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I'm Driven

I take the time to fight for improving food safety.


jackpayneIn the last few months, I've been working hard with various organizations to spread the word about how important food safety is. I'm passionate about this issue because there is nothing closer to home than the food you eat, the water you drink, and the pharmaceuticals you take to stay healthy.

My wife, my kids, my family and all my friends rely on producers to be passionate about food safety as well. Consumers are demanding that manufacturers know every single ingredient that goes into their products…and the equipment that the products touch along the way. It's a tall order for any manufacturer to keep up with the community groundswell on this issue.

To be honest with you, I kind of fell into the world of food safety during my 25-odd years of working with process manufacturers. I met a lot of good, passionate people in this industry, and unfortunately, they don't get the same level of publicity as the filthy egg plant in Iowa or the now defunct peanut processing company in Georgia that we heard so much about.

My work and those passionate people led me to embrace food safety and to find ways that our company could help the really good people in the industry who care about the quality of the food that they put on your table, but that don't have the right tools to handle it. And sometimes, they didn't even know where to look to get advice.

Software today is a lot more sophisticated than it was just a couple of years ago, and it can do a lot for tracking and tracing lots that come in and go out of your plant. We built our solution to be graphical so anyone could visualize the trace. It gives me a solid sense of security when I know that our producers can issue a recall in as little as five minutes if they need to.

And today, it's not just software technology that's getting better and better. For instance, the FDA maintains certain rules about the chicken processing. One of our customers, MBA Poultry's Smart Chicken uses pure air cooled systems during processing. The air-chilled process dramatically reduces the chances of cross contamination from water-cooled or sprayed solutions, and makes the food safer for the consumer. The company says that it guarantees that no water is ever added to the chicken, "providing a more wholesome and satisfying dining experience."

I love companies who use technology above and beyond regulations. Solutions such as air-cooling and graphic traceability programs will not be seen in regulations for a long time, if ever. So keep fighting the good fight, and join me in my effort to help food manufacturers stay at the top of their technology game.

Jack Payne, Vice President


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