Posts from the "Latest News" category
The ARC Training Centre for Food Safety in the Fresh Produce Industry and FSANZ have released information on the coronavirus and food safety. Key points are that coronavirus is unlikely to be passed on through fresh produce. The virus may survive up to three hours on dry inanimate surfaces, and several hours on hands, tissues, and other surfaces, although this depends on the nature of the surface, environmental conditions etc. The produce industry should reduce the risk of transmission through surface contamination by strictly following all good personal hygiene practices along with good agricultural practices. More (ARC Training Centre for Food Safety in the Fresh Produce Industry) and more (FSANZ)Read Article →
The team from the ARC Training Centre for Food Safety in the Fresh Produce Industry has published a review paper in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition on norovirus and Hep A in berries. Dr Hayriye Bozkurt, Dr Kim-Yen Phan-Thien, Dr Floris van Ogtrop, A/Prof Tina Bell and Prof Robyn McConchie co-authored “Outbreaks, occurrence, and control of norovirus and hepatitis a virus contamination in berries: A review”. The review found that inadequate handler hygiene was the predominant source of pre- and post-harvest contamination, but that the current industrial processing methods (freezing, storage and washing) provided limited efficacy in reducing viral load. They recommended key interventions in personal and environmental hygiene and the development of alternative processing technologies to induce sufficient viral inactivation in berries while maintaining sensory and quality attributes.
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Date and Time: 10-11am (AEDT), Tuesday 10 March 2020
Webinar – Innovation Agenda: Opportunities to Improve the Audit Process – a view from Lucy MacLennan from Red Tractor
Presented by the FPSC A&NZ and Freshcare.
This webinar will be in two parts: the first part will be an overview of the UK’s Red Tractor and its assurance scheme for fresh produce. The second part will be Lucy’s personal views about the opportunities to improve the audit process, as part of a project she is undertaking for a Nuffield Scholarship.
About the Speaker: Lucy MacLennan is a specialist consultant to the food industry having worked as a food technologist for more than 20 years. Her work has taken her around the world improving the quality and safety of fresh produce as well as ambient grocery products and high care chilled prepared foods.She is currently a 2020 Nuffield Scholar, having previously obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Agrifood from the University of Nottingham, an MBA from Cranfield University and her undergraduate degree BSc (Hons) in Nutrition and Food Science from the University of Surrey.Lucy’s career has seen her work for leading UK retailers such as Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury’s Supermarkets, as well as working extensively throughout their supply bases. Her consultancy work has led to the development of the Marks & Spencer Select Grower standard which has step changed food safety standards within the fresh produce industry.As well as her consultancy work, Lucy is Chief Executive of The Organic Research Centre, an organisation which seeks to redesign and deliver better farming practices based on organic and agroecological principles. She is also Non-Executive Director and Chairman of the Fresh Produce Board Committee at Red Tractor Assurance.
This webinar will be in two parts:
Part A – Red Tractor Assurance is the leading farm assurance scheme in the UK. It is one of the biggest brands in the UK, with its logo appearing on almost £15bn food sold. The scheme covers 6 industry sectors: beef and lamb, poultry, dairy, crops, pigs and fresh produce. Lucy is Chairman of the Fresh Produce Sector Board and Non Executive Director for Red Tractor and will provide an overview of the state of the fresh produce sector in the UK and how Red Tractor has responded and shaped its strategy accordingly. In addition she will provide an overview of how the fresh produce standard is managed and implemented.
Part B – Lucy has built a wealth of experience developing GAP standards for UK retailers and has seen first hand where they work well but also the issues associated with audit and assurance schemes. Her perception is that food safety audits are currently viewed as something of a necessary evil within supply chains – certification is a market entry requirement so the process is tolerated rather than really used by anyone to improve standards on farm. But auditing on one day of the year can provide a false sense of year round compliance particularly regarding food safety. She believes that there is an opportunity farm businesses to take more responsibility for their own continuous improvement of agricultural practices and that with improved attitudes, ownership of the challenge and building knowledge, ultimately the need for external audit could be reduced – or even eliminated and instead more emphasis should be placed on internal audit and leadership culture. It is this opportunity that Lucy is exploring as part of her studies for her Nuffield Farming Scholarship. In the course of her studies she will explore different fresh produce food safety standards around the world but in addition she will explore how audit has developed in other industries such as medicine, finance and the military in order to see whether there are opportunities to learn from their experience.
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Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has called for submissions to consider primary production and processing requirements to address food safety for high-risk horticultural products. Submissions are now open and close on 18 March 2020. More information is here.FSANZ: “FSANZ has raised a proposal, Primary Production and Processing Requirements for High-risk Horticulture (P1052) to consider the development of a primary production and processing (PPP) standard for high-risk horticulture as part of a broader review of chapter 3 and 4 of the Food Standards Code.
We are currently seeking comment from the community, growers, industry and other interested parties on a first call for submissions. The period for comment closes at 6pm (Canberra time) Wednesday 18 March 2020.
This call for submissions will seek information on the current environment and potential options for regulatory and non-regulatory measures to manage high risk horticulture.”
FPSC encourages industry to review the documentation provided by FSANZ, and to make submissions as appropriate, by the deadline of 18 March. To make a submission, visit here.FPSC will provide updates on this issue over the coming weeks.Read Article →
The Board of Directors of the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand today announced the appointment of two new Directors, confirmed at the AGM of the FPSC A&NZ held on 27 November 2019.
The two new FPSC A&NZ Dr Sharon Jones, OneHarvest General Manager Technical and Dr Rachel Kilmister, R&D Programme Manager, New Zealand Apples and Pears Incorporated.
The Chairman of the FPSC, Mr Michael Worthington, said: “These two highly-qualified members will strengthen the Board of Directors of FPSC, and we are delighted they have joined us. We are also pleased that we now have equal representation of women and men on the Board. The Board expressed thanks to all the applicants for their interest in the work of FPSC A&NZ.”
The Board also thanked the outgoing FPSC A&NZ Directors, Roger Gilbertson and Joseph Ekman.
Chairman, Mr Worthington, said: “We also send our sincere thanks to outgoing Directors, Roger Gilbertson and Joseph Ekman. Joe has been with the FPSC since its inception in 2014, while Roger joined in 2016. We thank them for their longstanding support and commitment to fresh produce food safety in Australia and New Zealand.”
Further information about the Board of the FPSC A&NZ is here.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Our goal is to ultimately help growers do a better job of in-field testing for foodborne pathogens, so the growers can continue to improve on the safety of their produce,” Stasiewicz said. “Risk-based sampling is something we know the industry is trying to move toward. If we know there are locations in the field that are at higher risk of contamination than others, we take a higher number of samples in those locations to detect potential contamination of the field.
“We’re building what hopefully is an easy-to-use interface so growers or other interested parties can evaluate whatever sampling program they want to apply.”
Many programs typically involve collecting 60 samples from a field, combining them in a container and creating what’s known as an n60 composite. But the exact location from where the samples are collected varies, depending on the program. In a generic program, for example, a person may walk straight and collect samples every 100 yards. Another plan may involve a person walking a “Z” pattern as they collect samples. But those sampling plans don’t necessarily focus on areas of the field that have a higher risk of contamination, such as under power lines where birds may sit, close to open water sources or near signs of obvious animal intrusions, Stasiewicz said.
Further details about this project can be found here.