Food Safety / Process and Operations

What Are the Core Issues Behind the Food Product Recalls?

We’ve assembled a panel of plant operations experts to answer any question you have on plant-floor issues.

We’ve heard a lot about more fresh food product recalls lately. What are the core issues?

As health conscious consumers try to improve their diet by eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, their demand exceeds the ability of local suppliers to provide local products. This daily demand for fresh produce in turn places a strain on a global supply chain that currently lacks consistent practices for sanitation. Add to that problem, the issues of stronger bacterial strains appearing around the world and you understand the major issues with fresh food delivery.

While food processor have always maintained employee training programs to address the in-plant issues of hygiene and sanitation, we as consumers need to be more aware of how we handle fresh products. Today we live in a far more casual world. Our behavior and attitude reflects a lack of understanding of how our hygiene impacts what we eat and how we eat it.

Remember, that piece of produce you’ve bought probably has not been grown locally. And it has already been handled by someone else, probably numerous people, maybe in locations all over the globe. In many cases it has traveled a long way to get to your store and it has passed through several transfer stations.

So, think of that fresh produce you’ve just brought home from the store as a raw material, like any ingredient in your processing plant. You as the consumer have a responsibility for the final processing steps of this type of food. Make sure you wash and clean these products before you eat them. Fresh is good, however in today’s world, fresh does not mean ready to eat.

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