Posts from the "Latest News" category


‘What it takes to instill a food safety culture in your business’ new presentation

Food Safety in our industry is a consumer-right, requiring a collaborative effort from all sectors of the industry. Dr Douglas Powell, Professor of food safety at Kansas State University was at PMA Fresh Connections 2013 Conference last week to challenge businesses not to rely on regulation, but to rely on their staff to deliver safe food.

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Fourth FPSANZ monthly newsletter out now!

The fourth edition of the Fresh Produce Safety Australia & New Zealand newsletter has just been released!
In this edition:

Find out about the Fresh Produce Safety Centre at PMA Fresh Connections
Visit the FOOD SAFETY HUB, booth #61
SURVEY RESULTS: Does the Industry need a Fresh Produce Safety Centre?
Fresh produce safety important to industry: recognising young professional with award.

…and more!
Click here to check out the newsletter.
Stay up to date with what’s happening in the Fresh Produce Safety community by signing up for the monthly newsletter.

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SURVEY RESULTS: Does the Industry need a Fresh Produce Safety Centre?

A primary objective for FPS A&NZ was to scope out the feasibility for a dedicated body to identify research needs and provide appropriate food safety solutions for the Australian fresh produce Industry.
FPS A&NZ has made strong progress towards this objective and it was decided to survey the industry to determine the level of support for the establishment of a Fresh Produce Safety Centre. The survey was sent to the entire list of individuals who have registered to receive regular newsletters from FPS A&NZ, representing a large range of sectors in the fresh produce industry.
The survey contained questions aimed at gauging  industry’s in-principle support for the establishment of a Fresh Produce Safety Centre; whether the University of Sydney was an appropriate ‘base’ for the Centre; what should be the overarching role of the Centre; and what were the priorities for food safety research.
From the responses, there was overwhelming support, in principle, for the establishment of a Fresh Produce Safety Centre (98%) and for it to be “housed” at the University of Sydney (95%).
The survey also revealed that the role of the proposed Centre was to call and manage research in food safety and importantly to provide industry wide education and information and news on fresh produce safety, while representing the industry on regulatory matters was the most unpopular role for the Centre.  Results like this provide information that will assist in ensuring that the roles of other organisations will not be duplicated.
Research priorites needed to address the gaps in knowledge in food safety covers a wide variety of areas, but the top three topics as chosen by the respondents were Microbial contamination on-farm followed by topics Pathogens in the postharvest supply chain and Water – Postharvest.
The survey unequivocally indicated that there is widespread support for the establishment of a Fresh Produce Safety Centre for the whole fresh fruit and vegetable industries that will identify and conduct industry-driven research projects and provide valuable information, education and outreach on all aspects of fresh produce safety.
Download the full survey report here.

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Third FPSANZ monthly newsletter out now!

The third edition of the Fresh Produce Safety Australia & New Zealand newsletter has just been released!
In this edition:

Introducing the FPS A&NZ Technical Committee
FPS A&NZ hosting Food Safety Hub at PMA Fresh Connections!
What happened at the Freshcare Workshop? Find out from the team.
“What’s new in Food Safety for you?” Presentation available.

…and more!
Click here to check out the newsletter.
Stay up to date with what’s happening in the Fresh Produce Safety community by signing up for the monthly newsletter.

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“Whats new in food safety for you?” presentation now available.

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.

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Introducing the FPSANZ Technical Committee, 2013.

The FPS Technical Committee has been formed to collaborate with the Center for Produce Safety at UC Davis to review the research proposals submitted by the Australian research community.
The objective of the research is to provide the produce industry with practical, translatable research data that can be used at all levels throughout the supply chain and the FPS Technical Committee is well equipped to review the submissions.
The research proposals will address two major research priorities, which were identified at the industry Fresh Produce Safety Forum in November 2012: Compost, Soil Amendment Fertiliser Use, and Cultivation Practices; and Agricultural Water.
The 2013 FPS Technical Committee includes:

(Chair) Professor Les Copeland, Professor of Agriculture,Faculty of Agriculture and Environment University of Sydney (NSW)
Dr Andreas Klieber, Agriculture Policy Manager, Coles-Wesfarmers (Vic)
Dr David Miles, Senior Technical Officer, NSW Food Authority (NSW)
Mr Scott Ledger, Senior Horticulturist (Postharvest), Hort VC Group (Qld)
Mr Richard Bennett, Product Integrity Manager, Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) (Vic)
Mrs Allison Clark, General Manager for Marketing, Houston’s Farm (Tas).

