Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and Digital Scales

Food safety is extremely important to all of us. In today’s ultra competitive and fast paced world, it’s imperative that we have laws in place to ensure that the food we eat is as safe as possible.

We hope the article below helps you better understand information about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Ultimately we think this information will highlight the ability of Rice Lake’s washdown products to meet your requirements of commercial processing industries. The FSMA info below not only informs producers about how to meet compliance laws, but demonstrates how Rice Lake scales can help prevent food contamination by the integrity of their construction and design.

For all producers, from the farm to the table, purchasing equipment that meets Sanitary Design Principles (SDP) is considered a mandatory preventative measure by the FDA. Our product offerings that are microbiologically cleanable, hermetically sealed and compatible with hostile environments can greatly assist you in adhering to these strict guidelines.

On January 4, 2011, President Obama signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) into law. The FSMA brought a much-needed focus of food safety laws into the food processing industry as well as to consumers, and the general public as a whole.

The signing of the FSMA was arguably the largest reform to food safety in the previous 70 years. According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the FSMA “aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it.” The key focus being prevention versus reaction in regards to food safety, from all aspects and stages of food—from the farm to the table.

The FSMA was spurred into action from an increase in foodborne illnesses in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report almost 1 in 6 Americans fall ill to food borne diseases each year. Foodborne illness became an issue of public health in the early 2000s, enabling the FDA to set higher preventative standards for food safety and elicit enforcement agencies to hold companies to these standards and contain any potential problems before they become a widespread risk of foodborne illness. To do this, the FDA under the FSMA can order companies to recall when needed.

The primary role of the FSMA is prevention. As noted by the FDA, “for the first time, FDA will have a legislative mandate to require comprehensive, science-based preventative controls across the food supply.” This legislative power ensures all U.S. companies that contribute to the food supply, no matter their size, are subject to the authority of the FDA and their preventative and responding agency.

Under the Prevention section of the FSMA, controls are given to the FDA for the following:

• Mandatory preventive controls for food facilities
• Mandatory produce safety standards
• Authority to prevent intentional contamination

These measures need to be qualified by scientific justifications by the FDA and are enforced by legislation. Under the mandatory preventative controls for food facilities is the addition of a preventative control plan that includes the following:

1 ) Evaluating the hazards that could affect food safety
2 ) Specifying what preventive steps, or controls, will be put in place to significantly minimize or prevent the hazards
3 ) Specifying how the facility will monitor these controls to ensure they are working
4 ) Maintaining routine records of the monitoring
5 ) Specifying what actions the facility will take to correct problems that arise.

Purchasing and using equipment that meets the Sanitary Design Principles (SDP) falls under these mandatory preventative measures as a control to prevent or minimize the possibility of foodborne contamination and disease. Continue reading

Construction Industry

Weighing scales and systems from Avery Weigh-Tronix (AWTX) can help construction companies improve efficiency by measuring inputs, finished goods and waste in order to maximize investment and minimize wastage. AWTX truck scales and weighbridges are reliable, accurate and tough enough to stand up to harsh construction industry environments. Our load cells and Weigh Bars under tanks, silos and vessels create a complete weighing system. For smaller loads, our floor scales, forklift truck scales, conveyor scales and bench scales are as tough and accurate as our larger scales.

Building Supplies and construction companies need weighing scales and systems to help the building construction industry to monitor materials inputted and waste in order to optimize efficiency. Builders of all types of buildings face uncertain demand in the wake of the global financial crisis. With volatile materials prices and low growth, building construction must be as efficient as possible to protect profits. Weighing scales and systems can help the building industry by monitoring materials input and waste in order to optimize efficiency and reduce wastage. Continue reading

Just What You’ve Asked For – Fishing Scale Reviews

fishing scale reviewEvery year we are asked for recommendations and quotes on various scales that we sell for weighing fish that are caught in a tournament. These fishing scale reviews are based on our experience and years of selling these items to customers. The weigh-in scales that we review are basically the ones that we sell. We don’t usually comment on scales that we have not sold since our experience is limited on those products. Often we are asked things like what is the best fishing scale and the answer to that really depends on several factors. Things like, how often are you planning on using the scale, and how accurate do you need the scale to be? Does the scale need to be “waterproof”? What is your budget? These are things that need to be considered before making a purchase. One other question that we don’t often talk about but it is worth mentioning is salt water. If you are planning on using the equipment around salt water, that is good to know when we make recommendations.

