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Posts from the ‘News: Traceability’ Category

Advice to the public: wash your produce with water NOT SOAP

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Fresh produce safety and COVID-19 positive workers in processing facilities: key points for industry

The ARC Training Centre for Food Safety in the Fresh Produce Industry has released information on fresh produce safety and COVID-19 positive workers in processing facilities. Key points are:

  • COVID-19 is unlikely to be passed on through fresh produce
  • There is a low risk of contracting COVID-19 from fresh produce if handled by a worker who is confirmed positive for COVID-19
  • Immediately notify the health department if a worker in the facility tests positive for COVID-19
  • Increase contact time and/or concentration of disinfectants on surfaces in the processing environment

For further information, visit the ARC Training Centre’s website here

Additional resources:
For additional information, visit these following sites: 

Australian Department of Health: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-resources

Freshcare: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources: https://www.freshcare.com.au/resources/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/

Institute for Food Safety at Cornell University: The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Food Industry Resources and FAQs: https://instituteforfoodsafety.cornell.edu/coronavirus-covid-19/frequently-asked-questions/

New Zealand Food Safety Science Research Centre: https://www.nzfssrc.org.nz/node/154

NZ MPI: Coronavirus and Food Safety on COVID-19: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/responding/alerts/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-food-safety/

AU-NZ: Primary Production and Processing Requirements for High-Risk Horticulture

A reminder to the fresh produce industry that the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) call for submissions on primary production and processing requirements to address food safety for high-risk horticultural products closes on 18 March 2020

More information is here. To make a submission to FSANZ, visit here.

The Fresh Produce Safety Centre is on the Standards Development Advisory Group convened by FSANZ for information and advice on this issue.  FSANZ is seeking submissions, particularly around the questions in the call for submission document. FSANZ is also seeking advice if there are any relevant area(s) that should be addressed which may be missing from the information provided in the call for submissions.

FPSC is asking the wider fresh produce industry to feed-back information and suggestions on this proposal to FPSC. Please do so by COB 16 March 2020. 

If you would like to discuss your submission or issues raised, please contact the FPSC Chairman Michael Worthington on +61 409 181 034 or FPSC Executive Officer Emma Walters on +61 419 204 454.

2025 AGENDA: The 2025 Fresh Produce Food Safety Innovation Agenda

Five years on from the inception of the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand, we’ve achieved strong collaboration by bringing together, in a non-competitive space, the key influencers and networks from across the globe in fresh produce food safety.

With rich online resources of interpreted leading research, articles and tools, we have actively developed partnerships beyond our networks to bring to the fresh produce sector the best opportunity to tackle emerging food safety issues.

The Guidelines for Fresh Produce Food Safety continue to represent the most recent research-based evidence and thinking in food safety. As the custodians of the Guidelines, we ensure they are readily available as a practical resource for growers, packers and along the supply chain.

We have also developed research partnerships – ARC Training Centre in Fresh Produce Food Safety, Freshcare Limited and Applied Horticultural Research – to undertake Australian based research that provides local evidence to inform domestic and export requirements such as withholding periods for animal manures, composts and irrigation water. These findings are segue directly into the biennial updates of the Guidelines.

Key Food Safety Challenges

An emerging food safety issue is the effect of climate change. It is a theme that is gaining momentum with growers, industry bodies and the research community who are starting to delve into the ramifications on food safety of unpredictable weather patterns and climate conditions.

Without the historical intelligence and records growers rely upon to enforce their decisions, we are racing to create the knowledge bank that will allow safe fresh produce to flourish in this new and changing era.

We are responding to this challenge by undertaking global desktop research in partnership with The University of Sydney to better understand the food safety risks associated with a range of climatic conditions. Initial findings from this research are due to be completed in November 2019.

Consumer scrutiny about fresh produce traceability and food safety are increasingly a challenge for the fresh produce sector in Australia and New Zealand. With incidences from listeria to needles to frogs and spiders in packaged goods, consumers are uncertain about the robustness of the supply chain from farm to retailer.

2025 Agenda: The 2025 Fresh Produce Food Safety Innovation Agenda is our response to this challenge.

2025 Agenda

In June 2019, we hosted 30 key influencers from Australia and New Zealand’s horticultural and innovation sectors to a one-day Innovation Forum. The result was a mandate that FPSC A-NZ lead the conversation and activities to investigate opportunities.

