"The goal of the summit is to educate, exchange information and open the lines of communication between the different segments of industry, public health officials and regulatory agencies," says Amanda Blair, professor and SDSU Extension meat science specialist.
Topics of discussion will be:
Egg Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP)
Sustainable alternatives for poultry food safety
Adulterated product monitoring and recalls
New swine inspection system
FlexXray Announces Significant Growth Investment
The investment from Warburg Pincus and Tilia Holdings will allow the company to increase market adoption, expand geographic reach and broaden service offerings, it said.
ARLINGTON, Texas, and NEW YORK CITY and CHICAGO — FlexXray, a provider of X-ray inspection and recovery services for food companies, has announced a significant growth investment from Warburg Pincus, a global growth investor and Tilia Holdings, a Chicago-based private investment firm focused exclusively on the food and nutrition supply chain.
FlexXray is a provider of x-ray inspection services focused exclusively on food safety. FlexXray assists food manufacturers with regulatory compliance and food safety issues by identifying and removing foreign contaminants from food. Hundreds of manufacturing plants in North America rely on FlexXray's expertise and customer service to salvage valuable products when contamination events occur in the normal course of the food manufacturing process, the company said. FlexXray was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Arlington, Texas.
"FlexXray provides a best-in-class solution to protect customer brands, retailer relationships and most importantly, consumer health and safety. This investment represents a significant opportunity to grow the business, while creating important environmental benefits for our customers by reducing food waste. We believe that Warburg Pincus and Tilia are the ideal partners to support us in our next chapter and look forward to leveraging their global network and broad resources in the food safety space," said Randy Jesberg, CEO, FlexXray. "I would also like to thank Levine Leichtman Capital Partners for their close partnership, invaluable contribution and strategic insight over the past four years."
Warburg Pincus is an investor in food safety and food supply chain services, with current and historical investments in Certified Laboratories, Hygiena, GA Foods, SPINs, Aramark, Grubhub/Seamless, Duravant and Trimark. Tilia is also an investor in the food and nutrition supply chain with current investments in Refrig-It, Certified Laboratories, Universal Pure, Proven Partners Group, Ellison Bakery, NutriScience Innovations and Wheat Montana and historical investment in Safe Foods International Holdings.
"With the increased compliance through USDA and FDA regulations and focus on minimizing food waste, FlexXray is experiencing rapid market adoption and has significant growth opportunities ahead. The company's mission-critical services, ensuring food product safety, is backed by an incredible management team and strong customer service," said Stephanie Geveda, managing director, head of business services, Warburg Pincus.
"We are excited to partner with Randy and the FlexXray team, alongside Tilia, to build upon FlexXray's history of success to enhance and expand their offerings in this dynamic and growing market," said Michael Pan, Principal, Warburg Pincus.
"FlexXray is well-positioned to meet the growing consumer demand for a safe and environmentally-friendly food supply chain. The investment in FlexXray reflects our ongoing mission to invest in companies that help make the food supply chain safer for our customers and ultimately, the end consumer," said Johannes Burlin, co-CEO, Tilia. "We are excited to partner with Warburg Pincus to bring this investment to life and extend the growth trajectory for the company."
Food Industry News Roundup for Week of July 19
What happened at IAFP 2021, food safety culture is the focus of Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association Technical Forum and more news from the week.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association (PTNPA) hosted its annual Technical Forum June 29 and 30 in Chicago. The focus was “Leading a Culture of Food Safety,” and the conference saw corporate and regulatory agency participants and presenters alike discussing the rapidly changing nature of the technology, collaboration and adaptability required to constantly manage and continue to enhance a safe, stable food supply. The PTNPA Technical Forum 2021 attracted industry leaders and representatives from around the globe.
“The PTNPA Technical Forum brings together business owners and managers, quality assurance and compliance specialists and prominent food safety and regulatory experts to openly discuss current challenges, resources and opportunities. We are proud to be an industry that embraces collaboration to create proactive programs and effective solutions resulting in supply chain improvements and innovative products — all with food safety as a priority,” said Jeannie Shaughnessy, executive director and CEO, PTNPA.
