Governor Wolf Establishes Statewide Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Goals in PA

Governor Wolf Establishes Statewide Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Goals in PA

Commercial Refrigeration, Energy Efficiency, Federal Regulations, HVACR, Industrial Refrigeration
The governor announced the new executive order at an event celebrating the public-private collaboration happening in the city of Pittsburgh to help bolster the city’s climate action plan.   The beauty of undertaking energy goals is that it is never just a 1:1 trade-off. There are numerous ancillary benefits, ranging from the obvious, giant elephant in the room that is the reduction of carbon emissions all the way to improved worker happiness because their employer's heating and cooling systems run more precisely and efficiently. Energy goals can be instituted at the consumer level (more energy-efficient windows), the corporate level (full-scale energy management systems), and the state/municipal level (larger electricity shares of solar or wind sources), and while each of these might not seem like they could move the needle much…
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FDA Provides an Update on the new Produce Safety Rule

FDA Provides an Update on the new Produce Safety Rule

Federal Regulations, Food Safety, HVACR, Produce
As the full, national rollout of the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA)—a sweeping reform of food safety laws designed to better prevent issues as opposed to simply responding to them—continues, some of the larger regulatory pieces are taking their time in being implemented. One of these pieces, and arguably one of the most impactful and watched closely of them all, is the Produce Safety Rule.   Bluntly, the Produce Safety Rule establishes the first science-based minimum food safety standards as it pertains to growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce intended for human consumption.   Within the Produce Safety Rule, regulations were developed to affect six (6) main areas of commercial farms that fall within the scope of the rule. These areas are: Worker health, hygiene, and training Agricultural…
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Recently Advanced Farm Bill Could Have Wide-reaching Impact on Produce & Floral Industries

Recently Advanced Farm Bill Could Have Wide-reaching Impact on Produce & Floral Industries

Federal Regulations, Food Safety, Produce
The national conversation surrounding the 2018 Farm Bill, advanced in the Senate on June 28th by an 86-11 vote, will likely revolve around the highly political topics as the bill continues through the legislative process.   Topics such as SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which could see a congressional war over work requirements to receive food stamp benefits, international trade and tariffs, and the improvement of the Federal Crop Insurance program. The conversation around SNAP, in particular, figures to be very partisan and it is easily the most controversial aspect of the farm bill. There are also proposals in the bill that have bipartisan support, such as the potential federal legalization of hemp. Hemp is currently lumped into the controlled substance category alongside its cousin, marijuana. And a provision…
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E. Coli Outbreak can be Learning Opportunity for Leafy Greens Industry

E. Coli Outbreak can be Learning Opportunity for Leafy Greens Industry

Commercial Refrigeration, Federal Regulations, Food Safety, Industrial Refrigeration, Produce
The worst E. Coli outbreak in over a decade has affected a widespread swathe of the country—reaching as far as Alaska—but seems to have originated from just one location: Yuma County in southwest Arizona.   According to public health officials with the FDA, the outbreak has sickened 197 people in 35 states, with five tragically having died. Officials also said that the contaminated supply of romaine lettuce has worked its way through the supply chain and is no longer available for consumption. So any immediate risk has passed.   And while everyone can breathe a sigh of relief that they are not currently at risk, the fact remains that an outbreak did still occur. This is a fact not lost on both public health officials and produce professionals in the…
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As Companies Continue to Alter Their Processes to Adhere to FSMA, Some Remain Skeptics

As Companies Continue to Alter Their Processes to Adhere to FSMA, Some Remain Skeptics

Federal Regulations, Food Safety, HVACR, Produce
This year marks the pivotal period for the widespread adoption of, and adherence to, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Originally passed in 2010, it took the next six years to develop the full breadth of the act. The FSMA was legislation driven by the Food & Drug Administration with the goal of having companies be better equipped to prevent food-borne illness as opposed to just reacting to contamination. On January 26, 2018, the industry of fresh produce had its first major compliance date, and routine facility inspections are scheduled to begin in 2019.   According to the FDA's official documentation, the legislation "enables FDA to better protect public health by strengthening the food safety system. It enables FDA to focus more on preventing food safety problems rather than relying…
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