When you’re casting that fishing net across the internet trying to reel in the right scale for your club, you want to make sure that you buy the right product for your club. We all know that your budget is important, but you also want to make sure of the key features that you want. Does the scale need to be portable? Do you really know how to use a fishing scale? Since you obviously want a professional quality scale at an affordable price, lets take a look at some of our products and learn more about them. Continue reading

Announcement On Rice Lake OTR Above Ground Truck Scale

OTR Truck Scale

OTR Truck Scale

Rice Lake Weighing Systems was recently granted an amendment to its NTEP Certificate of Conformance for the SURVIVOR OTR Series of above ground truck scales. The amendment reduces the scale’s minimum division value (emin) from the industry standard 20 pounds to 10 pounds, making the SURVIVOR OTR suitable for not only vehicle weighing, but high-dollar applications such as livestock and scrap-metal weighing.
The improved resolution is essential where valuable commodities are being weighed and Rice Lake’s truck scales now offer a competitive advantage in those cases.

The new certification applies to Rice Lake’s entire OTR Series, including steel and concrete decks and pit or pitless grain dump models, in standard widths up to 16.5 feet and standard lengths up to 160 feet. The SURVIVOR OTR is also now available with racks and gates for livestock containment needs.

Bakery Manager says “I am giving away $52,000.00 per year”

The positive reviews just keep pouring in regarding the Doran FC6300 scale. What would it be like to be in total control? Imagine saving at least 1.8% of your yearly minor ingredient costs. What would that be worth to you? Picture having an extra supervisor watching over your employees’ shoulders monitoring and controlling the formulation process while the employee hand scales ingredients. What effect would that have on your product consistency and production efficiency? Doran’s FC6300 Formula Control System puts you in total control and can pay for itself in just four months or less. Just take a look at a few of the scale reviews.

“Based on your report, I calculated our costs. Within the three days of the FC6300 being on, it saved us $600.00. That equals $200 per day, $1000 a week means I am giving away $52,000.00 per year out the door!! I am going to put in for 2 units.”

 

“The FC6300 on average has saved us 200 lbs of ingredients a week and our average ingredient costs are around $5.00 a lb. We feel this has paid for itself in about 10 weeks. Mock recalls used to be a major hassle, but with the FC6300 and Formula Loader what used to take hours now literally takes seconds.”

 

“Within five days of install, with over 11,000 lbs of minors scaled at 2% tolerance, my scalers are now scaling at 99.992% accuracy which reduces our ingredient costs and we now have consistency in our batches. The ability to store lot numbers electronically and search for specific lot numbers with a touch of a button has shaved off at least 75 minutes of my QA’s time during a mock recall.”

Ways To Avoid Airline Baggage Fees

These days everyone is looking to cut costs and find ways to raise additional revenue. One way the airlines can do this is by charging customers an additional fee if their bags weigh more than a certain weight. Unfortunately, many passengers have no real accurate way to measure the weight of their bag until they get to the airport. However, a standard bathroom scale can usually give you a pretty good idea if your bag is going to be close to the maximum weight. The WRAL video and link provide additional information on this story.

During the last inspection in March, Butler’s team check almost 100 scales. Thirteen failed inspection – one was 2 whole pounds off. The previous year, Butler said, ten scales had problems.

With overweight baggage fees topping out around $200, a scale’s accuracy could mean the difference between a hassle-free flight and a costly mess-up.

Butler said Burke has the right idea by weighing her luggage at home. He said anyone who believes their bag is underweight should ask to use a second scale if the bag comes up over.

“Just ask them. There are two scales side by side. If you’re over 50 pounds on that scale, ask them, ‘Do you mind checking on another scale?'” he said. “It’s your right to know because it’s big money. It’s big money.”

A couple of points that were made in this video are worth repeating. As a passenger, make sure when you place your luggage onto the weighing platform that the scale display shows 0.00 and if you are facing an overweight charge be sure to ask if you can place your bag on a different scale. Typically the baggage scales that are placed at airports are very accurate and reliable scales that are designed to meet certain standards, like NTEP approval. However, they can get out of calibration sometimes for various reasons and that is why it is a good idea for airlines to check the scales on a regular basis and have companies like ours calibrate the scales with certified test weights.

