Needs of Systems Thinking for Veterinarians and Inspectors -- Food Processing Management Perspective
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Needs of Systems Thinking for Veterinarians and Inspectors -- Food Processing Management Perspective

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Presented at 2013 Arkansas Association for Food Protection annual conference.

Presented at 2013 Arkansas Association for Food Protection annual conference.

Scott Stillwell, Ph.D.
Vice President, Food Safety and Quality Assurance
Tyson Foods

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Needs of Systems Thinking for Veterinarians and Inspectors -- Food Processing Management Perspective Needs of Systems Thinking for Veterinarians and Inspectors -- Food Processing Management Perspective Presentation Transcript

  • Needs of Systems Thinking for Veterinarians and Inspectors Food Processing Management Perspective Scott Stillwell, Ph.D. Vice President, Food Safety and Quality Assurance
  • Systems Thinking • What is a “System”? A system is an organized collection of highly integrated parts designed to achieve a desired outcome. The system has a wide variety of inputs which are manipulated through a process or series of processes in a manner to produce an output.1 Inputs OutputsProcess (es) Systems thinking is a way of thinking about… the forces and interrelationships that shape the behavior of systems. This discipline helps us to see how to change systems more effectively, and to act more in tune with the processes of the natural and economic world.2 • What is “Systems Thinking”?
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing • Knowledge! • Ecology of Livestock and Poultry • Farm-to-Fork Continuum • Wide-Variety of Rearing, Feeding, Housing Systems • Finishing and Transport Methods • Slaughter and Processing Methods • Finished Product Attributes, Packaging and Distribution • Animal Agriculture • Food Science • Food Microbiology • Food Toxicology • Statistics
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing • Animal Agriculture • Weakness of Inspectors; Strength of Veterinarians • Food Science • Rearing Environment – Confined vs. Free Range • Feeding Regimen – Organic, Veg-Fed, “Traditional”, “Commercial” • Veterinary Care – Antibiotics (sub- or therapeutic, growth promotion) • Other – Beta Agonists (e.g. Zilmax, Paylean) • Initially, a Weakness of both Inspectors and Veterinarians* • Food Microbiology • Food Toxicology • Statistics
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing • Food Microbiology • Veterinarians* • Must Grasp Difference Between Indicator vs. Pathogen • Classical Training and Education – Diagnosis and Treatment • Good, Basic Understanding of the Role of Microorganisms in Disease • Knowledge Translates Fairly Well into Food Processing • Must Grasp Difference Between Presence / Absence • Inspectors • Limited to No Classical Training and Education • Generally not an Issue in Slaughter or First-Processing • Significant Issue in Further Processing
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing • Food Microbiology • To What are Livestock / Products Intentionally Exposed? • To What are Livestock / Products Potentially Exposed? • To What are Livestock / Products Accidentally Exposed? • To What May Livestock / Products be Maliciously Exposed? • What Can be Done to Mitigate / Prevent / Detect? • At What Point(s) in the Farm-to-Fork Continuum? • What Concentrations are Meaningful?
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing • Food Microbiology -- Example • Raw Poultry Products were Lost in the Raw WIP Cooler and Exceeded the Specified Number of Days to Cook • Industry Reps Conduct Hazard Assessment • Products Evaluated by Industry and Government Inspectors • Industry Collected Aerobic Plate Count Samples • What is the Veterinarian / Inspector to Do? • Affected Products Tagged “USDA-Retained” • APC Results (n=30) Range from 104 – 106 CFUs/gram (mean = 105) • Is the USDA-Retained Tag Removed?
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing • Food Toxicology • Veterinarians* • Must Grasp that Compounds May be Present at Meaningless Conc. • Classical Training and Education – Diagnosis and Treatment • Good, Basic Understanding of the Role of Biochemistry • Knowledge Translates Fairly Well into Food Processing • Must Grasp Meaning of Presence / Absence (Limits of Detection) • Inspectors • Limited to No Classical Training and Education • Generally not an Issue in Slaughter or First-Processing • Significant Issue in Further Processing
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing • Food Toxicology • To What are Livestock / Products Intentionally Exposed? • What Can be Done to Mitigate / Prevent / Detect? • To What are Livestock / Products Potentially Exposed? • To What are Livestock / Products Accidentally Exposed? • To What May Livestock / Products be Maliciously Exposed? • At What Point(s) in the Farm-to-Fork Continuum? • What Concentrations are Meaningful?
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing • Food Toxicology -- Example • A Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tablet is Purposefully Introduced into an Immersion Poultry Chiller • Industry Reps Conduct Hazard Assessment • Carcasses Exhibiting Blue Stains are Observed Exiting the Chiller • Does This Represent an Unforeseen Hazard? • What is the Veterinarian / Inspector to Do? • Affected Products Tagged “USDA-Retained” • All Ingredients in Commercially Available Products are Food Grade • Is the USDA-Retained Tag Removed?
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing • Statistics – Industrial / Applied and Classical • Veterinarians and Inspectors* • Beta Error – Accepts Faulty Analysis and Allows Products to Bear the Mark of Inspection • Very Limited Classical Training and Education • As with General Population, Would Rather be Beaten! • This leads to Two Possible Problems • Alpha Error – Asserts Authority and Condemns Products
