World Quality Day: Food Safety in the Spotlight After Supreme Court of Canada Decision

Food safety

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal that would have seen Maple Leaf Foods held responsible for financial and reputational losses that occurred during the listeriosis outbreak in 2008.

The outbreak at the Bartor Road plant in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 2008 resulted in 22 deaths and is considered one of the deadliest food safety outbreaks in Canadian history. The contamination affected a number of cold cut products produced at the plant. The cause of the outbreak was the cleaning procedures of two slicing machines that had meat residue lodged deeply inside their internal workings, which allowed the bacteria to grow unchecked over a long period of time despite the thorough cleaning and maintenance of the working surfaces. Maple Leaf Foods had an exemplary record for food safety up to that point and had demonstrated a high level of attention to food safety and quality for several years. … Read more...

11 Scary Facts About Work and the Workplace

Business man afraid of his own shadow monster concept on grungy background

Think ghosts and goblins are scary? Think again! We’ve got some fun, sad and scary facts for you this Halloween.

Scary monsters show up on Halloween, but the workplace can be scary all year round. Here are 11 scary facts about the workplace:

  1. The average work desk is approximately 400 times dirtier than the average toilet seat. A recent study found there are in fact around 10 million bacteria that live on your office desk.
  2. People with sedentary jobs are twice as likely to die of heart disease than those with active jobs.
  3. Roughly 10,000 Japanese workers drop dead at their desks as the result of 60- to 70-hour work weeks. This phenomenon is called “karoshi.”
  4. 71% of American workers are disengaged at work.
  5. 58% of people say they trust strangers more than their own boss.
  6. Middle
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25 Tips to Stay Safe While Celebrating the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July should be a fun family holiday, so follow these tips to avoid a trip to the emergency room.

The Fourth of July is the quintessential summer holiday in the United States. It’s a fun celebration, filled with picnics and barbecues, fireworks displays and time spent in pools and on beaches and on boats. It also can be a painful day for many, and results in thousands of trips to the emergency room each year. Injuries caused by mishandled fireworks, drownings and boating injuries, fires and burns related to grilling incidents, insect stings, food poisoning and car crashes are just some of the fun buzz kills seen by ER doctors and nurses.

This year, a new layer of safety concerns has been added. Celebrating Independence Day will be different this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The American Red Cross offers these safety tips you can … Read more...

How Hello Fresh and Intelex Are Managing the Global Food Supply Chain

Today’s global food supply chains are more complex than they’ve ever been. Until recently, consumers ate the food they grew in their communities and would adjust their diet to suit the seasonal availability of various products like fruits and vegetables. Today, consumers can have food from any part of the world as part of their regular diet. In the United States alone, food travels on average 1,300 miles from farm to fork, with 33% of products and 80% of seafood imported from other countries. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates food products that are processed by more than 300,000 different facilities in over 150 different countries.

In such a complex supply chain, food travels around the world in the custody of multiple agents, with variations in documentation and processing resulting in loss of critical information about food origins and authenticity. In many cases, the food itself goes … Read more...

The Intelex Quality Top 10 for 2019

Intelex provides tons of posts, webinars, and insight reports every year to help you figure out how to manage EHSQ better. Here’s our Top 10 resources on quality, all in one place!

It’s time to celebrate the Top 10 most popular or insightful blog posts, reports, or webinars we’ve brought to you in 2019 on quality-related topics! We picked these results based on feedback and interest and hope that they’ll help you learn more about the critical role quality plays in EHSQ. See you in 2020!

#10 – A Digital Transformation for Voice of the Customer (VoC) (Blog Post – September 17, 2019): This quick story shows how Fuji Xerox used their digital transformation initiatives to improve Net Promoter Score (NPS) from -4 (bad) to +35 (very good). To do this, the implemented a VoC data collection and management system.

#9 – Quality Failures Can Leave You In the DarkRead more...

