FDA begins unannounced testing of frozen berries

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Federal officials have begun the unannounced testing of frozen berry samples as part of an effort to develop preventive controls against pathogens such as Hepatitis A and Norovirus. These two viruses caused outbreaks in recent years that sickened hundreds of people across the United States.

Ozone destroys many Viruses (including Hep A and Norovirus), Bacteria, Fungus and Mold spores by penetrating, collapsing, and destroying the cell wall of microorganisms.

Berries served by themselves or in a product, without a cooking kill step, are more dangerous in terms of food-borne pathogens than many other domestic and imported foods, according to the recent announcement from the Food and Drug Administration.

Results of the unannounced tests will be posted for public view on a quarterly basis. A final analysis is planned after the data is reviewed. 

“Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are delicate and may become contaminated with bacteria or viruses if handled by an infected worker who does not use appropriate hand hygiene, or if exposed to contaminated agricultural water or a contaminated surface, like a harvesting tote. Freezing preserves berries but generally does not kill viruses, which can survive at low temperatures.”.

If tests from the sampling program confirm Hepatitis A or norovirus in a sample, the FDA will notify the firm of the findings and work with the business owners to take appropriate action to protect the public health.  The U.S. agency may also take actions such as placing companies on import alerts; oversee recalls; or issuing public warnings.

See full article at Food Safety News <click here>

TriStrata Service Bulletin - May 13, 2019

Copy of Version 2

TriStrata Group has recently implemented several service enhancements to reduce any ozone related disruption and improve your food safety performance.

CENTRALIZED DISPATCH DESK - SUPPORT@TRISTRATAGROUP.COM

We’ve expanded our local service team and added a central dispatch desk to provide a vital link to execute planned maintenance and expedite corrective repair. To schedule on-site service simply e-mail us at: support@tristratagroup.com

PHONE TECHNICAL SUPPORT - (888) 379-1453

TriStrata engineers, builds and installs our ozone generators, distribution units and monitoring systems, making it a truly integrated system. Our system analysts can troubleshoot the entire system and remedy most irregularities over the phone. Many issues can be resolved in a single phone call.

SERVICE DOCUMENTATION

To standardize support for your food safety audits all service documentation is provided to you at the conclusion of a site visit.

HARDWARE UPGRADES

Our field service team keeps your hardware updated with each visit so you benefit from our latest technologies. They also assist in many firmware and software updates.

Control Postharvest Berry decay

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Processing berries has many challenges. Mold, Listeria, and cross contamination are just a few. Fresh pack berries are even more challenging when you can’t wash them down. 

There are few options to overcome these challenges. But there is one solid solution.

Atmospheric ozone provides the only continuously effective and safe means of reducing mold & pathogens and controlling cross-contamination on fresh pack berries. 

Several TriStrata clients use our gaseous ozone generators in their pre-cool, storage coolers and IQF tunnels, as well as utilizing our aqueous applications for pathogen control on frozen berries and to reduce biofilm formation on belts and Listeria on floors. Ozone is not only powerful it’s approved organic, overcoming export issues you face with chlorine.

Contact us to see if we can help extend your product shelf life, increase processing uptime, and control your food safety risks. <click here>

ORGANISMS DESTROYED BY OZONE

Through a process called Lysis; ozone penetrates, collapses and destroys the cell walls of microorganisms on food, surfaces and in the air. Ozone is a sustainable food safety treatment that can be used as an ingredient in or on organic foods and as a surface sanitizer on food contact surfaces in food processing, distribution, and retail centers and maintain an “Organic” or “Made with Organic Ingredients” label.

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Please note this is not comprehensive. Contact us if you have a question about a particular organism not listed above.

Our Sales or Application Specialists can provide additional information and details. <Click here> to connect.

Duke of Westminster’s agritech business looks to change farming

Graham Ramsbottom, chief executive of Wheatsheaf, which aims to transform the way food is produced and delivered © Jim Holmes

Graham Ramsbottom, chief executive of Wheatsheaf, which aims to transform the way food is produced and delivered © Jim Holmes

TriStrata is a proud member of the Wheatsheaf Group

Wheatsheaf Group directly operates, invests in and helps to develop businesses in the food and agriculture sectors. Through the activities of over 2,500 people across 34 countries and the development of innovative technologies, Wheatsheaf aims to contribute enduring solutions to improve efficiency in the production of healthy and nutritious food to meet the food requirements borne out of the increasing demands of a changing global population.

