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Posts from the ‘Latest News’ Category

United Fresh NZ Survey: Take Five

United Fresh NZ: We are now conducting a survey to provide an understanding of how Traceability systems operate in the domestic fresh produce industry. We would appreciate five minutes of your time to complete this survey. You can do so via this link: Closing date for this survey is Friday 16th November 2018.

Food Safety Culture Webinar – Take It Seriously

Food Safety Culture Webinar: Thursday 15 November, 12noon – 1pm (AEDT) / 2pm – 3pm (NZDT)

Food safety culture is the product of shared values, beliefs and norms that affect mindset and behaviour towards food safety across an organisation.

Dr Pieternel Luning, a visiting professor from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, will present her findings and suggest practical strategies to strengthen food safety culture. She will address what good food safety culture looks like (for businesses large and small), the key steps to get there, and how businesses can measure the benefits of a good food safety culture.

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NZ: MPI Approves GAP Checklists

New Zealand GAP: NZGAP, GLOBALG.A.P. and British Retail Consortium (BRC) standards (GAP checklists) have all been approved by MPI as Section 40 Template Food Control Plans for National Programme 1 under the Food Act 2014. You can download the MPI Food Notice reports for each standard here. This is a significant step forward in the broader acceptance of the existing GAP systems and processes.

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US: 4 Million Pounds of Food Part of Massive Recall

WebMD: A massive recall involving nearly 4 million pounds of salads, wraps, and other products has been traced to a common supplier of onions and other vegetables. McCain Foods, headquartered in Canada, announced that its fire-roasted, caramelized, or sauteed frozen vegetables and fruits made at its Colton, CA, facility may have been contaminated. The products were sold in Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Walmart, Kroger, and Target stores across the country.

NZ: New regulations proposed to strengthen food recalls and manage risks

New Zealand Food Safety: New Zealand Food Safety today announced it is seeking feedback on proposals to strengthen food recalls and improve risk-based plans and programmes. Head of New Zealand Food Safety, Bryan Wilson, says the consultation is about setting clear expectations for food businesses in preparation for and during a recall, as well as providing more certainty by making the food safety requirements clearer and more accessible to all parties involved in the food system.

US: Austrian Hepatitis A cases match strain in Swedish outbreak

Food Safety News: Austria has become part of a multi-country Hepatitis A outbreak with 31 confirmed cases linked to frozen strawberries imported from Poland. The outbreak of hepatitis A virus (HAV) is connected to the one recently declared over in Sweden which affected 20 people in six counties. Of these cases, 17 were confirmed and three were probable. Dates of symptom onset ranged from May 30 to July 10. Ages ranged from nine to 92 years and 13 out of 20 were women.

NZ: Coming soon: Hidden Dangers, by Dr Robert Tauxe


AU: Fact sheet reviews risk management for redbacks in broccoli crops

Hort Innovation: A new levy-funded resource produced by AHR looks at the risks of redback spider contamination of broccoli and offers risk management strategies. Since 2016 there have been numerous customer complaints about redback spiders (Latrodectus hasselti) in broccoli. Complaints have mainly come between January and June, and from customers in all Australian states. This suggests that this is not an issue for a single production area, but can occur anywhere that broccoli is grown.

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