Canadian Honey Producers Stung by Sophisticated Food Fraud

Food fraud is big business. Criminal organizations around the world earn millions of dollars annually by cutting high-quality food products with cheaper substitutes to increase profits. The practice is so ubiquitous throughout the food industry that food protection agencies refer to it as economically motivated adulteration (EMA) The consequences of this practice can include reputational damage to respected food brands, public health crises resulting from adulteration using hazardous elements designed to avoid standard integrity testing, and financial damage to legitimate producers who can’t compete with cheaper adulterated products.  

According to a recent news story, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has been conducting targeted surveillance on international producers of adulterated honey entering the Canadian market since 2018. By analyzing 240 samples of imported honey, CFIA determined that one-fifth of the samples advertised as pure honey are adulterated with corn syrup, rice syrup, and cane sugar syrup. As a result of the inspection, … Read more...

Protecting the food supply chain from fraud and malicious attack

Every few years, an intentional adulteration of the food supply grabs headlines around the world. In 2008, Chinese dairy manufacturers added the chemical melamine, a plasticizing agent, to milk and infant formula to boost the detectable protein levels, resulting in the hospitalization of 54,000 children and six deaths. The 2013 EU horse meat scandal, in which horse meat was substituted for beef in products sold across the EU, severely damaged consumer confidence in traceability and testing standards for meat products. Perhaps even more disturbing is the possibility of intentional contamination of the food supply to cause harm, a possibility that has gained more attention in the age of global terrorism. 

With the complexity of today’s international food supply chain, it is vital that the food industry move beyond food safety and quality approaches to incorporate food fraud—to protect against intentional contamination for economic gain—and food defence—to protect against intentional contamination to cause harm. … Read more...

Food Integrity: The Case of Canadian Meat Imports to China

In late June 2019, the Chinese government suspended all imports of Canadian meat after having discovered a shipment of Canada-labeled pork that contained residue from a banned additive called Ractopamine. Ractopamine helps animals to grow larger and leaner on less food, which means farmers spend less money on raising the animals and make a larger profit after their sale. While Ractopamine is legal in Canada and the United States, it is banned in several other countries, including China. Chinese import officials detected the residue during normal sampling and testing procedures. 

The more disturbing discovery was that the accompanying veterinary certificate that testified to the origin and quality of the meat was falsified, which was confirmed by an inspection by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). According to Canadian officials, the meat shipment is of unknown origin. The case has been referred to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for investigation. … Read more...

Processes and data-driven technology are protecting your food from contamination and adulteration

In the United States alone, food travels on average 1,300 miles from farm to fork, with 33% of produce and 80% of seafood imported from other countries. Food products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are processed by more than 300,000 different facilities in over 150 different countries. The complexity of this supply chain means that food can travel around the world in the custody of multiple agents along the way, with variations in documentation and processing resulting in loss of critical information about food authenticity and origin or even loss of the food itself. Approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food is lost from the global supply chain annually without any understanding of where it goes. Traceability and authenticity in such a complex supply chain are therefore extremely difficult to manage, especially when consumers are increasingly concerned about those assurances, as well as about additional elements like sustainability and genetically modified … Read more...

Ensuring Food Safety with Quality Management Software

Food safety characteristics have a very close connection to food quality characteristics, and while all food safety characteristics relate to quality, not all food quality characteristics relate to safety. Food quality, according to Alli (2016), relates to ensuring that products meet the established requirements for food characteristics. Garvin (1987) describes eight dimensions for measuring the characteristics of food quality: performance, features, reliability, conformance, durability, serviceability, aesthetics, and perceptions. Food safety, which relates to the characteristics that have the potential to be harmful to human health by causing illness, falls under the performance and reliability dimensions of food quality. Food safety characteristics are therefore specific kinds of food quality characteristics.

By recognizing that food safety and food quality have an integrated relationship, organizations can bring quality methods and tools to bear on the difficulties of navigating food safety regulations in their FSMS (Food Safety Management System). With food supply chains now … Read more...