For moew food safety and traceability news, please see our new Special Section

From new food-safe labels to the first person to complete the Produce Professional Certificate Program at the University of California-Davis, there is a wide variety of food safety news in the fresh produce industry.

Dynamic Systems unveils label for Simba System

This month Dynamic Systems Inc., Redmond, Wash., plans to launch a food-safe label for use with its Simba PTI Labeling System at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in Anaheim, Calif.

The system formats labels to conform to GS-1 Standards and be PTI-compliant, according to a news release. The system is intended for fresh produce growers, packers, shippers and distributors. The Simba System provides production data including yields, traceability by lot, carton or product, inventory tracking and shipment reporting.

It can print compliant labels for cases and pallets, well as customized labels that contain logos or foreign characters. The system provides extensive real-time reporting, is configurable off the shelf and affordable for even smaller producers.

There are three modules: Simba Mobile, Simba Lite, and Simba Enterprise. Smaller operations can start with a simple system and upgrade as business grows and needs change.

EMD Millipore offers pouches with dehydrated testing media

New Readybag pouches with dehydrated culture media from EMD Millipore can speed food pathogen testing and decrease costs and waste associated with media storage.

The life science division of Merck Millipore, based in Billerica, Mass., EMD Millipore offers a range of biotechnological products. The Readybag pouches can be used for salmonella or listeria testing, according to a news release.

They are pre-weighed, gamma-irradiated pouches that eliminate media preparation steps and reduce sample prep time by more than 50%, according to the release.

“The only step required prior to incubation is addition of sterile water, thus reducing sample preparation time and streamlining workflow,” the release said. “Readybag pouches have a shelf life of three years compared to three months for self-prepared media, reducing costs and waste associated with media storage.”

Lotpath offering targets software developers, produce industry

Fresno, Calif.-based Lotpath Inc. has a developer application programming interface for Lotpath Quality, its fresh produce inspection software.

The software has a customizable dashboard for viewing inspection data and photos plus graphs of numeric quality data. It lets users share the data and photos via e-mail.

The API enables automatic retrieval of data from a Lotpath Quality account by produce companies with their own quality dashboard or business intelligence software. Kingston Fresh software developers, for one, have used that capability.

Idaho Falls, Idaho-based Kingston Fresh started using Lotpath late last year, according to a news release. Previously, staff filled out inspection worksheets by hand and entered quality data into a database that fed a monitored Intranet website.

Since adoption, inspectors have been using Apple iPads and the Lotpath Inspector app to record product quality data and take photos. Lotpath Quality is integrated with the company’s accounting and inventory software.

The Lotpath Inspector app is available in the Apple App Store at http://tinyurl.com/p2q9h92.
“Produce companies benefit from software vendors’ willingness to build integration points into their software apps,” Mike Dodson, CEO of Lotpath, said in the release.

Produce Safety Alliance plans Web session on rule revisions

Staff from the Food and Drug Administration are scheduled to present details and answer questions about revisions to the proposed produce safety rule on Oct. 23 for members of the Produce Safety Alliance. The hour-long Web event is set for 2 p.m.

Attendance is free, but registration is required, according to a new release from the alliance. Details and registration links are available at http://tinyurl.com/PSAwebinar. The event passcode is PSA2014.

UC Davis program issues first produce certificate

Stefan Jan Michel Droogendijk from the Netherlands is the first person to complete the Produce Professional Certificate Program at the University of California-Davis Postharvest Technology Center. He completed the entire program of 120 points (hours) in ten months, according to a news release.

As part of the program, Droogendijk will have access to the online site, including videos of lectures and updated course handouts for four full years, the usual time needed to complete the program.

“Stefan initially attended the 2013 Postharvest Technology Short Course and was inspired by what he learned,” center director Beth Mitcham said in the release. “He told me that visiting such a wide variety of postharvest operations really drove home the lessons he learned during the workshops.”

Staff Writer Mike Hornick contributed to this report.