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A recently released FDA article warned consumers about an ingredient in some gluten-free foods. This ingredient is considered and allergen but it is not widely known here in the United States.If you manufacture gluten-free foods, you should take this very seriously. The name of the ingredient is lupin which is used to make gluten-free flour. The issue is that lupin (or lupine) is from the plant family legume; the same family as the peanut. As such, allergic reactions to lupin can be similar to those of peanuts and potentially just as severe. You can read the full article here.
Gluten-free foods are very popular and many manufacturers are producing variants of their product to meet this demand. They should still, however, be wary of the hazards new ingredients could be to their customers. Even though lupin allergies are not as common as others, the risk still exists and needs to be addressed.
Today I’d like to address how food safety culture has changed over the last 30 years. We have gone from back of the house protocols that were more like out house protocols to a transparent world of Instagram and The Food Network. Oh how times have changed for restaurant operators and the food industry in general.
About 6 years ago, The Peanut Corporation of America was cited for poor manufacturing conditions after an investigation of a multi-state Salmonella outbreak was determined to have been caused by their peanut butter product. Well, they’re back in the news again. This time, their corporate officials are being brought up on federal charges whether they had direct knowledge about the alleged wrong-doings or not, which is allowable under the Park Doctrine (taken from a Supreme Court ruling in 1975). Believe it or not, this is the first time in the Doctrine’s history that this has ever happened. Even though PCA is no longer in operation, the after-effects of their alleged neglect keep popping back up. Those involved have to be thinking to themselves, “Will this nightmare ever go away?”
All food manufacturers - those new to the industry and those that have been the game for a very long time - come to a point when they’ll need to have their product(s) tested for one of a hundred different reasons. It may be that they need a Process Authority Letter, a nutritional label, or simply to see if their product is gluten free. The major players out there, the big dogs, have their own labs to do this type of thing, but a great many manufacturers do not. They have to go to third party labs to help them out and that’s where labs like ABC Research come into the picture. And like almost everything else in any marketplace, there are several labs from which manufacturers can choose. Much like the many different types of food manufacturers, there are also several different types of labs out there of various sizes and capabilities. We, of course, would like for food manufacturers to choose us when their food safety testing needs arise. So would every other lab out there. This ultimately begs the question that all manufacturers will eventually have to ask: “Which lab should I trust to test our product?” or, in other words, “Is ABC Research a good fit for my company?”
It's no secret that partnering with an independent, third party ISO 17025 accredited laboratory is one of the smartest ways a food company can protect its brand. But did you know having a go-to lab can also be one of your greatest resources when facing an FDA detention? Here's five ways having a relationship with a third party lab can ease some major food import headaches:
Several years ago I visited with many chief executives of some of the major poultry companies in the U.S. and the outlook was dire. The cost of corn due to drought and ethanol production forced several players into bankruptcy. It was so bad that many producers wanted to sever relations with their suppliers, but that would be the kiss of death. Often, when vertically integrated suppliers are lost they do not return. But, over the last year or so, the outlook for the poultry industry has brightened considerably. Feed costs have come down and the supply has tightened. I have written before about the state of both the beef and pork industry. The beef herd is the smallest in 60 years and beef prices are at historic highs. Millions of piglets are dying due to PEDv causing pork prices to skyrocket.
Imported Food ProductsThe current economic conditions are terrible which is forcing retailers and food service operators to source cheaper commodities. The bottom line of a business can be severely affected by paying too much so procurement officers look overseas for cheaper product. According to the USDA, approximately 15% of our overall food supply is imported. 60 percent of fresh fruits and vegetables and 80 percent of seafoods are imported.
Regardless of the high percentage of imports, the FDA has limited manpower and inspects roughly 2 percent. Produce is especially vulnerable and arrives in the U.S. with virtually no inspection. The importers cannot be held accountable.
Popeye was a sailor man. He was strong to the finich, ‘cause he ate his spinach, that Popeye, the sailor man. He was one tough Gazookus who hated all Palookas who weren’t on the “up and square.” He biff’d and he buff’d ‘em and always outruff’d ‘em, but none of ‘em got nowhere.
ABC Research Laboratories, along with The Certification Board of ASQ (American Society for Quality) is pleased to announce that ABC Research QA Director Lindsey K. McLeod has completed the requirements to be named an ASQ-Certified Quality Auditor, or ASQ CQA. As such, she has reached a significant level of professional recognition, indicating a proficiency in and a comprehension of auditing principles and practices.
ABC Research Laboratories is proud to announce its acceptance as a General Mills Approved Laboratory. General Mills, one of the world’s largest food companies, provides this honor only to food testing laboratories that follow the strictest standards and best practices for food safety and quality testing.
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