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing • Statistics • When Does a Sample Reliably Represent the Population? • When is a Treatment Meaningful – e.g. Poultry Transport Cage Wash? • When are Samples Different? • When are Samples Not Different? • How Must We Validate Food Safety Systems? • When is a Process “Out of Control”?
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing • Statistics -- Example • The Hazard Analysis Concluded that Hard, Sharp Metal Materials are a HNRLTO Based Upon Historical Data (Incidents vs. Pounds Produced) • Industry Reps Conduct Hazard Reassessment • Mean Time Between Failure = 264,049 Pounds (41.42 Average Lifetimes; L.E. 75 Years, 85#/Year Consumption) • What is the Veterinarian / Inspector to Do? • Is the HACCP Plan Validated / Should There be a CCP? • Detector Rejects Hazardous Piece after only 35,557 Pounds
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing • Statistics -- Example • A Bacteriostatic Compound was Formulated into a Fully Cooked, Refrigerated Meat Item to Retard Excessive Proliferation of Listeria monocytogenes During Shelf Life • Control and Treated Products are Subjected to an Inoculation Challenge Study for 1.2 Times Shelf Life • Does the Veterinarian / Inspector Accept the Formula as Validated to Provide Sufficient Control? • Treated Product Demonstrates Less Than 1.0 Log10 Increase
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing Whole Muscle Roast Beef Treated vs Control 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 0 20 40 60 80 100 Days from Innoculation LogListeria Treated Control
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing Whole Muscle Roast Beef Shelf Life 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 0 20 40 60 80 100 Days from Innoculation LogListeria Treated 99% Upper Confidence Limit Level of 2 log Grow th
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing • Communication and Interpersonal Skills • Veterinarians and Inspectors* • Antagonistic Relationship – Hiding Things from the Inspectors • Very Limited Classical Training or Education • As with General Population, Highly Variable Skill Set! • This May Leads to Two Possible Problems • Command and Control! • Veterinarians are Generally the Most Educated Person in the Building • System Thinking – Neither Group Will Have a Full Understanding • Lose / Lose Situation!
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing • Systems Thinking • Very Difficult • Discounts the Potential for the “Black Swan Event” • Most Management Taught to Think “Cause and Effect” • The Complex System is Nothing More than the Sum of Its Parts! • Scientific Reductionism • “Black Swan Event” – Emerging Pathogens / Novel Vectors • Listeria monocytogenes in Cantaloupe
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing • Systems Thinking -- Example • Control of Enteric Pathogens on Raw Poultry • Improved Growing Conditions = 1 • Autogenous Vaccine for Breeders = 1 • Sum of Enteric Pathogen Reduction ≠5 • Sum of Enteric Pathogen Reduction > 5 • Reduced Transport Stress = 1 • “Feathers On” Intervention = 1 • Multiple Hurdles in Dressing and Chilling = 1
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing • Systems Thinking -- Example • Control of Enteric Pathogens in Fermented Meats • Reduction of pH During Fermentation = 1 • Curing with Sodium Nitrite = 1 • Sum of Enteric Pathogen Reduction ≠ 5 • Sum of Enteric Pathogen Reduction > 5 • Production of Bacteriocins = 1 • Relatively Mild Thermal Process = 1 • Drying and Maturation = 1
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing • Systems Thinking • Some Controls are Critical • Some Controls Only Show an Effect in Combination with Other Controls • Some Controls are Merely Important • Unfortunately, Veterinarians and Inspectors Can’t See the System • Some Controls are Not Necessary at All Times • This Led Industry to Insist Some Controls be Recognized as Pre-Requisite Programs – Allow the System to Provide Feedback
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing • Systems Thinking • Unfortunately, Veterinarians and Inspectors Can’t See the Entire System • Currently, If They Don’t Understand Systems Thinking When Initially Placed, the Only Hope is “O.J.T.” • These People Represent the Talent Pool for District Office and DC Staff Positions • This Would Require a “Systems Thinking” Instructor • Too Much of What Constitutes O.J.T. is Wrong! • If They Don’t Have it When Placed, They Need to Get it Somewhere!
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing • Systems Thinking -- Conclusions • We Need a System to Provide Comprehensive Food Safety Education and Training with Emphasis on the System • A similar or Complementary System for Veterinarians and Inspectors Must be Established • Tyson Foods Teamed up with the University of Arkansas Over a Decade Ago to Develop Education for Industry • Materials Must be Based Upon Peer-Reviewed Data • The Program of Study Must be Comprehensive • Continuing Education or Specialized Module for Vets / Inspectors
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing “…in this place it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.“ ~ Red Queen to Alice in Through the Looking Glass The Red Queen Principle - Leigh van Valen (Evolutionary Biologist, 1973)
  • Systems Thinking In Meat and Poultry Food Processing References 1. Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. at: http://managementhelp.org/systems/index.htm 2. Peter M. Senge, “The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization”, The Crown Publishing Group. Acknowledgments Dennis Johnson, J.D. and Barbara Masters, DVM – OFW Law Ashley Peterson, Ph.D. – NCC Mark Dopp and Bill James – AMI Neal Apple, Ph.D. and Dan Zelenka, Ph.D. – Tyson Foods