When the New York Times published this video in 2015, a 20 year look back at food recalls, CMP took notice. The video stopped Paul LeBlanc,CEO in his tracks. He was astounded that in an industry responsible for processing food for people around the world so few rules and regulations existed for processing equipment and facilities.
Rules and regulations exist for numerous components of the food industry, from nutritional labeling, to organic certifications. But the FDA has been slow to proactively put regulations in place for food processing, and food processing equipment. The onus is typically on the facility staff to assess the risks associated with its product and develop and implement practices to reduce the risk of unsafe food. The FDA assumes that each processor is taking the necessary steps to prevent outbreaks, but a lack of formalized process and outdated equipment are still prevalent in many processing plants.
'We felt like it was our responsibility to be part of the movement that is shifting from responding to outbreaks to preventing them,' said LeBlanc. It was clear that, in the food processing industry, changes were only happening once a major disaster, like deaths and hospitalizations, had taken place. By that point it was too late and the damage was done, people had gotten sick, lost family members and brands were tarnished. 'We need to be proactive, not reactive.'
CMP realized the design it was doing, building hygiene directly into its food processing equipment, was an instrumental part in keeping food safe. CMP has clients in high-risk industries like poultry, beef, pork, and seafood processing, so ensuring the products supplied to these processing plants are designed and manufactured with the most up to date hygienic design standards is key to a safe food supply chain. Since our products are designed specifically to prevent harborgae of bacteria, and encourage easy sanitation, it makes the sanitation process that much easier for the food processors.
If equipment manufacturers can work together with food processors, farmers, and retailers to enhance the knowledge of hygienic design, we can make the focus about keeping food safe, and preventing foodborne illnesses in the food processing industry.