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Production Process Insights

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Don’t Get Caught on the Dark Side of the Grey Market

Posted by John Powalisz on 4/22/19 8:00 AM

All food and beverages undergo some form of processing, and those processes need to follow a variety of local, national and international food safety regulations. Buying certified samplers from authorized sellers is critical to ensuring your plant has the right sampling equipment to meet these standards and keep our food supply safe.

Yet many plants purchase sampling equipment outside manufacturers’ authorized distribution channels – also known as the grey market. According to the Harvard Business Review, an estimated $7 billion to $10 billion worth of products are sold every year in the United States outside these authorized channels. Most consumers and businesses buy items on the grey market because prices are generally lower.

But investing in these unauthorized products doesn’t give you the same peace of mind as those with genuine ones, and it could bring you back to square one both financially and in terms of inspection violations.

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Topics: Food & Beverage, Solids & Powder, Liquid & Slurry

Representative Sampling from All-Purpose to Whole Wheat - Part 2

Posted by John Powalisz on 3/11/19 8:00 AM

Read Part I in this series to learn about the importance and impact of representative sampling.


Recent recalls of flour contaminated with salmonella and E. Coli have placed an increased focus on pathogen detection at milling operations.

Flour is considered a raw food product, since most flour products don’t undergo a heat treatment or kill process like ready-to-eat foods. Contaminated flour can make people sick if they eat under-cooked or uncooked flour-based foods, such as cookie dough or cake, muffin and bread mixes. 

It’s essential to implement a sampling process that provides a statistically significant sample for pathogen testing so you can quickly and accurately detect any contamination issues.

Whether you’re testing for pathogens or physical properties, samples should be statistically significant and represent the characteristics of the entire lot. The bottom line is that you want to divide an entire lot into small manageable units, then take a number of units regularly from the process. 

The samples should be taken from a place in the process where the material is well-mixed and won’t introduce bias (exclude different-sized particles or kill pathogens that might be present). The number of samples and sample mass collected should be related mathematically to the confidence level that is being targeted – for example, 95% confidence level requiring 60 samples of the lot.

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Topics: Food & Beverage

Representative Sampling from All-Purpose to Whole Wheat - Part 1

Posted by John Powalisz on 2/28/19 8:00 AM

The CDC estimates that each year in the United States, 48 million people get sick, 12,000 people are hospitalized, and 3,000 people die from food-borne diseases. And recent recalls of flour contaminated with Salmonella and Escherichia Coli (E. Coli) have placed an increase focus on pathogen detection at milling operations as flour is considered a raw food product. 

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPC) requires virtually every food manufacturer, processor, packer and storage facility – including millers – to identify hazards in their foods and processes, and implement controls to minimize these hazards.

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Topics: Food & Beverage

Milk and Dairy Sampling: Technologies to Reduce Risk and Increase Efficiency

Posted by Sentry Equipment on 1/25/18 10:30 AM

In 2016, food recalls surged 22% to 764, with many tied to the dairy industry. Contaminated dairy products can be linked to consumer illness, with the potential to permanently damage a dairy’s brand. How can milk and milk ingredient processors turn the tide, while complying with new and expanding regulations?

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Topics: Food & Beverage

Join the Conversation! Food Safety: How Representative Sampling Can Reduce Your Risk

Posted by Sentry Equipment on 10/11/17 9:19 AM

The challenges in food production are growing more intense every year. Expanding regulations, foodborne illness outbreaks, and product recalls are increasing demand for better food safety practices. How can you keep up?

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Topics: Food & Beverage

Automatic Sampling: Helping The Dairy Industry Lead The Way In Food Safety

Posted by John Powalisz on 7/26/17 2:00 PM

In 2016, food recalls surged 22% to 764, with many tied to the dairy industry. Contaminated dairy products can be linked to consumer illness, with the potential to permanently damage a dairy’s brand. How can milk and milk ingredient processors turn the tide, while complying with new and expanding regulations? Automatic sampling can help ensure that milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream producers not only comply with the latest regulations, but also avoid harmful and expensive recalls that can lead to brand damage – or worse.

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Topics: Food & Beverage

How Representative Sampling Can Improve Food Safety

Posted by John Powalisz on 5/10/17 2:30 PM

Expanding regulations. Foodborne illness outbreaks and product recalls. Intensifying demand for food and beverage safety. The challenges in food and beverage production are growing more intense every year. How can you keep up?

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Topics: Food & Beverage

The Best Way to Sample Flour for Quality Control

Posted by Tod Myers on 4/12/17 10:15 AM

A flour mill operations manager often starts the day by checking processing data in the lab where product samples are tested to assess the mill’s performance and check for any issues such as contamination.

Proper flour sampling can make or break quality control analysis in a flour milling operation. A quality control test is only as good as the tested sample, which is only as good as the flour sampling technique used to obtain a true representative sample that has the characteristics of the whole lot or batch that’s tested.

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Topics: Food & Beverage, Solids & Powder

How Sweetener Sampler Eliminates Potential Contamination

Posted by John Powalisz on 4/5/17 11:00 AM

Just as trusted ingredients are critical to a food production operation; automated sampling is a critical part of any ingredient manufacturer’s processes. A nutrition and health food ingredient supplier to the food, beverage and dietary supplement industries needed to analyze representative samples of its product: polydextrose, which is a sweetener ingredient used in bakery products, beverages and baby food.

This food supplier’s customers requested it use modern biological contamination sampling techniques of its product to ensure quality.

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Topics: Food & Beverage

How to Select an Aseptic Sampler for Food Production

Posted by John Powalisz on 3/29/17 10:30 AM

In the food industry, aseptic equipment is vital to ensure food safety. That equipment includes aseptic samplers used by quality control personnel to easily and safely sample liquids from closed systems such as food and beverage process lines and vessels. Aseptic samplers guide the product through a hermetically sealed system directly into a bottle without contact to the environment.

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Topics: Food & Beverage