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Arrowsight RVA helps JBS USA reduce E coli

Sept. 8, 2011
JBS USA Beef reports a two-thirds reduction in microbial counts for E coli O157:H7 in its eight beef processing plants in the first half of 2011 versus the same period in 2010.

JBS USA Beef reports a two-thirds reduction in microbial counts for E coli O157:H7 in its eight beef processing plants in the first half of 2011 versus the same period in 2010.

A significant reason for the decline is its use in all its plants of a remote video auditing (RVA) system developed by Arrowsight Inc, according to JBS. The system has helped strengthen the firm’s overall food safety program by identifying employees who need further training in food safety procedures, says John Ruby, head of JBS’s technical services. The RVA system positively affects employee behavior. To put JBS’s reduction in microbial counts in perspective, the incidence of microbial counts for E coli for the entire industry declined by two-thirds over the past 10 years.

JBS uses the RVA system to audit and enhance its overall “SAFE” food safety program, says Ruby. The SAFE program originally involved an evaluation of dressing procedures, monitoring food safety interventions and microbiological counts, and auditing of carcass spacing in the coolers. It now includes the RVA system. JBS pilot-tested the system in 2010 and had it fully in place in all its plants in April-May 2011. The RVA system includes about 35 cameras.

The company took this step because it wanted to enhance its auditing system, said Ruby. It uses the system as a tool to identify employees who need food safety training or more training. The system allows JBS to identify opportunities for improved performance. Rather than being concerned about being filmed, employees have welcomed the system because they want to do their job better, he said.

E-mail [email protected] for more information.

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