“Companies that are trying to replicate meat using plant proteins may be in the spotlight, but one of the UK’s largest agritech investors is looking for simpler and more pragmatic ideas to disrupt the food chain.

The Eaton Estate in Cheshire is the home of Wheatsheaf, the agriculture and food investment business of Hugh Grosvenor, the current Duke of Westminster, whose family estate is estimated to be worth some £9bn.

Wheatsheaf has a portfolio of 19 companies, and the value of its portfolio and capital allocated for further investments exceeds half a billion pounds. Its bets have come against a backdrop of a growing middle class and the need to develop sustainable food supplies. In a former red-brick livestock shed transformed into the investment group’s headquarters, Graham Ramsbottom, Wheatsheaf’s chief executive, said: “You’ve got this very rapidly changing population whose consumption patterns will change dramatically. You’ve got this tripling of affluent consumers and how is the world going to find the food to feed them?” Wheatsheaf, which launched in 2012, is among the growing number of investors in the sector including billionaires such as Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, corporate VC arms and sovereign wealth funds from Singapore to Dubai backing technology that is transforming the way food is produced and delivered. They believe that agriculture is ripe for the technological transformation that has changed other sectors.”

See full article by subscribing to the financial times at: https://www.ft.com

Ozone: USDA approved organic

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Ozone can be used as an ingredient in or on organic foods meeting the National Organic Program requirements per §205.605. It is also approved as a surface sanitizer on contact surfaces for organic foods.

This approval allows food processors, distributors and storage facilities to maintain “Organic” or “Made with Organic Ingredients” labeling requirements using ozone as a food safety and quality treatment. (Please note this does not apply to products with “100% Organic” labeling requirements.)

TriStrata ozone generators utilize oxygen molecules from the air (O2) and pass them through a corona field, splitting them into single atoms of oxygen (O1). These atoms combine with an O2 molecule to form a molecule of O3, ozone. It quickly turns back into oxygen, leaving no harmful byproducts or residuals. Making it environmentally friendly and safe for wastewater systems.

Refer to CFR 205.605 for details <Click here>

If you’d like to learn more about using ozone to improve food safety and quality on your organic products please e-mail us at sales@tristratagroup.com or <click here>

Dr. Peggy Cook leads TriStrata's Efficacy Research Center

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“Our mission is to validate and improve the efficacy of ozone applications in the food industry” stated Dr. Peggy Cook, Chief Scientific Officer, of the facility in Springdale, Arkansas.

Dr. Cook was Director of Tyson Food’s Food Safety and Research Laboratory, prior to joining Safe Foods Corporation as Executive Vice President, where she ran its research and development divisions, including MCA Laboratory Services, Engineering, and Information Technology Services.

She was a part of Cargill’s Food Safety and Regulatory Department and worked for the Institute of Environmental Health Laboratory and Consulting Group, Inc. She holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and is a Certified Food Scientist, as qualified by the Institute of Food Technologists. 

Dr. Cook is a two-term member of the National Advisory Committee for Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) USDA/FSIS in Washington, DC. A committee that provides impartial, scientific advice, and/or peer reviews to federal food safety agencies for use in the development of an integrated national food safety systems approach.

To learn more about the science of ozone <click here>


Apples: Listeria reduction most effective in CA rooms

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New studies suggest the preponderance of Listeria reduction occurs during apple storage and that additional reduction during processing is limited by apple surface microstructures.

Two recent food safety research studies from the School of Food Science at Washington State University and the Washington State Tree Fruit Research Commission indicate that when used properly, ozone can safely disinfect your apples during storage significantly reducing the risk of entrapped Listeria cells in the microstructures of the fruit during processing and packing.

STUDY #1 – Ozone Gas + CA results in 5.0 Log CFU/apple reduction (GRAPH BELOW)

“Continuous application of low doses of gaseous ozone in CA storage facilitated L.innocua reduction and resulted in ≈5.0 Log CFU/apple reduction after 30-week storage. In addition, continuous low-dose ozone gas inhibited apple background flora without negative impact on fruit quality.”

