#foodprocessing

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>

TOP BENEFITS OF OZONE FOR FOOD SAFETY & QUALITY

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A BETTER WAY TO PROCESS AND STORE FOOD TO KEEP IT SAFER, OUR WORLD CLEANER AND EVERYONE HEALTHIER.

NATURALLY PROTECTS CONSUMER WELL-BEING

Ozone is one of nature’s most powerful oxidizers making it an effective multifunctional food safety intervention.

CONTROLS MICROBIOLOGICAL COUNTS

Ozone penetrates cell surface and causes progressive oxidation of vital cellular components leading to cell lysis of microorganisms on food, surfaces and in the air.

NO RESISTANCE

Bacteria cannot build up a resistance to ozone, making it an extremely effective long-term solution.

ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY

Ozone is the triatomic oxygen molecule and quickly reverts back into oxygen leaving no harmful byproducts or residuals.

APPROVED AS SAFE AND EFFECTIVE

Approved by the FDA, USDA, FSIS, EPA as well as others. It also meets OSHA guidelines for commercial use which means it’s safe for you and your employees.

MEETS ORGANIC LABEL REQUIREMENTS

Ozone can be used on organic foods and for surface sanitation to maintain “Organic” or “Made with Organic Ingredients” labeling requirements.

CONTINUOUS CLEANING

Ozone is an effective intervention tool for cleaning and sanitizing during processing; allowing you to run longer production shifts without sacrificing food quality or safety.

ROOM DISINFECTION

Ozone controls pathogens, molds, and yeasts as well as prevents cross contamination in RA and CA rooms that cannot be sprayed down regularly such as packing rooms, drying rooms, coolers, freezers etc.

INCREASES SHELF LIFE

Ozone reduces / eliminates food spoilage organisms and thus improves the shelf life of fresh food.

INTEGRATES WITH EXISTING IN-LINE PROCESSES

Aqueous and gaseous ozone systems can be incorporated into most existing in-line processes.

REDUCES CONVENTIONAL CHEMICAL COSTS

Approved for direct product contact, and for plant sanitation, Ozone does the same or better job compared to costly, potentially hazardous conventional chemicals.

NO STORAGE REQUIRED

Ozone is produced on demand so there are no dangerous substances to be stored or handled on the premises.

REDUCTION IN PLANT ODOR

Ozone controls plant odors to increase the quality of working conditions within your facility.

SAFE FOR WASTEWATER SYSTEMS

Ozonated water is safe for wastewater systems, helping with wastewater disinfection and odor control. It has the potential to reduce the need of alkalinity needed with PAA.

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>


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.