Dairy Processing - September/October 2023 - 60

FOOD SAFETY
Preparing for the
worst
An FDA veteran provides tips on navigating a food recall or outbreak.
by Benton Smith | bmsith@sosland.com
W
hen longtime food safety expert Roberta Wagner
looks back on one of the largest food recalls
in United States history, involving the Peanut
Corporation of America's salmonella outbreak some 15 years
ago, she remembers how surprised many people were to learn
there was a peanut butter recall involving that bacterium.
" How can it survive in this low moisture food? " she
recalled of what some people found perplexing.
Wagner, who spent 28 years working for the US Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) in a variety of roles, including
associate commissioner for Food Safety Modernization
Act (FSMA) implementation, said she has witnessed
similar reactions to the idea that ice cream can become
contaminated. The assumption, she explained, is that
pathogens would be unable to grow in a freezer.
" Guess what, under the right circumstances, they can, "
she said.
That's just one example of why Wagner, now the senior
vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs for the
International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), always tells
dairy processors to make sure they are vigilant with controls
- and making sure those controls are working as intended -
inside of their facilities.
" I think for all dairy processors, keep up with the science, "
she offered as one of her go-to pieces of advice for the
industry. " What we see is foods we never thought would be a
problem can become a problem. "
Of course, the dairy industry has seen through the
years varying levels of listeria outbreaks tied to ice cream
manufacturers. The presence of the same bacterium has led to
some cheese recalls.
'DAIRY'S DOING A REALLY GOOD JOB'
Focusing on Class I recalls, Wagner said the food safety and
outbreak related issues dairy processors are most likely to
run into are listeria in cheese ( " every once in a while " ) and
ice cream, as well as salmonella with some dairy powders and
whey proteins, and even ice cream at times.
60 SEP-OCT 2023 | DAIRYPROCESSING.COM
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Dairy Processing - September/October 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dairy Processing - September/October 2023

Dairy Processing - September/October 2023 - Intro
Dairy Processing - September/October 2023 - 1
Dairy Processing - September/October 2023 - 2
Dairy Processing - September/October 2023 - 3
Dairy Processing - September/October 2023 - 4
Dairy Processing - September/October 2023 - 5
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