BEMA FSMA tortilla food safety discussion
Tortilla producers explore how equipment manufacturers can help streamline operations in the new FSMA era.

LAGUNA NIGUEL, CALIF. — The impending Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is on the minds of every baker in the industry. At the BEMA annual convention, two tortilla producers shared their concerns in how FSMA will affect their operations day-to-day and moving forward.

“With FSMA, like any change that comes down the pike, it makes you go back and rethink how you do things,” said Tom McCarthy, chief operating officer, Aladdin Bakers, Brooklyn, N.Y. He noted that change like FSMA may be used as an opportunity to make operations more efficient by making better use of available technology.

Panelist German Chavez, vice-president of manufacturing at Mission Foods, Irving, Texas, indicated that preparation can make all the difference.

“We knew FSMA regulations were coming, so we took time to prepare,” he said. “Are we spending more money today than we did a few years ago? Yes.”

Mr. Chavez said Mission Foods operators conduct swab tests every week, almost daily.

“I know what my sanitation guys are doing and where they’re spending their money,” he said. “It’s been a tremendous effort, and we can prove that ‘clean’ is clean. It’s made us better.”

Mr. Chavez explained to BEMA attendees that the food producers are looking to equipment manufacturers for help in FSMA preparedness.

“We need equipment that is easy to clean, easy to disassemble and easy to put back together,” he said.

 During the BEMA convention, 30 bakery operations executives interacted with equipment suppliers and allieds during panel discussions and one-on-one meetings to address issues facing the industry.