Photo of Roy Costa, RS, MS (MBA)

Roy Costa is the founder and owner of the consulting firm Environ Health Associates Inc. He is a registered professional sanitarian (RS) with almost 40 years of environmental health practice in the academic, government and private sectors. Costa is an educator and food safety trainer with experience in a number of countries. He is a Lead Instructor for the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) and for the Produce Safety Alliance. Costa’s practice specializes in the prevention and control of food and waterborne infectious agents.

The disgusting truth about industrial egg production is “it stinks”.  Sanitation in such environments stretches the imagination when you think of a million birds trapped in cages in huge shed-type structures called  “laying houses” and the tons of fecal material produced daily.

While a high degree of cleanliness may be impractical in an industrial egg…

Provisions of the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP), under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration, were enacted in 2015. They mandate that foreign suppliers provide the same level of food safety protection for their products as domestic suppliers are required to provide for theirs.

This is needed as outbreaks of foodborne illness continue…

Outbreaks of Salmonella and other pathogens in fresh produce are unfortunately relatively frequent occurrences. This is true, particularly with imported Mexican papaya.

Neither the Food and Drug Administration nor the Centers for Disease Control have disclosed potential root cause in the latest outbreak, however, the factors that lead to contamination of produce are well known.…

The new rule-79 FR 42464 will be in full effect starting on June 21 2016. This new rule will alter the way both inspected (official) and exempt facilities grinding beef control the beef grinding process. Overall, the new requirements will impact an estimated 71,000 companies employing about 100,000 persons. 2ndbeefgrinder_406x250Retail-exempt facilities regularly mix cuts of…

Water is an essential component of many types of food products. Processors, manufacturers, and packers use water to clean, cool and even transport foods during production (in flumes for example). Water is, of course, also used to make ice and beverages of many types. cantaloupe-wash-line Cantaloupe are sometimes washed before being packed…

The Environmental Health Specialist (EHS) plays an important role in public health. Environmental health workers perform a down-to-earth job that seeks to protect the public from hazards originating in living environments. The disciplines of environmental health encompass programs to address a wide range of potential human health risks including contaminated water, air, food and the…

freshproduce_406x250Once again, the fresh produce industry has been hit with a deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak. The latest involves fresh-cut salad items, reportedly produced at a Dole processing plant in Ohio. While it is shocking to see a serious outbreak in such a popular brand, Listeria contamination is a troubling problem for most everyone in the…

Anytime there is a massive outbreak involving produce, those of us tasked with produce safety should be asking the difficult questions about our prevention methods and why they failed. There are emerging trends apparent with pathogens in produce: a trend away from Salmonella and E. coli and toward more novel pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes

(Roy Costa is a registered sanitarian and president of the consulting firm Environ Health Associates Inc. More of his articles can be found here.) Knowledge and Capability of Auditors HACCP systems have grown and changed remarkably over the past 50 years, yet the fundamental scientific reasoning for critical controls has not changed in any