Birko Blog

As a leader in food safety, Birko is at the forefront of industry research and trends. Fighting resident foodborne pathogens, developing plant sanitation solutions, sanitary design of custom equipment, and precision chemical blending. In this space, our experts share their insights on these and other timely topics.

How to Take a Proactive Approach to Bioterrorism

Editor’s note: Miles Murphy, Birko’s technical sales representative for the Pacific Northwest, is working towards a degree in food safety regulation where he’s studying the latest updates on food safety legislation and best food handling practices. He’ll share his learnings and insights on larger food safety trends, gained from his research and discussions with food production companies. Yesterday, President Trump signed into law H.R. 1283 which is known as the “Securing our Agriculture and Food Act.” This bill will work as an amendment to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and will require an allocation of $500,000 a year according to… Read More

My 3 takeaways from the MBAA Technical Summit

Yesterday I attended the Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA) Rocky Mountain District Technical Summit where 12 speakers shared lots of pertinent info for brewers. Here are my three takeaways from the event: The most over-looked piece of equipment in the brewery also happens to be one of the most important: the glycol system. The glycol system allows for temperature control during fermentation, aging and in the brite tank but many brewers do not give their glycol unit much thought. That is until it breaks down, typically on the hottest or coldest day of the year. Then brewers have to… Read More

If it’s not documented, it didn’t happen

Last week, I was a co-presenter on a webinar hosted by the Produce Marketing Association, “Sanitation – your best crisis management tool.” My portion of the discussion focused on how produce companies can verify sanitation as a preventive control under the Food Safety Modernization Act. FSMA considers sanitation to be a preventive control, and requires that facilities not only verify the effectiveness of their sanitation processes, but also maintain records to show that these sanitation preventive controls are consistently implemented and effective. Sanitation processes in food processing facilities are intended to removal soil from the processing equipment and the processing… Read More

How to Stay Safe When You Clean and Sanitize Your Brewery

A Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is a document that chemical providers are required by law to provide to customers that buy any potentially hazardous chemical. The purpose of an SDS is to ensure that workers understand the hazards of the chemicals they work with or might be exposed to while at work. This helps employees know which proper protective equipment (PPE) they need to safely handle and use the product, and know what to do in case of an accident or spill. It is important that employees are familiar with the format and understand the contents of the SDSs. Safety… Read More

Don’t Overlook This Spot When Protecting Your Plant From Listeria

Listeria monocytogenes remains a major cause of foodborne illness in produce and ready to eat (RTE) food products. Because Listeria can survive and grow in cold, wet environments, it can become “resident” in a food processing facility. Persistent, resident Listeria in a plant means that food that comes into the plant in a clean state can become contaminated during processing. As a result, food processing companies are increasingly using a “search-and-destroy” strategy to detect and control Listeria. This is especially true for fresh fruit and vegetable packers and processors and RTE processors. Both of which produce products that typically go… Read More