The aftermath of the horse meat scandal has provided some insight into how both regulatory authorities and the food industry will deal with the issue of species contamination in the future. It appears that the main tool for control will be testing and inspection. Following on from a European wide DNA testing plan endorsed by the EU standing committee, consumers will in the main depend upon testing programmes at both national and business level for assurance on the composition of their food products. (more…)
One of the biggest impacts of modern food production has been the standardization of the foods we purchase in our local retail store. For many, there is an almost unconscious expectation that a particular food product we buy today tastes exactly the same as it did last week or last month. And when we find a product that we really like then this expectation becomes a demand. We will accept nothing less than a repeatable gastronomic experience. (more…)
One of the few things we can be certain of in our world is uncertainty. Philosophers have been preoccupied by this phenomenon for centuries and the seemingly relentless drive of nature to introduce change and variation into even the most stable of systems. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Many believe that uncertainty or variation is the key driver behind all developments and improvements in nature. Whether this is true or not, one thing we know for sure is that variation in a manufacturing process if not controlled will lead to product failures, waste and overall poor quality. In food manufacturing it can also lead to food safety issues. The eminent statistician, W. Edwards Deming, dedicated much of his career to studying the nature of variation in production processes and came to many conclusions including “If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing”. This tells us a lot about the nature of food safety management. HACCP is the tool we use to describe ‘what we are doing’. Once we know this we can then get on with the business of monitoring and checking. (more…)
‘Knowledge is Power’. As a scientist, Francis Bacon knew what he was talking about when he coined this phrase. With knowledge comes the power to make decisions and act in the most appropriate way to achieve our objectives. However we also know that a little knowledge can be dangerous while too much can be overwhelming. When we need to obtain knowledge, we also need to ensure it is of good quality, timely and pertinent. (more…)
On Friday, February 22 at 12:44 PM PST the Safefood 360 application became inaccessible to our customers for several hours. Three days earlier we experienced a briefer outage lasting over an hour. For this we are really sorry.
Our software is hosted on the Microsoft Windows Azure Platform which is a global network of state of the art, highly resilient data centers. This platform provides us with the security, stability and performance we need and has done so flawlessly for two years up to this point. (more…)