During IFT 2013, a Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics representative said food safety needs to be top priority at all levels of food manufacturing operations.
Iuliana Nita, global marketing manager for Food and Beverage of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics’ Process Systems Business Unit, told FoodProductionDaily.com that regulation is just one reason why safety efforts need to step up.
“Today, more than ever, product success is built not just on brand quality, but food safety as well,” she said.
Nita said that increased globalization is increasing the complexity of the supply chain, which in turn is causing the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other agencies to increase food safety legislation.
“To ensure compliance, manufacturers are now being called to implement written preventative control plans regarding potential hazards that could affect food safety and verify that suppliers, both foreign and domestic, have similar controls in place,” she said.
Nita added that while manufacturers and their processing partners have made strides across the food chain in fighting contamination, more can be done. The US Centers for Disease Control reports that approximately 25% of the country’s population still gets sick from contaminated products each year, and the number of product recalls has actually increased in recent years
“For manufacturers, the goal is to prevent any potential contamination and product recalls, which can amount to millions of dollars in lost revenue and sometimes irreparable damage to a brand,” she said. “If brands take a proactive stance to ensure that food safety criteria are met, however, this self-regulation will not only prevent lost revenue, but action taken to demonstrate a company’s commitment to making safer, higher-quality products can also encourage greater customer loyalty.”
Safety and sustainability
Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics showcased at IFT a number of products intended to increase product safety, and sustainability. Its phthalate-free Tygon S3 tubing is designed to help processing operations increase their ‘green’ profile, and anticipate future legislation.
“Phthalates are commonly used to increase food and beverage tubing’s flexibility, transparency, durability and longevity,” Nita said. “However, with increasingly stringent legislation, processors anticipate transitioning to equipment that eliminates phthalates altogether.”
The Tygon S3 tubing uses bio-based material as a plasticizer, which allows food and beverage manufacturers to increase their sustainability.
“With the introduction of this new solution, Saint-Gobain is providing customers with a means to realize their green initiatives and minimize their carbon footprint,” she said.