5-Log Listeria Reduction Graph

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Click <here> for full study.
- School of Food Science at Washington State University and the Washington State Tree Fruit Research Commission 

STUDY #2 – Apple surfaces harbor Listeria contracted in the dump tank or flume

“Apple Surface morphology was found to be (an) important factor in attachment of L. innocua. Microstructures serve as harbor sites for bacteria attached by physical entrapment. Settled in hard to reach sites, bacteria are protected from cleaning operations and disinfection.”

Click <here> for full study.
- School of Food Science at Washington State University

If you’re interested in discussing your food safety program in greater detail, please contact Nick Lyon at: nlyon@tristratagroup.com or call 425-327-1378.

Government approvals of Ozone

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FDA — SECONDARY DIRECT FOOD ADDITIVES PERMITTED IN FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION (2004) 1 CFR 173.368

Since 2004, The FDA has deemed Ozone safe to use as an antimicrobial agent in the treatment, storage, and processing of foods, including meat and poultry.

 USDA — FSIS DIRECTIVE 7210.1

Since January 2000, the USDA/FSIS has officially accepted ozone as safe and suitable for use in the production of meat and poultry products. In accordance with current industry standards of good manufacturing practice.

FSIS — RESPONSE TO INTERPRETATION REQUEST (2001)

November 27, 2001, the American Meat Institute filed a letter with FSIS asking for interpretation on the scope of the FDA rule allowing the use of ozone as an antimicrobial agent. FSIS determined that, “the use of ozone on raw and ready-to-eat meat and poultry products just prior to packaging is acceptable”, and that there are “no labelling issues in regard to treated product”.

NOP — NATIONAL ORGANIC PROGRAM

Ozone can be used as an ingredient in or on organic foods and as surface sanitation on food contact surfaces in food processing, distribution, and retail centers and maintain an “Organic” or “Made with Organic Ingredients” label. (Please note this does not apply to products with “100% Organic” labeling requirements.). Refer to CFR 205.605 for details.

 OSHA — REGULATIONS FOR OZONE GAS

Ozone meets OHSA guidelines if ambient levels and exposure times are within limits listed below:

PEL (Permissible Exposure Limit): 8-hour Time Weighted Average 0.1 PPM Vol. 

STEL (Short Term Exposure Limit): 15 minutes 0.3 PPM Vol.

IDLH (Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health): 5 PPM Vol

USDA — APPROVAL AS A HARD SURFACE SANITIZER

The NSF White Book Listing replaces the terminated US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Listing of Proprietary Substances and Nonfood Compounds.

EPA — TRISTRATA GROUP IS REGISTERED AS A PESTICIDE-PRODUCING ESTABLISHMENT

The EPA regulates ozone as a pesticide. Thus, ozone equipment must be registered by the EPA under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The private labeling company’s EPA Establishment No. is 071472-CA-001 for TriStrata Group.

Lower Your Environmental Listeria Positives

Effective control of environmental Listeria is achievable. 

The combination of low levels of ozone during production, coupled with elevated levels at nightly, weekly and/or monthly intervals is a very effective way to augment your current sanitation practices.  A study using a high concentration of ozone gas-based treatments for 30 minutes for decontamination of surfaces and rooms achieved a 3 log reduction of Listeria.

Efficacy Reports:

Atmospheric ozone for Listeria control on surfaces

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Full study can be viewed <here>

Environmental Room Disinfection:

Ozone room disinfection controls cross-contamination and defends against Listeria in high-risk rooms that cannot be cleaned & sanitized regularly. Atmospheric ozone is dispersed throughout rooms by fans or through ventilation systems.

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If you’d like more information on room disinfection you can click <here> or email us at sales@tristratagroup.com to discuss how we can help your operation effectiveness.

FACT or FICTION: Seafood facilities need both aqueous & gaseous ozone

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Do you need both aqueous and gaseous ozone equipment?

Maybe not… 

For most seafood operations aqueous ozone provides the most value. Conveyors, equipment, cutting boards, and the product itself all benefit from the continuous application of ozonated water. 

