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CERTUS

Food Safety Best Practices – Part I (Personnel)

By | Best Practices, Blog

The FDA has rigorous guidelines outlining how food manufacturers should manage their businesses. These rules cover everything from weeding the lawn to the kind of grouting and enamel to use on table surfaces. In this short series of posts, CERTUS is going to take you through some of the most relevant (and easily overlooked) parts of the “Current good manufacturing practices” (CGMP.)

Personnel Guidelines:

One of the most important parts of any business is the employee. Whether it’s the floor manager overseeing quality assurance activities, or the associate on the line working directly with your product: the FDA requires strict adherence to several policies and procedures for food safety.

Disease Control and Cleanliness:

  • Any employee with open wounds, lesions, or illness is expected to avoid contact with the food, even if this means being excused from work until the issue is resolved.
  • All workers in contact with your product must maintain good hygienic practices, including the washing of hands after an absence from the area in which food is being prepared or processed.
  • No associate can wear unnecessary jewelry which may come in contact with the product. If the jewelry cannot be reasonably removed, the employee must cover it with appropriate material.
  • Your business must provide your employees appropriate hair netting, caps, or similar hair restraints.
  • Additional protections may be required to prevent contamination from cosmetics, tobacco, or medicines applied to your employees’ skin.

Education, Training, and Supervision:

 Anyone in your employee who regularly oversees sanitation failures or food contamination must have education or experience which qualifies them to accurately examine said components of your food safety.

  • Food handlers must receive training in food handling techniques, including topics such as food-protection principles, and hygienic risks.
  • Any supervision of these instructions (or management) activities must be undertaken by competent personnel.

There are many specific guidelines provided by the FDA. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, so we recommend you take a look at the full guide on the FDA’s website. Following these guidelines is an excellent first step towards food safety for your product and your business.

Press Release 5.8.18

By | Press

CERTUS Debuts Innovative In-House Pathogen Detection System at 20th Annual Food Safety Summit in Chicago

CHICAGO – May 8, 2018 – CERTUS, innovators in food safety technologies, will hold its first official public debut of the CERTUS System at the 20th Annual Food Safety Summit, May 8-10, 2018, being held at the Donald Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. Summit attendees, especially food processors, are invited to visit the CERTUS booth (#735) for live demonstrations of the CERTUS System.

Based on SERS nanoparticle technology, the CERTUS System is a fully-functional, entirely in-house system, enabling food producers to independently develop and manage pathogen environmental monitoring programs without the need for outsourced testing, complex training or expensive lab facilities. The CERTUS System is on track for market availability in July 2018.

CERTUS will demonstrate its simple 3 step workflow, Sample, Test, Result, which features the patent pending Bio-Lock Sampling Swab that prevents cross contamination, and the Detection Unit, all managed by the intuitive “Control Pad” wireless user interface.  In 24 hours or less, food processors and labs of all sizes will have accurate results with integrated FSMA compliance enabling analytics all in one, all in-house with the CERTUS System.

“A simpler, safer and smarter alternative is finally here for small and medium sized food producers.” said John Coomes, President of CERTUS.

For more information on the CERTUS System, stop by our FSS booth (#735) or visit certusfoodsafety.com.

ABOUT CERTUS™
CERTUS changes the way food safety testing is done and helps reduce food-borne illness with a new generation of food pathogen detection devices and processes that are precise, affordable and easy to use.  Making rapid pathogen detection and prevention Simple, Safe and Smart. CERTUS integrates historically embraced values into future technology to bring innovation and expansive vision to the food safety industry. CERTUS joins the Toho Technology group of companies as a new brand specializing in Food Safety.  Founded in 1819 in Nagoya, Japan, Toho is a privately-held company that provides engineering, manufacture, distribution and support of diverse industrial and life-science technologies to customers around the world. With significant expertise in precision instrumentation and equipment sales, Toho Technology advances the way products are made, tested and verified within the fields of food safety, healthcare, and nanotechnologies. The company currently operates multiple facilities in Chicago, Illinois; Japan; Shanghai, China and Jakarta, Indonesia. Toho Technology Inc. is the launch site for the CERTUS global expansion with all R&D, operations and sales centered in its Chicago location.

To learn more, visit certusfoodsafety.com or call us at 872-810-4123.

