BUFFALO GROVE, ILL. – Xcluder is expanding its line of rodent-proof products with the launch of new Dock Door Vertical Side Seals, patented Pull Chain Seals and Dock Leveler Seals with new Slide-’n-Seal technology. The suite of products is designed to safeguard every potential rodent entry point surrounding a loading dock - an area that, left unprotected, provides a popular thoroughfare for rodents and other pests. The Slide-’n-Seal technology allows for easy installation and replacement of existing brush seals.
Xcluder Dock Door Vertical Side Seals protect the small vertical gap on either side of a loading dock door. They feature a durable rubber gasket lined with Xcluder Rodent Proof Fill Fabric - a patented combination of stainless steel and polyfiber that is impenetrable to rats and mice. The rubber gasket creates an energy-saving weatherseal and the fill fabric is the only exclusion product on the market proven effective against rodents by the USDA APHIS Lab. Xcluder’s new Slide-’n-Seal technology means the seals fit most standard brush retainers for easy installation - simply slide out the old brush seal and slide in the new Xcluder seal. Should the Xcluder Vertical Side Seal become damaged from a forklift or other equipment use, it slides out easily for replacement.
Xcluder Pull Chain Seals for Dock Levelers protect the often-overlooked opening surrounding the pull chain on a dock leveler. This small opening provides an ideal entry point for rats and mice because the chain creates a natural ladder for them to climb and the opening is plenty spacious for them to crawl through - rodents only need an opening the size of a dime. Xcluder Pull Chain Seals are easy to install, feature solid cast aluminum construction and completely cover the chain opening. Within minutes, this hidden rodent entry point is dependably safeguarded. Available in three diameter sizes to ensure a proper fit, Xcluder Pull Chain Seals sit completely below the dock plate surface and will not interfere with dock and equipment use.
Xcluder Pest Control Dock Leveler Seals feature durable rubber gaskets and Xcluder fill fabric to create an impenetrable barrier against rodents and pests, unlike brush seals that dent and deform over time creating gaps that rodents can exploit. New Slide-’n-Seal technology means Xcluder Dock Leveler Seals fit most standard brush seal retainers so upgrading is easy and cost-effective.
“The moving parts, tiny gaps, heavy foot traffic and equipment wear and tear of loading docks make them notorious for rodent activity,” said Dave Colbert, Xcluder. “We’re excited to offer our customers a full range of products to completely protect this area and effectively shut down what is otherwise a potential super highway for rats and mice.”
Xcluder’s Loading Dock Rodent-Proof Seals are ideal for food processing and storage facilities, food distribution centers, grocery stores, pet stores, and any location in which the harsh chemicals often used in pest control must be avoided. For complete loading dock protection, it is recommended that the suite of products be used in tandem to avoid any vulnerable access points. Learn more at www.getxcluder.com.
USDA-ARS — Scientists and engineers at the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have developed a more precise method to determine a major factor in grain quality. Quality testing is dependent on accurate and repeatable tests that assure a fair marketing system. That also means tests are always tweaked and improved to meet the needs of the industry. The recent advancement deals with a test known a "falling number" (FN).
FN is a procedure used worldwide to characterize the suitability of wheat for processing into foods such as pan and flat breads, noodles, crackers, and cakes. The procedure relies on the heating of watery mixtures of starchy materials, like wheat flour, in a boiling water bath. The ‘falling number’ is literally the number of seconds it takes a standardized object to "fall" through a heated wheat meal-water mixture undergoing starch gelatinization and the enzymatic breakdown of the starch molecule. The longer the object takes to fall—a measure of its viscosity—the better the quality of the sample and the grain lot it represents.
Through experimentation in a low-pressure chamber, ARS agricultural engineer Steve Delwiche and his team at the Food Quality Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., developed the correction so that FN results can be expressed at equivalent laboratory conditions, such as what exists at sea level.
Barometric pressure variation caused by laboratory land elevation and local weather patterns means that the thermal conditions of this test can vary, as can the reported FN. Depending on the land elevation of the laboratory performing the FN test, some lots on the margin may fall above the specification, but when evaluated at a different laboratory, for example downriver at a sea terminal, the result may fall on the other side. This can lead to uncertainty and inefficiency in the market system. Commonly, lots with FN below 300 seconds are discounted by $0.25 per bushel. A new mathematical correction addresses this variation problem.
