3 Main Sources of Food Contamination

Salmonella in eggs, E-coli bacteria in ground beef, and pesticides in infant formula are just a few contaminations since the turn of the century that have ravaged the food supply and crippled the food processing and manufacturing industries. Eagle Technologies and other equipment manufacturers work hard to ensure that the contamination does not begin with the machines that are designed to process and package the food.

We manufacture systems that package and fill food products safely. However, food contaminants may still breach the machinery to infect the food it is processing. Here are a list of the most common contamination points that you should make sure to address in your manufacturing process.

1. Contamination from the Source

Meat, raw veggies, eggs and milk can be contaminated with e-coli, salmonella or other food borne pathogens before they even reach the processing plant. These products are exposed while in or on the ground through contact with animal feces, bacterial infection, and contaminated ground water. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, eggs are often contaminated before they are deposited by the hen, through salmonella present in the hen’s ovaries.

2. Contact in Pre-Processing

Slaughterhouses are notorious for co-mingling meats before and after slaughter, thus causing contamination. Contact with pathogens can also occur during transit, when the food is sitting idle in the back of a hot truck. Improperly cooled or heated food only heightens the problem. Food that only contains a few microbes can become a teaming piece of bacterial heaven after sitting in transit for a few hours.

3. Problems During Processing

Contamination during processing involves environmental contaminants like metal shavings, pesticides and chemicals used to operate and maintain the machinery. Eagle Technologies and many other companies incorporate safety measures to ensure that the food is safe during manufacturing. However, contamination can occur from improper maintenance, improper use of the machines and breaches in the ventilation system that leads to the processing area.

Most contaminants can be defeated after processing with high heat or freezing. Other types of contaminations requires immediate disposal of the food. Fortunately, Eagle Technologies offers a wide array of services to help their customers with proper installation, maintenance and operation of all the equipment purchased.

Check back on Thursday for a discussion on the five most common food contaminants.

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