Sanitation at the bakery and foodservice operations takes center stage with the recent passage of The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration a mandate to pursue a system that is based on science and addresses hazards from farm to table, putting greater emphasis on preventing food-borne illness. The reasoning is simple: The better the system handles producing, processing, transporting, and preparing foods, the safer our food supply will be.

Instore bakeries and delis can respond to this call for action by investing in new warewashing equipment, which is designed to enhance the sanitation process and to save energy through new high-efficiency features.

Hobart’s new ENERGY STAR qualified CLeR conveyor-type warewasher uses Advansys Energy Recovery technology and Hobart’s patented NSF-Certified Opti-Rinse system to save foodservice operations up to $11,000 annually in Energy Recovery and water efficiency. Additionally, the unit is a recipient of this year’s National Restaurant Association Kitchen Innovations award, which recognizes groundbreaking foodservice equipment as selected by an independent panel of experts.

Hobart’s Advansys technology delivers industry-leading cost saving with the same top-quality performance all Hobart CLe Warewashers offer. The Advansys Energy Recovery technology captures the warewasher’s exhaust heat and uses it to preheat the cold inlet water up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, reducing the energy needed to reach the required 180 degrees Fahrenheit rinse-water temperature.

“Hobart’s new CLeR Warewasher adapts Hobart’s unique Advansys Energy Recovery technology, introduced so successfully in the Advansys Ventless door-type warewasher, to the rigorous productivity demands of the high-volume CLe conveyor-type warewasher,” says Kevin Madden, director of marketing for Hobart Warewash.

The new CLeR Warewasher employs Hobart’s patented NSF-Certified Opti-Rinse system. Technologically advanced rinse-spray nozzles require less than 50 percent of the water and energy than industry-standard fan-spray nozzles and yet deliver stronger performance. Foodservice and food retail operations can save up to $9,192 annually with Opti-Rinse.

With a combined saving of up to $11,000 annually—$2,046 from the Advansys Energy Recovery and $9,192 due to Opti-Rinse—the CLeR sets a new standard in the low-cost operation of a conveyor-type warewasher capable of cleaning and sanitizing up to 8,550 dishes an hour.

In addition to saving energy and water, the CLeR is easier to operate, clean and service than comparable models. Conveniently located, top-mounted microprocessor controls enable employees to easily operate and monitor the CLeR, expediting the entire process and letting them focus on cleaning ware. Large, hinged doors provide convenient access to the machine interior. The singular components make cleanup easier, saving labor, increasing productivity and allowing proper cleaning of the machine. Hobart’s legendary durability and ease of service means foodservice operations can experience increased uptime, while the warewasher’s smaller footprint means less floor space, lower construction cost and more room for staging the ware.

Under the provisions of the nation’s new The Food Safety Modernization Act, companies will be required to develop and implement written food safety plans, FDA will have the authority to better respond and require recalls when food safety problems occur, and FDA will be able to better ensure that imported foods are as safe for consumers as foods produced in the U.S.

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that one in six people in the United States suffers from food-borne illness each year. Over the past few years, high-profile outbreaks related to various foods, from spinach and peanut products to eggs, have underscored the need to make continuous improvements in food safety.

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D., says the bill—which President Barack Obama signed into law on Jan. 4—lays the foundation for a prevention-based, 21st century food safety system that makes everyone in the global food chain responsible for safety.

“This law helps us take the critical steps toward strengthening the food safety system that is vital to the health and security of the American people,” Hamburg says.

The legislation, which FDA experts say transforms the food safety system, includes the following major provisions:

Food facilities must have a written preventive controls plan that spells out the possible problems that could affect the safety of their products. This plan would outline steps that a food facility would take to prevent or significantly minimize the likelihood of those problems occurring.

FDA must establish science-based standards for the safe production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables. These standards must consider not only man-made risks to fresh produce safety, but also naturally-occurring hazards—such as those posed by the soil, animals, and water in the growing area.

FDA is directed to increase the frequency of inspections. High-risk domestic facilities must receive an initial inspection within the next five years and no less than every three years after that. During the next year, FDA must inspect at least 600 foreign food facilities and double the number of those inspections every year for the next five years.  With the availability of resources, FDA will build the inspection capacity to meet these important goals.

FDA is authorized to mandate a recall of unsafe food if the food company fails to do it voluntarily. The law also provides a more flexible standard for administrative detention (the procedure FDA uses to keep suspect food from being moved); allows FDA to suspend the registration of a food facility associated with unsafe food, thereby preventing it from distributing food; and directs the agency to improve its ability to track both domestic and imported foods.

While FDA is charged with regulating almost all food products, the legislation also recognizes that food safety is a responsibility shared among U.S., state, local, territorial, tribal, and foreign food safety agencies.  This new legislation clearly endorses the efforts already underway among FDA and our regulatory partners toward creating a truly integrated food safety system.