Posts from the "Past Events" category
Thirty-five delegates representing retailers, grower-packers, wholesalers and service providers attended theÂ recent PMA A-NZ/GS1 DataBar Workshop in Sydney on the 25th November 2013.
Titled â€œMoving forward with Global Trade Item NumbersÂ (GTIN) and GS1 DataBarâ€, the purpose of the Workshop was to develop a roadmap for the implementation of aÂ more effective product identification and traceability system for fresh produce sold as loose or in bulk (i.e.Â unpackaged).Read Article →
PMA A-NZ will be co-hosting this workshop with GS1 Australia, with the objective of furthering the adoption of GTIN and GS1 Databar in Australia. This is a must-attend event for retailers, suppliers and supply chain companies.Read Article →
The biennial ASEAN Food Conference is the leading forum for the food industry and research community in the region. The theme of the 13th ASEAN Food Conference held on the 9th-11th September 2013 in Singapore was “Meeting Future Food Demands: Security and Sustainability”.
Issues of malnutrition, undernutrition, and sustainable production were certainly important topics. However the themes were interpreted quite broadly to encompass, for example, how improvement in nutritional quality and food safety could benefit consumer health and community livelihoods, and help to address the alarming worldwide escalation in diet-related and lifestyle diseases. Sustainability was discussed less in terms of environmental impact, and more in terms of innovations in food processing, quality and safety to sustain long-term food industries.
The program included sessions on: managing innovation, nutrition & health, food chemistry & biochemistry, sensory science & consumer studies, food microbiology, food engineering, food processing, food product development, protein and weight management, food safety, food science and technology education, functional foods, nanotechnology of food, food analysis and quality assurance, and management of allergens in the food chain. The full program is available online, click here.
The conference was about food generally, but some interesting topics relevant to produce safety included:
Development of a fermentation process to produce a natural preservative called phenyllactic acid (PLA) from Lactobacillus plantarum bacteria. The PLA was shown to have antimicrobial activity against a variety of pathogens and extended the shelf-life of fresh-cut pineapple and bottled pineapple juice (Bui Kim Thuy, Nguyen Duy Lam, and Nguyen Thi Hoai Tram).
Development of a Surface Plasmon Resonance biosensor and sensor chips with antibodies specific to Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella Enteritidis, and Listeria monocytogenes. The biosensor is an experimental format that, if successful, would allow convenient simultaneous detection of target bacteria (Zhang Xiaoguang, Sachiko Tsuji, Ken-ichi Honjoh, and Takahisa Miyamoto).
Direct irradiation with LED has bactericidal effects on E. coli O157:H7, S. Typhimurium, and L. monocytogenes dependent on the pH of the medium and LED wavelength – blue is better than green! (Vinayak Ghate, Leong Ai Ling, and Yuk Hyun-Gyun).
Chitosan is a natural antimicrobial and antilisterial agent. Electron microscopy suggested that chitosan kills the bacteria by interfering with cell membrane permeability and causing leakage of cell contents (Juthamas Tantala, Titima Sukmark, Masubon Thongngam, Kanjana Thumanu, Pornchai Rachtanapun, Chitsiri Rachtanapun).
Establishment of a microbial risk assessment and food safety system for the Singapore retail sector by the National Environment Agency (NEA). The NEA is a government agency that has brought together regulatory activity and research to develop and deliver a risk-based inspection and education service. A unique feature of this relates to the cultural popularity of ready-to-eat food bought from stalls, which have special hygiene challenges (Ramona A Gutierrez and Ng Lee Ching).
Site visit to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore, which is the national food safety agency. Singapore imports 90% of its food from all over the world and has extremely well-resourced labs to test for chemical contaminants, additives and preservatives, drug residues, pesticide residues, food pathogens, foodborne parasites, physical quality, GMO, and other toxins. It also provides export certification, accreditation of food businesses, and food safety education; implements labelling and advertisement regulations and food recalls; and has a variety of roles relating to the animals and pet sector.
The FPS A&NZ have made available the final report summarising the outcomes from the project “A New Collaborative Paradigm for Fresh Produce Safety”. This project was funding by the University of Sydney and the Produce Marketing Association Australia and New Zealand (PMA A-NZ) with matched funding from the Australian Government, accessed through Horticulture Australia Limited.
You can download the report here and read about the outcomes of the many activities conducted in the year.
The entire fruit and vegetable industry shares the responsibility of providing customers with healthy and safe food and recent young professional award demonstrates the importance fresh produce safety has in the industry.
The Australian Institute for Agricultural Science and Technology (AIAST) awarded the 2013 Young Professional in Agricultural Industry Award to Erika Watson, Fresh Produce Safety Project Officer at the University of Sydney.