Full Article

UK Laboratory Selects the Solus Pathogen Detection System over Vidas

By | Blog

UK Laboratory Selects the Solus Pathogen Detection System over Vidas

 

ALS Rotherham pathogen laboratory tests over half a million samples each year. Samples include raw and cooked meats and fish, dairy, chocolate and a number of ready-to-eat products. ALS Rotherham performed pathogen testing using six VIDAS units. But as industry demands increased, the laboratory needed to either purchase additional VIDAS units, or find an alternative solution all-together.

Throughput

VIDAS Solus
6 VIDAS units 3 Solus DS2 units
5 runs per day 3 runs per day
30 samples per run, per unit 186 samples per run, per unit
900 samples per day 1674 samples per day

 

Space

VIDAS Solus
Bench space for 6 VIDAS units and heat blocks 32.5 square feet Bench space for 3 Solus DS2 units and heat blocks 12.75 square feet
Refrigeration space for 1 week supply of test kits 22 cubic feet Refrigeration space for 1 week supply of test kits 1.4 cubic feet

 

Personnel

VIDAS Solus
Hand-pipetting 900 samples per day Automated pipetting
Training – N/A 1-2 days training with Solus representative on-site
Constant hands-on technician time Up to 90 minutes between runs for a technician to perform other tasks

 

ALS Rotherham made the move to Solus and is now processing nearly twice as many samples per day with lower associated costs. Fewer kit deliveries are required and refrigeration space has been reallocated to other stock. Technicians now have time to carry out other tasks during the work day and are less likely to suffer repetitive stress injuries.

Full Whitepaper

Safe Ingredients Check – Vetting Raw Materials

By | Blog

Focus your control efforts

The FDA recommends focusing your control efforts on the raw materials and ingredients that are most likely to contain pathogens like Listeria. In fact, they say that you should treat any raw (or vulnerable) materials as if they are carrying those pathogens.

Identify suspect materials

Factors that impact the potential for an ingredient to be a source of contamination include:

  • The nature of an ingredient, including intrinsic factors such as pH and water activity;
  • The manufacturing process for the ingredient;
  • Supplier approval programs, programs that follow the practices described in this guidance for control of L. monocytogenes, and verification programs.

In addition to these, any ingredients not properly treated for L. monocytogenes also poses a significant risk in your supply chain. Listed below are some of the most common treatment methods. If your raw materials have not undergone any of these steps, consider a change in your food safety strategy.

  • Aseptically processed and packaged;
  • Retorted (e.g., canned);
  • Ethylene oxide treated or irradiated in the package;
  • Pasteurized (or equivalent treatment) in the package;
  • Other approved lethal technologies (in the package)

Again, in the absence of adequate information about the risk presented by a particular ingredient, we recommend that you assume that the ingredient could be contaminated with L. monocytogenes.

Containing the risk

One of the best ways to prevent contamination is to identify all of the raw materials which could potentially be a host for L. Monocytogenes and treat them with a listericidal control measure. The best time to apply such treatments is while the ingredient is raw, or at the in-process stage during mixture.

The FDA also recommends establishing treatment protocols with your suppliers; this can serve as another step to prevent outbreaks and contamination. While spot checks are a great part of everyday quality assurance, they (on their own) do not serve as an adequate replacement for a hands-on approach. Onsight audits, periodic inspections, and developing procedures for vetting and selecting suppliers are a better (and safer) way to ensure food safety.

In fact, according to new FDA standards, as of September 2017, most large food manufacturers are expected to develop these kinds of supply-chain measures. For more information, consult the FDA’s PCHF guidelines.

Asia Food Journal 3-9-18

By | News

Fully in-house pathogen detecting system from CERTUS for food processing plants

“Being part of the Toho Technology family provides us with a myriad of technological and commercial benefits to ensure our products exceed the market’s expectations for precision and accuracy,” said CERTUS Director of Product Development, Dr. John Bodner. “Not only does Toho provide significant expertise in the manufacture of precision instrumentation, they also provide CERTUS with the solid infrastructure and financial backing needed to bring this level of innovation to our customers.”

In addition to partnering with Toho, CERTUS works with United Kingdom-based Solus Scientific for assay development. “One of the reasons we chose to partner with Solus is because of their efficient research and development track record on bringing to market a range of assays in the area of food safety testing,” continued Bodner.

Full Article

Manufacturing Chemist 2-16-18

By | News

Certus starts manufacture of novel in-house pathogen detection system

New Certus System Detection Unit is designed to bring small and mid-sized food processing plants one step closer to a fast, easy and cost-effective way to detect pathogens.

