Kudos to the food industry! While the pandemic closed down many businesses, and “working from home” is a common practice, food industry workers brave to work every day to ensure undisrupted supplies of food to the public. Quality assurance professionals in the food industry carried on the double duties of food safety and heightened employee health and safety. AEMTEK is proud to be of service to food safety professionals!
2021 was also a year that brought monumental shifts to the food and beverage industry, including an increased spotlight on the importance of food safety. As AEMTEK reflects on 2021, we have observed several trends as a food safety testing lab that will likely continue in 2022.
Salmonella Recalls From Unexpected Sources
In 2021, the food industry became increasingly aware of all the environments in which Salmonella can survive to cause contamination, especially in foods not previously considered at-risk for this pathogen. Specifically, we learned that Salmonella could survive in most environments that were previously thought to be most at-risk for just Listeria contamination. Our recent post provides more details on this. Not sure if you have all your bases covered?
Book a meeting with us to find out if you are properly addressing all risks through your current environmental monitoring program.
Regulatory Monitoring of Small Plants & Production Facilities
In 2021, we have seen a sharp rise in the number of small plants and production facilities, commissaries, and non-traditional food manufacturers developing and implementing environmental monitoring programs.
As FSMA becomes applicable to all-size facilities, smaller companies are being more closely monitored for food safety compliance. In addition, government agencies have increased their auditing presence in the industry and new regulations encourage them to perform unannounced check-ups. Thus, the consequences for not being proactive in controlling food safety outweigh the cost of testing even for these small-scale manufacturers, who may have flown under the radar in the past.
Furthermore, more retailers are requiring proof of FSMA compliance for all vendors. This means vendors can no longer distribute their products without a proper Environmental Monitoring program!
Gaining certainty that your food safety program covers all bases requires a thorough understanding of what product contamination can occur and how diversified your testing services will need to be.
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Lab Partnerships in Earlier Stages of Product Development
In 2021, we have seen an increase in food and beverage manufacturers seeking laboratory partnerships in earlier stages of product development. Companies are planning ahead to ensure safe production processes from start to finish. One contributing factor is retailers demanding FSMA compliance and food safety plans for all vendors, small and large. AEMTEK has partnered closely with food companies, from early-stage start-ups to top CPG brands, on all stages of their food safety planning and processes. Looking for a laboratory partner for Shelf Life, Validation, EMP, or product testing?