Sixty representatives from about 30 independent gas distributors took part in a two-day Food Safety Summit hosted by Linde LLC at Notre Dame University in June to learn about industry best practices and new government requirements. Presenters at the summit included industry consultants, major distributors, suppliers and leaders from industry associations.
“This is an important time for the industry, and it takes vigilance and action to be a responsible supplier of food and beverage gases today,” said Bob VanKirk, Head of Linde U.S. Distributor Channel, Packaged Gases and Caribbean businesses. “Our distributors recognize that food safety is not just a goal, but a process.”
Under recent changes to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) the quality of food contact gases such as nitrogen (N 2) and carbon dioxide (CO 2) are managed as food ingredients not just during food and beverage processing, but through the entire supply and distribution chain.
Food safety expert Bob Yeoman of B&R Compliance Associates LLC delivered an overview of FSMA and detailed updated procedures for safety and prevention. Known as “Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventative Control” (HARPC), the new procedures went into effect in 2016 and are now mandated by FSMA.
Other presenters included:
- Cloeann Durham, Sr. Director of Quality at Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, one of the top five bottling facilities in North America
- Nicky Davies, Director of Quality Systems for McClement Management Group, an advisor to McDonald’s on supplier best practices
- Sal Calandra, Head of Quality and Food Safety for Linde in North America, and a member of the board of directors of the International Society of Beverage Technologists
- Mike Tiller, President of the Compressed Gas Association
- Ric Boyd, President of CryoVation, LLC, a leading manufacturer and supplier of industrial gas distribution systems
- Gary Fowler, National Sales Manager for Beverage Systems at Chart Industries, Inc.
- Terry Scanlan, Linde Head of Strategic Initiatives & Project Execution for U.S. Distributors Packaged Gases and the Caribbean
This was Linde’s first Food Safety Summit, said Scanlan, who organized the event. “Seminars such as this demonstrate our commitment to U.S. gas distributors beyond providing gases and related services,” he said.
“The Linde seminar was invaluable in helping our company’s efforts to meet and exceed the needs and requirements of customers in this market space,” said Richard Lofgren, President of United States Welding, Inc. “It was insightful and very informative on the regulations and logic behind them affecting food gas products. The participation of major Linde North America, Inc. beverage and food companies providing their perspective was also very helpful. This program is a great example of Linde’s importance in our efforts to provide the highest quality products to the food and beverage industry,” he added.
Ray Dillard, Vice President of Gas Operations of ArC3 Gases, who also participated in the event, commented, “We appreciated the perspective on the important role we play in the food supply chain, and the insight into the changing regulations. Arc3 Gases has a long history of providing the highest quality product and services to our customers, and this seminar supports that effort.”
Linde is a leading global supplier of beverage-grade CO 2 for carbonated soft drinks, as well as food-grade gases used in cryogenic chilling and freezing systems for food processing, and in modified atmosphere packaging systems to help preserve food freshness. In addition, the Linde food team performs on-site assessments and works with food and beverage processors to develop optimal solutions.
Linde LLC supports the Global Food Safety Initiative and the advancement of food safety. Linde has a Food Safety Management System in place for all bulk CO 2 plants and air separation facilities supplying the food & beverage industry in North America. In June 2012, Linde became the first supplier to certify all of its CO 2 plants to a benchmarked GFSI scheme, FSSC 22000 (Food Safety System Certification).