Food-Safety Teamwork
By Bryan Salvage,
Editorial Director
Committed people working together, sound science, and advancing technology aid the food industry in its efforts to enhance food safety.One theme heard over and over again during the Food
Safety Summit, which took place March 16 through 18 in Washington, DC, was the important role teamwork plays in the battle to improve food safety.
“Thank you for your commitment to food safety,” Mike Johanns, Secretary of Agriculture, told the audience during his keynote address. “No one can do this [improve food safety] alone. We are in this together.”
Sponsors of this event were the National Food Processors Association, Food Safety magazine, and the National Restaurant Association. In addition to a number of thought-provoking sessions, the Food Safety Summit also included a number of food-safety products and services that were on exhibit. The following is just a sampling of some of what was on display:
Flash pasteurization technology
RapidPak SP technology (flash pasteurization) offers many features including a 3-log reduction for Listeria monocytogenes, maintains current line speeds, no affect on product sensory characteristics, purge is minimized, no formulation change required, no effect on packaging films, minimal floor space impact, dry package maintains index pattern for labeling, low capital cost and very low cost per package, and standard RapidPak machine can be retrofitted with SP module. Conventional pasteurization re-cooks product four to 20 minutes and then must be re-chilled. RP-SP solves all of the problems of conventional surface pasteurization in 1.5 seconds. ALKAR RapidPak Inc., phone (608) 392-3211, or visit
Pathogen-testing technology
Centrus International Inc. introduces its Envisio™ and Soleris™ systems for testing pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7, as well as routine organisms such as coliform bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, Staphylococcus, Listeria, yeast, and mold, and lactic acid bacteria. “Centrus’ cutting-edge technology provides rapid-test results often in hours, rather than days,” says Jeffrey C. Needham, general manager, Centrus. The Envisio system is designed to provide rapid, accurate test results for E. coli O157. It uses antibodies to attach superparamagnetic particles to assay targets, A unique membrane-based test strip then captures target organisms in a detection zone where remarkably sensitive induction coils detect small changes in a magnetic field. The combination of proven technical components and innovative magnetic detection technology enables the Envisio system to detect contaminants in an enriched sample at concentrations much lower than other available methods. The Soleris 32 and Soleris 128 are rapid optical systems that enable manufacturers to screen meat, seafood, dairy, beverages, fruits, and vegetables for early contamination of microorganisms. Centrus International Inc., phone Rich Fountain, marketing and communications manager, at (423) 229-5986, or e-mail
Allergen indicator test
AllerGiene™ allergen indicator test is a real-time indicator for multiple food residues including potential allergens. Features include: Simple three-step assay: swab, twist, and count; results within 30 seconds, sensitive to food residues, spoilage organisms, and microorganisms; and no reagent preparation. AllerGiene™ detects food residues at levels similar to specific allergen tests in only 30 seconds. A single test detects ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) common in multiple allergenic foods, e.g. peanut butter, whole egg, soybeans, milk, etc. This test makes allergen monitoring with ATP practical for food production personnel. Charm Sciences Inc./distributed by Ecolab Inc., food and beverage division, phone (800) 392-3392, or visit
Evaluating, enhancing food-safety systems
Food Systems Review from DuPont™ Food Risk Assessment™ evaluates and enhances your safety systems. DuPont assesses your plant’s current safety-management process, identifies area for improvement, and it digs in to get to the root of the problem — fixing it once and for all. The FSR takes an overall look at the integrity of your company’s food safety and operating systems — how they perform relative to world-class standards and why they perform as they do. The company’s RiboPrinter® Microbial Characterization System can genetically identify and fingerprint microorganisms such as Listeria, E. coli O157:H7, or Lactobacillus, in your facility. A microbial map is then created to trace the movement of pathogens or spoilage organisms in your plant or value chain — so they can be stopped dead in their tracks. Crisis Simulation™ — a Food Risk Assessment offering — provides an opportunity for your company to practice a realistic but simulated crisis in the safety of your boardroom. DuPont evaluates a company’s crisis management procedures and its team’s response, behavior, communications, and decision-making skills. DuPont, phone (800) 387-2122 or e-mail
Next generation of species testing
MELISA-TEK™ is the next generation of species testing — for determining the species content of rendered meat and bone meals, animal feeds, cooked, and raw foods. It is species specific, muscle specific, and heat stable. This new method for speciation of products containing animal proteins is based on patented monoclonal antibodies sensitive to troponin-1, a thermal-stable, muscle-specific antigen. It can determine the species content of thermally processed products including those processed under conditions exceeding 133º C and 3 bars of pressure. It detects only muscle tissue, and it is also effective with cooked and uncooked food products including canned and retorted products. ELISA Technologies Inc., phone (352) 337-3929, or e-mail
Revolutionary machine-vision system
The patented new VerifEYE™ technology, a trademark of eMerge Technologies Inc., is a revolutionary machine-vision system that instantly detects trace levels of organic contamination, including ingesta and fecal material, which in turn can harbor pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Listeria, and others. The compact VerfEYE Solo displays surface contamination at a glance. This lightweight, portable device can be used in meat processing, distribution, and grocery environments to help workers zero in on organic contamination, ensuring a safer and more wholesome meat product. Benefits include: refined processing procedures, improved employee training, easy auditing of incoming supplies, mobile use or permanent installation, and improved food safety and HACCP plans. eMerge Interactive Inc., phone (877) 578-2333, or visit
Rapid protein food residue test
PRO-Clean is a quick-and-easy way to accurately monitor the cleanliness of food equipment surfaces to help ensure food safety and product quality. It detects any protein residues left on a surface after cleaning. Simply swab a surface, release the reagent, and if any residue containing protein is present the reagent will turn purple. The color change provides a semi-quantitative measure of the surface cleanliness. The more contamination present, the quicker the color change to purple and the darker the color. PRO-Clean almost instantly validates the hygiene of a surface allowing immediate corrective action to be taken. hygiena, phone (805) 388-8007 EXT. 300, e-mail, or visit
Rapid detection of E. coli O157:H7
BioFlash™ is a rapid diagnostic technology for the ultra-sensitive detection of E. coli O157:H7. Features ultra-sensitive detection of E. coli O157:H7 in less than five minutes. The combination of speed and sensitivity is unlatched by current methods. Simple protocol requires minimal instrumentation and training. Testing is done in five easy steps with more accuracy. It also features validated high-fidelity detection of E. coli O157:H7 — PCR-like signal amplification with more accuracy.  Applications include rapid testing of food surfaces using swabbed material for food and meat processing plants. Innovative Biosensors, phone (866) 332-0868, or visit  NP