Cargill piloting video system to audit food safety

Cargill has begun piloting a third party remote video auditing (RVA) program as a food safety tool in its North American beef plants.

Cargill already is using RVA to monitor animal welfare practices and is finishing up the installation of the technology at its 10 beef-harvest facilities in North America. Based on the positive results in the animal welfare area, Cargill decided to extend the RVA technology to monitor food safety practices and is piloting the project at beef facilities in Fresno, Calif. and Milwaukee, Wis.

Arrowsight Inc. of Mount Kisco, N.Y. provides the technology in collaboration with ADT Security Services of Boca Raton, Fla.

"We are pleased that Cargill has elected to extend the RVA program into these important food safety applications," says Arrowsight, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Adam Aronson.

By watching near real-time video, Arrowsight's third party auditors monitor how consistently employees perform their work and provide constructive statistical feedback to plant management.

"The early results with our animal welfare program have been terrific and we're excited to get all the facilities up-and-running on the program," says Dr. Mike Siemens, Cargill leader – Animal Welfare and Husbandry. "Cargill has been able to use the RVA technology to help increase an already superior compliance rate at its plants to an even higher level. In addition to the positive results on compliance rates, we have observed healthy competition among plants on performance scores, as well as a general theme of collaboration among plants on how to attack specific operational challenges. The ability to share data and video easily is extremely valuable."

For the food safety pilot, RVA will be used to review the stages in the process where workers clean and sanitize their knives and other pieces of equipment. Additionally, Cargill will apply the technology to monitor dressing procedures to ensure proper techniques are followed to reduce the potential for E.coli and Salmonella contamination.

"We're working to eliminate the opportunity for cross-contamination," says Dr. Angie Siemens, Cargill vice president for Technical Services – Food Safety and Quality. "We want to have the steps at the beginning of our process right to enhance the efficacy of our intervention technologies later in the process. The major objective of the video auditing application is to design a ground-breaking program that can further reduce the E.coli and Salmonella contamination."

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