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Posts from the ‘Media Releases’ Category

Consumer expectations met through new fresh produce food safety guidelines

“The Guidelines for Fresh Produce Food Safety 2019 ensure Australian produce has the highest safety standards of any produce anywhere in the world”, said Peter Tuohey, Chair, Melbourne Market Authority.

Launching the 2019 version of the Guidelines today at Hort Connections in Melbourne, Mr Tuohey acknowledged that Australian horticulture had seen some damage in recent years through contamination and tampering that impacted producers, retailers and exporters.

“However it is by continuing to evolve and change the standards within these Guidelines that we will meet our consumer expectations”.

“These Guidelines set out the procedures and steps to prevent or deal with contaminations, and covers a comprehensive list of practices and potential hazards to assist growers, packers, transporters, wholesalers and retailers along the supply chain”.

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Horticulture challenges the current state of food safety

The Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand (FPSC A-NZ) is leading the conversation with Australia and New Zealand’s top horticultural growers, packers, manufacturers, retailers, supply chain experts and academics in the food safety arena.

The Centre is bringing together over 30 key influencers in Australia and New Zealand’s horticultural and innovation sectors to challenge the current thinking on fresh produce food safety compliance.

The Innovation Forum – the first of its kind in horticulture – will see industry experts be challenged by the emerging capabilities of new technologies both homegrown in Australia and New Zealand as well as from overseas.

“This forum, on Thursday 13 June, is our opportunity to delve into what the future of fresh produce food safety compliance looks like beyond 2025”, said Jessica Purbrick, Executive Officer, FPSC A-NZ.

“It is time we had this conversation across our industry and bring in the innovation experts, outside of our natural space to help us find solutions”.

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Food safety conference delivers key learnings to the fresh produce industry

The theme of this year’s Fresh Produce Safety Conference, hosted by the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand in Sydney last week was ‘Food Safety: It’s Your Responsibility’.

Bringing together over 150 leading food producers and manufacturers, packers, distributors and retailers, students and researchers, the event confirmed food safety and compliance as top priorities for the industry. Read more

Listeria in fresh produce. Are we any the wiser?

‘The role of food safety staff must go beyond compliance and keeping the regulatory guys happy,’ said Suresh DeCosta, Director of Food Safety, Lipman Family Farms (USA) and Technical Committee, Center for Produce Safety (USA), at the 5th Annual Fresh Produce Safety Conference in Sydney last week.

The number of deaths from the 2017 listeriosis outbreak in South Africa reached 216, making it the most lethal outbreak in history. The source was cured meats.

On a much smaller scale, Australia recently experienced lethal outbreaks traced to cheese and rockmelons. While the number of recorded hospitalised cases in Australia is low – around 70 a year – Listeria continues to be a major problem for the food industry, and a priority theme for the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand.

Microbiologist Dr Robert Premier explained there are 17 species of Listeria but most are harmless and only two are implicated in human infections. Read more

AU: Listeriosis outbreak linked to rockmelon

The NSW Food Authority is advising consumers who are most vulnerable to Listeria infection such as older persons, and people who have weakened immune systems due to illness or pregnancy, to avoid eating rockmelon after a recent spike in listeriosis cases in elderly people has been linked to the fruit.

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AU: Frozen berries Hepatitis A Virus outbreak fact sheet (2017)

An outbreak of foodborne illness attributed to hepatitis A virus (HAV) has taken place in Australia. At least four people have become infected. The source of the outbreak is 300 gram packs of Creative Gourmet Frozen Mixed Berries with a best-before date of 15 January 2021. This product was recalled nationally on 2nd June 2017 as a precaution.

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NZ: New Zealand fruit and vegetable industry collaborate on food safety

Last month QA and technical staff from New Zealand horticultural businesses met up to work on improving the value businesses can achieve from chemical and microbial verification testing of fruit and veg.

Presenters from Countdown, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), AsureQuality and the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand (FPSC) ensured a wide variety of perspectives.

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AU/NZ: Freshcare Forum and Fresh Produce Safety Centre Conference back to back in 2017

This year’s FPSC Conference, with the theme science + culture = safe food, will be held on August 9 2017, in the Refectory at the University of Sydney.

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FPSC welcomes new crop of sponsors: T&G Global and Costa Group

The FPSC is pleased to announce two new Silver supporters for 2017, Costa Group and T&G Global. These commitments strengthen collaboration on the critical issue of food safety in the fresh produce industry and builds on the food safety culture in the region.

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AU: Symbio Laboratories joins the drive for fresh produce safety

Symbio Laboratories has become a proud supporter of the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand as a Bronze level supporter.

David Phillips, CEO of Symbio Laboratories said, “As a proponent of ensuring that Australia continues to produce and supply the highest quality fresh produce domestically, and in the global marketplace, Symbio Laboratories is proud to support the FPSC in its mission to provide the industry with the information it needs to enhance the safety and quality of fruit and vegetables”

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