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Elanco Forms Food Safety Business Unit

by 5m Editor
15 January 2010, at 9:12a.m.

US – Elanco, a division of Eli Lilly and Company has announced that it will launch a new business platform focused on food safety.

Elanco will market food-safety products and services to the food-animal industry through Elanco Food Solutions.

Dr K. Douglas Miller, director of Elanco Food Solutions, said: "Consumers have high expectations for their food to be safe, so Elanco Food Solutions is providing technologies to reduce food-borne pathogens in packing and processing plants. We realise there is no single 'silver-bullet' solution, which is why we will deliver multiple pre- and post-harvest interventions for beef, poultry and pork packers and processors that are part of a total pathogen-control system for the meat and poultry industries."

Elanco will develop new technologies that will help the food chain protect consumers from such harmful foodborne pathogens as E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella and Listeria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that food-borne diseases cause an estimated 76 million illnesses each year, 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths in the US each year. Food-borne illnesses cost the United States between $5 billion and $22 billion annually, with Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 alone costing more than $3 billion.

Jeff Simmons, president of Elanco, said: "By 2050, the world population is projected to increase by three billion people and world food demand is expected to double. This convergence not only means further globalisation of the food chain to meet demand but also heightened awareness of how food is produced and processed on its way to families and communities around the world."

Mr Simmons cited a 2008 Gallup study which revealed that 60 per cent of US consumers report avoiding certain foods or brands as a result of government-issued food-safety recalls or advisories.

He added: "Even in these tough economic conditions, concerns about food safety are still top-of-mind. A multiple-intervention strategy allows the food chain to help reduce the likelihood of food-borne illnesses and increase consumer confidence in our food supply."

Dr Miller added: "Elanco Food Solutions is uniquely qualified to bring food-safety products and knowledge solutions to the meat and poultry supply chain. Elanco is excited to expand our business to deliver integrated science-based solutions that will help packers and processors deliver high-quality, safe and affordable beef, poultry and pork products to consumers."

Management team named

Dr Miller will lead the Elanco Food Solutions team as director of business operations.

David Cobb is the director of marketing.

Tom Nicholson is director of sales and technical services.

Dr Patrick Mies is technical consultant responsible for supporting the company's beef food-safety technologies.

Rob Ames is associate brand manager.

Knowledge solutions a critical component

In addition to providing multiple food-safety technologies for its customers, Elanco Food Solutions also will offer its customers the Food Safety Knowledge SolutionsTM programme, a unique benchmarking system that uses statistical process control (SPC) methodology to help packers and processors effectively manage their pathogen-control systems. It is available exclusively for Elanco Food Solutions customers.

Dr Miller explained: "Food Safety Knowledge Solutions is not a ranking system. Rather, it's a systematic, objective way for packers to analyze and compare their data against industry standards and to identify the factors that contribute to higher or lower pathogen levels in their facilities. Because the programme helps packers and processors analyse both pathogen data and operational data, it allows them to more effectively manage their total pathogen-control systems."

The Food Safety Knowledge Solutions database is managed by AgSpan, a wholly owned subsidiary of Elanco, which has a 12-year history of maintaining data integrity and client confidentiality.

Multiple interventions in the pipeline

Mr Simmons explained: "Elanco is committed to developing a full line of food-safety technologies for our partners in the food-animal packing and processing industry. We will introduce several food-safety technologies in the coming months for beef and poultry packers and processors."

Dr Miller said: "Elanco Food Solutions is very excited about the opportunity to be a leader in providing new food-safety technologies and services that will help packers and processors meet the growing demand for safe, wholesome food. We are proud we'll be offering a comprehensive line of food-safety products – from pre-harvest to ready-to-eat meat – for multiple species that are part of the food chain's total pathogen-control systems."