For more details on the Committee, please download their profiles.

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Shoppers in the Asia-Pacific have a taste for safe food.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Fresh Foods  released its report this month, revealing that food safety is one of the major influences for shoppers in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Fresh food contributes to more than 50% of food, grocery and personal care spending in most Asian countries.

“While modern trade fresh food shoppers are motivated by freshness and convenience, their view of these attributes are different than a traditional shopper,” said Peter Gale, managing director of Retailer Services, Nielsen Asia-Pacific and Middle East. “Freshness relates to cleanliness and food safety and the belief that they can trust the quality of the product. Convenience is about one-stop shopping rather than location.”
It is clear that food safety is at the front of the consumers mind when purchasing fresh produce, it is important to “Ensure high quality standards and effectively communicate the importance of food safety.” said Gale.

To read the full report click here.

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Irradiation of Tomatoes and Capsicums Approved by FSANZ.

Tomatoes and capsicums have recently been added to the list of produce permitted to receive irradiation as a phytosanitary measure by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).
This change comes following application by DAFF Queensland, in association with the New Zealand Fresh Produce Importers Association (NZFPIA), who requested the variation be made to Standard 1.5.3.
In the past, chemicals such as dimethoate and/or fenthion have primarily been used as the phytosanitary measures however these chemicals have been restricted for this purpose and other options need to be considered. Permitting irradiation of tomatoes and capsicums will allow the increase of domestic and international trade due to the rigorous requirements in place for quarantine purposes against fruit fly.
FSANZ has reviewed the application and the scientific evidence on the safety of irradiated tomatoes and capsicums as well as the effect irradiation has on their nutritional composition. The approval has been submitted to the Council Of Australian Governments (COAG) and awaits their decision.
For more information about this approval, go to the FSANZ website.

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Traceability set to improve with the GS1 DataBar

GS1 have launched the new GS1 DataBar, to be implemented globally from January 2014.
This in an important development and will impact retailers both locally and internationally.
The GS1 DataBar is a family of seven barcodes, four of which can be read by omnidirectional scanners at Point-of-Sale. The smaller size will provide several advantages to anyone working in the supply chain and specifically for the fresh produce industry, allowing products that have not been previously barcoded to be quickly and accurately scanned at Point-of-Sale. The benefits of the new GS1 DataBar include:
•              Improved Traceability – with more information input into the barcodes
•              Enhanced and wider category management
•              Product authentication
•              Global variable measure product identification
•              Increased shrink control through more effective markdown management
As an example, the GS1 DataBar provides for the automated markdown of products approaching expiry date. This saves time and resources in manual markdown and gives retailers the scope to improve product rotation and eliminate non-sales from expired products.
This will increase the level of confidence in the safety of fresh produce and aligns with goals of the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI).
Furthermore, the long-anticipated report produced for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) (report), was recently released and fits also with the PTI and the developments GS1 are making for traceability of fresh Produce. The recommendations in the IFT report including: encouraging current industry-led initiatives, not excluding commodities; accepting electronic traceability data/records during product tracing investigations; and requiring all organizations that handle food in the supply chain to identify and maintain records of traceability related information.
It is recommended that anyone working in the supply chain, no matter what size, understand the GS1 DataBar.
For more information on the GS1 DataBar, download the brochure.

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Ministry for Primary Industries, NZ, releases study on Residues on Fresh Produce

Last month, the Ministry for Primary Industries, New Zealand, released the findings from the annual Food Residue Surveillance Program which targeted locally-produced and imported crops prone to exceeding the maximum residue limit (MRL) set for agricultural chemicals.
The study looked at chemical residues in fresh, unwashed produce and results indicated that most growers are using pesticides responsibly in the recommended manner with only a few exceptions. This year’s focus was on asparagus, eggplant, feijoas, hops, lemons, olive oil, persimmons, pumpkins, spring onion, sweet corn, tamarillos and walnuts.
Produce is sampled over the 12 month period so as to allow for seasonal variation in the food. The results are reported on after each quarter of testing. This differs from previous studies where sampling produce occurred twice over a short period of time.
Read the full article.
Find out more about the Food Residue Surveillance Program at the Ministry for Primary Industries | Manatu Ahu Matua, New Zealand.

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