Food Industry Struggles with Safety, Regulatory Issues and Consumer Concerns

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The food industry faces multiple challenges, including a year-long study of romaine lettuce safety by the FDA. Food freshness expert Debbie Meyer says technological innovation can help the industry protect public health, meet changing consumer expectations and maintain a sustainable profit level.

Housewares America markets the DEBBIE MEYER® line of products in all areas of consumer demand, including home-shopping networks, regular retail, catalogs TV and internet.

Food freshness expert Debbie Meyer discusses industry-wide changes needed to protect and uphold healthy food standards.

"The industry’s challenge is to maintain freshness and consumer safety while navigating a rapidly changing business and logistical environment.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has begun a year-long nationwide program to test samples of romaine lettuce for Salmonella and Escherichia coli microbial hazards. The FDA initiative comes on the heels of two large multistate outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 infections associated with the consumption of romaine lettuce in 2018 [1]. “The industry’s challenge,” says food freshness expert Debbie Meyer, “is to maintain freshness and consumer safety while navigating a rapidly changing business and logistical environment.” Meyer, who is co-founder and CEO of Housewares America, Inc., a world leader in extending the usable life of food, adds, “What’s needed is to set very high standards, and at the same time allow for creativity and innovation in the ways they are met.”

Food poisoning due to contamination, notes Meyer, is a significant problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, every year 40 million Americans get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die [2]. The total number of government-ordered food recalls increased by 10 percent between 2013 and 2018; Class I recalls, based on a “reasonable probability” that contaminated meat and poultry that could cause health problems, rose 83 percent during the same five-year period [3].

Some of this increase, the Public Interest Research Group has suggested, stems from the difficulty that regulatory and enforcement mechanisms are facing as they struggle to keep pace with an increasingly industrialized and intermingled food production system [4]. Changes in the production system, in turn, are driven largely by food suppliers’ need to simultaneously accommodate unpredictable shifts in consumer tastes and preferences, comply with federal regulations, maintain sustainable profitability in a competitive, low-margin market, and meet the distribution demands of large chain retailers [5].

“One key to doing all this,” says Meyer, “is the ability to maintain food freshness and safety from field all the way to retail distribution to consumers.” To give food suppliers this capability, Housewares America, Inc. uses and offers a proprietary, all natural, Additive formulation called Debbie Meyer CZZ™. Debbie Meyer CZZ™ was originally developed for household food storage, marketed as various versions of Debbie Meyer GreenBoxes™ and Debbie Meyer® GreenBags®. This has been demonstrated, in Independent Laboratory testing, to extend the life of fresh produce and other stored foods, with virtually no sign of deterioration for periods from 9 to 42 days, depending n the specific food.

“By reducing food spoilage and extending the usable life of fresh produce, we are helping to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination as well’ said Meyer.

Debbie Meyer CZZ™ technology is capable of being included in all types of plastic bags, films, hard plastic containers and a variety of other materials. This all natural additive formulation is simply added during the regular packaging manufacturing process. Its incorporation into retail food packaging, and its use from field to table, can ensure that foods that make their way to consumers are protected, and retain freshness.

“Extending the life of perishable produce, and other food items, and reducing spoilage and waste are major issues in the world today,” says Meyer, “ and the Debbie Meyer CZZ™ Additive is a proven benefit.”

“Our goal is to enable enhanced preservation of food freshness and safety at virtually any point in the supply chain," Meyer said. "Through the same technology, we also want to make it easier for producers of all sizes, including smaller local producers, to meet the logistical and regulatory requirements of today’s food industry’.”

About DEBBIE MEYER® and Housewares America: 
Housewares America, Inc. was co-founded by Debbie and her husband, Neville Meyer, and operates successfully on a unique business model created by them. Housewares America markets the DEBBIE MEYER® line of products in all areas of consumer demand, including home-shopping networks, regular retail, catalogs TV and internet. The Debbie Meyer brand is highly successful in the United States, and Internationally. The newest advancement on the existing DEBBIE MEYER® consumer products in the marketplace is specifically formulated for commercial and industrial use, to be incorporated into packaging for the retail marketplace. Debbie Meyer Food Fresh TechnologyTM is a ground breaking advancement in the science of keeping foods fresh longer, extending shelf life and reducing spoilage—extending usable life from field to table. The technology is independent laboratory tested, conducted by Nova Biologicals, Inc. (an FDA and EPA, GLP Microbiology Laboratory) for efficacy and proven to work as claimed.  

Debbie, known as the "Home Problem Solver™ and The Original Green Lady™, is an inventor and entrepreneur and holds many patents. Her many successful products are a testament to her ability to identify with and meet the needs of millions of people. Visit her at

1. “FDA Begins Year-Long Assignment to Test Romaine Lettuce for Pathogens,” Food Safety, November 15, 2019.
2. “Foodborne Illnesses and Germs,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019.
3. “New Report: Hazardous Meat and Poultry Recalls Nearly Double,” U.S. Public Interest Research Group, January 17, 2019.
4. Ducharme, Jamie, “You’re Not Imagining It: Food Recalls Are Getting More Common. Here’s Why,” TIME, January 17, 2019.
5. Ray, Linda, “Challenges for Food Manufacturing,” Small Business Chron, 2019.

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