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.

Seek and Destroy | How Environmental Monitoring Helps Ready-to-Eat Processors Stop Food Contamination in its Tracks

environmental monitoring for food safety birko

A ready-to-eat (RTE) food processing facility with a strong food safety plan will start by implementing principles of sanitary design and follow up with documented procedures for cleaning and sanitation. But, how can you be confident that your plant is properly mitigating contamination risks, such as Listeria and other bacterial concerns, on a continual basis? How do you know for certain that your facility’s food safety plan is effective?

Witness the Future of Food Safety at IPPE 2019 in Atlanta

IPPE birko 2019

Atlanta may have hosted the Super Bowl this year, but the big event for meat and poultry processors around the world takes place in the city a little later this month. The International Production and Processing Expo, better known as IPPE, is once again held at the Georgia World Congress Center, February 12 – 14. More than 30,000 people attend this show, and Birko is excited to be an active participant in 2019. That includes our sponsorship of the annual Food Safety Council Meeting, during which Birko has the privilege of delivering opening remarks. IPPE focuses on innovations in the… Read More

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.