MSHA Guidelines for Truck Scales

The Mine Safety and Health Administration or MSHA (nicknamed “emshaw”) is the government organization that oversees safety at mines, quarries, and related industries. MSHA is headquartered in Arlington, VA, with district offices at six locations around the United States. There are presently over 850 inspectors within MSHA.

Rails for Truck ScaleHow does MSHA impact scales and the scale industry? Legislation has been on the books since the 1970s relating to berms, guardrails, elevated roadways, bridges, and roads on mine property. These regulations, however, have been very loosely enforced with respect to truck scales. Truck scales have just recently been clearly defined by MSHA as elevated roadways and are therefore now subject to MSHA policies regarding guardrails and berms.

In early 2009 MSHA inspectors initiated an aggressive campaign at these facilities, levying significant fines and penalties related to guardrails on truck scales. Compliance has generally been left to the discretion of the local MSHA inspector. MSHA has been vague in the past as to what was expected from scale owners. The most common criteria provided by MSHA up until this time was that “guardrails were to be half the height of the largest tire on a powered vehicle to cross the scale.” Rice Lake and other scale suppliers have provided higher rails to satisfy the requirement—and this appeared to be acceptable to most MSHA inspectors. This interpretation changed with the release of the MSHA policy letter on August 26, 2010.

The new policy as it relates to truck scales applies specifically to all mining operations and businesses located on mine property, including aggregate facilities, sand and gravel, bulk cement, concrete plants, asphalt operations, strip mines, tipple operations, coal loadouts, and other related businesses. These policies apply to both metal and non-metal mine facilities. Continue reading

Digital Scales for High School Sports

Over the years, Central Carolina Scale has been the ideal choice for many high school’s weighing equipment needs. Whether it’s digital scales, mechanical beam scales with height rod, test weights or annual service and calibration services; we have provided these products and services for high school coaches and high school athletic directors. Recently, one of our top fitness weighing equipment suppliers, Rice Lake Weighing Systems, was named an official sponsor of the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA). The NHSCA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide leadership and support to the nation’s one million high school coaches and 10 million of high school athletes.

As part of this sponsorship Rice Lake will be supporting the NHSCA, providing weighing equipment and other supplies for at least 15 National High School Championship events, including wrestling, football, basketball, tennis, golf, lacrosse, weight lifting, and other sports. Rice Lake is a leading supplier to the fitness and medical scale market, supplying a broad range of mechanical and digital devices for student athletes and athletic facilities throughout the United States and North America. For more information or to request a quote on these outstanding weighing products for high school sports, please visit the Rice Lake Healthweigh Scales section of our site.

CAS LPII and PD-1 Scales Being Discontinued

Time to upgrade to the CL5000 Label Printing Scale and PD-2 POS Interface Scale.  Effective immediately, CAS Corporation is discontinuing the production of the CAS LPII Label Printing Scale and PD-1 POS Interface Scale. Limited stock is available for both LP-2G and LP-2W models. Have you tried the CL5000 Label Printing Scale or PD-2 POS Interface Scale?  Contact your Central Carolina Scale sales rep or visit the CL5000 and PD-2 web pages for product information.

The CL5000 Label Printing Scale has the functions you need at an affordable price. Includes CL-Works software package. Use in supermarkets, specialty stores, deli’s and more. The CAS PD-II Electronic Cash Register Scale comes complete with an RS-232C Interface, and bright VFD Display. The PD-II scale is ideal for retail establishments Continue reading

Avoid dimensional weight charges

Many years ago in the shipping world we just weighed a package on top of a shipping scale and paid charges based on the weight. Today, you pay shipping charges based on both weight and the size of your box that you are shipping. Smaller packages are greener packages because more of them fit on a pallet or in a truck, meaning it takes less fuel to move them. Larger packages take up more space and, ultimately, use more fuel. That’s the principle behind dimensional weight. Since dimensional weight is a very important measurement it can be a good idea to add a dimensional weighing and measurement tool to your shipping process. Continue reading