Processor Workshop Targets Top Topics

US - The latest Poultry Processor Workshop targeted customer needs, food safety and economics.
calendar icon 27 May 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

The 2009 Poultry Processor Workshop raised awareness on customer and consumer expectations, food safety initiatives, and current and future industry economic trends. The annual conference for poultry processing management is sponsored by US Poultry & Egg Association's Poultry &Egg Institute.

"Chick-fil-A wants a quality product," said Brian Coan, Senior Purchasing Supervisor, Chick-fil-A, Atlanta. "And in order to meet future expansion goals, we expect processing plants to be up to date on the latest processing equipment, implement consistent job procedures which all personnel adhere to, and offer competitive pricing that provides a win-win partnership for the industry, the customer and the consumer."

"We have over 1400 locations, serve 130 million people daily, and we will continue to grow our business," Mr Coan added. He described challenges that impact Chick-fil-A's growth including, increasing competition, decreased traffic, and supply and demand issues.

Michael Kowalcyk, Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention, discussed 'Consumer Expectations for Food Safety in the 21st Century'. He said, "Continued focus on process improvements for safety and quality is good business."

To combat unsafe food handling, Mr Kowalcyk said, "We must plan ahead for change; analyse and predict the results; execute the plan by taking small steps in controlled circumstances; check and study the results; and take action to standardise or improve the process to control foodborne illness."

The programme, developed by a committee of experienced industry processing professionals, included a panel discussion on 'FSIS Initiatives'. Dr Isabel Arrington, Scientific Advisor to the Policy Development Division of the USDA Food Safety & Inspection Service, discussed FSIS's Salmonella risk management activities, including a progress report on the Federal Register notice and the key points in their Salmonella Initiative Program (SIP). Additional panel experts included Dr Petit Ewing (Director of Veterinary Services, Koch Foods) and Dr Barbara Masters (Senior Policy Advisor, Olsson Frank Weeda Attorneys at Law).

Other seminar sessions addressed the nuts and bolts of the latest processing equipment, food safety auditing standards, and an economic and export outlook, including the vital role exports play and data reflecting the demand for poultry meat around the world.

Presider and programme committee chairman, Bob Lauxen (left), Keystone Foods, reviewed the agenda with speakers, Brian Coan (centre) and Michael Kowalcyk (right)
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