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
‘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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
The Fresh Produce Safety Centre’s professional development event at Melbourne Markets focused on the latest in chemical and microbial testing issues, providing attendees with extra resources and knowledge to help them make better decisions and get the greatest value from their testing dollar.
12 October 2016
The Fresh Produce Safety Centre is running a professional development event to improve understanding and utilisation of fresh produce testing for food safety.