In areas it is used, aqueous ozone releases low levels of ozone gas into the air (well below OSHA limits) providing similar benefits as a dedicated gaseous system without spending money unnecessarily. 

Low levels of gaseous ozone help control odors and can provide environmental pathogen control in areas like air handlers, ceilings, and hard to reach areas that may not see consistent sanitation.

So, when does TriStrata recommend using both aqueous and gaseous systems?

High risk facilities or areas, needing multiple food safety interventions to control environmental pathogens are good candidates. 

For example, utilizing two dedicated systems (aqueous and gaseous) makes sense in ready-to-eat smokehouses where aqueous ozone is used on the processing line while a gaseous system is used in dry areas, coolers, drying rooms, freezers, and slicing rooms, for low level continuous product treatment.  

This approach provides control measures in every stage of the process…a powerful tool in your arsenal against environmental listeria.

If you’d like to understand if using gaseous ozone makes sense in your facility our seafood application specialist, Mark Denis, will be attending the Seafood Expo and can help determine if this approach is right for you. Or connect with us <here>

FORMER USDA UNDER SECRETARY for FOOD SAFETY JOINS TRISTRATA GROUP BOARD

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Elisabeth Hagen, M.D., the former food safety chief at the U.S. Department of Agriculture has become a member of the Board of Directors at TriStrata Group.

During her tenure at the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, Dr. Hagen’s focus on preventing foodborne illness was the agency’s top priority.  Prior to her role as undersecretary she was the USDA ‘s Chief Medical Officer and Senior Executive in the Office of Public Health Science, where she played a vital role in developing and executing the agency’s scientific and public health agendas.

“As a physician and mother of two children, I know how important it is for families to feel confident that the food they put on their tables every night is safe and healthy” said Dr. Hagen, “I appreciate the potential of ozone to do just that in a way that reduces the environmental impact of the industry and the health risks to employees.”  

TriStrata is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Wheatsheaf Group.  For more information on Wheatsheaf <click here>

FACT or FICTION: Ozone kills Vibrio

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Does ozone kill Vibrio?

Yes, at defined ozone concentrations and contact time. 

If you’re processing peeled shrimp or shucked oysters, ozone can help defend against Vibrio (and Listeria).  

Additional research needs to be conducted on un-shucked oysters and shrimp, as well as crab and lobster in the shell. 

TriStrata Group is seeking partners to conduct research with these products, as well as additional applications in the Seafood Market.  

If you’re interested in these opportunities, please stop by the TriStata Group booth at the Seafood Expo and visit with Mark Denis, Seafood Application Specialist or connect with us <here>

How much does a Food recall cost?

In 2018, US companies experienced 213 pathogen related recalls. What did that cost?

We recently attended a food sanitation conference and someone in the audience asked the panel, “How much does a recall costs…or a range I might expect?” Surprising no one had an answer.

We thought this was an important question because it helps us all better understand the cost of waiting to long to address food safety concerns or not having enough effective interventions to successfully eliminate the risks.

So we did a bit of research and here is what we found…

Over half of all recalls cost more than $11 million.

The best source we discovered was published by GMA (The Association of Food, Beverage and Consumer Products Companies) and Ernst & Young. The full report can be viewed by clicking <here>

Graph: ESTIMATED FINANCIAL IMPACT AS A RESULT OF A RECALL Including sales loss, direct recall costs, etc

Adjusted for 2018 US dollars.

48% of recalls cost less than $10 million

47% of recalls cost between $11 million to $110 million

5% of recalls cost more than $112 million

The implementation of additional food safety interventions could have helped these companies reduce their risk and financial impact.

FACT or FICTION: All ozone providers are the same.

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All ozone providers are not the same.

The services and support provided vary greatly and the disparity can mean the difference between outcome success and failure.

Several things you should ask any ozone provider you are considering:

1. Do you have service techs in my area to maintain and service the ozone generating system?

TriStrata has the largest nationwide field service team to keep your ozone equipment maintained properly and repairs made quickly.

2. Does your company focus solely on the food Industry?

Successful implementation of ozone requires an in-depth knowledge of food safety, processing procedures, HACCP, and ozone’s capabilities. TriStrata focuses solely on the food industry.

