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SugarCreek: Brandworthy Food Solutions

Up Your Food Safety Game with Sous Vide Cooking

Posted by SugarCreek

Jul 21, 2014 8:30:00 AM

Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in 2010 that, overall, illness from six main food-borne pathogens was down 23 percent, it also confirmed that salmonella still poses a serious danger to American diners. That wicked little bacteria alone is credited with causing about 1.2 million illnesses each year in the U.S. and is one of the reasons that consumers keep an eye trained on food safety news websites like Foodsafety.gov, carefully noting all of the major food recalls that seem to come out every week.

With wellness and safety concerns in the spotlight, it's essential for the food service industry to improve its food safety game. Taking basic precautions is no longer enough. Food handling during preparation must include steps that virtually eliminate vegetative pathogens like salmonella and botulism.

The good news is that technology makes that possible.

Prepping food with a vacuum packaging system, for example, helps to eliminate the conditions that allow pathogens to thrive, meaning consumers can enjoy meals free from concerns about the safety of what they're eating.

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Topics: Sous Vide, Food Safety

There Can Be No Exceptions When It Comes to Food Safety

Posted by SugarCreek

Jul 11, 2014 8:00:00 AM

American consumers are fortunate to shop at supermarkets and dine at restaurants knowing that strict regulatory codes ensure the quality and safety of their food.  

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Topics: Food Safety

America's Fascination with " Clean Eating"

Posted by SugarCreek

Jul 10, 2014 8:30:00 AM

American eating habits reflect concerns of the times, and these days, with highly visible media coverage of topics like the environment, chemicals, technology and health, Americans have become fascinated with the idea of “clean eating.”

Though still a relatively new trend, some restaurants have already begun to cater to requests for clean food, and others may follow suit if it continues and appears to be lucrative.

Americans Define “Healthy Eating”

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Topics: American eating habits, Food Safety

Food Safety News from Vermont Has National Importance

Posted by SugarCreek

Jul 3, 2014 8:00:00 AM

The rising popularity of the anti-GMO movement have many food service industry managers worried about how their companies are going to deal with the far-reaching ramifications of the trend. However, industry insiders are telling food service companies not to give it much thought, especially now that various food industry associations are suing the state of Vermont over a questionable GMO labeling law.

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Topics: Food Safety

Social Media May Play a Critical Role in the Future of Food Safety

Posted by SugarCreek

Jun 27, 2014 7:00:00 AM

Could Yelp reviews be used to track down and stop potential food poisoning outbreaks? That’s the latest in food safety news from New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), which announced at the end of May that its pilot program analyzing Yelp reviews could be going mainstream.

Since Yelp’s founding nearly a decade ago, the online review site has become the default go-to for crowd-sourced restaurant reviews and a sounding platform for every complaint imaginable. And while some reviews need to be taken with the proverbial grain of salt, many others have helped save would-be diners from paying too much for poor service and poor quality food– and possibly even a nasty case of food poisoning.

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Topics: Food Safety

Can Social Media Help Manage a Food Safety Crisis?

Posted by SugarCreek

Jun 20, 2014 8:00:00 AM

In the latest food safety news, Boulder Natural Meats in Colorado is recalling nearly 365 pounds of their boneless and skinless chicken breasts because of a branding error. According to the Department of Agriculture, the Colorado company failed to acknowledge the presence of wheat, a known allergen that could cause severe respiratory distress in those who are allergic, in packages of the Boulder-brand chicken, initiating a recall by the FDA.

In other news, anotherrecent recall saw 1.8 million pounds of ground beef produced by the Wolverine Packing Company in Detroit, Michigan pulled off the market for potential contamination from E.Coli, a bacteria strain known to cause bloody diarrhea, vomiting, kidney failure and rapid dehydration when ingested.

Although these particular recalls were fairly localized, the manufacturers responsible for sending mislabeled and/or contaminated meat to stores will face several penalties detrimental to their company's budget and reputation.

What, if anything, can meat-packing facilities do to counteract the bad publicity surrounding a recall of their product? How can a food manufacturing company educate the public and win back consumer trust when tainted meat is traced back to their operation?

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Topics: Food Safety

Is the Food Service Industry Over-sharing Its Production Secrets?

Posted by SugarCreek

Jun 19, 2014 10:09:34 AM

Since the inception of the first fast food chains in the mid-twentieth century, the quick-service food industry has blossomed. For several decades, consumers clamored for their favorites – ordering such fast-made fare as hamburgers, tacos, French fries, and fried chicken. Consumers didn't care to ask how these items were produced, and the fast food industry did not volunteer details.

Recently, though, the fast food industry has been forced to divulge some of its secrets-- from what ingredients it uses to where these ingredients come from. The consumer demand for more transparency has led many fast food chains to open up about their industry secrets, but some may be sharing more information than they should.

And the food service industry will need to keep abreast of these concerns and, as always, cater to the ever-changing needs of consumers.

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Topics: Food Safety, Trends

Is It Too Late to Reverse the Tide of Anti-GMO Sentiment?

Posted by SugarCreek

Jun 13, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are genetically engineered so that their DNA as specific changes to it. The use of GMO food has grown dramatically in past two decades since the introduction of the Flavr Savr tomato that displayed delays in ripening after harvest.

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Topics: Food Safety

Food Safety News Sets off Alarm Bells for American Consumers

Posted by SugarCreek

Jun 6, 2014 3:19:00 PM

The American pork market is in a time of change. Americans are still buying pork, but with cost at an all-time high and plenty of other choices on the market, consumers are not as bound to purchase pork products as they were in the past. Further driving up the cost of pork— and possibly leading to consumer fears of food safety— are recent outbreaks of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, or PEDv.

While industry experts have, as yet, been unable to control the epidemic, alleviating consumer fears that arise from food safety news may be the best thing that the food service industry can do to help bring the pork sales back to an even keel.

Significance of Food Safety Concerns for the Industry

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Topics: American eating habits, Food Safety

Marketing Meat in the Face of Consumer Fears

Posted by SugarCreek

May 30, 2014 8:30:00 AM

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service website lists the following meat recalls for April and May, 2014:

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Topics: American eating habits, Food Safety