The Certus System Detection Unit is an entirely in-house system, enabling food producers to perform environmental monitoring without the need for outsourced testing. The system is based on SERS nanoparticle technology made available through an exclusive license agreement with global medical technology organisation, Becton, Dickinson & Company.

With the commencement of manufacturing, the Certus System Detection Unit is on track for market availability in June 2018.

Manufacturing of the Detection Unit is being carried out at Certus’ parent company and precision manufacturer Toho Technology.

Founded in 1819 in Nagoya, Japan, Toho is a privately-held company that provides engineering, manufacture, distribution and support of diverse industrial and life-science technologies to customers around the world.

With a well-established global market presence in optical instrumentation in the fields of semiconductor, flat panel display and process engineering, Certus leverages the Toho team and talent to advance from R&D into full scale commercial production.

“Being part of the Toho Technology family provides us with a myriad of technological and commercial benefits to ensure our products exceed the market’s expectations for precision and accuracy,” said Certus Director of Product Development, Dr John Bodner.

“Not only does Toho provide significant expertise in the manufacture of precision instrumentation, they also provide Certus with the solid infrastructure and financial backing needed to bring this level of innovation to our customers.”

In addition to partnering with Toho, Certus works with UK-based Solus Scientific for assay development.

“One of the reasons we chose to partner with Solus is because of their efficient research and development track record on bringing to market a range of assays in the area of food safety testing,” said Bodner.

The Certus Listeria El assay was developed in collaboration with Solus in 2017, while the environmental Salmonella assay is currently under development and expected to be available for use in the Certus System in Q4 of this year.

“Through BD’s exclusive license to Certus and our strategic partnerships with Toho and Solus, we can ensure best-in-class products for our clients, with the end goal of removing the most harmful pathogens from the food system,” said Bodner.

The Certus System will be commercially available in June 2018 and will feature a simple workflow, Bio-Lock safety components and real-time monitoring for rapid results.

Full Article

Cleanroom Technology 2-16-18

By | News

Certus starts manufacture of novel in-house pathogen detection system

New Certus System Detection Unit is designed to bring small and mid-sized food processing plants one step closer to a fast, easy and cost-effective way to detect pathogens.

The Certus System Detection Unit is an entirely in-house system, enabling food producers to perform environmental monitoring without the need for outsourced testing. The system is based on SERS nanoparticle technology made available through an exclusive license agreement with global medical technology organisation, Becton, Dickinson & Company.

With the commencement of manufacturing, the Certus System Detection Unit is on track for market availability in June 2018.

Manufacturing of the Detection Unit is being carried out at Certus’ parent company and precision manufacturer Toho Technology.

Founded in 1819 in Nagoya, Japan, Toho is a privately-held company that provides engineering, manufacture, distribution and support of diverse industrial and life-science technologies to customers around the world.

With a well-established global market presence in optical instrumentation in the fields of semiconductor, flat panel display and process engineering, Certus leverages the Toho team and talent to advance from R&D into full scale commercial production.

“Being part of the Toho Technology family provides us with a myriad of technological and commercial benefits to ensure our products exceed the market’s expectations for precision and accuracy,” said Certus Director of Product Development, Dr John Bodner.

“Not only does Toho provide significant expertise in the manufacture of precision instrumentation, they also provide Certus with the solid infrastructure and financial backing needed to bring this level of innovation to our customers.”

In addition to partnering with Toho, Certus works with UK-based Solus Scientific for assay development.

“One of the reasons we chose to partner with Solus is because of their efficient research and development track record on bringing to market a range of assays in the area of food safety testing,” said Bodner.

The Certus Listeria El assay was developed in collaboration with Solus in 2017, while the environmental Salmonella assay is currently under development and expected to be available for use in the Certus System in Q4 of this year.

“Through BD’s exclusive license to Certus and our strategic partnerships with Toho and Solus, we can ensure best-in-class products for our clients, with the end goal of removing the most harmful pathogens from the food system,” said Bodner.

 

The Certus System will be commercially available in June 2018 and will feature a simple workflow, Bio-Lock safety components and real-time monitoring for rapid results.

