Posts from the "Blog" category

Australian & New Zealand food safety, traceability and technology blog by PMA Technology Manager Richard Bennett

The HACCP Mentor Reveals the Top 10 Food Safety Audit Non-Conformances, writes Richard Bennett

Amanda Evans is the HACCP Mentor. After 20 years working in food safety compliance, as a trainer, auditor, author and food business consultant, she’s as qualified as anyone and better qualified than most to speak on food safety audit non-conformance. And that’s what she did well at the 21st Australian…
New food safety & technology post by Richard Bennett on the PMA A-NZ Blog . View the full post here:

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Don’t risk it: Risk Ranger and other risk assessment tools, writes Richard Bennett

Undertaking an assessment of each significant hazard posed by inputs and processes is fundamental to effective management of food safety in any business. Overlooking the potential impact of a hazard can lead to disaster, and it’s fair to say that many of the major and minor cases of foodborne illness and…
New food safety & technology post by Richard Bennett on the PMA A-NZ Blog . View the full post here:

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“A timely reminder on temperature management” writes Richard Bennett

November 9-16 is Food Safety Week in Australia. This year’s theme is “Avoid the Temperature Danger Zone – keeping hot food hot and cold food cold”. In fresh produce, our first thought about temperature management is usually related to maintaining freshness. The warmer the product the…
New food safety & technology post by Richard Bennett on the PMA A-NZ Blog . View the full post here:
Image credit: Ged Carrol / Flickr, CC BY 2.0

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Back up the food safety training with a good book, writes Richard Bennett

There’s a lot of people responsible for grower, packer or processor quality assurance and food safety who are not technically trained in QA and food safety. That’s just a fact of life that reflects the size, structure and necessities of many fresh produce businesses – small, family and tight. It’s also the reason why some QA standards and customers insist on a minimum level of training for the person(s) responsible for managing food safety in the business, with some now also providing the required training.

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“So, why don’t we have a food safety regulation for Australian growers?” asks Richard Bennett

I haven’t found many growers who like regulation. The very thought of another regulation conjures up responses around more red or green tape, if it has to be regulated then it must be something I wouldn’t do voluntarily, it can’t have any commercial benefit, more bureaucracy wanting more of my…
New food safety & technology post by Richard Bennett on the PMA A-NZ Blog. Click here to view the full post.
Image credit: Carl Clifford/Flickr, CC BY 2.0

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Influenza pandemic will impact on fresh and processed produce industry, writes Richard Bennett

On 23rd September, SBS ONE’s Insight program ran a hypothetical-style question and answer forum on the subject of the impact of an influenza pandemic on the Australian community. The discussion included the health sector response, the rush to produce an effective vaccine, the role of emergency services, the impact on the Australian economy and how we would maintain the supply of food to the Australian population.
New food safety & technology post by Richard Bennett on the PMA A-NZ Blog. View the full post here:
Image credit: Dr Terrence Tumpey

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Aus has a new Standard for Listeria monocytogenes, but does it apply to you? asks Richard Bennett

There already were maximum limits for Listeria monocytogenes in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code). Standard 1.6.1 had what’s called a vertical approach, establishing limits for specific types and limited number of foods. The limit generally specified was “not detected in 25 g”.
Guideline criteria for L. monocytogenes in foods is also provided in the FSANZ Recall guidelines for packaged ready-to-eat foods found to contain Listeria monocytogenes at point of sale (Recall Guidelines) and Guidelines for the microbiological examination of ready-to-eat foods (RTE Guidelines), based on whether a food is able, or not able, to support the growth of L. monocytogenes.
So what’s changed?
The prescriptive versus risk-based inconsistencies above have obviously troubled Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and the food industry. The product by product approach does not reflect product and processing characteristics that may mean some foods currently considered high risk are actually low risk due to the application of a listericidal process (a process that kills Listeria), and vice versa. This obviously makes a difference to the limits that apply.
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Image credit: Listeria monocytogenes by Elizabeth White

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Five key messages from the Fresh Produce Safety Conference, writes Richard Bennett

Nearly 130 representatives from across the Australian and New Zealand ‘food safety value chain’ attended the second Fresh Produce Safety Conference in Sydney on 11th August 2014. Growers, packers and marketers, wholesalers, processors and retailers, QA facilitators and auditors, academia, researchers and students, government, industry associations and input suppliers, were all well represented. The mix of formal presentations, the opportunity to put questions to speakers, the interactive outreach and research sessions and networking whenever possible were all well received.

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“Learn from the past, because history has a habit of repeating itself” writes Richard Bennett

What’s the difference between a serious typhoid outbreak in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1964 and the tragic – was it cucumber or sprouts? – E. coli outbreak in Germany in 2011? Not a lot according to this article and the even worse news is that major foodborne illness outbreaks are most likely to happen…
New food safety & technology post by Richard Bennett on the PMA A-NZ Blog . View the full post here:
Image credit: E. coli with flagella by AJ Cann CC BY-SA 2.0

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The #1 reason we bother with food safety? Because consumers demand it!, writes Richard Bennett

Consumers rank food safety at the supermarket as number 1. As suppliers, we often don’t give food safety the profile in our businesses that reflects this ranking, probably because we are focussed on price and quality. Consumers take a long time to forgive a food safety incident, which is why we must be so diligent to get food safety right.

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