into a deeper critical assessment of their programs."
Alchemy Systems did not attend the Food Safety Summit as planned, though PURE Bioscience and DuPont were in attendance.