Starting in May 2019, USDA’s Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) will implement the correction in a new release of their directive on falling number. Likewise, the American Association of Cereal Chemists International (AACCI) has amended its approved method on FN as an optional correction.
Wheat grown in the Pacific Northwest (PNW—Washington, Oregon, and Idaho) is a $1.5 billion industry just in terms of the farmgate price—the price of goods if they were purchased directly from a farm, without markup added by retailers. Most of this wheat crop is exported to customers overseas and is desired for its highly prized characteristics in end-product quality. PNW wheat tends to be grown at higher elevations than other regions in the country. So, too, are the laboratories that evaluate PNW wheat. The high land elevations of grain inspection laboratories in this region result in lower water boiling temperatures, and hence longer "cook" times during the FN operation.
Implementation of this correction by the grain industry will allow for more accurate management of wheat consignments, which, for lots in the PNW alone that give test results near the 300 second cutoff, may result in savings of $10 million recaptured to the growers in weather-challenged years that foster low FN wheat.
In April, the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement Board voted to strengthen mandatory food safety practices required on farms. This means that every box of leafy greens placed into commerce by a certified LGMA member will soon be produced under new, more stringent requirements that are designed to reduce risk when it comes to water used in growing leafy greens. The updates include specific directives such as no longer allowing the use of untreated surface water for overhead irrigation of leafy greens prior to harvest.
The LGMA program has always required growers to test their water because it can be a carrier of pathogens. But the new requirements now include additional safeguards that ensure farmers:
- categorize the source of the water;
- consider how and when water is applied to the crop;
- conduct testing to assure the water is safe for the intended use;
- sanitize water if necessary;
- verify that all of the above precautions have been taken
The new standards approved by the LGMA Board are in direct response to investigations conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration into last year’s E. coli outbreak involving romaine lettuce. Clues pointed to irrigation water from sources such as canals and reservoirs as a possible cause of the both the November outbreak and the one associated with romaine from Yuma last spring.
Government and the produce industry in general looked to the LGMA as the way to improve the safety of leafy greens. The leafy greens industry group, facilitated by Western Growers, has been working with industry members, growers and members of the academic community to fashion new and more stringent requirements for agricultural water use. And, in fact, the actions taken by the LGMA Board have effectively changed the way 99% of the leafy greens in California are farmed.
The LGMA will begin immediately to make sure everyone in the leafy greens community understands how to comply with the new requirements. The updated LGMA Food Safety Practices document is available on the LGMA website. Additional information on specific changes to the LGMA food safety practices will be provided in the coming weeks and dates for workshops and webinars for both leafy greens industry members and the buying trade will be scheduled soon.
Chanhassen, Minn.-based ERP Solutions, a provider of advanced quality management solutions for Microsoft Dynamics AX and 365, has introduced a new version of its total quality control management (TQCM) software. This release incorporates new functionality and continuing improvements to the product’s existing rich feature set. Auditing now includes vendor audits with e-signature approvals, power applications for remote auditing, and uploading of audit results directly into Dynamics 365. Audits also support external regulatory and customer audits and all Audit types directly communicate to nonconformance and corrective actions.
Total Quality Control Management for Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations is certified by Microsoft and is a suite of solutions to control the quality of products, processes, customers, and vendors. Featured on Microsoft AppSource, TQCM continues a long tradition of delivering solutions on Microsoft Platforms since 2004 with customers worldwide, the company said. “Localization is key for our global customers and today we support multiple languages with global tables and intercompany processes,” said ERP Solutions President Tim Holmquist. “Regulatory considerations are also key to our global customers and our processes support TITLE 21 CFR Part 11.”
The TQCM suite of modules includes Customer Complaints, Nonconformance Reporting, 8D Corrective and Preventative Actions, Instrument Calibration, Auditing, Inspections, and Lot Sampling supporting worldwide standards including ISO, ANSI, and NIST. For more information, visit www.erpsolutions.biz, Microsoft AppSource or YouTube.