Full Article

Press Release 2.13.18

By | Press

 

CERTUS Begins Manufacturing of Novel In-House Pathogen Detection System with Toho Technology

Food safety innovators on track for Q2/2018 market availability for small and mid-sized processing plants

CHICAGO – February 13, 2018 – CERTUS, innovators in food safety technologies, has begun manufacturing of the CERTUS System Detection Unit, bringing small and mid-sized food processing plants one step closer to a fast, easy and cost-effective way to detect pathogens. Based on SERS nanoparticle technology made available through an exclusive license agreement with BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company, the CERTUS System is an entirely in-house system, enabling food producers to perform environmental monitoring without the need for outsourced testing. With the commencement of manufacturing, the CERTUS System Detection Unit is on track for market availability in June 2018.

Toho engineer makes final adjustments on CERTUS Detection Unit.

Manufacturing of the Detection Unit is being carried out at CERTUS’ parent company and iconic precision manufacturer Toho Technology. Founded in 1819 in Nagoya, Japan, Toho is a privately-held company that provides engineering, manufacture, distribution, and support of diverse industrial and life-science technologies to customers around the world.  With a well-established global market presence in optical instrumentation in the fields of semiconductor, flat panel display, and process engineering, CERTUS leverages the Toho team and talent to advance out of R&D and into full-scale commercial production.

“Being part of the Toho Technology family provides us with a myriad of technological and commercial benefits to ensure our products exceed the market’s expectations for precision and accuracy,” said CERTUS Director of Product Development, Dr. John Bodner. “Not only does Toho provide significant expertise in the manufacture of precision instrumentation, they also provide CERTUS with the solid infrastructure and financial backing needed to bring this level of innovation to our customers.”

In addition to partnering with Toho, CERTUS works with United Kingdom-based Solus Scientific for assay development. “One of the reasons we chose to partner with Solus is because of their efficient research and development track record on bringing to market a range of assays in the area of food safety testing,” continued Bodner.

The CERTUS Listeria El assay was developed in collaboration with Solus in 2017, while the environmental Salmonella assay is currently under development and expected to be available for use in the CERTUS System as early as Q4 of this year.

“Through BD’s exclusive license to CERTUS and our strategic partnerships with Toho and Solus, we can ensure best-in-class products for our clients, with the end goal of removing the most harmful pathogens from the food system,” said Bodner.

The CERTUS System will be commercially available in June 2018 and will feature a simple workflow, Bio-Lock™ safety components and real-time monitoring for rapid results. For more information on CERTUS visit certusfoodsafety.com.

ABOUT CERTUS™

CERTUS changes the way food safety testing is done and helps reduce food-borne illness with a new generation of food pathogen detection devices and processes that are precise, affordable and easy to use.  Making rapid pathogen detection and prevention Simple, Safe and Smart, CERTUS is built on the foundations of empowerment, simplicity, precision, and integrity.  CERTUS seeks to integrate historically embraced values into future technology to bring innovation and expansive vision to the food safety industry.  CERTUS joins the Toho Technology group of companies as a new brand specializing in Food Safety.  Founded in 1819 in Nagoya, Japan, Toho is a privately-held company that provides engineering, manufacture, distribution, and support of diverse industrial and life-science technologies to customers around the world.  With significant expertise in precision instrumentation and equipment sales, Toho Technology advances the way products are made, tested and verified within the fields of food safety, healthcare, and nanotechnologies. The company currently operates multiple facilities in Chicago, Illinois; Japan; Shanghai, China, and Jakarta, Indonesia. Toho Technology Inc. is the launch site for the CERTUS global expansion with all R&D, operations and sales centered in its Chicago location.

To learn more, visit certusfoodsafety.com or call us at 872-810-4123.

Full Article

Crafting a Recall Plan

By | Blog

When Prevention isn’t Enough, a Carefully Crafted Recall Plan Goes into Effect

Your food safety plan should include a recall plan for each food with a hazard requiring a preventive control. According to the FDA, you must establish a written recall plan which must include procedures that describe the steps to be taken, and assign responsibility for taking those steps.

Notify the Buyer

Notify the direct consignees of the food being recalled, including how to return or dispose of the affected food.

Go Public

Notify the public about any hazard presented by the food when appropriate to protect public health.

Verify

Conduct effectiveness checks to verify that the recall is carried out.

Dispose

Appropriately dispose of recalled food. Possible disposal methods include:

Reprocessing

Reworking

Diverting to a use that does not present a safety concern

Destroying the food

For more information about recall plans, read the Federal Code of Regulations.