Preventing Salmonella in Snack Food
Salmonella is most commonly transmitted through contaminated food or water and is often associated with the consumption of eggs and poultry products, these bacteria can also contaminate other foods such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, alfalfa sprouts, water, cheese, unpasteurised milk or juice. The introduction of pasteurisation has greatly reduced the number of food-borne outbreaks linked to milk and other dairy products, however, consumption of raw milk or unpasteurised cheese remains a risk factor for salmonella infections. The presence of Salmonella in the food industry is mostly found in contaminated water and then spread through improper processing, handling and storage and cross contamination. Fresh fruit and vegetables can be contaminated during harvest and irrigation water and flood waters have also contained salmonella which has then gone onto pollute seeds, lettuce and other fresh produce.
It is one of the most common bacteria found in food processing and often one of the main reasons for product recalls, we can see a recent selection of cases below.
A perfectly safe food, in theory, can become hazardous through mishandling, abuse after processing, the incorporation of contaminated ingredients, unsanitary machinery, or failure to effectively manage certain processing steps.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the Annual Epidemiological Report for 2019 saw 88 urgent inquiries (UIs) that were initiated by 23 participating countries (out of a total of 52 network countries). Most frequently, UIs were related to salmonellosis (44%), followed by listeriosis (23%), verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) (12%) infection and hepatitis A (9%).
How to Treat Salmonella
Salmonella can be destroyed at cooking temperatures above 150 degrees F. Salmonella growth can be controlled by refrigeration below 40 degrees F. Good hygiene also needs to be adhered to and the machinery should be fully hygiened regularly. Most of the snacks are cooked in some manner: baked, fried, or oven-cooked. The heating process reduces water activity, helping ensure stability, imparts desirable sensory characteristics such as colour and texture. There are other effects, however: the formation of acrylamide. Acrylamide is a naturally occurring by-product of the cooking process and forms in a wide variety of foods, including coffee, chocolate, French fries, potato chips, cereal, and even some fruits and vegetables. Acrylamide forms naturally when high-starch foods are fried, baked, or roasted at high temperatures.
Processors manufacturing snack items have an obligation to develop, document, implement and maintain an allergen management program, which has long been an integral part of third-party audit schemes such as those approved by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and private schemes managed by consulting firms. Allergen management will also be an element in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls program.
Why Choose Us?
Our machinery has a 100% hygiene guarantee with no bug traps due to the continuous welding of our metal trays and minimal parts. Our control panels are IP65 to IP69 rated (it’s your choice) so they can be washed down easily.
Wherever possible we eliminate bacteria traps as we design out edges, crevices, and shelves. We also test cleaning solutions on our conveyors to ensure there is no degradation even if concentrated chemicals are used in error occasionally.