From January 1 to March 31, 2019, 3M Food Safety held a contest to celebrate the unsung heroes of the food and beverage industry. Customers were asked to share their stories about how they help to ensure consumer safety. We read incredible stories that made us proud to be a part of this industry.
3M would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to enter. It was truly inspiring to read the stories and see the lengths that individuals and companies are going to in order to help keep food safe.
We’d like to congratulate Robert Gaudet, the winner of the grand prize, a trip with flight and accommodations to IAFP 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky!
Congratulations to our second and third prize winners, David Figueroa and Brett Dillman, who will each receive a 3M™ gift basket valued at $250.
Here are the winning stories:
First place story:
“Plant sanitation is of paramount importance when it comes to food safety and shelf life of products that are produced. Every plant every week has pre-op inspections that check for plant construction and sanitation issues prior to start-up. With the use of 3M™ Quick Swabs / 3M™ Sponge sticks the overall plant sanitation can be monitored is a rapid way with a very low footprint. Tests like Total aerobic plate count, coliforms / E. coli, Environmental Listeria and Staphylococcus 3M™ Petrifilm gives our company an idea where any problem areas are if they exist and our sanitation team based on what is found uses the appropriate cleaning method to control or eliminate potential pathogens in the work environment. Eventually I would like to see our facility do some trials on the 3M™ Petrifilm LAB plates for shelf life purposes to validate their use for our program. The rapid pathogen detection technology using the 3M™ Molecular detection system we use for screening our fresh product that eventually goes to a smoking facility (ready to eat plant), as of now we test for Listeria monocytogenes each day for each order that goes to the facility. Methods that usually take 5 to 10 days to get a result as a positive or negative, we get within 33 to 34 hrs processing time start to finish. Quicker results mean quicker shipping means faster safer product.”
- Robert Gaudet, Seafood
Second place story:
“I personally have had the opportunity to work in different positions during my short career in the food industry. First managing documentation, I learned the importance of records and traceability. It is always important to have good records that confirm all the products you are manufacturing are safe and have the idea quality standard your consumers expect from you. Soon after I started to work in the microbiology lab where I cam in contact with the 3M™ products for the first time in my career. With these I have realized the importance of having confident results in the fastest time with a simple method to be tested. The continuous testing of our products in a relatively short time give us the confidence we need to ship our products without increasing warehousing costs helping the consumer and the business. During my time as microbiologist I also started implementing the current Environmental Monitoring Plan (EMP) which we are using to make sure we are maintaining our manufacturing environment clean and free of any risk pathogen as is Listeria Mono. For this we are using the buffer sponges provided by 3M™, and hopefully in the near future we will be able to start using the 3M™ Molecular detection system. Finally, as Quality Specialist I have been working in validation of different lines for allergen free products as well as cleaning procedures. We used the 3M™ Allergen Protein Rapid Kit to verify surfaces were milk free. For us it is critical that we are fully preventive against any allergen cross contamination being the consumer safety our main priority. We also are in discussions to use the 3M™ Clean-Trace™ Hygiene Monitoring and Management System (LM1) as it has been showing more reliable and precise results than our current ATP system.”
- David Figueroa, Dairy
Third place story:
Working in the quality control department of a cheese production facility is an important role in the production process. As a quality control technician, it is my responsibility to make sure that the food that is shipped to each customer is safe for consumption. This is an all-encompassing job, it starts from when the milk enters the facility to when the final product (cheese) leaves our facility. This can be done by using products like 3M™ Sponge sticks, 3M™ Quick Swabs and a variety of 3M™ Petrifilm plates. These are used on equipment, the cheese itself and personnel, all to ensure that we produce safe quality food. This testing helps ensure that the cheese leaves the facility with only the bacteria that was intended to be put in the cheese and nothing else. Without the rigorous testing and monitoring the cheese could contain sickening bacteria or even possibly deadly pathogens. It is a large weight on one’s shoulders but with great products like those from 3M™, I can be sure that at all stages the food product is safe. When working I sometimes forget how imperative my job really is, but with reflection like this, you can take a step back and appreciate the value I bring. Not only to my company but the customers as well.”
- Brett Dillman, Cheese