Beef at its best—that’s the promise Pineland Farms Natural Meats – an all-natural beef company that prides itself on supporting family farms and offering never-ever products, makes to its customers. But, it’s also the mantra Pineland Farms lives by internally, and for general manager Chris Williams, food safety is a critical part of making Pineland Farms’ beef “at its best.”
“Food safety at Pineland Farms Natural Meats isn’t just about meeting regulations—it’s about doing what’s right for the product and for consumers. To us, a case of foodborne illness isn’t just a number; we see ourselves as protecting families, including our own, from getting sick. Doing the bare minimum is something we’re not interested in. Beef can’t be at its best if it makes people sick,” says Williams.
To help provide the best product possible to its customers, the company also aims to be on the cutting edge of the latest technologies. So, when Pineland Farms Natural Meats needed top-of-the-line equipment for treating beef trim, and Williams heard about the Birko Elite 360® at IPPE, the solution was a no-brainer.
This system uses electrostatic technology to apply antimicrobial intervention chemistry to protein products, achieving 360-degree coverage while using the smallest amount of solution possible. It moves products, like beef trim, by using a conveyor system within an enclosed drum while electrostatically-charged antimicrobial is sprayed on the products. The products slowly rotate, exposing all surfaces to create an even application. The charge ensures the antimicrobial is attracted to the products for transfer efficiency and full coverage. After years of research and testing, as well as achieving close to 100% transfer efficiency, Birko successfully introduced electrostatics and Protection with Precision™ to food sanitation in 2019. Pineland Farms Natural Meats is the first beef processor to adopt the Elite 360® system.
Pineland Farms Natural Meats harvests approximately 38,000 cattle per year and delivers to a number of retailers and food service distributors along the east coast of the United States. One of its major retailers requires that ground products are treated at the grinder. This, in turn, meant that Pineland Farms Natural Meats could no longer rely on interventions at its slaughterhouse, and spray cabinets couldn’t work for the volumes required.
This requirement, along with Pineland Farms Natural Meats’ commitment to food safety, led the company to adopt the Elite 360 system and apply it to all grind applications regardless of customer. “In our validation study, the log reduction from the Elite 360® was over two, and close to three for most products. We found that it has better throughput than other solutions,” says Williams. “Choosing Birko’s Elite 360® was critical in helping our food safety standards and achieving our long-term goals for success in our business.”
Williams shares that he sees Elite 360® as instrumental for the future of Pineland Farms Natural Meats.
“We’re very pleased with the results of the validation study and the Elite 360® as a whole. It helps us stay true to our message and know that we’re not only delivering a better tasting product, but a safer one, too,” he says. “You can’t put a price tag on that.” NP
For more information on Birko’s Elite 360® system, contact Bob Ogren at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816.797.3587.