As I walked the aisles of PACK EXPO International last October a majority of the booths I visited focused on one of two things: providing machinery with a smaller footprint or building equipment with improved sanitary design features. Some exhibitors showcased equipment that featured both benefits. But neither of these trends are new. What struck me is that the food and beverage processing industry continues to demand even smaller equipment and better sanitation.
Despite advances in sanitary design over the past decade, all we need to do is look at news headlines to know why the work must continue. As we were putting the final touches on this issue the CDC has just warned consumers not to eat romaine lettuce as they determine the source of yet another lettuce-related illness outbreak.
Earlier this year, the United States suffered lettuce-related recalls due to a Cyclospora outbreak. This mighty pathogen has not reared its head at this level in almost a decade. Turn to Pages 61-63 in this issue for more about Cyclospora.
Other major challenges the industry faces are the tightening labor market and doing more with less staff, while simultaneously dealing with increased output and SKU proliferations.
This issue of ProFood World hits a timely nail on the head with not only an in-depth report on Cyclospora but also with a special report on plant cleaning and sanitation. And for those under pressure to increase output in the SKU explosion era, we’ve got you covered with a feature article on how to best complete a plant expansion project.
If you are looking for more solutions to plant floor production issues, make plans now to register for ProFood Tech coming to McCormick Place in Chicago on March 26-28, 2019. Your processing and packaging solutions will be front and center with 450 exhibitors and free educational sessions. Visit www.profoodtech.com to learn more.