In this role, Erika has been working towards the establishment a Fresh Produce Safety Centre, which will be dedicated to improving food safety for the fresh fruit and vegetable industries.
FPS A&NZ is a collaborative project funded by PMA A-NZ and the University of Sydney with matched funds from the government through HAL, and has been maintaining momentum towards this goal.
Outcomes have included a national forum with guest speakers from The Center for Produce Safety, UC Davis and PMA US, outreach activities such as the launch of the FPS A&NZ website, the monthly newsletter, an industry survey, and presentations at the Freshcare workshop, identifying research priorities and a call for research proposals and finally the inaugural Food Safety Hub at PMA Fresh Connections where delegates can find out more about the proposed Fresh Produce Safety Centre.
To read the full story about Erika and the AIAST award, click here.
The recent Freshcare Workshop, held in Sydney, brought together experts from grower organizations, research institutions, retailers, wholesalers, auditors and trainers for two days of presentations, workshop sessions and networking opportunities.
Presentations from Horticulture Australia (HAL), University of Sydney and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) provided the latest information about the new US food safety regulations, food safety research priorities and the direction of food standards here in Australia.
“The biennial Freshcare Workshop brings together our stakeholders and experts from many fields to provide a forum for both professional development and for the exchange of ideas and information; helping us improve the certification programs we provide to industry.” said Clare Hamilton Bate, National Program Manager, Freshcare.
Over the two days, the delegates also received highly valuable and detailed updates on all aspects of the Freshcare Codes of Practice, including:
â€¢ Freshcare Food Safety and Quality
â€¢ Freshcare Environmental
â€¢ Freshcare Environmental – Viticulture
â€¢ Freshcare Environmental – Winery
“We covered a huge amount in the two-day workshop and feedback from delegates has been very positive.” Clare said.
Freshcare are making many exciting program developments, including discussion on the accreditation and international benchmarking (Global Food Safety Initiative – GFSI) of the Freshcare Food Safety and Quality Code and the development of online training resources.
Clare added, “Now the hard work begins, converting all the plans and ideas into practical tools, to benefit our most important stakeholder group – the growers, packers and wider industry for whom Freshcare is the key to compliance in both food safety and environmental assurance”.
Presentations and session overviews will be made available shortly.
For more information on any aspect of the Freshcare Program contact:
Tel: 1300 853 508
At the recent Freshcare Workshop 11-12 April 2013, Associate Professor Robyn McConchie (USyd) delivered a presentation on “Whats new in Food Safety for you?”
The presentation was based on information provided by Dr Bob Whitaker (PMA) and Ms Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli (CPS) and summarises some of the food safety research made available at the Center for Produce Safety 2012 Research Symposium.Read Article →
Dr Bob Whitaker, Chief Science & Technology Officer, PMA and Chair of the CPS Technical Committee, has made available his key learnings from The Wash Water Symposium at the Center for Produce Safety UC Davis that occurred in January this year.
To view the Key Learnings by Bob Whitaker please click here.
The symposium, was also attended by Australian representatives Dr Robyn McConchie (HoD Plant and Food Sciences, FAE, Usyd) and Mr Michael Worthington (CEO PMA A-NZ). To read more about the event, and to find the key learnings Robyn McConchie provided please click here.
In January 2013 Associate Professor Robyn McConchie (HoD Plant and Food Sciences, University of Sydney) and Mr Michael Worthington (CEO of PMA A-NZ) attended the Wash Water Sanitation and Validation Workshop held at the Center for Produce Safety CPS) in conjunction with the Institute for Food Safety and Health, Illinois Institute of Technology.
The workshop provided an update on the latest research in wash water sanitation for all stakeholders, and drew attention on the participant’s experience to identify needs for research and training. Over 130 industry stakeholders from all parts of the supply chain attended, which indicates just how important this food safety topic is to the fresh produce industry.
Guest speakers included Bob Brackett, IIFSH, Devon Zagory, Zagory and Associates, Karan Khurana, Pulse Instruments and Drew McDonald, Danaco Solutions.
Associate Professor Robyn McConchie (HoD Plant and Food Sciences, University of Sydney) has provided us with the key take home messages from the presentations.
Download Robyn’s key messages here.
Devon Zagary’s presentation addressed the quality of wash water, the role and choice of disinfectants, the variables to monitor, and definition of critical control point, validation and verification.
Download Devon’s presentation here.
Karan Khurana described some of the wash water systems that are available, ways in which to monitor and verify the system and variables that impact the system.
Download Karan’s presentation here.
Drew McDonald reminded the audience of the critical opportunities and challenges they have encountered with wash water systems, and the critical questions the industry needs to address.
Download Drew’s presentation here.