Tasked with empowering the Australian and New Zealand fresh produce industry with novel and innovative systems and processes that leads to safer fresh produce for consumers, the 2025 Agenda focuses on transformational risk management in fresh produce food safety by tapping into indigenous and global talent within fresh produce, the research community, and the technology and innovation experts outside our natural space to help find solutions.

This style of thinking is our opportunity to delve into what the future of fresh produce food safety looks like beyond 2025. We are at the start-line of the opportunity to write the future for fresh produce and reaffirm consumer trust in our systems and processes.

The initial scope (Stage One) of the 2025 Agenda is to undertake:

  1. A desktop analysis to produce a review of food safety compliance systems across the globe with an understanding of what components can be used in A-NZ that are transformational.
  2. A study of the food safety audit to map a typical compliance system leading to the identification of process improvements at each stage, both as a technology solution and best practice human input.

Timing

The initial scoping activities will be completed by March 2020.

Upon completion of these activities, broad-spectrum industry engagement to peak industry bodies and growers, scheme owners, and government will occur to allow for full transparency of the process to-date, consultation on the findings and further opportunities for involvement.

Stage Two of the 2025 Agenda is set to begin in mid-2020.

Partners

Key stakeholders involved in the 2025 Agenda are: Perfection Fresh, Costa Group, T&G Global, RockIt, Amazon Web Services, Vodafone, IBM Food Trust, CHEP, Escavox, HarvestMark/Trimble, Intela Data Science, Merieux Nutrisciences, Freshcare Limited, GS1, HARPS, Optimum Standards, University of Queensland, and New Zealand Food Safety Science & Research Centre.

Download a copy of the 2025 Agenda here. For further information about involvement and opportunities please complete the form below.

CH: Food tracking system established in 58 cities

Xinhuanet: A food tracking system involving 86,000 companies and 524,000 merchants has been established in 58 big- and medium-sized cities across China, a spokesman with the Ministry of Commerce has said. The tracking system covers commonly-consumed meats like pork and beef, over 500 kinds of vegetables and some fruits as well as aquatic products. The establishment of the tracking system will help ensure food safety for consumers, Gao Feng said at a press conference.

CA: Canada’s SFCR mandates traceability

Produce Traceability Initiative: The Canadian government finalized regulations in June for implementing its Safe Food for Canadians Act of 2012, including traceability requirements. Growers, packers and shippers supplying Canada will need to comply with SFCR by January 15, 2019 to meet importer requirements. More information is available here.

AU: A barcoded apple is more important than you may realise

Food & Beverage Magazine: What is the significance of barcoding every single apple in a mountain of fruit at the supermarket? It seems a tedious process when an apple is surely just an apple. But, an apple is much more than what is seen at face value. It comes with a history – a place of origin, a past in which it was grown in specific soil and shipped in a certain container. This is valuable information, even for the humble apple, as a food recall could affect any product at any time.

AU: A barcoded apple is more important than you may realise

Food & Beverage Magazine: What is the significance of barcoding every single apple in a mountain of fruit at the supermarket? It seems a tedious process when an apple is surely just an apple. But, an apple is much more than what is seen at face value. It comes with a history – a place of origin, a past in which it was grown in specific soil and shipped in a certain container. This is valuable information, even for the humble apple, as a food recall could affect any product at any time.

AU: Australia’s agricultural traceability strengthened with new project

Food & Beverage Magazine: A national traceability project, which will help Australian farmers show the origins and quality of their produce, is underway. ​Australian minister for agriculture, David Littleproud, said the project would enhance trust in Australian-grown products and give farmers a competitive edge. ​”We’ll be able to more easily find where a biosecurity or food safety problem began so an isolated incident won’t impact a whole industry,” said Littleproud.

AU: Australia’s agricultural traceability strengthened with new project

Food & Beverage Magazine: A national traceability project, which will help Australian farmers show the origins and quality of their produce, is underway. ​Australian minister for agriculture, David Littleproud, said the project would enhance trust in Australian-grown products and give farmers a competitive edge. ​”We’ll be able to more easily find where a biosecurity or food safety problem began so an isolated incident won’t impact a whole industry,” said Littleproud.