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.

Cyclospora and Foodborne Illness

veggie tray sanitation

With Cyclospora back in the news, due to an outbreak related to fresh veggie trays that has sickened 185 and hospitalized 7, it’s time to provide a refresher on: What is Cyclospora, where does it come from and how can we prevent it from causing disease? Cyclospora, or Cyclospora cayetanensis, is a protozoan parasite that causes a gastrointestinal illness, Cyclosporiasis. Infected individuals can display a range of symptoms that range from having no clinical symptoms of disease (asymptomatic infection) to severe diarrhea resulting in dehydration and weight loss. Other less common symptoms can include anorexia, nausea, vomiting, abdominal bloating, cramping, fatigue, body… Read More

10 Places Where Pathogens Hide in Fresh Cut & Produce Processing Plants

pathogens hiding in processing plant graphic

A good police detective knows where the bad guys like to hang out, and those who are smart about food safety risks know the most likely places to find microbial contamination in a food processing facility. Do you know where to search for pathogens in your plant? Increased scrutiny surrounding sanitation has many fresh-cut and produce processors looking for ways to strengthen food safety inside their plants. As the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) prompts processors of all types and sizes to evaluate potential hazards, identifying problem areas where pathogens tend to hide will help with the development of preventive… Read More

How Automation Leads to Repeatable Processes for FSMA Compliance

automation fsma compliance

The importance of repeatable sanitation processes to ensure food safety is no secret. Food companies must establish standards and best practices in their plants so that consistent results can be expected during processing, packaging, storage and cleaning. Implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has made documenting repeatable processes even more significant, but how to comply may be unclear to some. The FDA has basic guidelines for following FSMA rules; however, it leaves decisions on how to follow the rules up to the food processing companies.

A Food Safety Game-Changer: Your First Look at Birko’s Elite 360® Precision Application Technology

Birko Elite 360

Interventions. Decontamination. Antimicrobial interventions. Intervention application. Precision application. No matter what you call it, it is a crucial step for any food manufacturer. And we’ve created a way to make this process more effective, efficient and cost-effective: Elite 360® precision application technology™. Elite 360® is a groundbreaking new electrostatic intervention technology that has the potential to significantly improve the safety of today’s food. The use of electrostatic in the protein industry isn’t new, but our ability to harness this technology in an application that solves significant food safety issues is new. As I recently told the attendees of the NAMI… Read More

After the Storm: Advice for Food Processors and Growers Affected by Hurricane Florence

As some processors begin to resume operations after Hurricane Florence, others will face significant challenges before reopening. In addition to the flooding, downed trees, power outages and other devastation everyone is facing in the affected regions, food producers and processors will encounter additional challenges. Flood water is unpleasant. It’s a mixture of mud, sewage, bacteria, debris and toxins that were picked up from effluent lagoons, mine waste dumps, chemical spills and anything else in the flooded areas. Crops in fields that were flooded are most likely unfit for harvest and food use and processing facilities may have been contaminated. The… Read More