The March 2021 edition of the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand newsletter has just been released!
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US – The Conversation: When the COVID-19 pandemic began, not much was known about SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus) and its survival in food, on various materials and on surfaces. Since then, several food safety agencies have assessed the risk of potentially acquiring the virus from contaminated food or food packaging. The consensus is that currently, there’s no evidence it’s a food safety risk. More
US – Center for Produce Safety: A handful of Cyclospora cayetanensis outbreaks tied to U.S.-grown produce since 2018 have prompted several researchers to begin looking at possible domestic sources of the pathogen and potential industry risks. Read more.
See a short video on this research, Investigating Sources of Cyclospora in the Southeastern US, here.
AU – A recent study by a team from the ARC Training Centre for Food Safety in the Fresh Produce Industry, the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture and the Food Quality and Design Group (at the University of Sydney, the University of Tasmania and Wageningen University, respectively) explored industry interpretations of food safety guidelines by describing the application of controls in Australian orchards and packhouses.
The assessment, published in the journal Food Control, found that an inconsistent application of water sanitation resulted in variable control of wash water quality and hygiene, and that the industry “could benefit from a better understanding of effective risk mitigation strategies, consistent industry application of food safety controls and improved evidence of controls achieving desired food safety outcomes.” More
AU – The paper ‘Persistence of Human Pathogens in Manure-Amended Australian Soils Used for Production of Leafy Vegetables‘ is now available online in a special issue of the journal Agriculture. The paper, authored by Dr Jenny Ekman and others, has been published as part of the research undertaken for the Hort Innovation project ‘Pathogen Persistence from Paddock to Plate’. Hort Innovation, together with the vegetable industry, completed a study on the survival of human pathogens in soil and irrigation water, and on leafy vegetables. The project was led by the Fresh Produce Safety Centre, in conjunction with Applied Horticultural Research, Freshcare and the University of Sydney. Read more about the project here, read the project report on the Hort Innovation website here and read the full journal article here.
AU – Produce Plus Magazine: Seattle-based iFoodDS teamed up with Foodbank to implement its Disposition feature, which allows retail distribution centres and suppliers to collaborate and donate products to Foodbank.
The technology speeds up the donation process, resulting in extended shelf life, reduced operational costs for suppliers and increased donations. More
The Board of Directors of the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand (FPSC) today announced the appointment of two new Directors, confirmed at its AGM held on 25 November 2020.
The Chairman of the FPSC, Mr. Michael Worthington, said: “From a strong field of applicants, we are delighted to welcome Dr. Andreas Klieber (Managing Director of Quality Associates) and Deon Mahoney (Head of Food Safety at PMA Australia-New Zealand) to the Board. Their extensive experience and skillsets will fit in extremely well with the existing Board members as we continue FPSC’s important role in further enhancing food safety in the fresh produce sectors in Australia and New Zealand.”
The Board thanked the applicants for the two Board vacancies and the outgoing FPSC Directors, Darren Keating and Dr. Anthony Kachenko.
Mr. Keating was replaced by Mr. Mahoney as the director representing PMA and Dr. Kachenko retired by rotation and elected not to re-stand due to other commitments.
Chairman, Mr. Worthington, said: “We thank both Darren and Anthony for their significant contributions over recent years to the FPSC and their involvement in the reset of FPSC’s strategy in 2019.”
Further information about the Board of the FPSC A&NZ: https://fpsc-anz.com/about/our-board/
To celebrate Australian Food Safety Week, 14-21 November 2020, the FPSC, PMA A-NZ and AIFST are jointly presenting a one-hour webinar on “Food Safety – it’s in your hands” on Tuesday 17 November 2020 at 2pm AEDT. Presenters are Julian Cox, Associate Professor of Food Microbiology at UNSW and Robyn McConchie, Professor of Horticulture at the University of Sydney. More information and to register, visit here.