PTNPA Technical Forum Highlights
The program opened with a customized welcome message delivered by Frank Yiannas, deputy commissioner for Food and Drug Administration food policy and response, principal advisor to the FDA commissioner in the development and execution of policies related to food safety including implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and author of “Food Safety Culture: Creating a Behavior-Based Food Management System.”
“If you’re trying to advance food safety in an organization, in a state or in a country for that matter, what you’re trying to do is change human behavior … the thoughts, attitudes, actions and behaviors of people in that organization," said Yiannas. “Food safety culture and the role of behavior is so critical to food safety. To be successful, you have to be able to merge human behavioral sciences with the principles of food science.”
Presentations focused on specific methods, technology and best practices and the industry-wide elevation of food safety culture. Presenters included Lone Jespersen, principal/founder of Cultivate SA, Amberley Selesky, senior supplier food safety manager for Walmart and Sam’s Club, Donald A. Prater, associate commissioner for imported food safety at FDA, and Martin Hahn, regulatory counsel and partner at Hogan Lovells.
The PTNPA Technical Forum included interactive panels that openly discussed industry realities, expectations and actionable takeaways for effectively building a culture of food safety. Forum attendees also participated in a collaborative review of real-life food safety scenarios and possible solutions. All participants discussed prioritizing investing in people and programs in order to achieve a successful business culture of food safety.
New Era of Smarter Food Safety: FDA’s Blueprint for the Future – Food Safety Culture Prater, co-lead for Core Element 4: Food Safety Culture, part of the FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety initiative, delivered a presentation outlining current FDA priorities and programs. The FDA’s Core Elements are: tech-enabled traceability, smarter tools and approaches for prevention and outbreak response, new business models and retail modernization and promoting a culture of food safety. Prater specifically addressed the revolutionary use of technology in producing and tracing food and highlighted the importance of utilizing technology to collaborate for enhanced food safety.
Nut Industry Safety Handbook PTNPA introduced the latest edition of its Industry Handbook for Safe Processing of Nuts. The only nut industry reference guide, the association said, the handbook is used for hands-on operating procedure guidance, company training and a source for solutions. Among topics covered in the handbook are food safety plans, process validation, allergen preventive controls, supply chain management, environmental monitoring and pathogens and new sections on food defense and intentional adulteration. The handbook is frequently updated to reflect the rapidly changing food industry. The next edition will include sections on food safety culture and traceability. The handbook is available at ptnpa.org and is intended to be widely distributed and referenced.
Applied Food Diagnostics
Applied Food Diagnostics announces Reporter-Labeled Total QC Diagnostic Line for Food Pathogens
AFD’s Total QC-qPCR line of test kits simultaneously detects the target food pathogens along with the reporter-labeled quality control strain, tagged with green fluorescent protein, the company said.
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. — Applied Food Diagnostics has announced a new qPCR diagnostic product line. AFD’s Total QC-qPCR line of test kits simultaneously detects the target food pathogens along with the reporter-labeled quality control strain, tagged with green fluorescent protein, the company said.
Many food pathogen laboratories currently use GFP-tagged positive quality control strains. These GFP strains are processed concurrently with routine samples for process verification. This verification activity has been and will always continue to be a potential source of laboratory cross contamination. When a positive occurs on a molecular screening assay, the normal procedure is to culture from the enrichment and wait and additional 24-72 hours to determine if the positive is the result of quality control contamination by visual examination under UV light. This process is inherently problematic as different aliquots are utilized, Applied Solutions said. The Total QC-qPCR line immediately distinguishes a quality control positive strain tagged with a GFP while identifying a naturally occurring wild strain positives on the same aliquot during the initial rapid screening procedure.
The Total QC-qPCR line is valid for all major food pathogens including but not limited to; E. coli O157:H7, Shiga Toxin producing E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Cronobacter sakazakii, and Vibrio Cholerae.
“The addition of the GFP target allows labs to save time, labor and avoid unnecessary investigation costs. Food producers no longer need to wait an additional two to three days to know if there was laboratory error; our food systems deserve better. The results from our Total QC-qPCR line provide a higher level of certainty than any other diagnostic on the market.” says Nathan Libbey, vice president of sales and marketing.