3. Do you have a monitoring and data logging system? Does your customer service team monitor it for irregularities?

TriStrata provides remote monitoring & access, data logging, AND dedicated system analysts that actively work to rectify alarms remotely.

To learn more about TriStrata service and support click <here>

TriStrata Group would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss your food safety concerns, our capabilities and tailor a solution to fit your needs. 

FACT or FICTION: White papers prove ozone works in YOUR facilitY.

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White papers provide support that ozone is a scientifically valid food safety intervention for poultry.  But for ozone to meet your performance standards you need a few more things: 

1.      Application Experience. 

TriStrata’s poultry team and Research & Development Center in Springdale Arkansas is staffed with professionals from the poultry industry.  Their experience with in-plant operations, production processes and safety controls help develop a complete solution to optimize your performance. Learn more about our team: <click here>

2.     Localized Service.

We’ve expanded our local service team to expedite maintenance and repair.  Our Pro level service plan offers active ongoing monitoring with 24/7 critical fault response and onsite parts storage.

3.       In-plant Validation.

Of course, you’ll need to provide support documentation as part of your HACCP plan. Our team can work with you on documentation.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss your food safety concerns, recent TriStrata Group in-plant efficacy data and to tailor a solution to fit your needs.  To connect with us: <click here>

FACT or FICTION: You can reduce antimicrobial usage with ozone.

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Consider ozone as an additional food safety hurdle in your food safety microbial intervention strategy for several reasons:

1.     Reduce antimicrobial usage.  Ozone can maintain and often reduce the incidence of microorganisms while decreasing the usage and costs of other microbial interventions. 

2.     Reduce safety risks.  Ozone will reduce the hazards associated with your team handling hazardous chemicals.

3.     Reduce complexity & footprint.  Ozone is generated on-site.  No need for additional orders, storage and waiting on delivery.

4.     Reduce your environmental impact.  Ozone starts and ends as oxygen.  We can help you achieve clean labeling and sustainability goals.

To learn more about adding ozone as a strategic intervention in please click here>>

Do your food safety interventions provide FSMA compliance reporting support?

TriStrata’s proprietary remote monitoring system proactively addresses irregularities, sends alerts and supports regulatory and third party compliance reporting.

To connect with an application specialists to determine how we can help address your food safety and compliance reporting needs email us at: sales@tristratagroup.com

Ozone improves the microbiological safety of food products

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HEALTH CANADA — In a response to approve the application of ozone directly onto food products, Health Canada, Bureau of Chemical Safety had no objection to the application of ozone in the following applications:

  1. Approval to apply ozone in aqueous solution on surface of poultry carcasses, parts, trim and organs (up to 10 ppm) and on surface of red meat carcasses, parts, trim and organs (up to 2.5 ppm)

  2. Approval to apply gaseous ozone to surface of poultry carcasses during air-dry chilling (up to 10 ppm) and on surface of poultry meat parts and deboned poultry meat (up to 20 ppm)

  3. Approval to apply ozone in aqueous solution (up to 3 ppm with contact time not to exceed 5 seconds, to surface of hot dogs and chicken drumsticks.

  4. Wash water containing up to 2.5 PPM ozone on fresh fish (whole, headed and/or gutted, minced, fillet), shellfish (crustaceans or molluscs) and fresh or blanched vegetables, for up to 30 sec. contact time.

  5. Wash water containing up to 3.5 PPM ozone on fresh fruits and potatoes for up to 30 sec. contact time.

  6. Wash water containing up to 2.5 PPM ozone on fresh leafy greens for up to 45 sec. contact time.

To discuss ozone food safety applications in Canada please call Alain Vezina at
(418) 929-9977 or connect here >

The Power of Ozone

TriStrata delivers on the power of ozone to keep your food safer, our world cleaner and everyone healthier.

Ozone can provide effective multifunctional food safety and quality interventions without the drawbacks of other alternatives. It leaves no harmful byproducts or residuals, and is safe for wastewater systems. Our ozone generators create O3 on site, reducing the need to store, use and dispose of harsh chemicals. Approved as safe and effective by the FDA, USDA, FSIS, EPA and others. And meets OSHA guidelines for commercial use, which means it's safe for you and your employees.

Connect with our specialists to put the power of Ozone to work for you.